How to Improve the Quality of the Proposal

Download Application Materials
Applicant Information & Instructions        |     Applicant Data Sheet     


Suggestions on How to Improve the Quality of the Proposal


  1. Purpose of the Study: State clearly the purpose of the study, including how the project makes an original contribution to aging research.
  2. Significance: Provide the background of your proposal. Critically evaluate existing knowledge. Specify the gaps that the project is intended to fill. State concisely the importance of the research in terms of the contribution to gerontology/geriatric medicine and potential for leading to further research methodology or theory development.
  3. Specific Aims/Hypothesis: State concisely what the research described is intended to accomplish and/or what hypothesis (es) is (are) to be tested.
  4. Theoretical/Conceptual Framework or Rationale: Summarize the theoretical framework or rationale as appropriate, addressing the relationship among the specific aims, the literature, key concepts, variables, and instruments.
  5. Literature Review: Literature may be reviewed as a separate section or as part of background, significance, and/or conceptual framework. Include current literature that is directly pertinent to the project and that assists in clarification of purpose and procedures.
  6. Methods: Discuss in detail the methodological approach, the research design, and the procedure to be used to accomplish the specific aims. Describe new methodology. Discuss potential difficulties and limitations of the proposed procedures and alternative approaches to achieve the aims.
    1. Research Design: Describe the design of the research.
    2. Subjects and Setting: Describe the target population and characteristics of the subjects. Include the number of subjects, the rationale for sample size, the sampling frame, the sampling procedure, and the setting for data collection.
    3. Apparatus and/or Instruments: Report the specific characteristics of the instruments, including their reliability, validity, and/or sensitivity. