Proposal Development Resources

On this page we have compiled a variety of resources for USA faculty, staff, and students to use when developing grant proposals. Most of these resources are free or open access. Many of them are recommendations from research development and team science professionals from across the US.

Additionally, we have a page of password-protected resources that are only available to those with a University of South Alabama login. The resources will eventually include USA-specific content such as downloadable tools, presentations, boilerplate, document templates, slide decks, and more. We are launching the resource with a limited selection of these items, and will add more as the semester continues.

This page is a work in progress, so if there are any resources you would like to suggest, please let us know using the survey link below.

Take a brief, four-question survey to provide feedback on this resource and proposal development support at South!


Access Protected Resources

▼   Where to Go for Info About Writing & Submitting Proposals at USA


Office Name Functions Proposal Stage Sample Questions
Research Communications, Development & Learning (RCDL) Funding opportunities, proposal development, fostering collaboration, proposal editing, internal funding, limited submissions management. Ideation, Development

Is there internal funding I can apply for?

I found a funding opportunity but only one applicant per institution can apply.

Can you edit my proposal?

Research Compliance & Assurance (ORCA) Institutional Review Board (IRB); Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC); responsible conduct of research (RCR) training; other compliance issues. Development, Post-Award

I need IRB approval for my human subjects research.

What are the RCR requirements for students working on research project?

What if I have a conflict of interest?

Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) Administrative support for proposal submissions; contract negotiations. Information on creating proposals, submitting proposals, and managing awards. Pre-Submission, Submission

What has to be routed through Cayuse? 

What is allowable on my proposal budget?

Will the university approve these sponsor terms and conditions?

Grants & Contracts Accounting (OGCA) Central fiscal administrator for awarded grants. Establish fund numbers, prepare all billing and financial reporting, effort reporting, closeout.  Post-Award

When will I be able to spend on my award?

Is this cost allowable on my awarded grant?

I have a question about effort reporting.

Information Security & Risk Compliance:
David Furman,  Director
Assistance with sponsors' cybersecurity requirements on Data Management Plans, and with disclosure requirements for federal funding agencies. Pre-Submission, Submission

What steps do I take to ensure that my research will be stored or accessed in a compliant environment?  

What information do I need to disclose to federal sponsors regarding current or previous international collaborations?

At what step in the application process does this information need to be disclosed?

Commercialization & Industry Collaboration (OCIC) Invention disclosures, material transfer agreements, patenting, licensing, and other needs. Any

I think I may have a patentable innovation.

I'd like to start a spin-off company.

How do I protect my intellectual property?

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Provide insight on proposal content related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Provide insight on broader impacts content. Best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion in research and research teams. Community engagement resources. Community engagement Faculty Fellows program. Pre-Research, Ideation, Development

Can I get feedback on the DEI goals and objectives in my application?

I want to learn more about being inclusive in my research and lab. 

I'd like to learn more about community engaged research.

Innovation in Learning Center (ILC) Early career faculty development (New Faculty Scholars, MéPLE); scholarship of teaching & learning, innovative course design, multimedia production, assessment &/or internal evaluation. NSF Broader Impact criteria and CAREER proposal educational plan consultations. Pre-Research, Development

What research resources are available to me at USA?

How can I integrate best practices in teaching and learning into my research projects and/or lab?

International Education (OIE) Assistance with international fellowships, planning international collaborations, study abroad. Ideation, Development, Post-Award

What are good strategies for applying for international fellowships?

How can I make sure my international collaboration goes smoothly?

How can I integrate study abroad opportunities into my proposal?

Corporate and Foundation Relations:
Kim Peterson, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Office of Development
Help navigate the foundation application process, determine whether a project is a good fit, make introductions to potential funders, and help steward relationships with current funders. Ideation, Development

I'm interested in applying to a foundation funding opportunity.

An industry partner I work with would like to donate money to the university for a research project.

▼   USA Resources & Services

Creating and Submitting Proposals

The Office of Sponsored Projects Administrations maintains pages with information on creating proposals, submitting proposals, and managing awards.

Data Management Plans

The University Libraries maintain a page with information about research data resources and management. DMPTool is one recommended tool for creating data management plans. Users can create a free individual account to use the tool. 

