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Office of Research Development and Education

Office of Research Development and Education

Proposal Development

Tips and Insights


ORDE has developed a new web page - Tools for Collaborative Research. This page provides links to resources identified as helpful to faculty considering or already engaged in collaborative research efforts. Resources include a collaborative researcher handbook and funding opportunities targeted to collaborative research teams.

The NIH R01 Grant Application Mentor: An Instructional Manual is now available to the University of Colorado Denver Research Community for FREE, courtesy of ORDE (with publisher's permission.) This resource normally sells for $599 and provides important information concerning defining your project, specifying hypotheses, strategies for creating a writing schedule, details for each application component, an overview of the NIH peer review process and many examples of well-written titles, narratives and personal statements.

The ORDE Faculty Seminar Series addresses major components of proposal development and peer review. Visit our Seminars and Events page for details.

ORDE-developed Resources include our Sample Proposal Checklist, providing you with a starting point when reviewing agency guidelines, program announcements and requests for applications. We also offer a Proposal Development Timeline to help you through this process. Visit the Resources webpage to explore the many other proposal development tools from ORDE.

ORDE provides copies of the best proposal development guidebooks available through the Libraries on both campuses. Recently added books include:
    1) Write an Effective Funding Application: A Guide for Researchers and Scholars
    2) Writing Successful Science Proposals
    3) Thank You for Submitting Your Proposal: A Foundation Director Reveals What 
          Happens Next

    4) The Grant Application Writer's Workbook: National Institutes of Health



American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) - ACLS offers specific advice on writing fellowship proposals for their organization. Written by former ACLS program officer and humanities scholar Christina Gillis, she provides important information about proposal focus and the audience for whom you are writing in her article, "Writing Proposals for ACLS Competitions."

National Institutes of Health (NIH) – The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has put together a very helpful website called “All About Grants”, offering information on the NIH grants process in the form of tutorials. Topics include the NIH Grant Cycle, Instructions for Preparing Multiproject Research Applications and Advice Presentations for SBIR and STTR. Sample successful applications are also available on this site.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) - NIAID also has examples of four successful proposals in the new NIH format available for review, complete with summary statements. While these four applications were funded by NIAID, the insights you will gain from reviewing these applications and the reviewer comments carefully will transfer to any applications you write.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) - The Office of Extramural Research recently began offering podcasts of question and answer sessions to provide insights on grant topics from those who know best - NIH staff members. The podcasts are available as mp3 files and a new one is posted every other week. You may subscribe through iTunes or download the podcasts directly from the NIH website. Recent topics in this series were Scoring Your Applications, The Ins and Outs of a Study Section Meeting, Who Receives Your Grant Application and What Do They Do with It?, Using Plain Language for Application Titles and Considerations for Early Stage Investigators.

National Cancer Institute (NCI) – NCI has published a helpful "Quick Guide for Grant Applications (September 2010)", providing good information about the updated NIH format.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) – NIAID publishes a helpful bi-weekly newsletter, NIAID Funding News, featuring how-to articles, payline and Institute priority information and answers to readers' questions. A recent article in this newsletter addresses the subject, "Your Project's Scope: Plot Your Boundaries," providing insights into strategies for how best to situate your next grant proposal to NIH.

National Science Foundation (NSF) – The NSF Education Directorate developed “A Guide for Proposal Writing” to assist investigators when submitting NSF proposals. Note that this Guide provides advice relevant to all fields and agencies, not just NSF.

Office of Justice Programs (OJP) - OJP, a component of the US Department of Justice, offers the Grants 101 resource. This resource takes new and current investigators through the agency's grants process and includes information on the life of a grant, how to apply and what to expect from the application review process. OJP also supplies a Toolkit with sample materials, the OJP Financial Guide, procurement information, a sample application checklist and a more specific sample program narrative checklist.

Social Science Research Council (SSRC) - SSRC wrote their "Art of Writing Proposals" publication for its applicants but it serves multiple purposes and agences, giving writing tips and valuable insights on how to effectively address peer reviewers when writing grant proposals to any agency.

The Foundation Center - The "Proposal Writing Short Course" offers information on best approaches when requesting grant support from non-federal sponsors.



NIH Center for Scientific Review – This website provides in-depth information on the NIH peer review process which serves as a standard for many agencies. Many process changes have been incorporated at NIH over the last year and this site provides a good overview.

NIH Peer Review Video – Ever wonder what goes on at peer review meetings? NIH provides this video of a mock peer review session to answer your many questions. This is an excellent resource and it comes with sample applications and summary statements to help you understand the reasoning of the peer reviewers.

NIH Study Section Descriptions – Understanding the available study sections and viewing the membership rosters is very helpful when selecting the appropriate institute and study section for review of your proposal. NIH provides investigators with the opportunity to request that their application be assigned to particular institutes and/or study sections through the cover letter that accompanies the application.

National Institute of Justice Peer Review Process - NIJ is piloting the concept of standing review panels for their 2012 grant review process.

NSF Merit Review Process - The National Science Foundation provides an overview of their proposal review process. This publication includes a section on how to volunteer to become an NSF peer reviewer, outlining the benefits of that service to new and established investigators.


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