Characteristics of a Good Proposal

  1. The need for the proposed activity is clearly established, preferably with data.

  2. The most important ideas are highlighted and repeated in several places.

  3. The objectives of the project are given in detail.

  4. There is a detailed schedule of activities for the project, or at least sample portions of such a complete project schedule.

  5. Collaboration with all interested groups in planning of the proposed project is evident in the proposal.

  6. The commitment of all involved parties is evident, e.g., letters of commitment in the appendix and cost sharing stated in both the narrative of the proposal and the budget.

  7. The budget and the proposal narrative are consistent.

  8. The uses of money are clearly indicated in the proposal narrative as well as in the budget.

  9. All of the major matters indicated in the proposal guidelines are clearly addressed in the proposal.

  10. The agreement of all project staff and consultants to participate in the project was acquired and is so indicated in the proposal.

  11. All governmental procedures have been followed with regard to matters such as civil rights compliance and protection of human subjects.

  12. Appropriate detail is provided in all portions of the proposal.

  13. All of the directions given in the proposal guidelines have been followed carefully.

  14. Appendices have been used appropriately for detailed and lengthy materials which the reviewers may not want to read but are useful as evidence of careful planning, previous experience, etc.

  15. The length is consistent with the proposal guidelines and/or funding agency expectations.

  16. The budget explanations provide an adequate basis for the figures used in building the budget.

  17. If appropriate, there is a clear statement of commitment to continue the project after external funding ends.

  18. The qualifications of project personnel are clearly communicated.

  19. The writing style is clear and concise. It speaks to the reader, helping the reader understand the problems and proposal. Summarizing statements and headings are used to lead the reader.

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