Digital Archiving

See the next collapsible content section on this page, Digital Archiving, for more information on JagWorks@USA, the institutional repository (or digital archive). While a digital archive is not necessary during the proposal development process, it can be a valuable tool for dissemination and access to data and other research products. 

Electronic Research Administration Systems

Cayuse SP and 424: SP is the proposal and award administration module; 424 can be used to create, review, and submit most federal proposals. Note that if you have never used Cayuse previously, you will need to request account creation; please allow at least one full business day for your request to be processed.

InfoReady: Submission platform for internal competitions and some awards. Note that you will ONLY find currently open opportunities in InfoReady, so if a competition has not yet been published you will probably not see it on the platform. SSO login for current faculty, staff, and students.

IRBNet: Required portal for the submission of research protocols for human subjects, animal activities, and biosafety registrations; available to current faculty, staff, and students.

Pivot: Subscription search service for external funding, including federal, state, foundations, fellowships, and more; available to current faculty, staff, and students.

Qualtrics: Survey and analytics platform; SSO login for current faculty, staff, and students.

REDCap: HIPAA-compliant survey platform; primarily for faculty and staff use, but students working with a faculty member can apply for access.

Internal Funding

The Office of Research and Economic Development offers $224,000 in internal funding each year. To learn more about the variety of programs and individual opportunities, visit the internal funding page

There are a number of colleges at USA that offer their own internal funding for faculty within their college; the Colleges of Allied Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, Education and Professional Studies, and Medicine have consistently offered such programs. The best way to learn about these is to visit your college website and/or contact your dean's office.

Additionally, you can visit InfoReady to see competitions that are currently open.

Proposal Editing

Free proposal editing and boilerplate writing services for faculty are available from the Office of Research and Economic Development department of Research Development. Editing can include light editing for proof-reading and copy editing, or deeper editing for appropriate and effective language, style, and document structure.

If you are interested you can learn more or submit your request for editing.

Proposal Writing Circles

For groups of three or more faculty who are planning submissions to the same external funding opportunity, Research Communications, Development & Learning can facilitate a writing circle tailored to faculty needs. If you are interested or have questions, contact us at

Research Development Services

Research development encompasses a wide range of activities that help lay the groundwork for faculty research success. At South, research development is supported by the central office of Research Communications, Development, & Learning. We provide a range of support including but not limited to: funding opportunities, proposal development, proposal editing, internal funding programs, limited submissions management, support for networking and collaborations, publicizing research and scholarly achievements, learning opportunities for grant writing, funding agencies, and career development, and navigating research resources (you made it here, after all!).

▼   Digital Archiving (Institutional Repository)


Jagworks@USA is the institutional repository (IR), or digital archive, for the University of South Alabama. While a digital archive is not necessary during the proposal development process, it is a valuable tool for dissemination and access to data and other research products. Jagworks@USA is available for anyone affiliated with the university and USA Health. All faculty, researchers, staff, and students (whose works have been approved by faculty) are encouraged to submit their content and materials to the IR. JagWorks@USA is cloud hosted by bepress™, a subsidiary of Elsevier publishing, and they offer search engine optimization to maximize discoverability.

Content submitted to the IR will be immediately searchable through popular search engines such as Google and Google Scholar. JagWorks provides users long-term, stable, unlimited storage and access to scholarly works and content with no size limits on content. This program can accommodate a wide range of content and materials and handle most common file types. With JagWorks, users have access to real-time usage and readership metrics, as well as access controls and embargos for sensitive or restricted content. In-house management and assistance with content design, layout, and formatting, are provided for all content in the repository by the JagWorks team.

If you have specific questions you can contact Jana Herrmann, project coordinator.

▼   Recommended Books on Proposal Development & Writing

For books that are not available directly through USA’s library system, if they are available from another WorldCat library, they can be requested through the InterLibrary Loan (ILL) services free of charge. Note: we are working to index the following titles in a spreadsheet.

In the USA Libraries Collection:

Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks and Skills by John M. Swales and Christine B. Feak. University of Michigan Press. Comes highly recommended and is a good resource for both native and non-native English speakers. The third edition is from 2012; the Marx Library has the second edition from 2004. 

