Writing the Proposal

Getting Started with the Project Narrative

The project narrative is the heart of the proposal. Use clear, concise, descriptive and direct language. State your hypothesis or program goal, specific objectives and the significance of the project clearly. Describe the potential interpretations and outcomes of each objective. Describe your proposed methods and relate them to the specific objectives. Although the reviewers will probably be familiar with your field of study, they may not be familiar with some of the specifics of your work or methodologies. Use plain English, avoiding discipline-specific jargon and abbreviations. Write for a technically and scientifically literate audience and define all acronyms and special terms. When possible, use tables, graphs or flowcharts to clearly illustrate complex ideas in a small amount of space.

The following will guide you through your proposal preparation:

  1. Reviewing Guidelines
  2. Prepare a Concept Paper
  3. Hypothesis & Specific Aims
  4. Background & Significance
  5. Preliminary Studies/Progress Report
  6. Research Design & Methods
  7. Monitoring & Evaluation
  8. Structure

Sponsored Programs
Administration (SPA)

324 Old Main
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Fax: 515-271-4067
Contact us