Grant & Project Proposals

Every grant application and project is different and you will want to follow the instructions provided by the granting agency exactly.  To help you prepare, however, below are some of the most frequently requested elements of a grant or project proposal.


Five things to consider

  • Write for the reader
    Try to anticipate the questions and concerns they might have and answer them in your proposal
  • Have good content
    Spend time making sure you have a strong idea that you can support with research and describe with clarity.  You can adjust the formatting later; start with the best content possible.
  • Be direct and clear.
    A grant proposal is frequently only a few pages in length.  Use the space well; be concise.
  • Be a great editor
    Double-check (then triple-check) for grammar, spelling, word choice, and sentence structure issues.
  • Invite other editors
    Ask others to read it before you submit it.  You want to know if it makes sense to a fresh set of eyes.


Sections to include

Not every proposal will require every section.  Be sure you know the expectations of your particular project.  Below are the most frequently included areas.  

  • Contact Information
    Include your name, address, email, and phone number
  • Summary
    This comes first but you should actually write it last.  This is three to four sentences that give a quick overview of the project.
  •  Background
    You are trying to say “_________ is true” and “___________ is true” so I would like to do ____________ in response.”  If you refer to any external research, be sure to cite it as you would in a research paper.  
  • Project Description
    This is the place where you get to describe the actual project.  Be as specific as possible, but still keep it clear and concise.
  • Goals/Evaluation
    Tell them what you would like to accomplish and how you will know if you did.
  • Budget
    Describe how you will spend the money you are requesting.

Summer Discovery Grant proposals are typically due in April. Check with the Center for Career & Vocation at to learn more about this year’s deadline and to get assistance crafting this or other grant proposals.