The Craft of Scientific Communication by Joseph E. Harmon and Alan G. Gross. University of Chicago Press, 2010. Provides multiple guides for students and scientists on improving the clarity, cogency, and the communicative efficiency of research projects and proposals. Available from the Marx Library as a PDF download or eBook.

Creating Winning Grant Proposals: A Step-by-Step Guide by Anne L. Rothstein. Guilford Press, 2019. Provides an overview of the grant writing process. The book offers a step-by-step guide on all the elements of proposal development, beginning with advice on choosing a topic, then focusing the project, identifying funding elements of the proposal, construction of narrative, abstracts and introductions, alongside an in-depth look at creating logic models, tables and subtables. Available at the Baugh Biomedical Library Professional Collection.

Designing Science Presentations: A Visual Guide to Figures, Slides, Posters, and More by Matt Carter. First edition, 2012. Provides guidance on preparing and delivering scientific presentations, implementing different presentation techniques, and several examples of high-quality figures, page layouts, slides, and web designs. Available from the Marx Library as a PDF download. 

The Foundation Center's Guide to Proposal Writing by Jane Geever and Patricia McNeill. Fifth Edition, The Foundation Center, 1993. Provides a step by step guide for writing proposals and working with foundations. Available at the Marx Library. 

From Dissertation to Book by William Germano. Second edition, University of Chicago Press, 2013. Argues that revising the dissertation is a process of shifting focus from the concerns of a committee to those of a broader scholarly audience that wants writing to be both informative and engaging; offers clear advice on how to do this. Available at the Marx Library. 

Funding Your Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences: A Practical Guide to Grant and Fellowship Proposals by Barbara Walker and Holly Unruh. Routledge, 2018. Provides a section-by-section guide for writing each element of a proposal. Highly recommended for humanists! Available at the Marx Library.

Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious About Serious Books by William Germano. University of Chicago Press, 2008. Valuable guidance on developing a compelling book proposal, finding the right publisher, evaluating a contract, negotiating the production process, and emerging as a published author. Available at the Marx Library in the stacks and as an eBook.

Guide to Effective Grant Writing: How to Write a Successful NIH Grant Application by Otto Yang. Second edition, Springer 2012. Provides a step-by-step guide on writing successful NIH grant applications. Includes a detailed list of common errors in grant writing, a guide to the NIH review process. Available from the Marx Library as an eBook.

How Professors Think: Inside the Curious World of Academic Judgment by Michele Lamont. Harvard University Press, 2009. Called ground breaking by some reviewers, this study produced a first-of-its kind look at the process of peer review for grants, fellowships, and academic evaluation. Available from the Marx Library as a PDF download. 

The How-To Grants Manual: Successful Grantseeking Techniques for Obtaining Public and Private Grants by David G. Bauer. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. This book was used by Dr. Bauer during his yearlong coached grant writing program sponsored by the College of Education. Sections cover Getting Ready to Seek Grant Support for You and Your Organization; Public/Government Funding Opportunities; Private/Foundation Funding Opportunities; and Private/Corporate Funding Opportunities. Available at the Marx Library. 

How to Write a Lot: A witty guide to academic writing by Paul Silvia. American Psychological Association, 2007. Includes an in depth guide on practical writing styles, tools, and suggestions for writing journal articles and books. Also includes a resource index on additional writing guides. Available at the Marx Library.

How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper by Robert Day. Fifth edition, Oryx Press, 1998. Provides a practical introduction to scientific writing, including guides on handling ethics, scientific rights and permissions. The book also includes advice on how to deal with printers and editors. Available in the Marx Library, and the third edition is available in the Baugh Biomedical Library.

Marketing for Scientists: How to Shine in Tough Times by Marc Kuchner. Island Press, 2012. Provides scientists with how-to tips on promoting their work and themselves. Includes guides on marketing research, identifying and achieving funding opportunities, promoting yourself in the job market, and publicly displaying your research. Available from the Marx Library as an eBook.

Research Proposals: A Guide to Success by Thomas E. Ogden and Israel A. Goldber. Third edition, Academic Press, 2002. Provides a how-to guide on policies and procedures of the NIH. Includes a detailed view of the NIH review process alongside advice on enhancing proposals, examples from successful proposals, and an index of online resources. Available from the Marx Library as an eBook.

