A grant proposal outlines a proposed research or scholarly project and its budgetary requirements, and it ultimately requests funding in the form of a grant.
Check out these additional resources when crafting your proposal.
Registrations & Granting Agencies
Learn more about registration requirements for specific granting agencies, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), U.S. Department of Education, and the Fulbright Scholar Program.
Have any remaining questions? No problem.
As you start developing your grant proposal, review these FAQs.
Tips & Workshops
Access handouts, Grant Writing workshop series materials, and other grant writing resources.
Access resources for developing your budget, including a spreadsheet template.
What Makes a Successful Proposal at WSU
A Transmittal Process Form is an internal form which requests proposal and funding agency information and requires institutional authorizations. You'll need your StarID to login.2. Funding agency form(s)
Funding agency form(s) vary by agency but typically require an abstract or summary, project narrative, project timeline, and detailed budget.
3. Text-specific forms to the agency
Text-specific forms to the agency may include:
- goals of the project
- data management plans
- investigator vitae
- disclosures and certifications
- institutional information
- memoranda of understanding with cooperating organizations
There's more than one kind of grant proposal. Here's a snapshot of the most popular types of proposals.
Request for proposals (RFP) response – one-time solicitations addressing a specific need or area of interest, usually with a specific deadline.
Solicitation response – a sponsor request for research, training, or scholarly activity in a specific area of interest, usually with a recurring annual or periodic deadline.
Unsolicited responses – an investigator proposes a request for support to a sponsor; some unsolicited proposals must meet specific guidelines, depending on the organization.
Letters of intent (LOI) – a letter or pre-proposal to gauge the project’s connection to the sponsor’s interests prior to an invitation to develop a full proposal; typically includes a project description, budget overview, and the project’s outcomes or broader impacts.
Continuation, renewal request – a proposal for continued funding at the end of the cycle; a progress report (non-competing continuation request) or full proposal may be required.
Resubmission – a revised request in response to a previously submitted proposal.
Proposal Approval Process
- The Principal Investigator must complete, include supporting materials, and sign the Transmittal Process Form prior to external submission. The Principal Investigator is responsible for obtaining all required signatures as listed in the next step.
- Chairs, deans or directors, or other supervisors are also required to sign the Transmittal Process Form where indicated. For proposals involving more than one unit, all affected supervisors must review and sign the form. Approvals indicate the proposal has been reviewed for consistency with institutional and unit priorities and appropriate commitment of resources.
- Following supervisor approval, the Transmittal Process Form, proposal, and supporting materials are forwarded at least seven business days prior to submission to Grants and Sponsored Projects for remaining signatures. At a minimum, these include the Grants and Sponsored Projects Director and the Vice President who has oversight for the submitting unit (typically, the Vice President for Academic Affairs).
- Proposals that require matching or in-kind funds, reallocation of existing resources, or other major commitments must be discussed and approved by the appropriate Vice President(s) before the proposal can be fully approved. In this case, Principal Investigators should meet with the Grants and Sponsored Projects Director at least 10 business days prior to deadlines.
Facilities & Administrative Costs
Facilities and Administration Costs ("indirect costs" or "overhead costs") are costs acquired for common or joint objectives and are therefore not easily attributable to a single project, such as utilities, building maintenance, human resources, library costs, etc. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget has established procedures to determine indirect costs for institutions of higher education, known as the “federally negotiated rate”.
WSU’s federally negotiated rate applies when calculating budgets on proposals submitted to federal agencies when permitted by the agency as well as on proposals to non-federal agencies, if permitted.
On proposals to state, local, corporate, or private sponsors when the federal rate is not permitted or in effect, apply a rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (e.g. salaries, wages, and fringes; materials and supplies; services; travel; publication costs; and the first $25,000 of each sub-award to other organizations).
When the sponsor does not permit indirect costs or allows less than the designated rates, the Principal Investigator is responsible for providing documentation that states the policy with the Transmittal Process Form. (You'll need your StarID to login.) Grants and Sponsored Projects must approve the non-standard rate on the Transmittal Process Form.