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Research Grant Proposal

Following are guidelines for writing a Mini grant proposal. Use this as a guide to prepare your first oral presentation.

By doing a mini grant proposal it will give you the opportunity to demonstrate that you are able to identify an important question and propose how to solve it. In addition you should be able to convince people that it is of great importance to answer this question and give a justification as why it is important to study this topic.The proposal should consist of:

Title

A short sentence that describes your project

Abstract

A paragraph outlining the problem you are going to address and summarize what you are proposing to do.

Introduction

Here is where you get to write in detail the background information needed in order to present your question. You also have to make a point as to why it is important to study your problem of interest and what is its significance. You should summarize the research that has been done in this area, making sure you reference specific research papers, and define unanswered questions. At the end of the introduction you should state the specific aims of your research.

Experimental Approach

Here is where you explain in detail the experiments you plan to perform in order to accomplish your specific aims. Make sure to always include important control experiments, propose experiments that are feasible with what is available to you, and that you explain how you are going to interpret your data and what are the possible outcomes. If there are difficulties you can envision having, make sure you include what your plans are for overcoming these. You should also contemplate the possibility that the experiments proposed may not work out or will not result in information that will back/refute your hypothesis. That is why it is important to mention what alternate experiments you could carry out. When explaining the experiments you propose, explain in detail how they are done. It is not as detailed as a materials and methods section of a research paper but you do have to clearly go through the steps involved in the procedures you are proposing. For example, what is the theoretical basis of the procedure, what is specifically required for a particular assay, how you plan on obtaining the materials needed.

Summary

Here is where you put everything together. You restate briefly what it is that you propose, how you plan to address this question, what are some of the possible outcomes and their significance, where can you go from here (future experiments).

References

List all the papers you cited in the proposal. Make sure you are consistent with the format in which you write all references. Cite only things that you have read.