The University of Iowa

Proposal Checklist

Proposal Checklist

a guide to what may be requested by sponsors from applicants when submitting a grant and/or contract proposal

  1. Application Form(s)

Complete according to Sponsor guidelines.

  1. Table of Contents

Includes Sections Designated in the Guidelines and a Listing of all Supporting Documentation that has been divided into Appendices --  e.g., Support letters, Work Samples, Subject Consent Form.

  • Note:  Not all applications require a table of contents, but it can be a useful tool for reviewers who want to return to specific sections during their review.
  1. Executive Summary or Research Abstract

Generally varies from one paragraph to two pages in length. 

  1. Budget

  • Summary:  NIH
  • Detailed:  Private, NIH with Justification in a Narrative format explaining how budget items were calculated and why the items were necessary.
  1. Narrative, Project Description, and/or Research Plan

Content and Format required as stated in the Sponsor's Guidelines. 

  • Each sponsor has different guidelines and requirements -- i.e., format, length, content, etc. Thus, it is extremely important for applicants to read and follow the specific instructions given in the guidelines.
  1. Support or Other Required Documents, including Letters of Support

  • Key Personnel - Qualifications - brief biography with a current Curriculum Vitae or Biosketch -   the sponsor generally limits this type of documentation.
  • Bibliography - Citations given in the Research Plan or References to be Used in the Research ProjectLetters of Support - Partners on a project, central administrators endorsing the application, or other interested parties may be asked to provide a letter stating support, participation, and/or benefit from the project being proposed.
    • Note: Oftentimes, the bibliography will be at the end of the Research Plan and will be considered in the page limitation for the narrative.
  1. A List of References, and/or Letters of Recommendation based on Review of Principal Investigator's Project or Previous Work

  • Some sponsors provide applicants with a special form requiring a list of references the sponsor can contact regarding the work being proposed.  sponsor.  Sponsors may require letters of recommendation from well-respected researchers active in the field of the project who are familiar with the principal investigator's work and ability to successfully fulfill the proposed research.  Sponsors often require letters of recommendation be submitted under separate cover and sent directly to the sponsor; if the recommendations are submitted with the proposal, the sponsor generally requests that the letters be in sealed envelopes, initialed on the back flap by the person submitting the recommendation.
  1. Additional Documents

  • Reprints of Published Research
  • A list of the Project Director's publications - may have a page limitation
  • Brochures or Other Published Public Relations Materials on Program for which support is being sought.
  • Miscellaneous Forms:  Sponsors may have specific forms unique to a particular competition; e.g., the American Heart Association requires that applicants complete a form stating the area of specialty of the Project Investigator.
  1. Financial Documents of the Organization

  1. Assurances of Compliance with Federal Laws and Regulations

Required with Submission of proposals to Federal Agencies  SF 424b on Non-construction projects; SF 424d on Construction projects.
If human subjects or animal subjects are being used in research, the sponsor will require that the protocol being used for the research has been approved by an institution internal review board - at the University of Iowa, Research Services Administration (RSA) has responsibility for the management of the institutional review boards and information on the requirements for different types of approval is available from the University of Iowa, Research Services Administration (RSA) web site.