Developing a Full Proposal

There are three documents that comprise the Full Proposal package:

  • Project Narrative Document (up to 15 pages) plus appendices
  • The multi-page Full Proposal Cover Page and Budget (Form CB-11)  (required)
  • Subcontract Budget (Form SC-11) (complete if applicable, using a separate form for each subcontract).

It is recommended that you develop the project narrative document prior to completing the Full Proposal Cover Page and Budget forms. If you have subcontract costs, complete the Subcontract Budget form(s) (SC-11) prior to completing Form CB-11. Complete all of the elements prior to submitting the package on-line.

Full Proposal Cover Page and Budget–Form CB-11

Refer to the proposal forms menu in the upper left of this page to Download the Proposal Cover Page.

Instructions for Full Proposal Cover Page and Budget

Complete the fields on the first page of the Full Proposal Cover Page.

Project Type Select a project type depending on whether this is a new or continuing project.

New:  A project not currently funded, and not follow-on to a previously CRDF-funded project

Continuing:  A proposal that is follow-on to a previously funded CRDF project.  This project type will be reviewed and contracted as a new proposal with an opportunity for the principal investigator to report on progress of the previously funded project. (See #4 under ‘The Full Proposal Document’ below.)

Discipline:  Select a category that best represents the nature of your project.

Biohazard Regulation/DNA: If you are working with regulated agents or materials, and have an approved IBC plan, check “Yes” to indicate you are in compliance with their guidelines. Otherwise, check “No”.

Today’s Date: Enter the date on which you complete and submit your Proposal.

Project Title: Enter a clear and concise title for your project.

Principal Investigator: Enter a single point-of-contact for the Principal Investigator that will be heading the project.  List Co-PIs with collaborators.

Project #: As shown on list of invited pre-proposals posted.

Email: Use a valid email address for your point-of-contact. Email will be an important means of communication within the program, so double-check the accuracy of your email address.

Phone: Include your phone number, along with country and city codes.

Organization: Enter the name of the organization for which you are working on this project.

Co-PIs and Collaborators: Enter the names and affiliation of your Co-PIs and primary collaborators. Secondary collaborators may be included here if there is sufficient space. A Co-PI is anyone who has a separate budget under the project, or otherwise has a significant role in completing the proposed work. A collaborator may provide advice or materials, or receive materials for analysis. Collaborators can not have a budget in the project, and have no contractual obligation.

Address: Enter your physical mailing address. This will be a secondary means of contact.

Project Duration (years): Enter the duration of your entire project in years (not greater than 3 years).

Total Funds Requested: (total project) This field is populated automatically from page 2 of Form CB-11. Verify the accuracy of the total funding for your project factoring all years included in Project Duration in $US. CRDF does not allow inclusion of indirect costs in project budgets.

Year 1 Funding Request: This field populates automatically from page 3 of Form CB-11. Verify the accuracy of the Total Direct amount from Page 3 of 5 representing funding you are requesting for the first year of the project in $US.

Abstract:  Summarize your project in a 300-word abstract. Include sufficient detail that will allow reviewers to have a clear idea of your project design and anticipated benefits. Be sure to state project objectives in the abstract.

Instructions for Project Budget Forms

Budget forms are included within Form CB-11 (pages 2-5), and should be completed and saved at the same time as the Full Proposal Cover (page 1) is completed. Refer to the forms menu on the Funding/Proposal page to download the budget form. Budget forms do not count towards the 15-page limit of the body of the proposal.

Stipends for graduate student involvement in the project should be included as part-time OPS, not staff. In addition, tuition waiver for graduate students is not a personnel expense but, if requested, should be included under “Other Direct” costs.

Complete a budget form for each year of the project as designated on Pages 3 to 5. These amounts automatically populate to Page 2, the composite budget form for the entire project period. If applicable, the Subcontract total (line 21) for each year of the project from all Form SC-11’s must be manually inserted into pages 3 to 5 of the Project Budget Forms under Subcontracts (line 17 on CB-11). Verify that all amounts are correct, including Subcontractor totals.

When completing entries for personnel to be employed under this project, consider shifting the salary request to the 2nd quarter of the first year of the project if an employee is a new hire. This will more realistically reflect actual employee cost in the first year of the project. Reasonable cost of living increases can be included in personnel entries in the budget and should be described in the budget justification.

Requests for travel expense should consider costs of travel related to conduct the research, as well as reasonable expenses related to presenting project results to peers and stakeholders. Details of proposed travel should be provided in the budget narrative. Do not include purchase of gasoline or vehicle maintenance as travel costs. Instead, include them as Other Direct expense.

Do not leave any fields blank. Be sure to complete all three yearly budget forms, adding zeroes in years 2 and/or 3 of the form if needed. This will allow the forms to properly function in calculating sums and transferring values to the composite forms.

Budget Justification (narrative): This is a Word file, saved as a PDF and combined with Form CB-11. Provide a brief statement that details the following expense categories:

Personnel: Their role and specific responsibilities in the project. Please be certain to rely on your current institutional fringe rates when calculating personnel costs. Except for PI and Co-PI’s, list specific position titles instead of employee names unless the individual is critical to the project. Approval must be sought for replacement of personnel listed in this section.

