Components of a Proposal

Proposal preparation checklists can help you put together a proposal. Most proposals contain the following:

  • Cover or Title Page: Contains specific information about the proposal and the Institute and requires specific authorizations/signatures. See MIT Facts and Profile Information  
  • Abstract or Project Summary: Outlines the proposed research, including the objectives, methodology, and significance of the research. 
  • Statement of Work (SOW): Provides a full and detailed explanation of the proposed research, and typically includes a project timetable. The SOW describes how the work will be done, where the work will be done, and who will do the work. 
  • Budget: Must include an estimate of the resources necessary to conduct the project. Most sponsors require a detailed breakdown of the budget into defined categories and a detailed budget justification, explaining what costs will be paid for and how the expense was calculated.
  • Curriculum Vitae or Biographical Sketch: Include for all key project personnel. 
  • Bibliography: Lists all references cited in proposal. 

Always check Sponsor Specific Guidelines as well as the proposal solicitation. Additional elements can include: 

  • Financial conflict of interest (COI) disclosures from PIs and senior/key personnel
  • Current and pending support: Lists the PI’s (and sometimes key personnel’s) current awards and pending proposals. 
  • Letters of support from non-Institute investigators 
  • Subaward documentation: If the proposal involves collaboration with investigators at other entities, detailed information about the subrecipient should be included in the proposal.  See MIT Subawards Process 
  • Compliance certifications and representations  
  • Description of available equipment and facilities