Proposal Development

Man using computer in classroomThe Medical School Office of Research has established several resources to help researchers at every stage of the grant writing process develop successful grant proposals. When you're ready to start drafting your next research grant proposal, we encourage you to explore these resources to see what may be useful to you.

Looking for a proposal development resource not listed here? Email the Office of Research and let us know what you would like to see.

Pre-Proposal Planning and Conceptualization

Perhaps you're new to the Medical School research environment, or maybe you're a veteran researcher hoping to brush up on the latest grant proposal writing techniques. The Medical School and the entire University of Michigan offer the depth and breadth of resources of one of the country's largest, top-tier institutions.

Before you start developing your next grant proposal, make sure you have a strong foundation to be successful. Use the resources below to learn about current tips and tricks in pre-proposal planning and conceptualization. Can't find what you're looking for here? Email the Office of Research and we'll connect you!

Internal Resources

  • Medical School Grant Proposal Sampler – This is a repository of proposals and proposal sections donated by Medical School faculty members. Its purpose is to offer insight into proposal development based on successful proposals by your peers, including proposal writing (e.g., organization, detail), responding to reviewers’ comments, sample sections and tables, etc. It also contains a list of UMMS faculty members who currently serve, or recently serve, on study sections. This site is password-protected with access restricted to Medical School faculty, staff, and postdoctoral fellows.
  • NIH Fellowship Proposal Sampler – This is a repository of proposals and proposal sections donated by U-M graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members. Its purpose is to offer insight into proposal development based on real examples from your peers. This site is password-protected with access restricted to all U-M graduate students and postdoctoral fellows as well as Medical School faculty and staff.
  • Pre-Award Information – This page provides a list of resources, tools, and guidance for facilitating a proposal's creation and submission. Resources include: NIH Specifics, Tips and Tricks; a Proposal Finalization Checklist; Department Contacts & Authorized Signers; and much more.
  • U-M Library's Research Funding & Grants Guide – Looking for new funding opportunities? What internal funding exists for your research? Interested in learning about campus-wide resources and training for grant writing and preparation? Visit the Research Funding & Grants Guide for a complete list of U-M resources and training opportunities that can help you prepare your next grant.
  • MICHR Research Development Core (RDC) – The RDC offers free in-person consultations for any U-M investigator doing clinical and health research and provides support and advice on grant writing, research ideas, and study design.
  • Data Management Training – Data management plans are increasingly required by federal agencies and other sponsors to meet funding requirements. Visit the U-M Library’s Research Funding & Grants Guide for a listing of units across campus that offer assistance with developing a data management plan.
  • Michigan Research Experts – Looking for a potential research collaborator for your next proposal? Michigan Research Experts is a searchable database of research expertise across disciplines, including more than 5,000 faculty members across U-M. Here you’ll find information about a researcher’s publications, grants, and patents.
  • Proposal Preparation Funding Program – The goal of this program is to provide funds to support the submission of multi-investigator grants, such as program projects, center proposals, U awards, etc. 
  • Rigor & Reproducibility – Addressing an increasing trend of reports of failure to replicate important basic/preclinical studies, the NIH has updated standards for grant applications that require researchers consider the robustness of their proposed research.
  • Sharpening Your Focus: Tips on Grant Proposal Preparation – This is a series of tips published in UMMS Research News about writing proposals.

Internal Training Opportunities

Interested in learning more about proposal preparation and training opportunities across campus? Visit these resources for more information, including an updated listing of training events and workshops:

External Resources

classroom of studentsProposal Development

Writing Assistance

  • U-M Proposal Writing Guide - A step-by-step guide to writing each section of a proposal for a sponsored activity, such as a research project or a curriculum development program.
  • Scientific Writing and Publishing Aids (Taubman Health Sciences Library) - A resource guide providing useful information about writing and publishing in the area of health sciences, including journal/book information, writing and publishing aids, and more.
  • Plain Language Medical Dictionary - is a web-based tool developed by the Taubman Health Sciences Library containing over 1,000 medical terms. Search by typing in a specific medical term, browse all terms, or sort alphabetically. 

Editorial Assistance

  • Jill Jividen, Ph.D., 734-764-3634, UMMS Office of Research – Jill is an experienced interdisciplinary proposal writer who will edit, as time permits, external grant applications for grammar and grantsmanship issues.
  • MICHR Research Development Core (RDC) – Provides no-cost services and consultation to assist investigators in designing, writing, and submitting external grant proposals.
  • Reference List of Freelance Editors – This list of freelance editors, which includes their CV/resumes and contact information, was developed in response to faculty interest in the availability of editing services. The editors on this list have expertise in various types of writing (e.g., manuscripts, grant proposals, IRB protocol).
  • Reference List of Freelance Graphics Specialists – This is a list of freelance experts in graphic design and medical illustration who may be available to help prepare various documents, e.g., grant proposals, manuscripts, dissertations.

Supporting Materials Assistance

  • Facility & Resource Profile Templates - Boilerplate descriptions of U-M facilities and resources intended to be copied, pasted, and edited as needed for grant proposals or marketing/recruiting materials.
  • Core Facilities Assessment - Consult with the Cores to help establish the scope and budget of your project, coordinate funding applications, and for investigator-focused training opportunities.
  • Requesting Letters of Support/Commitment - Learn how to strengthen your proposal by requesting a letter of support or a letter of commitment for cost sharing from the leadership of Michigan Medicine or the Medical School.
  • Budgeting Research Proposals - A list of common components in proposal budgets, including information about Budgeting and Justifications, Full Cost Budgeting, and Facility & Administrative Costs (F&A or Indirect Costs).
  • Budget Templates - This page provides a variety of budget templates, including embedded formulas in editable Excel spreadsheet(s). 
  • Fact Sheets & Hot Topics - Find Michigan Medicine facts and figures for your proposal.
  • NIH Requirements for My Bibliography and eRA Commons - A video and slide presentation created by the U-M Office of Research and Sponsored Projects related to the NIH Public Access Policy.
  • NIH Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources - An overview of NIH's required Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources proposal documentation.

Additional Resources

 

Questions?

Contact us at 734-615-1332 / (Fax 734-763-4936)

2800 Plymouth Road, Building 520, 3rd Floor, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800

Contact Jill Jividen, Ph.D., Assistant Director for Research Development, at jjgoff@umich.edu or 734-764-3634. 

A full list of Research Development staff is available in the Personnel Directory.