Proposal Development Resources

Resources for UM Investigators

UM Broader Impacts Group

BIG fosters a community of practice around research and creative scholarship activities that broaden participation in higher education and the workforce, create educational and economic opportunity, and benefit society locally and globally. We work with principal investigators and broader impacts programs to seed new collaborations, develop highly competitive grant proposals, and engage the public, including K-12 students, with University of Montana research.

BIG can help UM principal investigators:

  • Develop and edit grant proposals or proposal sections involving broader impacts or public engagement.
  • Design and implement evaluation plans for broader impacts activities.
  • Connect with existing, high-impact programs at UM that partner with researchers to deliver broader impacts.

Learn more at

Moutnain West CTR-IN

UNLV leads the Mountain West Clinical and Translational Research – Infrastructure Network (CTR-IN), working with 12 partner institutions in seven western states to improve research capacity in the mountain west.  The University of Montana is one of those partnering institutions, and as such, our investigators are eligible for a wide range of support from the CTR-IN.  Such support includes:

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Sample Proposals

Many federal agencies make successful proposals available to researchers.  A selection of these is contained below. Note that each sample proposal link will open a .pdf document.  

National Endowment for the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities typically provides 3-4 sample proposals for each funding opportunity. The following are links to samples provided by NEH.  

This list is a just a small selection of the samples which NEH makes available.  Please visit the NEH program pages directly to access additional sample proposals.

National Institutes of Health

Within the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) provides a wide range of sample applications and summary statements.  TThe NIAID website has samples for the following:

National Science Foundation

While NSF does not publish funded proposals online, there are universities and individuals that do.  Please visit the following sites for samples.

  • NSF Cultural Anthropology Samples:  Dr. John Bunce provides a 2011 rejected proposal, along with the reviewer's comments and panel summary for that year.  He then provides the 2012 successful proposal with the comments and panel summary.  This is a wonderful resource that demonstrates how someone successfully responded to reviewer's comments.  
  • NSF Earth Science Samples:  Teach the Earth provides a number of successful earth science proposals available to the public.

U.S. Department of Education

The Department of Education provides access to a variety of information, including successful grant applications in their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Reading Room.  The selection below was taken directly from their website.

In addition to these resources, the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) provides a wealth of information related to funded grant applications.  They provide links to proposal abstracts, applications, and even reviewers' comments.  This great resource can be accessed by visiting OII's "What We Do" page.  From here, select a specific program area (for example, "Investing in Innovation (i3)").  Once you are on the program-specific page, select "Awards" from the box on the right hand side of the page.  From here you may download abstracts, applications, and reviewers' comments for the program area you have selected.  If you have any questions about accessing this extensive resource, please contact UM's research development office.

Other Sample Proposals

If you are seeking a copy of a successful proposal from a funding opportunity not listed here, please contact Katherine Swan.  She will work with you to procure a relevant sample, if possible. 

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Proposal Writing Guides

Proposal Writing Tips

Proposal Writing Guides Available Online

Proposal Writing Guides Available at Mansfield Library

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Data Management Plans

In 1999 the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 was amended to require Federal awarding agencies to ensure that all data produced under an award will be made available to the public through the procedures established under the Freedom of Information Act'' (FOIA). A Data Management Plan is a document that describes what data will be created, what policies apply to the data, who will own and access the data, what data management practices will be used, what facilities and equipment will be required, and who will be responsible for each of these activities.  Please visit ORSP's Data Management Plan page for further detail on Data Management Plan background and guidelines.

Several Federal agencies and private funders require that Data Management Plans (DMP) be submitted along with grant applications.  A DMP is a document that details the data you expect to generate or acquire over the course of a project, how you intend to manage, store and analyze the data, and how you intend to share the data.  The exact requirements for a data management plan will vary from funder to funder.  The University of California Curation Center of the California Digital Library maintains a list of DMP requirements by funder.  Please visit the DMP Requirements web page to access this list.

Funding Agency Guidelines for Preparing DMPs

Sample Data Management Plans

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