Writing Proposals. Types of Proposals. Research Proposals Book Proposals Business Plans. Pre-proposal. You have 60 seconds. Give introductions, credentials. Describe problem. Describe solution. Identify your needs. . Proposal Templates. Cover Letter Tips. Three brief paragraphs.
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Types of Proposals • Research Proposals • Book Proposals • Business Plans
Pre-proposal • You have 60 seconds. • Give introductions, credentials. • Describe problem. • Describe solution. • Identify your needs.
Cover Letter Tips • Three brief paragraphs. • Introduce Proposal. • Explain why you’re sending it. • More “you” than “we.” • Reminder about past discussion.
Biography Tips • Convince the target that you’re the right person or team for the grant. • “Brag”, but be 100% truthful with support. • Know what the granter wants and provide it. • Look at bios from winning proposals.
Abstracts/Executive Summary • A concise summary of your proposal. • State what you want and why you want it in one sentence. • Identify problem. • Explain how you will solve the problem.
Revolutionary Ideas • Link aspects of the idea to proven concepts. • Preempt criticism and answer likely questions. • Portray yourself as down-to-earth. • Avoid describing concept as “revolutionary.”
Research Proposals • Understand the audience. • Have a strategy for dealing with reviewers. • Get someone on your team who will impress the reviewers. • Write clearly and concisely. • Make a convincing case for yourself.
Contents of a Research Proposal • Cover sheet or cover letter • Abstract or project summary • Table of contents • Project description • Significance statement • Objectives and hypothesis • Experimental design and methods • Bios • Schedule • Budget
Significance Statement • 1-2 page explanation of why research is important. • Start generally and get more specific.
Project Description • State overall objectives—if all goes well, what will be the result? • State at least one hypothesis; no more than two.
Design and Methods • Overview. • Methods and Materials. • Data Analysis (or plan for evaluating results).
Book Proposals • Understand the audience. • Know how publishers think. • Strategy • Convince publisher that your book will sell many copies. • Write well. • Understand market. • Convince publisher that you can meet a deadline.
Book Proposal Contents • Your book proposal must contain the following: • Abstract • Biography • List of previous publications • Marketing • Detailed Outline • Schedule
Marketing Section • Who are the primary and secondary audiences for the book? • What are the competitors? How will you compare with them? • What is the appropriate price? • What are ideal venues?
Business Plans • Understand audience. • How do you impress a group of investors or a venture capitalist? • Strategy. • How much do you know about the prospect? • Are you experienced? • Do you have a way to recoup investments? • Are your ideas clear and sensible? • Do you have a market and a plan for reaching it? • Are you a friend of a friend?
Contents of a Business Plan • Front Matter. • cover letter, cover page, TOC, etc. • Executive Summary. • Company. • brief corporate history or bios of members. • Product. • Support. • Market. • Marketing. • Manufacturing/Distribution. • Finances. • Schedule.
Summary • Is proposal error-free? • Has someone outside the team reviewed the proposal? • Have you followed the template? • Is contact info correct? • Is your bio effective? • Do you explain business as well as technical matters? • Is your budget realistic? • Do you come across as well-organized and confident? • Did you address potential problems effectively? • Did you avoid obvious boilerplate?