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Proposal Development and Writing Resources


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Proposal Development Resources

The Grant Office is very interested in assisting faculty to successfully compete for funding. We are happy to offer faculty individual counseling; provide funding workshops; help identify potential collaborators; demystify funding agency priorities and missions and clarify funding opportunity announcements (FOAs).  We can also help in contacting agency program officers; and provide web resources on: grant seeking, grant writing and for addressing “broader impacts” including diversity, evaluation and outreach. Also available is guidance on the preparation of data management plans, evaluation plans and consultation with individuals in your field at other colleges or universities and in private consulting practice.

Federal and State Agencies

The first step in developing a proposal is learning about the missions of the various funding agencies and the mechanisms they use to fund research and education projects. Some agencies, such as the NSF, NIH, NASA, NOAA, EPA and Agriculture fund basic science and engineering research, while others, like the Department of Education,  Health & Human Services Departments of Energy, Interior, Commerce and Defense tend to fund focused, mission-oriented programs designed to solve particular social or agency needs.

Unsolicited and Solicited Proposals

Some agencies accept investigator initiated unsolicited proposals as well as proposals solicited through:

  • Requests For Proposals (RFP’s)
  • Program Announcements (PA’s)
  • Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA’s)
  • Broad Agency Announcements (BAA’s)

In order to get funding – your proposal must:

  • Find an appropriate “home”
  • Be crafted to respond to the particular solicitation

Introducing yourself to the program officers at these agencies is a good strategy.

Basic Research Agencies

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950.  The NSF is the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s medical research agency—making important discoveries that improve health and save lives. NIH is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world by funding thousands of scientists in universities and research institutions in every state across America and around the globe.

Mission-Oriented Agencies

Federal Agencies

There are several federal agencies that provide more than $100 million annually for mission–oriented research and development programs. Each agency has a unique mission related to its primary governmental function. Click on the links below to learn more about research opportunities with these agencies.

New Jersey

Some the State of New Jersey governmental agencies fund mission-oriented research projects.  Click on the links below to learn more about research opportunities with these agencies.


Like mission–oriented federal and state funding agencies, many private foundations also provide funding support to researchers to assist the foundation in carrying out its mission.

  • The Foundation Center provides information about foundation funding opportunities, as well as a number of useful resources for proposal development.
Proposal Writing Resources

Grant seeking is the process of identifying funding opportunities, marshaling the resources necessary to develop a responsive application and writing a compelling proposal. In addition to the selected resources below, the grant office and our own experienced (and successfully funded) colleagues are excellent sources for help.