Pre-Proposals/Letters of Intent

This type of proposal is requested when a sponsor wishes to minimize an applicant’s effort in preparing a full proposal. They are usually in the form of a letter of intent or a brief abstract (also called white papers) of what the PI plans to do, how the PI will conduct the project and why this project has merit. A pre-proposal establishes a foundation for discussion; it does not commit the PI or the University to anything. However, since these proposals often do become the basis for negotiation for funding, if a budget is included in the submission, it should be routed for the appropriate University signatures. When requested by the sponsor, the pre-proposal may be used to determine how well the project fits the agency’s priorities. Also, the preliminary proposal may determine selection for the next stage of the application, help in the selection of possible reviewers and possibly offer a chance for feedback to the PI. After the preproposal is reviewed, the sponsor notifies the investigator if a full proposal is warranted.