More resources will be added as we continue to develop this page. (Most recent content update: Dec 19, 2022)
The following proposal sections, listed in alphabetical order, are commonly required by a variety of funders. For each, we have provided resources to assist in preparing content; some have been developed by RDO, while others are curated from trusted internal and external sources. The resources below are intended to be a starting point. Solicitations will often specify unique requirements for each of these sections. Always check the requirements from your specific agency and call.
These documents provide evidence of an individual's qualifications for the role played in a proposed project and are generally requested in specific formats based on sponsor. For most STEM sponsors, RDO recommends using SciEnCV for generating and saving your biosketch as it will be easier to update and the interface allows reformatting for use in proposals for different sponsors.
- SciEnCV - a tool for assembling biographical information for federal sponsors that can easily be ported into multiple sponsor formats. It is quickly becoming an accepted (and preferred) biosketch format for many sponsors including NIH, NSF, and DOE
- NSF SciEnCV FAQs and Guide
- Stanford ORA Biosketch Resource Page
Data Management Plans
Many funding agencies will require a data management plan (DMP) as part of a proposal. The DMP describes the types of data you expect to collect, how they will be managed, and how access and preservation will be accomplished over time.
- 5 Tips for Writing a Great DMP (Stanford Libraries)
- DMP Self Assessment Questionnaire (Stanford Libraries)
- Stanford Libraries Data Management Services assists researchers with data preservation and access and has other data tools and services available
- Stanford Libraries also has a Resource Page with more information about DMPs including access to an Online Data Management Plan Tool for creating a ready-to-use plan for your proposal
- Lane Medical Library NIH DMSP Checklist
- Sponsor-specific guidances
- DOE suggested elements for a DMP
- NASA DMP guidance
- NEH guidelines for digital humanities
- NIH DMS Plan policy (new guidelines effective January 25, 2023)
- NSF DMP requirements (also includes links to directorate-specific guidances)
- NSF FAQs for public access
- Effective practices for making research data discoverable and citable (NSF Dear Colleague Letter, March 2022)
Often addressed in multiple sections of a proposal, evaluation plans are an important component of understanding whether a project or strategy is effective and successful. Developing robust evaluation plans at the proposal stage can demonstrate to the reviewers and funders that you have thought about what "success" means and how you will be certain you will achieve it or adjust practices to course correct along the way. These are commonly requested for educational activities, outreach plans, workforce development strategies, and management plans.
- American Evaluation Association Find an Evaluator Tool - a directory that can be searched by location, area of expertise, or name
Management plans are common elements of large collaborative or Center grants. This section is intended to demonstrate to reviewers how teams will work together to accomplish the various goals of a project. Some plans also require detailed administrative information as well as plans for evaluation of project activities (see section on Evaluation Plans above).
- RDO resources for collaboration and team science
- DOE's EFRC Good Management Practices - while it originated from a specific DOE program, this document contains excellent advice that is generalizable to other research center management strategies
Postdoctoral Mentoring Plans
Postdoctoral mentoring plans (PMPs) are often required in STEM-focused proposals where a postdoctoral researcher's involvement is indicated. These serve as roadmaps for both mentor and mentee to navigate the key aspects of mentorship and professional development of postdocs. It's best to avoid using a boilerplate approach and instead tailor the Plan to the specific program you are proposing, institution you are with, and/or postdoc(s) to be mentored.
- RDO's Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan Guidelines - an NSF-focused document with prompts and suggestions for writing an effective PMP that is also useful in thinking of strategies to fulfill PMP requirements for other sponsors
- National Postdoc Association Institutional Guide to Postdoc Mentorship - includes specific guidance on PMPs as well as links to resources on mentorship