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Common Elements of a Proposal

Face Page/Cover Page:
The cover page captures general data elements about a proposal, such as:

  • Principal Investigator's name, address, phone number
  • Title of proposal
  • Sponsor name and address
  • Period of performance with start and end dates
  • Amount requested
  • Institutional information (E.G. University of Kentucky's EIN, address, etc.)
  • Signature of Institution's Authorizing Official

The abstract outlines the proposed research, including objectives, methodology, and significance of the research.

Narrative/Statement of Work or Research Plan
One of the most critical elements of a proposal or portion of a career proposal, known as a subagreement, is the Statement of Work. At a minimum, it should provide a full and detailed explanation of the proposed activity, typically including project goals, specific aims, methodology, and Investigator responsibilities.

Budget and Budget Justification
The budget includes a reasonable estimate of the financial support required to conduct the project, including justification of budget expenses. Typical budget categories include:
Direct Costs

  • Salaries
  • Fringe Benefits
  • Equipment
  • Materials and Supplies
  • Travel
  • Publication Costs
  • Independent Contractors (Collaborators, etc)
  • Subrecipients/Subawards/Subagreements
  • Other (Research Subject Payments, Animal Per Diem/DLAR)
  • Cost Sharing

Indirect Costs

  • F&A Rates

Additional Information
Additional information may consist of the following:
Current and pending support. Sponsor may require a listing of the PI and Key Personnel on current awards and pending proposals. Letters of support from non-university investigators may also be required. If the proposal is a fellowship, a mentor support letter may be required.

CV or Biological Sketch
The CV or Biological Sketch is required for all key project personnel.

Other Support
Other support is a compilation of the current funding and time commitments for the Principal Investigator and any other key project personnel.

A list of all references needs to be cited in the proposal.

Checklist (NIH only)
The checklist shows the breakdown of the indirect cost rate calculations.

Additional UK Proposal Development Resources:

Who to Contact:

Pre-Award Administration

For all questions prior to proposal submission, College Grant Officers are responsible for reviewing all proposals prior to submission to assure compliance with both University of Kentucky and sponsoring agency policies.
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