Proposal Format and Guidelines – Faculty Research Grant Applications

Proposal Format and Guidelines

Proposals must include all of the following components. Incomplete proposals will not be considered. Sections 1-4 of the proposal (as detailed below) must not exceed 1,500 words. Proposals must be written in a non-technical language that is accessible to a general academic audience.

Project Description

Describe the project for which funding is requested. Be sure to provide the scholarly context for this work so its relevance to your field is clear. Describe the project’s goals. Do not confuse goals with results. For example, “investigate how the Persian view of Alexander the Great compares to that of the Greek and Roman world” is a goal, whereas “write a research article” is a result that should be addressed in section 4 of the proposal.

For projects involving collaboration, provide the names of collaborators and describe in detail the nature of the collaboration (the role of each participant) and why the project should be conducted collaboratively. When projects involve collaboration with students, applicants must detail the roles of the students and make clear how the proposed project is distinct from teaching interactions.

As noted under Eligibility and Restrictions #3, a proposal for work within a longer-term project that has received prior funding must carefully delineate what is distinct about the specific part for which funding is being requested.

Project Significance

Explain why the University should fund this work. With minimal repetition from the project description, explain how your project might advance scholarship in your discipline and how this project fits into your professional development.

Timeline and Logistics

Explain how the goals of the project will be achieved by delineating the steps that will be undertaken to complete this work. Description of these steps should include approximate dates for completion (e.g., literature review will be completed by August 1st, travel will be completed by October 10, book chapter will be submitted by April 1).  Please indicate what work will be completed during the grant period (July 1 – June 30).

Describe your teaching and other professional commitments during the grant period.  In doing so, indicate that (1) you have the time available to complete the proposed project and (2) you are not exceeding the allowable number of summer income streams from the University as defined in Eligibility and Restrictions #11.

If necessary, describe the specific facilities or equipment needed to accomplish the project’s objectives.  If any logistical arrangements are essential to the project (e.g., access to lab facilities or equipment, access to material that is not generally available to the public, pre-planning work that has already been done on the project, etc.) detail how you have already accounted for these.

Any research involving human subjects must, by federal and Commonwealth regulations, be reviewed and approved by the UMW Institutional Review Board (IRB). If IRB review is required for this project, give the date of application (actual or anticipated). The University’s IRB Manual of Policies and Procedures provides details about the policies and procedures that apply to human subject research at the University and is available at IRB Manual of Procedures and Policies.


Describe any deliverables—specific material products or outcomes—that will result from the project and explain how they will be evaluated and disseminated (e.g., a conference paper, submission of a resulting research article to a peer-reviewed journal, part of a book manuscript, an exhibition, etc.).  Again, the results will be of the sort listed under the Professional Activity section of the Faculty Annual Activities Report.


The purpose of this section is to reveal the amount of preliminary investigation and preparation done in support of the grant proposal. Include a list of references, bibliography, works cited, or other statement of supporting materials consulted or available for this project.


Faculty must indicate whether the grant is for a summer stipend (with or without expenses), project expenses only, or a course release. If requesting non-stipend or course release funds (e.g., for project expenses), itemize and justify any and all requests, such as equipment; materials and supplies; fees (e.g., registration, tuition, etc.); operating expenses (e.g., copying costs, telephone, clerical help); travel; and so on.  Budgets should be specific and detailed (e.g., do not indicate that $1,500 is needed for travel expenses; instead, indicate that $500 is needed for airfare, $800 is needed for housing, $200 is needed for per diem expenses).  Again, faculty may request a ratio of stipend to expense up to the maximum amount of the award, $4500.

Applicants seeking funds for expenses must state how the $500 annual faculty development monies (available through the applicant’s department) will be expended or are earmarked for the grant period; otherwise, $500 will be deducted from the expense request.

Simultaneous Applications

Identify any internal or external grant support for this project, either active, pending, or planned. State, in particular, whether or not the current proposal is under consideration elsewhere and, if so, where and when decisions are expected.

For active, pending, or planned applications, specify the nature of the award received/expected (e.g., funds for travel, course release time, funds to purchase equipment needed for the project etc.).  You should also indicate how the request in this application differs from the resources awarded/requested as part of other applications.

For collaborative projects, state whether or not others on the research team are seeking any type of funding (e.g., internal support from their respective institutions) and how that does/does not overlap with the requests made in this application.

Previous Awards

List University grants and/or fellowships (including sabbaticals) awarded during the past three academic years.  For each provide (1) the period covered by the funding, (2) the amount of funding, (3) the nature of the activity, and (4) the principal results. For any FRG, state when the final report was submitted or will be if the funding period is not completed. Do not include Faculty Development Supplemental Grants.

Supporting Materials

List any supporting materials that you include in your application. (Write “None” if you are not including any – this will be typical.)

If the project proposes to use materials or sources of information not readily available in the public domain, the documentation section must indicate that the grant applicant has been assured access to such materials, and letters of invitation or agreement to use the materials should be attached (e.g., if the grant request is for participation in a scholarly or professional institute, the relevant supporting materials would be (i) details describing the institute and (ii) an acceptance letter or an indication of when acceptance to the institute would be received).

In case of  projects with collaborators who are not part of a joint application, provide evidence that the the persons named as collaborators are willing to participate (e.g., a letter from each collaborator stating a willingness to collaborate and indicating the roles each person will serve in the collaborative project).