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First step  to submit a proposal

Generating a fundable idea isn’t as simple as being creative and knowledgeable. This section provides common techniques for generating ideas for a research program that you can develop into future applications for research support.

Develop a Preliminary Idea

  • Think about your interests and strengths.
  • Network – talk to colleagues; present at conferences; review papers; sit on panels and advisory councils.
  • Look externally and consider what topics sponsors are currently funding.
  • Identify ideas that may expand upon previously published and funded topics.

Assess Your Idea’s Potential for Success

  • Is the subject timely?
  • Will your work lead to a well defined set of results?
  • Does it demonstrate a high level of creativity?
  • Do you enjoy the subject and want to spend the next several years working on it?
  • Does it establish your own research niche?

Seek Input and Feedback

  • Seek out mentorship from experienced investigators who have been successfully funded.
  • Use research databases to find research topic experts and potential research collaborators.
  • Contact a program officer or other technical staff at target sponsors to discuss your idea prior to submission.