Annotated Sample Grant Proposals


The following annotated proposals are provided to aid in your writing process. While each of these proposals represent a successfully funded application, there are two things to keep in mind: 1) The proposals below are final products; no student started out with a polished proposal. The proposal writing process requires stages of editing while a student formulates their project and works on best representing that project in writing. 2) The samples reflect a wide range of project types, but they are not exhaustive. URGs can be on any topic in any field, but all must make a successful argument for why their project should be done/can be done by the person proposing to do it. See our proposal writing guides for more advice.


The best way to utilize these proposals is to pay attention to the proposal strengths and areas for improvement on each cover page to guide your reading. The main difference between academic year and summer grants is that academic year proposals (AYURG) require a budget to explain how the $1,000 will be used towards research materials, and summer proposals (SURG) have a bigger project scope since they reflect a project that will take 8 weeks of full time research to complete. The overall format and style is the same across both grant cycles, so they are relevant examples for you to review, regardless of which grant cycle you are planning to apply.


Specifically for URG applications: the expectation is a two-page, single-spaced research grant proposal (1" margins, Times New Roman 12 or Arial 11), and proposals that do not meet these formatting expectations will not be considered by the review committee.  We realize that writing a grant proposal is a new experience, and we have many resources, including one-on-one advising, to help teach you this skill.


Students are more likely to write a successful proposal when they meet with an OUR advisor.

Make an appointment here. 


Annotated Proposal Samples

Subject Area (A --> Z)                   

(Click to download sample)

Proposal Tags                                

(See Definitions Here

Type of  Grant 

PDF iconApplied Mathematics; Physics and Astronomy (668.31 KB)

Computational/Mathematical Modeling


PDF iconArt Theory and Practice (3.42 MB)

Creative output; Survey


PDF iconBiological Sciences (473.84 KB)



PDF iconChemistry (538.77 KB)



PDF iconComputer Science; STEM Education (571.6 KB)

Group Project; Design/Build; Survey


PDF iconEarth and Planetary Sciences; Chemistry (666.04 KB)



PDF iconEconomics (1.24 MB)

International Travel; Surveys; Interviews; Fieldwork; Qualitative Data Analysis


PDF iconEducation (565.53 KB)

Interviews; Qualitative Data Analysis


PDF iconEnglish Literature; Dance (596.44 KB)

Literary Analysis


PDF iconEnvironmental Engineering; Microbiology (545.94 KB)



PDF iconFrench Language Literature and Culture; Journalism (1.84 MB)

Archival; Literary/Compositional Analysis; International Travel; Language Competency


PDF iconJournalism; Radio, TV, Film (1.1 MB)

Group Project ; International Travel; Interviews; Creative Output; Journalistic Output; Non-English Language Proficiency


PDF iconLatino/a/x Studies; History (475.41 KB)



PDF iconMechanical Engineering (830.19 KB)

Group Project, Design/Build


PDF iconMusic Composition; Music Performance (822.21 KB)

Group Project; Creative Output


PDF iconMusic Theory (692.36 KB)

Literary/Compositional Analysis; Theory


PDF iconNeurobiology; Genetics (1.17 MB)



PDF iconPlant Biology and Conservation (597.87 KB)

Fieldwork; Lab-based


PDF iconPolitical Science; Statistics (549.81 KB)

Quantitative Analysis


PDF iconPsychology (777.07 KB)

Survey; Qualitative Data Analysis


PDF iconSociology (933.69 KB)

Interviews; Fieldwork


PDF iconSociology; Health; Gender and Sexuality Studies (468.76 KB)

Fieldwork; Quantitative Data Analysis


PDF iconStatistics; Computer Science; Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences; Psychology (828.69 KB)

Design/Build; Quantitative Data Analysis; Lab-based




PDF iconTheatre; Creative Writing (555.08 KB)

Creative Output


PDF iconPhilosophy (854.84 KB)

Literary/Composition Analysis; Theory


PDF iconAnthropology; Community Based Research (608.19 KB)

Fieldwork; Interviews; Qualitative data analysis


PDF iconMathematics (606.53 KB)



PDF iconClinical Research; Health (506.62 KB)

Qualitative Data Analysis; Quantitative

data analysis


Definitions of special features/ proposal tags  


Archival -  The proposed project involves collecting primary sources held in archives, a Special Collections library, or other repository. Archival sources might include manuscripts, documents, records, objects, sound and audiovisual materials, etc. If a student proposes a trip to collect such sources, the student should address a clear plan of what will be collected from which archives, and should address availability and access (ie these sources are not available online, and the student has permission to access the archive).


