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Pre-Proposal Activities

Initial Contact with Sponsor

Funding agencies have varying requirements for making initial contacts regarding funding of sponsored projects. SP maintains current guidelines of numerous public and private funding sources, as well as listings of the names, titles, addresses, and telephone numbers for current program officers and other representatives of funding agencies who are the initial point of contact for faculty wishing to discuss the scope of their project. These guidelines frequently specify the exact requirements regarding the appropriate means of initial contact (e.g., by letter, telephone, or brief pre-proposal).

Once these guidelines are understood, faculty should feel free to contact funding officers directly to discuss the scope of individual projects.  In this way, faculty can ask potential sponsors the kinds of questions that will assist them in submitting the most competitive proposal possible. The sponsors’ officers can, in turn, give valuable guidance and assistance to the faculty member in preparing the proposal according to the requirements of their organizations. Before contacting corporations or private foundations, faculty should discuss potential contacts and secure approval from SP.

Application Guidelines

Faculty will need to acquire the most recent version of sponsor guidelines, either from the SP website, the sponsor’s website, or directly from the sponsor. Follow application guidelines in preparing the proposal.  These organizations return proposals without a review if your proposal does not conform to the application guidelines. In particular, faculty should pay careful attention to all of the following in preparing the proposal:

  • page length, margins, font size, and line-spacing;
  • limitations placed on the length of resumes or other appendix materials;
  • the deadline date and time for submission of the proposal (date/time of delivery to agency and/or date/time by which the proposal must be stamped with official U.S. Postal Service or commercial carrier postmark);
  • specific number of copies requested;
  • certifications or assurances signed by an authorizing official to be sent with the proposal.

SP can be of great assistance to you as you prepare your proposal.  Any questions about the application process, required certifications, budgets, and other issues should be referred to SP as soon as possible in the preparation of the proposal.