Proposals seek either research grants—support for a faculty or staff member for an individual research or professional development project, or institutional grants—support for projects relating to academic program, facilities, student life, or other institutional needs.
This section of the site pertains primarily to research proposals. For more about institutional proposals,
Regardless of your discipline or the funding agency, certain rules of grantseeking apply to all grant proposals.
Questions Your Proposal Must Answer
What do you want to do?
You should be able to summarize your proposal in a few sentences. Avoid jargon. Provide a short project summary even if it's not required. Make it easy for reviewers to find the answers to questions they might have.
Why do you want to do it?
Why is it important that this project be done? Convey your enthusiasm. There must be a better reason than "it hasn't been done before."
How are you going to do it?
When and where? Provide a specific timeline. Demonstrate that you have the necessary equipment and other resources.
How much will it cost?
In addition to a basic budget (or required budget forms) provide a "Budget Justification" -- detailed information on each budget item. Show how you arrived at your figures.
Why are you the one to do it?
What special credentials do you have?
What good will come from it?
Your answer will depend in part on the goals of the funding source. Typically you will need to describe the contribution to the discipline and to society in general. You may also need to address the benefit your project will have for your career or for Middlebury College and/or its students.
How will you show that it's been done and evaluate its success?
This answer also depends on the goals and requirements of the funding source. At a minimum, indicate how you plan to disseminate the results of the project.
Contact Franci Farnsworth, Coordinator of Sponsored Research (x5889), for a paper copy of the booklet Grant Preparation: Tips and Advice. The Sponsored Research Office offers several workshops during the academic year on proposal writing and specific funding sources.