Science Research Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English by Hilary Glasman-Deal. Second edition, Imperial College Press, 2020. A useful self-guided book that takes a genre approach to scientific writing. The first edition from 2010 is available from the Marx Library as a PDF download or eBook.

Scientific Papers and Presentations by Martha Davis, Kaaron Joann Davis, and Marion Dunagan. Third edition, Academic Press, 2012. Applies traditional principles to modern scientific research techniques, and guides on professional communication for early scientists. Provides advice on designing visual aids, writing first drafts, reviewing and revising, clear and concise communication in writing, following stylistic principles, and developing and presenting tables and figures. Available from the Marx Library as an eBook. 

Write No Matter What: Advice for Academics by Joli Jensen. University of Chicago Press, 2017. Academia, an arena dedicated to scholarship, offers pressures that actually prevent scholarly writing. Jensen offers advice on how to acknowledge these less-than-ideal conditions, and how to keep these circumstances from draining writing time and energy. Available from the Marx Library as an eBook.

Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded by Joshua Schimel. Oxford, 2012. Provides a guide on improving scientific writing through the application of story structures. Includes advice and tools needed to implement story telling elements into the sentence, paragraph, and section levels, while also explaining how to write scientific papers in a way that is clear and compelling. Available at the Marx Library.

Writing Winning Proposals for Nurses and Healthcare Professionals by Sandra G. Funk. Springer, 2015. Provides an in-depth guide for nurses and healthcare professionals on creating proposals for dissertations, capstone projects, and research funding. The book focuses on describing the underlying structure of a well written proposal, and providing readers with the tools to help them research, design, and compose their proposals. Additionally, the book addresses the processes of submitting and reviewing a grant. Available from the Marx Library as an eBook.

Also Recommended:

Note that while new or used copies of the following titles can be obtained for relatively reasonable prices, some of the publications are by consulting groups or nonprofits and are more expensive.

Academic Scientists at Work by Jeremy Boss and Susan Eckert. Second edition, Springer, 2006. Provides advice on choosing and achieving an ideal academic job, setting up and effectively managing a lab, how to obtain funds, guides on teaching and mentoring, and advice on promotion and tenure process. The book also provides template worksheets and their instructions, and program files for helping readers organize and structure their lab. 

Academic Writing with Corpora: A Resource Book for Data-Driven Learning by Tatyana Karpenko-Seccombe. Routledge, 2020. Provides non-native speakers with tools for encountering the grammatical patterns in academic writing. 

The Art of Funding and Implementing Ideas: A Guide to Proposal Development and Project Management by Arnold R. Shore and John M. Carfora. SAGE Publications, 2010. Particularly useful for scholars in the arts, humanities, humanistic social sciences, and related disciplines.

The Book Proposal Book: A Guide for Scholarly Authors by Laura Portwood-Stacer. Princeton University Press, 2021. A step-by-step guide to crafting a compelling scholarly book proposal and seeing your book through to successful publication.

The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science: A Toolkit for Students and Postdocs by Dudley Barlow. Education Digest, 2011. Provides Ph.D. students and postgraduates with guides on choosing and discussing dissertation projects, designing the postdoctoral experience, tools for successful job searching, finding and managing information, writing and defending a dissertation, and guides on writing fellowship and grant proposals.

The Grant Application Writer's Workbook by David Morrison. Grant Writers Seminars and Workshops, 2017. The workbooks are available in four different versions: NIH, NSF, USDA-NIFA, or Any Other Agency. Each focuses on discussing how to develop and refine a research idea, providing tips and strategies for writing each section of the proposal, and examples of well-crafted components. Available at their website for $90 each.

Grantsmanship: Program Planning and Proposal Writing by Norton Kiritz, Barbara Floersch, and Cathleen Kiritz. Grantsmanship Center, 2014. Provides an in-depth guide for developing proposals and understanding application guidelines, what proposal publishers want answered and described within a proposal, and tailoring a research idea to fit into a proposal’s overall goal and purpose.

