Proposal Development and Application Preparation

Good Planning Leads to Great Proposals

5 strategic steps for developing a winning proposal:

  1. Find the funding opportunity that best fits your needs.
  2. Read the guidelines and related proposal guides thoroughly before you start writing.
  3. Talk to colleagues, the Program Officer, the OSP and others as you develop your project and begin working on your proposal.
  4. Develop the project before you start to write about it. Know your expected outcomes and what you will need to spend money on, and also have your preliminary data and background information ready to use.
  5. Allow enough time to write, review, edit and fuss over the entire application package as well as to complete WP's proposal approval process.  Also, if you need to involve other institutions or agencies, plan for the time it will take to develop the collaboration.

Narrative and Budget Development Support Resources

Information on what you need to construct a budget, what a budget looks like, rates and salaries, sample budgets and links to forms and resources that are available. Also provides information to help you describe what you are going to do, "boilerplate" on WPUNJ, the Colleges and some departments and units.

Application Preparation

Signature Process

Please see the OSP Reporter Article "Are You Thinking About Applying For Funding?" to learn more about the signature process, which is required for all applications submitted to external funding agencies.

Proposal Review

All proposals to government agencies require approval for submission because the required certifications and assurances can only be accepted by the official representatives of the Board of Trustees: the President and Provost. Furthermore, only the President and Provost can commit WPUNJ's financial, personnel and facility resources to a project. Federal grant contracts are sent to WPUNJ based on our already legally-binding agreement to these terms as well as our commitment to undertake the project as submitted.

A proposal ready for final review has:

  • A project Approval Sheet that has been signed by the applicant, their Department Chair and Dean or Unit Leadership;
  • A nearly final project narrative;
  • A final budget, which may include a detailed spreadsheet and a narrative description of expenses; and 
  • Any forms that require signature, fully completed.

Keep this in mind when planning your next proposal. Please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs as soon as you begin working on a proposal so that we can provide you with appropriate assistance as well as to help get the proposal into the review process on time.

Project Approval Sheet

Please click here for a PDF of the Project Approval Sheet.                                                                                            Watch our new video on how to fill out the Project Approval Sheet below or contact the OSP for assistance with completing the form. 



WPUNJ Fact Sheet
The WPUNJ Fact Sheet provides official information necessary for proposals, including information about University Officials and institutional registration numbers

WPUNJ Budget Fact Sheet
The WPUNJ Budget Fact Sheet provides information about the University's Indirect Cost Rate agreement, State of NJ Fringe Benefits, and other information that may be needed for the completion of proposal budgets and the management of awards.

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