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Checklist for Planning a Grant Proposal

Checklist for Planning a Grant Proposal

Who are the investigators?

Who will be the Principle Investigator?

Has the Research Services Office been contacted?

Has the Department Head/Dean been informed about this proposal?

Are there any cost matches?

Are you familiar with the requirements of the agency?

Have you thoroughly read the RFP and do you have an accessible copy nearby?

Is there a preliminary proposal or white paper requested?

What are the submission dates?

Do you have a timeline for this proposal?

Basic Elements of a Proposal

  • Table of Contents?
  • Statement of need?
  • Abstract or Project Summary?
  • Project Description (Narrative)?
  • Project Evaluation?
  • Project Objectives?
  • Project Methods? How, what, why?
  • Project Sustainability?
  • Project Budget and Budget Justification?
  • Biographical Sketches for key personnel?
  • Resources? (Equipment and Facilities)

Checking the writing effectiveness

  • Are the objectives clearly stated?
  • Does the background and significance develop a story?
  • Are the individuals involved qualified to do the work?
  • Does the work have a sound theoretical basis?
  • Does the experimental design make sense?
  • Is there a tiemtable for the work to be performed?

Checking the budget

(See footnote)

  • Equipment?
  • Supplies?
  • Postage?
  • Travel? (Review the state approved travel regulations on the MSU website.)
  • Publication costs?
  • Contractual? (External agencies providing services. Any subcontract over $20,000 must go through OCR)
  • Indirect Costs? (Are F&A costs allowed? If no calculation is provided, visit the Research Services McNeese Facts page.)


  • Principal Investigator?
  • Graduate students?
  • Undergraduate students?
  • Professionals?

Did you factor in fringe benefits?

(See the Research Services McNeese Facts page for percentage information.)

  • Principal Investigator?
  • Graduate students?
  • Undergraduate students?
  • Professionals?


  • Letters of Support? (Ask Research Services for a template if necessary)
  • Institutional Match? (If committing university funds/time/equipment, proper approvals MUST be obtained.)
  • Authorized Signatures/Approvals (from Dept. Head/Dean/Research Services)?
  • Request for Release time? (If yes, this must be justified by the dean and receive prior approval by the Vice President of Academic Affairs.)

*If there is any possibility of expenditures in a category, always include at least a small amount. Money cannot be moved into an expenditure category if that category was not approved in the original budget. For example, if travel funds were not designated in the original proposal, moving money into that category cannot be requested.