Handbook for Planning and Writing Successful Grant Proposals by M.S. Atkisson. Atkisson Training Group. Helps you through the grant writing process starting with the early stages of planning your project. It contains clear and flexible solutions to communicating your idea clearly to the reviewer. Available for $60 at their website.

Models of Proposal Planning and Writing by Jeremy T. Miner. Second edition, ABC-CLIO, 2016. Provides a guide on how organizations can analyze requests for proposals and determine if the organization’s needs fit with the values of the foundation giving money. The book also provides advice on writing key features of a grant application, such as the cover letter, application forms, project summaries, proposal narratives, budgets, and appendices.

NIH R01/NSF Grant Application Mentor: An Educational How-to Manual by Dorothy Lewis. Fourth edition, Principal Investigators Association, 2011. Provides an eight section guide on developing each section of an NIH R01 Proposal. Additionally, there is guidance on developing research strategies, addressing the innovation, significance, approach, and overall impact of a planned proposal; along with advice on handling special agents, human and animal subjects. Available at their website for $299.

On Revision: The Only Writing That Counts by William Germano. University of Chicago Press, 2021. Revising is not just correcting typos, but is about listening and seeing again. Revising is a rethinking of the principles from the ground up to understand why the writer is doing something, why they’re going somewhere, and why they’re taking the reader along with them.

A Practical Guide to Writing a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Grant by Andrew Hollenbach. Elsevier Press, 2014. Provides grant applicants with advice on the process by which Kirschstein NRSA grants are reviewed, the biases that contribute to the reviews, the information required in an NRSA grant, an in-depth guide  to understanding the exact purpose of each application section, and recommendations on how to best construct each section.

Real Science in Clear English: A Guide to Scientific Writing for the Global Market by Cathryn Roos and Gregory Roos. Springer, 2019. A resource for any professionals wishing to communicate with the growing number of readers whose first language is not English. 

The Science of Scientific Writing by George Gopen and Judith Swan. Originally published in American Scientist in 1990, this piece is now considered a classic analysis of scientific writing. Still worth reading.

The Ultimate Grants ToolKit. Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. Provides 90 checklists, worksheets, blueprints, and step-by-step planning guides for building proposals. Organized into nine sections including an overall analysis and explanatory texts at the beginning of each section. Available at their website for $169.

What Editors Do: The Art, Craft, and Business of Book Editing, Peter Ginna, editor. University of Chicago Press, 2017. Essays from 27 leading figures in book publishing reveal how editors acquire books, what constitutes a strong author-editor relationship, and the editors' vital role at each stage of the publishing process.

Writing the NIH Grant Proposal: A Step-by-Step Guide by William Gerin, Christine Kapelewski Kinkade, and Niki L. Page. Third edition, SAGE Publications, 2017. Acting as a virtual mentor, this book provides systematic guidance for every step of the NIH application process, including the administrative details, developing and managing collaborative relationships, budgeting, and building a research team.

▼   Proposal Samples (publicly available)

Be sure to check the sponsor's website for sample proposals; often in the interests of transparency and improving overall proposal quality funders provide part or all of funded proposals as examples. The National Endowment for the Humanities, for example, provides multiple examples of application narratives on each program page. The National Science Foundation usually does not do this, however. Every sponsor is different.

Open Grants

Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Moore Foundation, Open Grants is led by a team at the University of Florida. It is an open repository of proposals, many of which have been funded. The searchable database includes many examples from major funding agencies and foundations, including several funded CAREER proposals. The goals of the project include elevating grant proposals as scholarly products, increasing transparency, and increasing equity by improving access to high quality examples for those who may lack the networks to obtain these types of documents.

Access Open Grants

The CCTS Grant Library at UAB (primarily for medical & health researchers)

USA belongs to the partner network for the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences at the University of Alabama Birmingham, an NIH-funded regional CTSA, the only such award in the state of Alabama. The vision of the CCTS "is to reduce the burden of disease and disparities in health outcomes that disproportionately affect the underserved minority and special (i.e., socioeconomically disadvantaged, rural) populations within our region." 

The CCTS makes many resources available to researchers within the partner network, including small grants and many opportunities for training. There is also an extensive grant library providing best practices and samples of successful proposals for many of the commonly-pursued NIH programs. These range from research projects, to individual training fellowships and mentored career grants, to SBIR/STTR, and center grants. 

