Office of Research Project Development & Proposal Writing - Office of Research

Project Development & Proposal Writing



Grant Writing Support

There are many resources available to researchers to aid in writing a research grant, including proposal development support, freelance editors, training, and agency-specific grant and proposal guides.

Who can help me develop, write, and submit my proposal?

Offices and individuals that support proposal development

  • Interdisciplinary Research Support (IRS)
    Office of Research unit that assists in the development, coordination, and submission of large team-grant proposals and early career proposals
  • Training Grant Support Services (TGSS)
    Team from the Office of Research and Graduate Studies who assist in the development of training grants as well as graduate and postdoctoral fellowships
  • Office of Foundation and Corporate Giving (OFGC)
    This office can provide assistance in developing proposals to foundations and contacting appropriate foundation program officers
  • Global Affairs
    The Sponsored Programs and Special Projects unit of Global Affairs provides program oversight for campus opportunities and implements educational program guidelines for mid-career professional internships. The unit also researches, analyzes, and publicizes international funding opportunities for faculty, reseachers, post-doctoral scholars, and graduate students to maximize communication of funding opportunities and encourage participation in innovative opportunities for learning and scholarship.
  • Freelance Editors
    External-to-campus editors who are available to assist the research community with the editing of grants and other documents. This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not officially endorsed by the Office of Research. We encourage you to contact editors directly to obtain more information including the prices of their services.
  • Sponsored Programs Office
    The Sponsored Programs Office is delegated to submit and accept extramurally sponsored research projects on behalf of UC Davis. This office can assist you in submitting a proposal that meets all of the requirements of the sponsor and university

What tools and services does UC Davis provide for writing a good grant proposal?

Resources for developing a proposal

  • Grant Writing Office Hours
    Walk-in biweekly grant writing office hours for those who are looking for extra help with the specific topic listed for that session.

Upcoming Grant Writing Office Hours in 1007 Kemper Hall:

Fellowships & Setting Up a Funding Search
Wednesday, January 17, from 11 AM – 12 PM

Federal and Foundation Funding Opportunities
Wednesday, January 31, from 11 AM – 12 PM

  • Templates and Samples of Common Proposal Elements
    The Interdisciplinary Research Support unit has various templates and samples for preparing and writing a research grant. Some of these have been prepared by IRS and others by funding agencies.
  • Budget templates
    The Interdisciplinary Research Support unit has created budget templates for preparing a proposal budget.
  • Support for Early Career Researchers
    Information on events, funding search tools, and proposal preparation specifically for early career researchers.
  • Research Development and Grant Writing Newsletter
    Academic Research Funding Strategies, LLC publishes a monthly electronic newsletter for faculty on how to compete successfully for research and education funding from federal agencies and foundations. UC Davis has purchased a subscription to the newsletter with unlimited access to all faculty, staff, and students on our campus.
  • Funding Opportunities Resources
    The Office of Research Funding Opportunities Program assists researchers in identifying funding opportunities. If you need assistance finding funding for your research, contact Meg Sparling at msparling@ucdavis.edu.

This is still not enough. Where else can I find information on developing a proposal?

On-line resources for writing a compelling and compliant proposal

Tips and Information from Sponsors

Here we have collected grant proposal guides, grant writing tips sheets and other resources from sponsors or seasoned grant writers, that provide excellent information for developing a compelling proposal

National Endowment for the Humanities
National Institutes of Health
National Science Foundation
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Others

Proposal Examples

You can request examples of successful funding proposals from any of the federal funding agencies under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Each agency has a different procedure to follow in order to obtain these documents. A sample FOIA request and procedures for the following agencies are below.

