Proposal Development

Let us help you submit strong, competitive proposals.

The PDO’s strives to provide researchers and research teams with the support needed to submit well-written, organized, competitive proposals to secure funding for their activities. We offer our proposal development services to individual researchers, small teams, and large teams, including NCSA staff and affiliated faculty. We encourage researchers to contact us as early as possible in the process so we can meet their needs in the most efficient and effective way.

Our core services include: 

  • Preparing planning documents & timelines
  • Developing detailed budgets & coordinating cost-share
  • Managing supplemental documents, including biosketches, disclosures, and required plans
  • Reviewing proposals for compliance
  • Working with collaborators and sub-awardees to obtain supporting documents
  • Submitting your proposal to campus and funders
Request Support for Your Proposal

Submit an online request for support using our Proposal Commencement Tool* as early in the process as possible with as much information as you have. More details can be added as you have them.

*Please note: Our Proposal Commencement Tool is only available to NCSA staff and affiliated researchers. If you are unable to access the tool, contact the PDO directly to ask about submitting a request for support. 

Other Services

PDO staff are also available to provide supplemental support beyond our core services. This support requires additional time, which can impact internal deadlines. Contact the PDO as early in the process as possible to make sure we have enough time to provide all the support we can.

  • Pre-Submission Review: Ensuring your proposal is well-written, organized, and meets the criteria of the solicitation
  • Document Creation: Assisting with the development of supplemental documents, including templates and boilerplate language
  • Writing Support: Drafting of non-technical sections and text-editing of full proposals

Budget Development

PDO staff are here to help you develop detailed budgets and re-budgets for projects of any duration and will collaborate with you as the details about a particular project change over time. As you start thinking about what elements your proposal budget will include, consider the following categories of expenditures.

  • Personnel
  • Equipment  
  • Travel
  • Participant Support (non-UIUC participants only)
  • Materials/Supplies
  • Publications
  • Consulting Services (non-UIUC only)
  • Sub-Contracts

You do not need to know all  the details of an expected budget before you make a request for help. Let the PDO help ask the useful questions to fill out the specifics. We are happy to provide multiple drafts and help you work through options. 

Supplemental Documents & Compliance

The PDO provides information, guidance, and administrative support to help researchers complete supplemental documents and meet federal, state, and university rules and policies governing research effectively and efficiently. We also maintain contacts with University staff who can provide further expertise and answer specific questions.

Data Management Plans

Learn more about crafting a DMP, including guidelines, templates, and tools.
A data management plan (DMP) describes the practices that will govern the organization, storage, preservation, and sharing of data collected and used during the lifecycle of a project. Most funders require a DMP, and several have specific requirements.
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Safe & Inclusive Environments (SAI)

Learn more about new required certifications on some NSF proposal submissions.
SAI Plans are mandated for NSF proposals to identify how an organization will a) create a safe working environment and address instances of abuse or improper conduct, and b) nurture an inclusive work environment for those working off-site or off-campus. PIs are responsible for creating the plan, distributing it to participants, and retaining a copy.
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Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Plans

Learn more about crafting plans to increase inclusivity in certain NSF proposals.
A BPC plan describes how a project will contribute meaningfully to broaden participation of underrepresented populations in computing and closely-related disciplines. These plans are currently mandated for proposals to NSF CISE, SaTC, CPS, and Expeditions in Computing programs.
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Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

Learn more about government requirements for proposals involving Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).
Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have a responsibility to safeguard information in compliance with federal law. This could include data related to national defense, trade secrets, or other sensitive information.
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Disclosures & Conflicts of Interest

Learn more about mandated disclosures and avoiding conflicts of interest when submitting proposals to federal sponsors.
The PDO is committed to providing researchers with the most up to date information about avoiding potential conflicts of interest and required reporting and disclosures, both for the University and for federal funders. We can also provide support for ORCID and SciENcv updates.
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Other Resources

Access more resources related to compliance and required documentation.
The PDO is dedicated to providing up to date resources for proposals. Visit our Resources page to find links to template language, exemplar plans, and compliance information.
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Need help with a proposal?

Contact the Proposal Development Office for help in planning for future proposals or developing and submitting a current one.