Strategies for Successful Proposal Development

Program Overview

July 15 to July 16, 2019
Intercontinental New York Times Square
New York, NY

Successful proposal development is a multi-faceted process that requires coordination between principal investigators, funding agencies, and the institutional staff and infrastructure that makes it all come together. This series of presentations will provide information, strategies, and examples of materials that can be used to enhance proposal development at the home institutions of the participants.

Intended Audience

Designed for persons with at least three years of experience in research administration who are interested in understanding various facets of successful proposal development and who want to explore strategies to enhance individual research portfolios at their organization and improve institutional grant capacity.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the emerging focus on proposal development as part of a larger emphasis on institutional and individual research development and increased research portfolios.
  2. Understand common proposal components and terminology used in developing and submitting proposals to sponsors.
  3. Apply strategies for building and enhancing research capacity for individual investigators at different career levels.
  4. Identify challenges and solutions for developing successful large-scale, collaborative grant proposals, the emerging importance of team science, and the important role of the research administrator in facilitating these complex projects.
  5. Characterize the reasons why proposals are not funded and identify strategies to work with investigators to revise and resubmit better prepared proposals with more likelihood of success
  6. Using an array of tools and materials from the sessions, apply these strategies and activities to enhance proposal development at their home institutions

Session Topics

Day One

  • Proposal Development Overview and Proposal Components:
    As a starting point for the in-depth topics to follow, this session will offer an overview of the proposal development process, standard proposal components, their purpose in the big picture, and some agency differences in proposal development. 
  • Building a Proposal Development Infrastructure:
    The presenters will offer models and strategies for creating or enhancing a proposal development infrastructure, describing both central and distributed services, how they work together to support individual and group proposals, emerging trends in research development and best practices in developing an institutional research strategic plan.  
  • Capacity Building for Principal Investigators:
    This session will focus on the researchers, with strategies and processes for building individual research capacity at different career levels. Topics will include orienting investigators to the institutional research environment and the role of the research development/research administrator in fostering proposal and academic success.

Day Two

  • Collaborative and Large-Scale Proposal Development:
    This session will focus on the development of large-scale, collaborative projects for research, education or community outreach. Topics will include identifying and forming teams, providing defining different patterns of team science, project management for the proposal process, drafting non-technical proposal sections, organizing review team and external reviews, communicating with and coordinating external partners, coordinating the work of multiple authors and providing editorial assistance for proposal narratives and other relevant challenges in preparing and submitting complex proposals. 
  • Revising and Resubmitting Unfunded Proposals and Mock Proposal Review:
    Because most proposals are not funded the first time, revising and resubmitting proposals is crucial to building the institutional and individual research portfolio. This session will offer an array of strategies for revising and resubmitting unfunded proposals based on reviewers’ comments and agency data and analyses on why proposals are rejected. Participants also will participate in a mock review panel to experience firsthand how and why proposals are reviewed and how funding decisions are made. Finally, they will discuss how to develop approaches to help individual researchers revise and resubmit.
  • Moving Forward: Recap and Q&A:
    The final session, Moving Forward, will be an open forum for expanding on earlier topics and drawing on participants’ experiences.