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Develop A Grant Proposal
The Research and Proposal Development unit within the Offices of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED) assists faculty and staff with the development of grant and contract proposals to external funding agencies and organizations. Services provided by ORIED include assistance with the conceptualization of project ideas, refinement of proposal narratives, and development of project budgets. Additionally, here you can find grant writing and other resources to aid in the development of developing competitive proposals for external funding. For a full list of services and the associated timelines, see the ORIED Proposal Services Matrix.
Note: In accordance with ORIED's Proposal Submission Guidelines, all final proposal elements including a Proposal Approval Form (PAF) signed by your dean and chair and other campus officials must be received by ORIED no later than 2 full business days before the submission deadline to allow for final review and finalization.
Before You Begin to Write
Conceptualize Your Project - Ask yourself these key questions to help hone your project idea.
Research Previously-Funded Projects
Agency databases of funded projects are a useful tool which can provide a snapshot of a sponsor’s priority areas and can help you avoid proposing something that is similar to a project that has already funded. Below please find a number of publicly available award databases.
- Federal RePORTER
- EPA National Center for Environmental Research (NCER)
- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
- National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Listing of NEH awards accessible by year and program name.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) RePORTER Database of Funded Projects
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Awardee Database
- US Department of Defense (DOD) Congressionally Mandated Research Programs Database
- US Department of Education (ED) Institute of Education Sciences Award
- US Department of Energy Office of Science Grants Database
- US Department of Energy ARPA-E Awards
Proposal Writing & Project Evaluation Guides and Tutorials
- AAAS Science: Ten Commandments of Private Foundation Grant Proposals
- The Foundation Center Proposal Writing Short Course
- National Science Foundation (NSF)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Social Science Research Council (SSRC) The Art of Writing Proposals
- US Department of Education
Budget Templates & Resources
- Grant Budget Template The template includes standard budget categories and can be modified as needed to fit agency requirements.
- Sample Proposal Budget
- Sample Budget Justification
- Person Months Conversion Chart
Budget Related Policies
Data Management Plans
Many federal funding agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF), require that grant applications contain data management plans for projects involving data collection.
What constitutes data?
Data is determined by each academic community/field. Data may include, but is not limited to data, publications, samples, physical collections, software, and models.
Data management at Sacramento State
Sacramento State is a member of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Science Research (ICPSR). As members, political and social science-related data can be stored at no cost in their archives. Click here for additional details about housing data with ICPSR.
Preparing Data Management Plans (DMPs)
- DMPTool An online DMP generator developed by the University of California and other major research institutions for use by researchers at any institution.
- Elements of a DMP Developed by Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Science Research (ICPSR).
- Framework for Developing a DMP Developed by the ICPSR.
- DMP FAQs From the National Science Foundation.
- DMP Resources and Examples Resources, tools, and templates developed by research organizations and other universities.
- Sample DMP Language
Policies on Data Management
Serve as a Peer Reviewer
Peer reviewers benefit by gaining first-hand knowledge of the review process, learning the common grant writing pitfalls and discovering strategies to write strong proposals. The following agencies are currently seeking proposal reviewers:
- Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) CNCS is seeking reviewers for its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Social Innovation Fund. To sign up, visit here.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) To increase the pool of un-conflicted reviewers NASA is seeking subject matter experts to serve as mail-in reviewers of proposals and/or in-person reviewers to engage in discussions at a face-to-face panel meeting. New researchers are welcome to apply as they provide fresh insight from people close to the most current research. Visit NASA here.
- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Want to better understand the NEA review process? There is no better way than becoming an NEA reviewer. The Arts Education Office needs dedicated people to ensure a quality assessment of each application for direct learning, professional development, and collective impact projects. If you are interested in being considered, please complete the Volunteer to be a Panelist form.
- National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) NEH relies on the advice of humanities scholars and experts in other relevant fields in evaluating grant applications. Sign up to be a reviewer.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) The NIH Center for Scientific Review appoints study section members and temporary reviewers. Study section membership is generally a four-year commitment of three meetings per year. Be considered as a reviewer
- National Science Foundation (NSF) To become a NSF peer reviewer, contact the program officer(s) of the directorate(s) or division(s) that fit your expertise, introduce yourself and your research experience, let them know that you want to become a peer reviewer for their program, ask when the next panel will be held, and offer to send a 2-page CV. For the Division of Chemistry, first-time reviewers also sign up via an online signup form.
- US Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) Reviewer To be considered as a potential reviewer, email CSREES with your name, department, institution, and area(s) of expertise (limit to 4 or 5 keywords).
- US Department of Education The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Higher Education Programs is seeking peer reviewers via their Online Field Reader Application Form.