Need for Proposal Devlopment
One important area of concern in research is writing appropriate proposals for funding. This is required for both the researchers to design and plan their research and for sponsor agencies to evaluate it in the pre-sanction phase and to monitor its progress in the implementation phase. For writing the proposal, it is important to understand the skills for project development and the sponsor system.
The purpose of this exercise is to introduce a step-by-step guide to planning and writing project proposals incorporating project management techniques for external funding . To contextualise the various steps and procedures, the project development is discussed. This serves two purposes; it provides to prepare a written report for competitive grant and also for planning an analytical study, or both.
The lesson sets out to examine basis for appropriate framework for project evaluation. The intention is to explore the complex issues encountered and likely to be encountered in managing projects so as to develop appropriate management method. In reality, it aims to offer some fresh perspectives on concerns such as participation, monitoring and evaluation in the management of research projects.
The lesson is developed based on experiences with pppppp research opening in india.However,it meets the requirement of scientific funding agencies in most developing countries.
A project proposal is an undertaking that has:
Two important skills needed in writing research proposals are:
Technical skills are needed to conceive research idea, justify its need, scientific and technical means to satisfy the need. Managerial skills are needed in design and implementation stages and in identification of resources needed to accomplish promised tasks. One of the basic reasons for rejection of many project proposals is due to lack of managerial skill in the initial proposal writing phase. Even technologically sound projects may fail if implementation tasks are ill defined, or external factors such as socio-economic and environmental concerns are not addressed properly. On the other hand, an ill-planned project, even if approved on technical merits alone, it may lead to major set backs in implementation as a result of flaws in the planning and writing phase. While good planning may not by itself guarantee smooth running of a project, poor planning will greatly reduce the chances of its success.
Before writing, identify the sponsor agency and relate your and your employer’s interests to the sponsor’s current interests. The sponsors (DST, DBT, ICAR, CSIR, Commodity boards, etc.) have their own priority areas and the project should broadly fall in to one of the sponsor’s current priority area for funding. Most sponsors encourage multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional projects. Each sponsor agency has set procedure for screening, evaluation and grant of projects. An insight in to this helps in making project proposal accordingly.
formats of most national funding agencies are similar with minor variations.
More details about the sponsors funding priorities and application procedures
can be had from their web sites.
funding agencies adapt some kind of appraisal system to evaluate the projects.
Each and every section in the proposal will be evaluated. The appraisal
criteria are sponsor agency specific.
Department of Science and Technology (DST) has Project Advisory Committees in each broad area which does the technical evaluation of the project and gives final recommendation. For adhoc schemes of ICAR, two experts evaluate the projects. In all state-funded agencies, technical evaluation is followed by financial scrutiny to verify the financial norms for approved items or activities.
on developmental problems or relate to developmental problems as long
term goal. Try to relate it to problems like elimination of poverty, increasing
productivity, conservation of resources, food security and such. Identify
the stakeholders, partners or team members.