OSP | Assistance with External Proposal Preparation


  • Office of Sponsored Programs
    Wisconsin (4200) Suite 300

    Nichols, Michael L
    Director of Office of Sponsored Programs

Mailing Address

The Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant Writing and Management Academy 

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has established the Grant Writing and Management Academy for criminal justice practitioners and researchers that apply for or receive federal grants. This training provides an overview of project planning, management, administration, and assessment of federally funded programs. The training encourages participants to think strategically about how they develop and fund projects. Visit BJA's Grant Writing and Management Academy for the tools you need to apply for funding in FY 2013. BJA also recommends that you take a look at the Office of Justice Programs' Grants 101 training which also provides helpful advice on how to create and submit an application for funding.

Grant Application Editorial Consultancy Services

For Federal or Non-Federal Scientific Disciplines:

Editorial help from Dr. Ralph Pollack to improve the organization, clarity and competitiveness of grant applications

For Federal or Non-Federal Social Sciences and Humanities:

Ensuring Clarity of Research Grant Proposals with Louise DeCosta Wides

Who to Contact for a Consultation:

Please contact Anita Brown, abrown@american.edu, to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pollack or Ms. Wides.

What services are provided?

Advice at all levels of proposal preparation will be provided, from inception of the idea to submission of the proposal to revisions. Assistance in developing competitive external grant proposals is available to help applicants meet a funding agency's proposal preparation requirements. Editorial help to improve the organization, clarity and competitiveness of grant applications is offered. Grant proposal narratives will be read, reviewed and edited for individual investigators, small groups of faculty and multidisciplinary groups. Help in formulating appropriate strategies for planning and developing proposals will also be provided.

Who provides this help?

Assistance is provided by Dr. Ralph Pollack, a faculty member in the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department at UMBC from 1970 – 2007 and Associate Vice President for Research from 2007-2012. Dr. Pollack has extensive experience in both writing and reviewing proposals. He has obtained funding for research, teaching, graduate student training, symposia, major equipment and travel from state, national, international and private agencies. This service is supplied by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Research at American University.

Can a scientist help someone in the Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences?

Yes! The fundamentals of proposal writing are for the most part discipline-independent. Obtaining funding is to a large degree an exercise in marketing. There is no shortage of excellent ideas, but there is a shortage of funding. Funded proposals are those that make the best case for the significance of the idea and its importance to the discipline and to society at large. Dr. Pollack has worked with faculty in Economics, History, Sociology, Geography, Visual Arts, Ancient Studies, Political Science and Psychology, in addition to the hard Sciences and Engineering.

Who should utilize this service?

All faculty, administrators and graduate students who are interested in preparing any type of proposal for external funding are invited for discussions about their plans. This service is particularly important for new faculty members and Assistant Professors, but other, more senior faculty members should be able to benefit, as well.

How much lead time is necessary before the due date of the proposal?

Although advice can be given at any stage of proposal preparation, discussions at the earliest stages are important. Initial meetings for discussions of ideas and their potential for funding are encouraged, even before a first draft is written. The earlier the discussions are initiated, the more effective the final proposal can be. It is important to provide sufficient lead time to allow thorough proposal review to be conducted. Because editorial services are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, investigators should schedule proposal reviews well in advance of the submission deadline. Ideal lead time is 2-3 months before the submission deadline. However, proposal reviews will be provided at any stage of the process.

What should be provided at the initial consultation?

Investigators should provide the following: (a) The appropriate program announcement or RFP and (b) A short (1-2 page) description of the proposed research or a draft of the proposal to be reviewed in MS Word format. (c) Comments from previous reviews if the proposal is a resubmission.

Back to Top