Proposals seek funding for individual research and curricular projects, or they seek funding for institutional  grants relating to academic programs and initiatives, student life, facilities, or other College­ wide needs.

Regardless  of your discipline or the funder, certain rules of grantseeking apply to all 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 is not required.  Make it easy for reviewers or funders to find the answers to the questions they might have.

Why do you want to do it?

Why is your project important?   Convey 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 resources to complete the project.

 How much will it cost?

In addition to a basic budget (or required budget forms) provide a “Budget Justification,” which explains 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 that make you qualified to carry out the project?

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 The College of Wooster and/or its students.

How will you show that it has been done and evaluate its success?

This answer also depends on the goals and requirement s of the funding source. At a minimum, indicate how you plan to disseminate  the results of the project.


Additional Advice for Preparing Proposals

  • Read the guidelines carefully.
  • Consider how  your  project fits the  goals of the program. Note any special instructions about format, mailing, etc.
  • Follow all directions.  Proposals have been returned without review because applicants did not do what the guidelines specified. Therefore, include the right forms, provide requested information, answer all the questions, and adhere to guideline requirements for length and format.
  • Address all review criteria.
  • Successful proposals fit the mission of the sponsor’s program, which are defined by the review criteria.  If the criteria are not spelled out, you can usually discern what is important from other language in the guidelines or program description.
  • Send out only perfect copy.  First impressions are important-allow no typos, no errors, no sloppy formatting.  Paper application forms should be typed.




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