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Checklist for Proposal Submission

To submit a proposal to Economics, follow these 13 steps.

  1. Get a copy of the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). This document contains the official submission instructions.
  2. Contact one of the Program Directors of the Economics Program if you have questions about the submission process, your research idea, or proposal content.
  3. Secure all supporting materials, such as letters from cooperating institutions or permissions to access data sources, well before the submission deadline. Incorporating these after review begins may be difficult. Reviewers may fault a proposal not containing them already.
  4. Write the text of the proposal so that it provides a clear, convincing case for the proposed research. Make sure it can be understood by colleagues outside the specialty. Be specific about what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. Address any limitations or shortcomings; don't just assume them away. Be sure to include two crucial parts: how your work will advance our understanding of a social process or structure and how the research design will permit assessment of the theoretical advance.
  5. Be sure the project description does not exceed the page limit imposed by NSF.
  6. If you are submitting a revised proposal, be sure to address the concerns of prior reviewers. Some of them may review the current proposal, and it is likely that other reviewers will have similar concerns.
  7. Prepare a reasonable, but complete, budget for the proposed research. Provide a budget justification for any large amounts or unusual items.
  8. Have someone experienced in grant proposal writing look over your submission. Ask him or her to check for omissions, unstated assumptions, theoretical explication, and lack of clarity. Don't send a proposal until it has been read several times.
  9. You may suggest potential outside reviewers. Such suggestions are helpful in the reviewer selection process. You may also designate persons you would prefer not review the proposal, indicating why.
  10. For proposals involving human subjects, please be sure to submit the Human Subjects Certification form from the submitting institution. If the certification is pending, please include information to that effect. If it is ready at the time you submit, the institutional form certifying that your project has been approved should be scanned and incorporated in a pdf file in the supplementary documents section of the proposal.
  11. Submission target dates for regular proposals are January 18th and August 18th.
  12. Dissertation improvement proposals submitted to the Economics Program have the same target dates as regular proposals. Their proposal format is somewhat different, however, more information about the nature of dissertation grants, applicant eligibility, and proposal processing is given in the Synopsis on the Economics Program Web Site.
  13. All Economics proposals must be submitted electronically via Fastlane or