Funding sources often have sample abstracts or project descriptions on their Web site along with a listing of recent recipients.

Sample Problem Statement and Proposal Components

It's a good idea to read several abstracts and review a successfully completed application for grants similar to the proposal and funding source you have in mind to get your creative ideas flowing.

Problem Statement

The following problem statement was taken from a successful grant application and illustrates some of the tips for succinctly stating the problem and how the proposed project intends to solve it.

Reducing Roadblocks to Learning in Introductory Biology

This project addresses the overall problem of keeping students in the science pipeline. The Biology Department faculty are providing computerized pre-laboratory exercises that involve students in the challenge and excitement of scientific investigation and discovery. Specifically, our project addresses common "roadblocks" to learning faced by biology students, such as: limitations of time and finances on the laboratory experience, a lack of understanding of the scientific process, a lack of analytical, critical thinking, and quantitative skills, differing cognitive styles, and a lack of comfort with advanced technology. Project objectives include: 1) development and refinement of computer-based applications, such as experiment simulations, systems models, data collection and analysis tools, and visual image libraries of organisms, preparations, and dissections; 2) expanding the faculty's use of investigative laboratory activities-students will be expected to design experiments, execute them, analyze data collected, and draw conclusions and generate ideas of further investigations; and 3) utilizing the talents and experience of advanced-level biology students to help faculty develop and test computer applications for introductory labs, and to work with underclassmen on their laboratory and independent investigations.

From a proposal written by Glen G. Wurst, Ann M. Kleinschmidt, Ronald L. Mumme, Susan M. Rankin, and Thomas E. Goliber of Allegheny College. They were awarded an NSF Life Sciences grant of $101,010 in 1993 (DUE-9254168). Excerpted from Awards: 1993, Undergraduate Course and Curriculum Development Program (Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation), p. 60.

Sample Sections to a Proposal

Use the following samples to see how to present your project clearly and effectively. The organization and format of each illustrate some of the tips for succinctly stating the problem and how the proposed project intends to solve it.

Sample Abstracts

National Center for Academic Transformation
Wayne State University—Roadmap to Re-design (R2R)
Beginning Algebra
Source | Download (pdf, 17KB)

The Brooklyn Gateway—A Collaboration of a Two-Year College and a Four-Year College to Improve Undergraduate Student Retention in STEM Programs
Source | Download (pdf, 15KB)

Recruiting, Retaining, and Graduating Appalachian and Minority Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Majors (AMSTEMM)
Source | Download (pdf, 16KB)

Sample Proposal—Daytona Beach Community College Title III Grant

Table of Contents
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Sample Goals and Objectives
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Sample Implementation Strategy and Timetable
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Sample Budget and Narrative
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Sample Budget Summary
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Sample Evaluation Plan
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Solving a Problem