Proposal Form Content Guide
The Proposal Form Content Guide is available as a PDF download below. This document presents the content requested in the form for a Standard Proposal to the Molecular Foundry. Most of the prompts and guidance are taken verbatim from the form, but some modifications and omissions have been made for clarity.
Note that this document is provided only as a guide and that proposals must be submitted through the User Portal using the interactive form, not as a compiled document.
Writing a Competitive 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.
Although it is not required, users may wish to contact facility staff before submitting a proposal. The User Office is available to help direct users to the appropriate scientific staff contact. 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 any results from the prior user project.
- Make sure all publications resulting from work you have performed at the Foundry have 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).
IMPORTANT: As of March 2019, the questions on the proposal form have been updated, particularly the guidance given regarding the scope of work suitable for a Support Facility request. Several of the examples below may be expected to submit more than one Lead Facility request proposal under the current guidance.
- 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.