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To ensure the quality of your proposal, principal investigators should be prepared to answer the following:

  • What title or project name will reflect the nature of the proposed research?
  • What is the research problem or need for this activity? Have you reviewed current literature to determine the need for such a project or conducted a needs assessment?
  • What do you hope to accomplish specifically as a result of this project?
  • How will you accomplish this project goal? Why is your approach particularly suited to the problem? Discuss the activity concept, project structure and/or formal methodology.
  • How will you prove the results? An evaluation plan complete with measures of efficiency, effectiveness, or outcomes as appropriate to the project design and methodology should be described.
  • What special compliance issues and risks are associated with the project?
  • Where will the project be conducted? Have space needs been evaluated?
  • When will work on the project begin? When will it end?
  • What are your qualifications for serving as the principal investigator on this particular project? Identify other skills and qualifications necessary to the activity and where/how you will provide the expertise.
  • How much will it cost for you to perform the work? (This question can be fully answered only after the cost proposal has been prepared. Effective proposals, however, should indicate bottom-line costs, along with the levels of effort to be invested by the principal investigator and other key project personnel.)

After an initial draft of the proposal has been completed, the cost proposal, or project budget, can begin to be formalized.

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