The Office
Research and Sponsored Programs

Guide for Proposal Development
Wright State University

Produced by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, August, 2003

S o, you have an idea for a project (the focus could be on research, instruction, public service or a creative activity), and you want to turn that idea into a proposal. Where do you start? The purpose of this brochure is to guide you through some of the basic steps for finding sponsors for your project and submitting a proposal.

Identification of Funding Sources

If you have not already pinpointed a sponsor for your project, Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) can assist you in locating possible sources of funding. The staff of RSP gathers, summarizes, and distributes grant-related information to assist the faculty and staff at WSU. We maintain a database of profiles that helps us to match faculty and staff with potential funding sources. If you have not already filled out an interest profile, we urge you to do so. This form can be accessed online at

Note: You must complete a Faculty Interest Profile and be entered in RSP's Faculty Interest Database to be eligible for funding by WSU's internal funding programs.

Here are some suggestions on how to begin your search for funding.

Internal Funding

Do you have a project that you are not quite ready to submit to an external sponsor? Perhaps a small grant from WSU can help you get this project started and converted into a proposal.

The guidelines for these internal funding programs can be obtained through the Internal Funding link on the RSP homepage or at the addresses noted below the title. Deadlines vary according to the program.

Research Incentive Programs

Research Challenge Programs

Other Programs

Be sure to check with the dean of your college and/or the Provost’s office. There are a number of college and university-wide programs available, and one of them may match the needs of your project.

External Funding

The RSP homepage contains the following electronic funding databases that allow you to explore upcoming funding opportunities in your area of interest:

Anyone with a "" email address can access these databases from our homepage.

Note: Our office also presents a hands-on funding opportunities workshop on a quarterly basis. During this workshop, we demonstrate each database and help you to become familiar with the electronic tools each one has to offer.

The RSP Publications posted on our website are also helpful sources for funding news.

Pre-submission Activities

Now that you have found a possible source for funding, what should you do next?

Note: Most program officers welcome calls and inquiries from potential grantees prior to the submission of an application. If you want to discuss your project with the program officer, contact information can usually be found in the program announcement.

Proposal Preparation

As you begin your proposal, you may have questions about some of the requirements or forms that are included in the application. The staff of RSP is here to assist you in the proposal preparation process. With sufficient notice (i.e. at least two weeks prior to the deadline date), we can help you with the following procedures:

Note: Proposals to be submitted electronically often require additional lead time to allow for any necessary formatting revisions, assigning of PINs or passwords, and as a safeguard against any downtime or problems with the Internet.

Submission Activities

When you are ready to submit your application, please bring the original copy of the proposal, appendices, and any application forms to RSP, and we will take care of the following:

Award Notification

Upon notification from the sponsor that your project is being funded, our staff will take the following steps:

Note: If the sponsor sends the award notice directly to you, please forward it to RSP to ensure that the award is entered into the WSU and RSP systems properly, and that an account is created for your project.

Contact Information

Any time you have questions regarding a proposal or an award, please feel free to contact the RSP staff for assistance. Our office is located at 201J University Hall and a complete listing of the RSP staff with phone numbers, areas of expertise, and email addresses can be found on the facing page and on our homepage at

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