Proposal Development Services

Idea Development and Proposal Planning

The generation of a good, fundable idea is an essential step in the proposal writing process. Even the most well-written proposals are rarely funded if they lack the foundation of a good idea. Proposal development staff are available to help UNL investigators:

  • Lead brainstorming sessions with other faculty, staff and administrators to conceptualize and refine project plans.
  • Initiate or extend collaborations and capitalize upon appropriate institutional resources.
  • Prepare for meetings with funding agency representatives, including the development of customized materials, so they gain the most from an agency visit and learn how to present their research in a dynamic, easy-to-understand format.

Funding Source Identification

Investigators should develop a general knowledge of potential funding sources for their work and the likelihood of receiving funds in their discipline. The Office of Proposal Development assists with this effort by:

  • Compiling and distributing Funding Announcements, a weekly e-mail list of funding opportunities relevant to UNL expertise.
  • Conducting targeted searches to help investigators locate funding sources for specific projects or lines of research.

Proposal Preparation

The primary goal of the Office of Proposal Development is to enhance the overall quality and competitiveness of external grant proposals submitted by UNL investigators. Proposal development staff are available to:

  • Review grant proposals to help individual investigators or large project teams meet sponsor guidelines and to improve the content, organization and visual appeal of proposal packages.
  • Manage large-scale multi-institutional, interdisciplinary projects, assisting with program and proposal development and supporting collaboration among internal and external partners.
  • Advise on the development of biographical sketches, current and pending support forms and other supplementary documentation to maximize effectiveness and continuity and to ensure compliance with sponsor guidelines.
  • Facilitate graphic design support for proposals and other research-related materials to create easy-to-read, visually appealing illustrations that conform to proposal preparation requirements.
  • Coordinate expert review of grant proposals to provide investigators with subject matter review and to provide an experience similar to that of a proposal review panel.

Proposal Approval and Submission

Prior to submission, UNL’s Office of Sponsored Programs conducts a final check of all proposals to make sure applicants meet sponsor regulations regarding budget, format and treatment of human or animal research subjects. Proposal development staff collaborate with the Office of Sponsored Programs to help ensure compliance with proposal preparation requirements and expedite proposal submission.