Access the Grant Library


The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) maintains a page with proposal samples from research grants (R01, R03, R15, R21, and R21/R33); small business grants (R41, R42, R43, and R44); training and career awards (K01, K08, and F31); Extramural Associate Research Development Award (G11); and cooperative agreements (U01). 

Additionally, their page links to National Cancer Institute samples for cancer epidemiology, behavioral research, and implementation science. There is also a K99/R00 sample for the National Institute on Aging. The page also provides sample forms and supporting documents.

Access the NIAID's Sample Applications

▼   Graphics, Data Visualization, & Research Posters

A well-designed figure can make your good proposal more clear, compelling, and memorable. Likewise, a well-designed research poster can effectively and succinctly communicate your findings. There are many free tools available to help you improve your design skills and your use of graphics.


BioIcons. A searchable library of free science illustrations in vector format for researchers in biology, chemistry, machine learning, and related fields. 

BioRender. Create professional science figures in minutes with thousands of pre-made icons and templates from more than 30 fields of life sciences. With a free account you can create up to five figures. 

Canva. Web-based graphic design and templates for documents, presentations, and more; free account creation. 

Chromatic Vision Simulator. Upload an image and test it using color vision deficiency filters.

Colblindor. Learn about color vision deficiency.

Colorblind Web Page Filter. Test a web page using color vision deficiency filters.

Front Data to Viz. An interactive tool that leads you to the most appropriate graph for your data. It provides a decision tree based on your data type, and leads to twenty formats representing the most common dataset types. It also provides a list of common caveats to avoid.

Interactive Poster Tool. This deck in Google Slides walks you through some examples of how to improve your scientific posters.

Lucidchart. Create complex flowcharts and diagrams for process maps, data flows, and much more. A free account allows you to create three editable documents. 

Media Library from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Integration and Application Network. A searchable library of free images relevant to biology and environmental science, and related fields. Vector graphics, photos, and videos. Includes process diagrams. 

Slide and Data Tools from Nancy Duarte. Slidedocs is a slide-based book that makes the case for ditching presentations and papers in favor of a hybrid slide-based format (in the appropriate context). Slidedocs are visual documents developed in presentation software that are intended to be read and referenced instead of projected. An Annotation Kit includes examples and graphics for overlaying visual annotations onto a chart; Animated Charts provides examples of chart animations to make your data more dynamic and compelling.

Books & Other Content

Better Posters. Blog 

Better Posters: Plan, Design, and Present an Academic Poster by Zen Faulkes. Distills over a decade of experience from the popular Better Posters blog. 

Building Science Graphics by Jen Cristiansen. Forthcoming from CRC Press in December 2022.

DataStory: Explain Data and Inspire Action Through Story by Nancy Duarte. Ideapress 2019.

Designing Science Presentations: A Visual Guide to Figures, Slides, Posters, and More by Matt Carter. First edition, 2012. Provides guidance on preparing and delivering scientific presentations, implementing different presentation techniques, and several examples of high-quality figures, page layouts, slides, and web designs. Available from the Marx Library as a PDF download. 

Slide:ology: The Art & Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte. O'Reilly Media, 2008.

Hire a Designer

Need a smashing figure for your latest journal article or an infographic for dissemination of results on your grant? There's a scientific illustrator or graphic designer out there who can do the work for you. Will you have to pay? Yes. But there are a range of services and price points, and there may be one that will fit into your budget. Speaking of budgets, graphic design can be part of your proposal budget if it's important for project materials or your dissemination plan. 

If you have a specific need in mind we can provide you with suggestions, so contact us to learn more. 

▼   Other Tools

NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) - These are the foundational guidelines for all National Science Foundation proposals. All submissions to NSF must observe the requirements set forth in the PAPPG, unless additional guidance is provided in the program solicitation. 

NSF Approved Formats

In 2021 the National Science Foundation instituted a requirement for NSF-approved formats for the biosketch and current and pending support documents. 

Information about NSF-approved format for the biosketch

NSF Fillable PDF for the biosketch

Information about NSF-approved format for current and pending support

NSF Fillable PDF for current and pending support

NIH Application Guide

The National Institutes of Health maintain an extensive online site with information on How to Apply.


ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier (an ORCID iD) that you own and control, and that distinguishes you from every other researcher. You can connect your iD with your professional information — affiliations, grants, publications, peer review, and more. You can use your iD to share your information with other systems, ensuring you get recognition for all your contributions, saving you time and hassle, and reducing the risk of errors.

By no later than the end of 2027, all federal funders will require grantees to obtain a unique digital persistent identifier; ORCID IDs satisfy that requirement.


Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv) is an electronic system that helps researchers assemble the professional information needed for participation in federally funded research. SciENcv will produce NIH- and NSF-compliant PDF versions of the biographical sketch and current and pending support documents. SciENcv gathers and compiles information on expertise, employment, education and professional accomplishments. Researchers can use SciENcv to create and maintain biosketches that are submitted with grant applications and annual reports. It eliminates the need to repeatedly enter biosketch information; reduces the administrative burden associated with federal grant submission and reporting requirements; provides access to a researcher-claimed data repository with information on expertise, employment, education, and professional accomplishments; and allows researchers to describe their scientific contributions in their own language.

▼   Team Science Resources

While not strictly a proposal development resource, many proposals that are submitted involve team science, and there are a large number of online resources available to aid in developing team science collaborations. The following is a list of accessible, recommended tools and resources for those who are interested in learning about or improving their practice of team science. 

There is also a growing body of scholarship on the Science of Team Science, so if you are interested in learning more we recommend that you check out the International Network for the Science of Team Science (InSciTS), and access the Science of Team Science (SciTS) public group on Mendeley.

COALESCE online team science training modules from the Northwestern University Feinberg College of Medicine. Free, open access. Module content includes the science of team science; modules tailored for behavior scientists, biomedical scientists, and clinical scientists; stakeholder dialogue about evidence-based practice; shared decision making with individual clients; implementation of evidence-based practices; collaborative decision-making with communities; and community engagement. COALESCE stands for CTSA Online Assistance for Leveraging the Science of Collaborative Effort.

Collaboration Agreement Template by L. Michelle Bennett, Edgar Cardenas, and Michael O'Rourke. Designed to help cross-disciplinary research teams be explicit about the details of their collaboration, this template contains questions in several topic areas that guide team reflection on what is working and not working, discussion of strategies for working together successfully, and development of approaches for preemptively addressing potential conflicts. 

Collaboration Planning Worksheet by Betsy Rolland at the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Designed for "level two" teams, this type of collaboration planning session should be conducted by a facilitator. 

Facilitating Interdisciplinary Meetings: A Practical Guide by Dana Graef, Jonathan G. Kramer, and Nicole Motzer. Part of the learning resources developed by SESYNC, the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, the guide is intended to be a practical introduction to approaches and practices used at SESYNC for facilitating synthesis meetings, trainings, and workshops to help improve teamwork processes. 

First Meeting Guide by Margaret A. Palmer and Jonathan G. Kramer. Part of the learning resources developed by SESYNC, the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, this first meeting guide offers a concise set of tips on how to structure and make the most of your first interdisciplinary team meeting.

Learning Materials from SESYNC, the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center. This collection of videos include a three-part series on the science of team science, and a four-part series on knowledge integration across disciplines.

Shape-ID Toolkit from the Shape-ID project. Shape-ID is an EU-funded project addressing the challenge of improving interdisciplinary cooperation between the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) and STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and other disciplines. While the institutional structures supporting research in the EU differ somewhat from those in the US, most principles are broadly applicable here. The Toolkit is quite robust and includes a number of downloadable guides, tip sheets, and case studies. 

Team Science and Collaboration: A Field Guide by L. Michelle Bennett, Howard Gadlin, and Christopher Marchand, second edition, 2018. Originally developed for and hosted by the National Cancer Institute (and now offered by Bennett herself), this concise and easy-to-use guide is considered the gold standard for explaining best practices in team science. 

Team Science Toolkit from the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute. The toolkit is currently unavailable and is most likely in transition to hosting by a different organization. We will update the link when it eventually becomes available again.

Team Science Toolbox from the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute. The tools can assist those who are new to team science with team formation, launch, maturation, and assessment.