Different Parts of a Grant Proposal

Most grant proposals contain the following sections:

Different Parts of a Grant Proposal


Like research papers, the abstract is the first part that the reviewers read. A good abstract can make your proposal stand out from the rest. In fact, the institution may first review the abstract and, if approved, submit the proposal to the arbitrators.

So it is important for the abstract to:

  • Be understood by non-specialists.
  • Include a brief but comprehensive summary of the proposal that outlines all the important points of the study.
  • Identify the nature of the problem, the need for research in that area, and the assumptions. It should also explain the used methods, approaches, innovations, and importance of the research.


This part can be the basis of the whole Grant proposal. So it should have the following features:

  • Demonstrate the application and importance of your research
  • Explicitly state the specific research goals or assumptions
  • Completely review previous works in that field. Also, explain how your work will fill the existing scientific niche. If your job is to solve a problem, it should also explain it.

Research Methods and Design

The reviewers decide on the effectiveness of your proposal and research based on this part. By reading this section, they will find out if your research will lead to the desired results. In this section you should focus on the following:

  • Provide a schedule for the proposed work. Specify the time of beginning and the end of each task. By doing so, you show that research will be performed within that time period.
  • Identify the research population, if needed, and tell how the subjects will be collected. Besides, specify the inclusion and exclusion criteria.
  • Explain the motivation for participation in the research, randomization, sample size, power calculations and more.
  • Describe the data collection method. You also need to prove the validity of the used equipment.
  • Show that your methods are ethical, and also endorsed by members of a respectable board.
  • List all the variables and explain how to use them.
  • Explain how you manage and guarantee the quality of the collected data.
  • Explain the used statistical methods and software.
  • Describe the methods used in the technical fields. Also, in case of stimulation, introduce the used software.

Pilot Studies

Before submitting a grant proposal, you must have conducted a series of pilot studies. It is very important to present the collected data from these studies. You should show that:

  • You are an expert in this field and know how to conduct a research
  • Enough infrastructure work has been done
  • Based on these results, it is possible to conduct the whole project
  • The hypotheses are valuable
  • You are supported by an institute


Since the reviewers are experts in your field, you should explain the real limitations of your research. This will show that your research does not have ambitious goals. It is best to anticipate the reviewers’ opinions and questions.


This section usually provides a table of the required costs of the research. When preparing this table, make sure the prices are up to date. Try to consider all the equipment and raw materials needed to get a fair cost estimate.


Grant reviewers certainly need to make sure the investigation is effective and efficient. So you must consider the following in this section:

Demonstrate the researchers’ expertise by providing examples of previous research performed by them. You can provide a list of articles and their previous studies along with h-indexes or other criteria.

Describe the task of each of your research assistants. Each assistant must have a specific task. You must also provide evidence of each person’s skill for that task.

Your University or Institution

In this part, you should convince the reviewers that a university or institute will assist you in your research. Mention that your university or institution:

  • Has a scientific committee in the field.
  • Has special equipment, such as laboratory and library equipment.
  • Has experienced and approved research assistants.
  • Has a long history of valuable and credible research.
  • Pays a fund for your research.

The items you can attach as an appendix:

The questionnaire or tool you want to use

     Letter of endorsement from the dean, tutor, or previous instructor. This letter should include specific examples of your previous achievements.


Writing a good proposal is not easy. But a good proposal will guarantee fund or grant will guarantee you the desired. It also prepares you for research and increases your chances of getting grants in the future.

Related article

Writing a Research Grant Proposal


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