Computational/mathematical modeling -  The proposed project involves developing models to numerically study the behavior of system(s), often through computer simulation. Models often involve iterations of improvements, so much like a Design/Build project, the proposal should clearly define parameters for a "successful" model with indication of how the student will assess if the model meets these minimum qualifications. 


creative output -  The proposed project has a creative output such playwriting, play production, documentary, music composition, poetry, creative writing, or other art. Just like all other proposals, the project centers on an answerable question, and the student must show the question and method associated with the research and generation of that project. The artist also must justify their work and make an argument for why this art is needed and/or how it will add to important conversations.


design/buiLd -  The proposed project's output centers around a final product or tool. The student clearly defines parameters for a "successful" project with indication of how they will assess if the product meets these minimum qualifications.


fieldwork -  The project involves collection of data outside of a library, laboratory, or traditional academic research setting. The approaches and methods used in field research vary across disciplines.


group project -  A group project is proposed by two or more students; these proposals receive one additional page for each additional student beyond the two page maximum. Group projects must clearly articulate the unique role of each student researcher. While the uploaded grant proposal is the same, each student researcher must submit their own application into the system for the review.


International Travel -  Projects may take place internationally. If the proposed country is not the student's place of permanent residence, the student can additionally apply for funding to cover half the cost of an international plane ticket. Proposals with international travel should likely include travel itineraries and/or proof of support from in-country contacts in the appendix.


Interviews -  The proposed project will collect data or narratives through interview(s). The proposal should clearly define who will be interviewed, how these participants will be recruited, and/or proof of support from contacts. The proposal should include interview questions in an appendix, which allows the review committee to assess whether the questions being asked will ultimately allow the student to answer the research question. The proposal should articulate how the results from these interview(s) will be analyzed or interpreted.


Lab-Based -  The project takes place in a lab or research group environment. The project often fits within the larger goals/or project of the research group, but the proposal still has a clearly identified research question that the student is working independently to answer.


Literary/Composition Analysis-  The project studies, evaluates, and interprets literature or composition. The methods are likely influenced by theory within the field of study. In the proposal, the student has clearly defined which pieces will be studied and will justify why these pieces were selected. Context will be given that provides a framework for how the pieces will be analyzed or interpreted.


Non-English Language Proficiency -  Projects may be conducted in a non-English language. If you have proficiency in the proposed language, you should include context (such as bilingual, heritage speaker, or by referencing coursework etc.) If you are not proficient and the project requires language proficiency, you should include a plan for translation or proof of contacts in the country who can support your research in English.


Qualitative Data Analysis -  The project proposes to analyze data from non-numeric information such as interview transcripts, notes, video and audio recordings, images, and text documents. The proposal clearly defines how the student will examine and interpret patterns and themes in the data and how this methodology will help to answer the defined research question.


Quantitative Data Analysis -  The project proposes to analyze data from numeric sources. The proposal clearly defines variables to be compared and provides insight as to the kinds of statistical tests that will be used to evaluate the significance of the data.


survey -  The proposed project will collect data through survey(s). The proposal should clearly defined who will be asked to complete the survey, how these participants will be recruited, and/or proof of support from contacts. The proposal should include the survey(s) in an appendix. The proposal should articulate how the results from these survey(s) will be analyzed. 


theory -  The proposed project will use theoretical frameworks within their proposed area of research to explain, predict, and/or challenge and extend existing knowledge. The conceptual framework serves as a lens through which the student will evaluate the research project and research question(s); it will likely contain a set of assumptions and concepts that form the basis of this lens.