Developing a Proposal

The Office of Research Administration is here to assist you with the development of your proposal whether it' a grant or contract. As soon as you have decided to pursue a project, please contact our office. We will:

1. Schedule a staffing for you with our team. During the staffing, we cover our institutional grant process from concept through institutional approval, award and compliance. 

2. Assist you with the development of the needed components of your application. This assistance may include help with  your budget; completing necessary forms;  entering information into the RAMSes electronic submission system so you will receive the required institional approval; and, even help with writing if needed.

3. Assist you with identifying other appropriate partners, Co-Principal Investigators and evaluators.

4. Provide you with a step-by-step guide.

Regulations: If you are a seasoned Principal Investigator and don’t need help with proposal development, contact our office early anyway to let us know that you intend to apply for a specific program, whether it is a grant or contract, and the deadline date. We will provide you with updates of institutional policies, federal, state and sponsor regulations about which you need to be aware prior to submission of your proposal. And, since every proposal must receive institutional approval, we will also help to shepherd yours through the process.

Prep Work: Before you start working on your project, you'll want to do your homework to find out if what you propose has already been done, if the sponsor has an interest in funding this kind of project and/or if there are potential partners or consultants who have received funding for similar work. We have a resource page full of links to grant and contract award information from state, foundation and federal sponsors that you can search with only a few clicks of your mouse.

Submissions: Additionally, some grant programs limit the number of applications from individual institutions and/or PI’s (see Limited Submission Policy - PDF) so it is critical that our office be made aware of everyone who intends to apply well ahead of the submission date. It is equally important that we know to anticipate the receipt of your proposal package for timely processing and submission. Please submit your proposal in RAMSes 5 days prior to the deadline.

Keep in mind that all grants and contracts must receive institutional approval prior to submission!

Writing the Proposal: You don’t have to write like Shakespeare to win a grant award. What makes the biggest difference is following the sponsor guidelines precisely and proofreading. Read through this brief helpful guide Ten Simple Rules for Getting Grants by Phillip E. Bourne and Leo M. Chalupa. There are also a few other “tried and true” tips and strategies our office can share with you that can help you become a successful Principal Investigator (project director). We have a variety of resources you can plug in to your proposal, use as examples and templates in our PI Toolkit and you can have your draft reviewed by a member our faculty peer review team who are standing by to assist. Contact us when you’re ready to get started.


Copyright by Western Carolina University      •      Cullowhee, NC 28723      •      828.227.7211      •      Contact WCU
Maintained by the Office of Web Services      •      Directions      •      Campus Map      •      Emergency Information      •      Text-Only

Office of Web Services