Supplies/Materials: Provide general details of types of supplies and materials that will be utilized for the project and are included in the budget request. This description should demonstrate the need for these expenses in conduct of the objectives of the proposed research.

Travel: Provide details for in-state and out-of-state travel and purpose of the travel for each trip. Sufficient detail should be provided to assess the value to the project and to CRDF. Include the number of trips, etc. Do not include fuel or maintenance expenses in travel, but move to expense.

Subcontracts: Summarize the participation of other institutions or entities who will participate in the project. (A separate Form SC-11 must be completed and submitted for each entity. Each subcontractor should also complete a budget justification.)

Other Direct: Provide details of all costs shown.

Equipment: Provide details for equipment with cost in excess of $500. Define value of equipment to completion of the project objectives. Inclusion of a specific quote should accompany this request.

The Full Proposal Document

1. Full Proposal Cover Page containing Title, PI, Abstract and CRDF Project Number (Form CB-11 Page 1)

2. Project Budget forms and Budget Justification (Form CB-11 Pages 2-5 and Word file saved as a PDF)

3. Project Narrative (Word file saved as a PDF)–This is the section of the proposal subject to the 15 page length limit.

a. Introduction
b. List specific Objectives to be accomplished, including the overall goal of the project
c. Relevance of Project to the Program Objectives. Program priorities are listed at Download NAS NRC Research Priorities
d. Experimental Approach, including milestones incorporated into a timetable covering the proposed term of the project. Be sure to highlight the scope of work to be conducted by each sub-contractor.
e. Practical Application
f. Cost/Benefit of Proposed Intervention (if applicable)

4. Summary of previously CRDF-funded work – If the proposed project is a follow-up to a previous CRDF-funded project, please provide the following in a 2-page summary (Word file), which will not count towards the 15-page limit:  Include only work accomplished by you in a previously funded CRDF project.

a. Title and CRDF number of previous project
b. Objectives of previous project
c. Significant results of previous project, including publications.
d. How this new proposal relates to the previous project and its findings

5. Literature Cited in the Project Narrative

6. Additional budget forms and narrative:  The project budget forms are attached to the cover page, so will precede the project narrative.  However, the following additional budget information is requested here.

a. Supplemental: Subcontract Budget (Form SC-11): If you have co-PI (consultants, professional services or institutions) who will receive funds from your project, complete a separate Form SC-11 for each subcontractor from another entity (the budget of cooperators from your own institution should be included in the main budget). Please include these forms for each year of subcontract and a composite budget form for the entire subcontract period as provided for on Form SC-11. A budget justification (narrative) for the subcontract budget also should be prepared and attached. The total for each year of a subcontract budget form must be entered manually into the subcontract field of the project budget form for each corresponding year. If more than one subcontractor, verify that all are included in the Subcontract Total for each year. The Subcontract total on page 2 of Form CB-11 should calculate automatically. Refer to the application forms menu to download the Subcontract Budget forms. Download Subcontractor Budget Form. NOTE: While many .pdf forms can usually be combined into one form, each Form SC-11 must be saved as a separate file to avoid fields being overwritten.

b. Current and Pending Support:  This excel spreadsheet follows project budget information and is used by reviewers to provide context (and funding detail) of ongoing research by the PI as well as other pending proposals from the team. The purpose of this form is to provide an overview of funding available to the PIs, and to communicate current and planned research that may be related to that proposed to CRDF.  The form should be completed with information for each of the PIs that are contributing to the proposal. Download Current and Pending spreadsheet Download Personnel Allocations / Current and Pending Support Spreadsheet

c. Personnel Allocation Form:   Like the current and pending form, this spreadsheet information is useful to project reviewers and to CRDF to assess level of effort and expertise to meet objectives.  Refer to the application form menu to Personnel Allocation Spreadsheet.

7.     Appendices

a. Resumes are required for all key personnel. It is important to know who will be doing the work, and what their capabilities are.  Full CVs are not required.  State why the researchers on your team can and should do the work.  Collaborators that are important to the actual work should be included in key personnel.

b. Institutional Authorization form.  This is typically the routing form used by institutions to document review and approval of project proposals prior to their submission.  Where available, a copy of the completed institutional authorization form (e.g. UF, IFAS DSR-1) should be included here. All USDA-ARS applicants must submit an approved ARIS form. If your institution does not use such a form, a generic authorization form is provided for your use in the column at the upper left of this page.

c. Letter of authorization from each institution for which a Subcontractor Budget form has been completed.  This statement allows CRDF to know that subcontractors have agreed, if the project is approved, to complete the objectives with the budget details as provided in the proposal.

d. Other Relevant Information

Proposal Layout Details

Proposals should be written in English and submitted as email attachments in Adobe PDF format.  Page margins should be one inch on all sides.  Use Times New Roman or a similar typeface set to 12-point and single line spacing.  Page numbers should be placed on the lower right hand corner with the Principal Investigator name and the page number (e.g., Robins-2).

Each file submitted as a component of your full proposal should be named with the Principal Investigator name and CRDF-assigned project number provided in your email and form identifier (e.g., Robins_16-0##_proposal, Robins_16-0##_CB11, Robins_16-0##_SC11). When naming files to be included in your Full Proposal submission avoid using special characters (! @ # $ % &) in the filename.