March 31, 2018
Proposal Writing Guide
What makes a good proposal?
A good proposal…
- Is likely to advance the scientific or technological field and produce impactful publications.
- Describes work that can be accomplished in one year and contributes to ongoing research at the user’s home institution.
- Takes advantage of unique Foundry capabilities and/or expertise, and justifies the resources requested.
- Provides evidence that the researchers have a productive research record and are sufficiently experienced to make productive use of Foundry resources.
Tips for writing a strong proposal
Although it is not required, users are encouraged to contact facility staff before submitting a proposal. Staff are available to help:
- Confirm the feasibility of your project.
- Estimate and justify the time and resources required to complete your project.
- Identify opportunities for collaboration.
- Provide details about the equipment and capabilities available.
- Provide constructive feedback on your draft proposal.
Include background information on why the proposed experiment is important, and how it will impact the field.
- Clearly articulate the science case; state the problem and its importance.
- Place your research plan in the context of what others have done and are doing. Include references to literature where appropriate.
Provide specifics about your project plan and timeline.
- Include a precisely defined objective. What constitutes success for your project?
- Describe your project deadlines and key milestones.
- If you need access to high-demand instruments such as the TEAM microscopes, be specific about the amount of time required.
Address the productivity of your previous Foundry user projects, if applicable.
- If you are submitting a follow-on proposal, be sure to describe results of the prior user project.
- Make sure all publications resulting from work you have performed at the Foundry has been entered.
- Complete final summary reports for all prior Foundry user projects.
For more guidance on how to write a user proposal you may refer to the examples below (PDF downloads).
- Example #1 Vapor Transport Deposition for III-V Thin Film Photovoltaics.
(Imaging, Fabrication, Inorganic, NCEM)
- Example #2 Molecular Characterization of Peptoid Nanosheet Assembly at the Liquid/Liquid Interface.
(Biological, Imaging, Theory)
- Example #3 MOCVD and ALD Gallium Nitride for Surface Passivation of Gallium Arsenide PETE Cathodes.
(Inorganic, Fabrication, Imaging)
- Example #4 Revealing atomic-scale details of Mg-ion based battery electrolytes through X-ray absorption measurements and simulation.
- Example #5 Plasmonic antennas and nanochannels embedded on microresonators for single nanoparticle identification.