National Science Foundation
  1. Determine what grant documents you would like to obtain. You can search for various grants that have been awarded through http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/index.jsp. If you are looking for any proposal from a specific grant, use the title of that grant in the field titled “Search Award For.” Otherwise, all of the other search parameters should be relatively self-explanatory.
  2. Determine which specific award documents you’d like to request. Your search should provide you with a list of awards. Clicking on each award will give you an abstract of the research that is being funded. Pick the awards that you think would be most helpful and note the award number (in the right-hand column) and the name of the principal investigator (sixth column from the right).
  3. Once you have the award numbers and P.I. names, you can make a request via email to foia@nsf.gov or via mail to the address found at http://www.nsf.gov/policies/foia.jsp. Your request should, at a minimum, include:
    • Identification as a FOIA request (in the text and on envelope if request made by mail) and
    • A clear description of the records sought (i.e.; award number, project title, and Principal Investigator).
  4. The FOIA Coordinator should be able to write back in a week. They may want more information; otherwise, they should simply acknowledge your request. These requests usually take 20-30 days to process, though they are allotted 90 days to fulfill any FOIA requests.
National Institute of Health
  1. Determine what grant documents you would like to obtain. You can search for various grants that have been awarded through http://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm. Be sure to use the Institutes and Centers field to select the Institute through which your desired grant is being housed.
  2. Determine which specific award documents you’d like to request. Your search should provide you with a list of awards. Clicking on each award will give you an abstract of the research that is being funded. Pick the awards that you think would be most helpful and note the award number (in the far left-hand column) and the name of the principal investigator (third column from the right).
  3. Once you have the award numbers and P.I. names, you can make a request. A list of FOIA Coordinators of the different NIH Institutes can be found at http://www.nih.gov/icd/od/foia/coord.htm. Be ready to provide the coordinator with names of the P.I.’s and the award numbers.
National Endowment for the Arts
  1. Determine what grant documents you would like to obtain. You can search for awards by going to http://apps.nea.gov/GrantSearch/. Click on the link to the grant you are interested and a list of awards for that grant should appear.
  2. Find the specific awards you are most interested in. The list provides short abstracts for every award. Note the title of the award and the name of the P.I.
  3. Once you know which awards you’d like to have, contact the NEA FOIA officer by email, fax, or writing. You can reach that person at:

    FOIA Requests
    Office of General Counsel
    National Endowment for the Arts
    1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 518
    Washington, DC 20506
    202/682-5418
    202/682-5572(fax)
    foia@arts.endow.gov

  4. These requests usually take 30-45 days to process, though they are allotted 90 days to fulfill any FOIA requests.
National Endowment for the Humanities
  1. Determine what grant documents you would like to obtain. You can search for awards by going to http://apps.nea.gov/GrantSearch/. Click on the link to the grant you are interested and a list of awards for that grant should appear.
  2. Find the specific awards you are most interested in. The list provides short abstracts for every award. Note the title of the award and the name of the P.I.
  3. Once you know which awards you’d like to have, contact the NEA FOIA officer by email, fax, or writing. You can reach that person at:FOIA Requests
    Office of General Counsel
    National Endowment for the Arts
    1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 518
    Washington, DC 20506
    202/682-5418
    202/682-5572(fax)
    foia@arts.endow.gov
  4. These requests usually take 30-45 days to process, though they are allotted 90 days to fulfill any FOIA requests.
Sample FOIA Request
Here is an example of a FOIA request from A Citizen’s Guide to Using the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974 to Request Government Records, published by the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, 1997.

  1. Dear FOIA Officer:This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.I request that a copy of the following documents be provided to me: [Identify the documents or information as specifically as possible.]In order to help to determine my status for purposes of determining the applicability of any fees, you should know that I am_______[Examples:
    • I am a representative of the news media affiliated with the ____newspaper, magazine, television station, etc., and this request is made as part of news gathering and not for a commercial use.
    • I am affiliated with an educational or noncommercial scientific institution, and this request is made for a scholarly or scientific purpose and not for a commercial use.
    • I am an individual seeking information for personal use and not for a commercial use.
    • I am affiliated with a private corporation and am seeking information for use in the company’s business.]
    [Optional] I am willing to pay fees for this request up to a maximum of $____. If you estimate that the fees will exceed this limit, please inform me first.[Optional] I request a waiver of all fees for this request. Disclosure of the requested information to me is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in my commercial interest. [Include specific details, including how the requested information will be disseminated by the requester for public benefit. Failure to include such details may result in a denial or a fee waiver.] [Optional] I request that the information I seek be provided in electronic format, and I would like to receive it on a personal computer disk. [You may receive your request in either paper or, if available, electronic format. Please specify the precise format you prefer.] [Optional] I ask that my request receive expedited processing because ________________. [Include specific details regarding your “compelling need” and specifics concerning your “urgency to inform the public.”] [Optional] I have included a telephone number at which I can be contacted during the hours of ______, if necessary, to discuss any aspect of my request.Thank you for your consideration of this request.

    Name
    Address
    City, State, Zip Code
    Telephone number [Optional] fax number [optional] email [Optional]

Pre-Submission Review

It is the University of California policy that faculty or other academic employees who receive any part of their salary through the University, or whose activities use any University resources or facilities, must submit their proposals through the appropriate local contracts and grants office (UCOP Memo – Operating Guidance No. 95-1).

Preparing & Submitting Proposals

There are many steps to developing a research project and preparing a proposal for submission. The Office of Research aims to provide and identify services and resources to aid the researcher’s efforts in developing and preparing a project or proposal.