Common Proposal Components

The information and templates below are intended to guide and assist you throughout the proposal preparation process. Please note that components vary between sponsors and sponsors periodically revise requirements. It is important to check the sponsor’s guidelines to ensure the most recent guidelines are followed.

UC Davis Contract and Grant Administrative Forms
All proposals for extramural funding must be submitted through Sponsored Programs, with the exception of limited submission pre-proposals and pre-proposals that do not require an institutional signature.

View the detailed requirements, including forms, for submission through Sponsored Programs.

Sponsor Grant Proposal Guidelines and Forms
When preparing a proposal, you should generally look for sponsor guidelines in two places: the specific call for proposals and the sponsor’s website. If you have questions about guidelines, you should contact Sponsored Programs or the contact person listed by the sponsor.

Cover Page/Face Page
The Cover Page provides information that assists the sponsor in determining the type of application, which program is being applied to, and contact information for the PI and university official among other items.

Table of Contents
The Table of Contents facilitates easy navigation of the proposal components.

  • This form is auto generated if using or FastLane.
  • PHS 398 Table of Contents Template (PHS 398 Fillable Forms)
Abstract/Project Summary
The Abstract or Project Summary must be suitable for public distribution and understandable to both the scientist and layperson. See the relevant sponsor’s grant proposal guidelines to ensure all formatting and other requirements are met.

  • PHS 398 Form Page 2: Summary, Relevance, Project/Performance Sites, Senior/Key Personnel, Other Significant Contributors, and Human Embryonic Stem Cells (PHS 398 Fillable Forms)
Project Narrative/Description
The Project Narrative describes the project, its purpose, relevance, and implementation. Each sponsor has specified guidelines for the Project Narrative/Description.

  • For NIH and other PHS agencies, the Project Narrative will reflect the second component of the Project Summary and should describe the relevance of this project to the public health.
  • The NSF Project Description should be no longer than 15 pages and should not include URLs.
Budget and Budget Justification
The Budget and Budget Justification (also called a budget narrative) is a financial proposal reflecting the work proposed and outlines the expected project costs in detail. It should mirror the project description.

Biosketches: Biosketches (Curriculum Vitae) for key personnel are required by most funding agencies.

References Cited
Most funding agencies require References Cited section for all references cited in the Project Narrative/Description and/or Research Plan component unless otherwise noted in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).

Facilities and Resources
The Facilities and Resources section provides information on the organizational resources that will be used in conducting the proposed work.

  • NIH and other PHS agencies (PHS 398 Fillable Forms)
  • NSF prohibits inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing unless specifically stated in an NSF solicitation. The NSF FAQs state that “. . . all organizational resources necessary for the project (both physical and personnel) must be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal (see NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2.i for more information).”
Data Management Plan/Resource Sharing Plan
Data Management Plans/Resource Sharing Plans describe how proposals disseminate and share results.

Current and Pending Support
Some funding agencies require a Current and Pending Support section at the time of application. This section describes what funding a researcher is currently receiving, as well as what funding the researcher has applied for.

  • For NIH, your biosketch will include current and past support whereas current and pending support is a just-in-time requirement unless otherwise noted in the FOA. NIH Policy
  • NSF requires Current and Pending Support for all key personnel at the time of application.
Compliance Documents
Depending on the specific project and sponsor, the researcher may also need to complete a variety of compliance documents.