Proposal Resources

This page contains various resources to simplify and speed up proposal writing. The files and their contents can be used and adapted for the respective proposal types (e.g. NSF, NIH) or components (e.g. outreach, broader impact activities).

If you have suggestions and examples for additional material or corrections to existing files, please email Karen Ruhleder, BSOE Research Development Specialist, at

"Who can help me prepare my proposal?"

0. Find Funding: (federal opportunities)

Early Career Awards
List of key Foundation, Corporate, and Federal early career awards for BSOE faculty.

Chart of Funding Opportunities
Minimalist overview of emails sent out to faculty in BSOE, including federal, corporate, and foundation opportunities.

CFR Calls for Funding
Website maintained by Corporate and Foundation Relations with a list of RFPs they have distributed and competitions they are managing.

STEM Education Funding
Support for STEM educational and outreach.

University of California - Office of the President

1. Helpful resources from the Office of Sponsored Projects:

Instructions for starting a proposal in Cayuse (annotated screenshots)

Institutional Information

OSP forms needed for proposals

OSP proposal preparation website

OSP deadlines

2. General resources:

"Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty, Second Edition" based on workshops co-sponsored by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

"What should be included in a letter of inquiry" from Grantspace website [accessed 10/22/18]
(NB: In the Foundation world, "letter of inquiry" is synonymous with "letter of intent.")

Philip Guo (UCSD) CAREER Resource Page with sample proposals and other relevant links [accessed 7/26/19]

"Twelve Steps to a Winning Research Proposal" by George Hazelrigg, National Science Foundation, 2000 [accessed 12/18/18 from the NSF CMMI CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop resource page]

NSF CAREER Proposal Writing Tips, Z.J. Pei, Texas A&M, 2011 [accessed 12/18/18]

3. Example files for NSF Fastlane submissions:

Proposal Preparation Guidelines 2019

NSF Biosketch example

NSF Current & Pending sample template

NSF Collaborators and Other Affiliations required template (COA)

NSF style budget justification

NSF style data management plan

NSF style postdoc mentoring

Broader Impact Examples

FAQs on NSF Proposal Preparation and Award Administration

Suggested Structure for NSF Project Description

4. NIH resources

What Happens To Your NIH Proposal (NIH-created video)

NIH Peer Review Revealed (NIH-created video -- mock panel discussion)

Ten Top Q&As for NIH Applications (NIH-created video)

"All About Grants" Podcasts (NIH-created series)

Apply to become a reviewer for NIH

NIH Grant Applications: The Anatomy of the Specific Aims Page (Michelle S.,, 4/9/15)

Yang, Otto. Guide to Effective Grant Writing: How to Write a Successful NIH Grant Application, 2nd edition. Springer Verlag. 2012.

5. Shared research facilities

A list of shared research labs and facilities in SOE and at UCSC

6. Outreach and broader impact activities

A list of organizations that support underrepresented minorities

A list of examples for K-12 education and  broader impact activities

UCSC Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Policy Studies: UCSC Student Statistics

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics report, "Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2019"

7. Links to tools

Cost estimator for graduate students

Tool for creating data management plan

8. Team Science Resources

Team Science Toolkit (National Cancer Institute/NIH)

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science (National Academies Press 2015)

A New Vision for Center-Based Research (National Academies Press 2017)

9. Other bits and pieces

"Why You Should Volunteer to Serve as an NSF Reviewer"

NSF CISE FAQ for Reviewers

10. For graduate students

Fellowships open to international students

Fellowships open to US citizens/nationals/permanent residents

Fellowship proposal writing resources by Karen Ruhleder:

· Posts on UIUC “GradLife” blog:

o   The Art of Proposal Writing: Proposal as Roadmap

o   The Art of Proposal Writing: Proposal as Genre

o   Letters of Reference for Fellowship Applications

o   Applying for Fellowships: Telling the “Story of You”

· Longer, more in-depth article on proposal writing for graduate students:

o   A Guide to Preparing Fellowship Applications in STEM