Proposal Writer's Guide

by Don Thackrey


The Title (or Cover) Page. Most sponsoring agencies specify the format for the title page, and some provide special forms to summarize basic administrative and fiscal data for the project. Generally, the principal investigator, his or her department head, and an official representing the University sign the title page. In addition, the title page usually includes the University's reference number for the proposal, the name of the agency to which the proposal is being submitted, the title of the proposal, the proposed starting date and budget period, the total funds requested, the name and address of the University unit submitting the proposal, and the date submitted. Some agencies want the title page to specify whether the proposal is for a new or continuing project. And some ask to which other agencies the proposal is being submitted.

A good title is usually a compromise between conciseness and explicitness. Although titles should be comprehensive enough to indicate the nature of the proposed work, they should also be brief. One good way to cut the length of titles is to avoid words that add nothing to a reader's understanding, such as "Studies on...," "Investigations...," or "Research on Some Problems in...."

Proposal Writer's Guide: | PWG Contents | PWG Introduction | Parts of a Research Proposal | Title Page | Abstract s | Proposal Table of Contents | Background Section | Description of Proposed Research | Resources Descriptions | References | Personnel | Budget | Appendices | Proposals for Academic Programs | III. Inquiries to Private Foundations | IV. Dealing with Short Deadlines | V. Why Proposals Are Rejected|