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Common Proposal Components

When preparing a proposal, you should generally look for sponsor guidelines in two places: the specific call for proposals and the sponsor’s website. If you have questions about guidelines, you should contact your assigned ORSP staff member or the contact person listed by the sponsor. The information listed below is intended to outline the proposal preparation process for investigators. Please note that components vary between sponsors and sponsors periodically revise requirements. It is important to check the sponsor’s guidelines to ensure the most recent guidelines are followed.

Please Note: Samples, boilerplate language, and templates can be found on ORSP's Sample Language and Templates page as well as under the Investigator Toolkit.

Abstract/Project Summary

The Abstract or Project Summary must be suitable for public distribution and understandable to both the scientist and layperson. See the relevant sponsor’s grant proposal guidelines to ensure all formatting and other requirements are met.

Project Narrative/Description

The Project Narrative describes the project, its purpose, relevance, and implementation. Each sponsor has specified guidelines for the Project Narrative/Description.

Budget and Budget Justification

The Budget and Budget Justification (also called a budget narrative) is a financial proposal reflecting the work proposed and outlines the expected project costs in detail. It should mirror the project description. ORSP has prepared a number of templates and samples for investigators to use as they plan and develop their proposal budgets. Please visit our Sample Language & Templates page as well as our Building Your Budget page. Additionally, investigators may find our Rates & Institutional Information page helpful in developing a budget. 

Please note: PIs should always use sponsor budget forms for submission but may find these tools and templates helpful.

References Cited

Most funding agencies require References Cited section for all references cited in the Project Narrative/Description and/or Research Plan component unless otherwise noted in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). The University Library can assist researchers in literature searches.

Biographical Sketches

A Biographical Sketch, also commonly referred to as a Biosketch or Curriculum Vitae (C.V.), is typically required for key/senior personnel by most funding agencies. The required format for these documents vary by agency. 

Current and Pending Support

Some funding agencies require a Current and Pending Support section at the time of application. This section describes what funding a researcher is currently receiving, as well as what funding the researcher has applied for or plans to apply for in the future. Submitters should carefully read the sponsor's instructions and requirements for supplemental documentation.

Facilities and Resources

The Facilities and Resources section provides information on the organizational resources that will be used in conducting the proposed work.

Data Management Plan/Resource Sharing Plan

Data Management Plans/Resource Sharing Plans describe how proposals disseminate and share results.

Compliance Documents

Depending on the specific project and sponsor, the researcher may also need to complete a variety of compliance documents. Below are selected links to ORSP’s webpages that address and outline the procedures for common compliance practices. More information can be found on ORSP’s Research Compliance webpage.

  • The UL Lafayette Institutional Review Board (IRB) functions to assure that research involving human subjects is carried out in an ethical manner. The principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice will prevail in IRB review of research involving human subjects.
  • The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees the Animal Care and Use Program, Vertebrate Animal Housing and Facilities, and Live Vertebrate Animal Procedures. Contact IACUC when your research involves vertebrate animals.
  • The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) provides guidance to University researchers who use biological agents or recombinant DNA within the scope of their work.
  • The Radiation Safety Committee has the responsibility to oversee the University programs utilizing radioactive materials or radiation sources.
  • All Investigators are required to disclose their outside financial interests related to a proposed project to the Institution at the time of proposal submission, on an annual in the event the project is funded and on an ad hoc basis as changes in their situation arise. Disclosure is made via the Financial Conflict of Interest Form, which can be found on UL LafayetteFinancial Conflict of Interest page.