Proposal Development

Man using computer in classroomThe Medical School Office of Research has established several resources to help researchers at every stage of the grant writing process develop successful grant proposals. When you're ready to start drafting your next research grant proposal, we encourage you to explore these resources to see what may be useful to you.

Looking for a proposal development resource not listed here? Email the Office of Research and let us know what you would like to see.

Pre-Proposal Planning and Conceptualization

Perhaps you're new to the Medical School research environment, or maybe you're a veteran researcher hoping to brush up on the latest grant proposal writing techniques. The Medical School and the entire University of Michigan offer the depth and breadth of resources of one of the country's largest, top-tier institutions.

Before you start developing your next grant proposal, make sure you have a strong foundation to be successful. Use the resources below to learn about current tips and tricks in pre-proposal planning and conceptualization. Can't find what you're looking for here? Email the Office of Research and we'll connect you!

Internal Resources

  • Medical School Grant Proposal Sampler – A repository of successfully funded grant proposals provided by Medical School faculty members for NIH, federal, and foundation awards. The examples offer insight into proposal development, including writing (e.g. organization, detail), responding to reviewers’ comments, sample sections (biosketch, budget), etc. The platform also contains resources to assist in the development of NIH Data Management and Sharing Plans, as well as features lists of Medical School faculty members who currently serve or have recently served on NIH Study Sections. The site requires level-2 password access. Video overview of the Proposal Sampler   
  • Pre-Award Information – This page provides a list of resources, tools, and guidance for facilitating a proposal's creation and submission. Resources include: NIH Specifics, Tips and Tricks; a Proposal Finalization Checklist; Department Contacts & Authorized Signers; and much more.
  • U-M Library's Research Funding & Grants Guide – Looking for new funding opportunities? What internal funding exists for your research? Interested in learning about campus-wide resources and training for grant writing and preparation? Visit the Research Funding & Grants Guide for a complete list of U-M resources and training opportunities that can help you prepare your next grant.
  • MICHR Research Development Core (RDC) – The RDC offers free in-person consultations for any U-M investigator doing clinical and health research and provides support and advice on grant writing, research ideas, and study design.
  • Data Management Training – Data management plans are increasingly required by federal agencies and other sponsors to meet funding requirements. Visit the U-M Library’s Research Funding & Grants Guide for a listing of units across campus that offer assistance with developing a data management plan.
  • Michigan Research Experts – Looking for a potential research collaborator for your next proposal? Michigan Research Experts is a searchable database of research expertise across disciplines, including more than 5,000 faculty members across U-M. Here you’ll find information about a researcher’s publications, grants, and patents.
  • Proposal Preparation Funding Program –  The goal of this program is to provide funds to support the submission of multi-investigator grants, such as program projects, center proposals, U awards, etc. 
  • Rigor & Reproducibility – Addressing an increasing trend of reports of failure to replicate important basic/preclinical studies, the NIH has updated standards for grant applications that require researchers consider the robustness of their proposed research.
  • Sharpening Your Focus: Tips on Grant Proposal Preparation – This is a series of tips published in UMMS Research News about writing proposals.

Internal Training Opportunities

Interested in learning more about proposal preparation and training opportunities across campus? Visit these resources for more information, including an updated listing of training events and workshops:

External Resources

classroom of studentsProposal Development

Writing Assistance

  • U-M Proposal Writing Guide - A step-by-step guide to writing each section of a proposal for a sponsored activity, such as a research project or a curriculum development program.
  • Plain Language Medical Dictionary - is a web-based tool developed by the Taubman Health Sciences Library containing over 1,000 medical terms. Search by typing in a specific medical term, browse all terms, or sort alphabetically. 

Editorial Assistance

Large-Scale Proposal Support

Supporting Materials Assistance

  • Research Environment and Institutional Support- When composing sections of your grant proposal, be sure to highlight the scientific environment and institutional investment at U-M that will contribute to the success of your research.
  • Facility & Resource Profile Templates - Boilerplate descriptions of U-M facilities and resources intended to be copied, pasted, and edited as needed for grant proposals or marketing/recruiting materials.
  • Core Facilities Assessment - Consult with the Cores to help establish the scope and budget of your project, coordinate funding applications, and for investigator-focused training opportunities.
  • Requesting Letters of Support/Commitment - Learn how to strengthen your proposal by requesting a letter of support or a letter of commitment for cost sharing from the leadership of Michigan Medicine or the Medical School.
  • Budgeting Research Proposals - A list of common components in proposal budgets, including information about Budgeting and Justifications, Full Cost Budgeting, and Facility & Administrative Costs (F&A or Indirect Costs).
  • Budget Templates - This page provides a variety of budget templates, including embedded formulas in editable Excel spreadsheet(s). 
  • Fact Sheets & Hot Topics - Find Michigan Medicine facts and figures for your proposal.
  • NIH Requirements for My Bibliography and eRA Commons - A video and slide presentation created by the U-M Office of Research and Sponsored Projects related to the NIH Public Access Policy.
  • NIH Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources - An overview of NIH's required Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources proposal documentation.

Additional Resources



Contact us at or 734-763-4272 / (Fax 734-615-9458)

2800 Plymouth Road, NCRC Building 520, Room 3174, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800

A list of Grant Services & Analysis staff is available in the Personnel Directory.