Campus Proposal Writing Assistance
The University Writing Center now offers services dedicated to proposal writing. Their goal is to support students from all disciplines by providing free one-one-one consultations designed to help you write competitive grants and research proposals. Visit their website to browse a collection of resources dedicated to proposal writing, or to make your appointment for a consultation today.

Research Opportunities

Sample GURA Proposals


Proposal Writing Tips
for Students

Time management is a key element to writing a successful proposal. Deadlines are very firm and incomplete submissions are often removed from consideration. Manage your time and make sure you are able to complete the entire application and have it submitted by the deadline. This includes your transcripts and recommendation which may seem like elements that are out of your control, but if you plan ahead you will be able to get everything together in plenty of time.

Follow directions carefully. If the funding agency or office has taken the time to make specific suggestions, they expect you to follow them closely. UNR Undergraduate Research Awards require electronic submission of one file that contains all the required elements. Any application which is missing any of the required elements or is not submitted electronically will be removed from consideration. Note that the proposal should not exceed 3 pages in length.

Use simple language. Keep in mind that many members of the panel will not be experts in your field. Your proposal should be intelligible to someone with a little to no background in your subject matter.


  • In simple language provide a very brief overview of your project.
  • Start with one or two sentences about the issue.
  • State the objective of what you plan to do.
  • Finish the abstract by two or three sentences about how you will conduct the research/creative work.


  • This is the place to tell us what your research is all about.
  • Clearly state the problem you are addressing.
  • Point out why your research or study is necessary or important.
  • Discuss the research of others pertaining to your topic. Identify any gaps in previous work that your research would fill.


  • The objectives should be stated very specifically.
  • Bulleting or numbering the objectives is a useful way to stay on track and clearly present the aims of your project.
  • Here you should tell us the purpose of what you want to do.

Plans for Research/Creative Work

  • Be as specific as possible in this section. Remember that many members of the review panel will not be experts in your field.
  • Spell out the tasks of your project step by step. Use numbers or bulleting if appropriate.
  • Clearly explain how to accomplish your objectives.
  • Remember to address how your research will address gaps in previous research on your topic.


  • Be realistic about how much you can accomplish in the timeframe provided. Reviewers will be looking to see if your project is feasible.
  • Explain how you will accomplish the steps in your research plan.
  • A chart may be a helpful aid in this section.

Plans for Dissemination of Results

  • Here you can demonstrate who will benefit from the work you have done and how you will share it with the public, other students, and the academic community.
  • Sharing your results is very important to the review panel.
  • You should state whether you ultimately will be preparing a paper, report, or a presentation for a conference.

Qualifications of Student

  • In this section you should provide information which demonstrates that you are qualified to do the work you are proposing.
  • Explain any experience or training that will allow you to conduct the proposed research
  • Be sure to include classwork and possible past employment relevant to your project.


  • This section allows you to justify the expense of your project.
  • The total budget can not exceed the scholarship amount listed.
  • Be as specific as possible when providing the list of items required for your project.
  • Provide justification for each item in your budget.
  • Salary and hosting are not permitted in your budget.

Proposal writing guidelines available from other universities: