Creating a Proposal
Now that you’ve identified potential funding sources, it’s time to organize your ideas and create a plan. Use these resources to help construct a persuasive proposal. You can also contact the Grants Hub or your college’s sponsored funding (or pre-award) support unit for one-on-one assistance in understanding a request for proposals (RFP) and developing a proposal and budget that comply with sponsor requirements.
The Sponsored Funding Support Units for each college are:
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences – CALS Research Excellence Support (CARES). Submit a Support Request here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- College of Business – Grants Hub. Submit a service request.
- College of Design – contact Sandra Norvell at email@example.com
- College of Engineering – Engineering Research Institute (ERI)
- College of Human Sciences – contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – LAS External Research Support (LASERS)
- College of Veterinary Medicine – contact VetPAS (Vet Med Pre-Award Support) at email@example.com or submit a pre-award support ticket
- Extension and Outreach – contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Understanding a request for proposals (RFP)
Submit a service request with the Grants Hub or contact your college’s Sponsored Funding Support Unit to set up a consultation to identify the key components of an RFP.
Developing a proposal
- Read through the guidelines to determine eligibility to serve as a principal investigator.
- Reach out to the appropriate Sponsored Funding Support Unit noted above or contact the Grants Hub for assistance in preparing a proposal.
- Submit a service request with the Grants Hub to get help with editing the proposal narrative or developing proposal graphics. Additionally, the Grants Hub website has links to editing and graphics resources for help in preparing your proposal.
- Find Iowa State’s institutional information needed in proposals.
- Grant writing consultants are available to help researchers develop their proposals.
- Find agency-specific guides for preparing proposals.
- Get assistance finding opportunities for federal research support.
- Read the Investigator Handbook: A Guide to the Research Process at Iowa State University.
Data management plans
Learn how to write a data management plan with the University Library’s Data Management Plan Guide.
Create, review, and share data management plans with the DMPTool:
Generating Broader Impacts
Check out Grants Hub’s resources on Broader Impacts plans and programs.
Finding facilities and partnerships
- Find facilities on and off campus for your research project.
- Connect with Economic Development and Industrial Relations for commercializing discoveries and creating industrial partnerships.
Registering for access to proposal submission portals
Consult the funding opportunity RFP for instructions on how the proposal must be submitted.
For the following agency portals, researchers initiate the registration process and the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (OSPA) completes the registration. Start the registration process at least 10 days before the proposal due date.
For the following agency portals, OSPA initiates the registration process. Complete a request form to begin registration with ample time to complete the proposal forms and upload project information into the system. OSPA generally responds to registration requests within one business day.
Some RFPs require PIs to use other portals or submit directly by mail or email.
Preparing a budget
General budget info & services
- OSPA provides guidance on preparing a budget.
- The Grants Hub offers budget consultation and preparation.
- OSPA outlines the key points to know when preparing a proposal.
- Locate the budget forms and templates needed to guide you in the process.
- Read the guidelines to follow when preparing a budget.
Building a budget
- Find the updated fringe benefit rates.
- Read through the allowable tuition rates.
- Look through the F&A rates.
- Need the F&A waiver form?
- Understand Iowa State’s guidance on participant support costs.
- Check off items on the subrecipient vs. contractor determination checklist.
- Peruse the guide on unallowable costs for federal funds.
- Read the policies on cost sharing.
- Understand the incentive policy for principal investigators.
- Find the policies governing facilities and administrative costs and waivers on sponsored funding projects.
- ISU Costing Policy – Uniform Guidance.
- ISU Costing Policy – A-21.
- ISU PI Costing Policy – OSPA Costing Policy.