Develop Proposal

Once you have identified some funding opportunities, you will need to develop your proposals to align with the goals and requirements of each sponsor.

An overview checklist for the proposal development process is outlined below:

  • Carefully review the sponsor solicitation and guidelines, keeping an eye out for specific requirements/preferences, as well as sponsor priorities/values/missions.
  • Complete the Intent to Submit a Proposal form to notify the R+CP Team of your plans. This helps the team better prepare for and support your proposals in a timely manner.
  • Identify the Principal Investigator (PI) / Assemble a team. Understand the responsibilities of each role, both intellectually and administratively. ORSP has created this document to identify administrative responsibilities for which a PI must be aware of.
  • Refine your proposal narrative. A grant writing template is available to support you in creating a high impact proposal. Remember to situate your project outcomes for (i.) the discipline, and (ii.) society.
  • Identify a list of outcomes/deliverables, define a scope of work, and develop a schedule (template available).
  • Develop a budget based on the scope of work and schedule (templates available). Reach out to to work with our RA on your budget. Please do not wait until the very last minute to start your budget; it can be developed in parallel to your proposal narrative. A previous seminar on developing a budget is also available to help you.
  • When thinking about budgets and project scope, it is important to be aware that all R+CP activity conducted at the University is subject to indirect costs (IDC). Also known as “Facilities and Administrative” costs, these are the real costs of university operations that cannot be readily assigned to a particular project. These include space-related costs (utilities and depreciation), plant operations and maintenance, network costs (hardware, software, related personnel), departmental sponsored project administration. The rate is currently 56% for all on-campus research, and 29% for other sponsored activities. So when applying for external funding, make sure to include the IDC costs within the total project budget. Something to also be aware of, especially if some sponsor agencies do not allow funds to be used for IDC, is that Taubman College are also required to pay a “Provost’s Tax” of 21.4% on all research activity conducted by Taubman faculty, meaning that part of the IDC collected will be sent by the College back to the Provost’s office as a tax. In other words, for every dollar spent by you on a project, Taubman College will pay the Provost an additional 21.4cents. So it is important that IDC is collected as much as possible on all external projects.
  • Obtain Taubman College permissions (from ADR+CP) for any cost-sharing requirements; please email to discuss this further. If you are applying for foundation-funded grants that do not support full indirect cost rates, please complete the Indirect Cost Waiver Request form.
  • Obtain Taubman College permissions (from ADR+CP) for any space allocations; please email to discuss this further.
  • Ensure all project team members (Principal Investigators, Participating Investigators, Research Assistants, and Students) complete their required PEERRS (Program for Education and Evaluation in Responsible Research and Scholarship) online training. This is a requirement for all research + creative projects conducted at U-M, and gives a really helpful understanding of how research works at U-M. The two foundational required courses that must be completed are: (1) Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship Training, and (2) Research Administration. The two additional courses that may be taken as needed are: (3) Human Subjects Research Protection, if you will be conducting a human subjects study; and (4) Export Controls, if you are engaging with any international personnel (including any international students you may hire).
  • If you are conducting human subjects research, make sure to complete the PEERRS module on “Human Subjects Research Protections.”
  • The U-M Research Ethics and Compliance website has more information on this, as well as an introductory guide to explain the process. If you have specific questions, you can also set up a meeting/call with our College’s IRB advisor, Elizabeth Molina: 

Templates are available to assist you in developing your proposal.

The OVPR Research Development team also offer a Grantsmanship 101 webinar series, which are recorded and saved in their directory.

The U-M Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) maintains a campus-wide proposal library of funded projects, organized by sponsor. 

The U-M Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP) website contains additional information.

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