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Proposal Development

RD Resource Library

RD makes available to the UC San Diego community a curated collection of resources relevant to proposal development. These include guidance documents prepared by RD and by others at UC San Diego, materials procured from reliable external sources, and links to campus and external websites that contain information useful to those preparing proposals.

We welcome suggestions of additional resources at researchdevelopment@ucsd.edu.

GENERAL PROPOSAL RESOURCES

PROPOSAL WRITING RESOURCES and COMPONENTS

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Research Development & Grant Writing News

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TOPIC SPECIFIC GUIDANCE

LIMITED SUBMISSION OPPORTUNITIES

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EARLY CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

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NEW FACULTY GUIDE TO RESEARCH FUNDING

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Tips for Prospective PIs

Want to improve your chances of proposal success? Below are some high-level tips to get you started. The RD Resource Library provides an extensive, curated collection of resources to further assist you in crafting compelling proposals.

Start early

Producing a competitive proposal takes time. Very large, center-level proposals can take months to years to develop. We recommend planning to devote sufficient time to:

  • Review information on past and current awards, and on potential competitors
  • Review any reports referenced in the call-for-proposals
  • Build a strong team by engaging appropriate collaborators
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities of key personnel
  • Develop sound budgets
  • Request, receive, and review required documents from collaborators/subaward institutions
  • Generate, revise, and incorporate text, figures, and tables 
  • Secure and document commitments of matching funds or other resources 
  • Solicit critical, constructive in-house and/or external review
  • Thoughtfully address any perceived weaknesses that are identified prior to proposal submission

Read the program solicitation carefully

Being responsive to sponsors’ requirements and priorities is a must. Even the most brilliant ideas convincingly expressed are not likely to win you an award if the proposed work is not closely aligned with what the sponsor is looking for. After reading and re-reading the solicitation, reach out to a program officer to discuss any concerns about the fit of what you want to propose.

Finish early

Work cooperatively with staff in your department/unit business office and the sponsored projects office to enable them to submit the complete proposal package well before the sponsor’s deadline. Follow OCGA's guidance on proposal submission timelines. Failure to do so and resultant rushing contributes to stress all around and may jeopardize successful proposal submission. Don’t risk having your proposal returned without review because it is late, incomplete, or contains errors that could have been easily caught and corrected in the course of thorough institutional review.

Pursuing a Large Award?

Get started by viewing RD's top tips and things to avoid, and consider requesting an RD consultation.

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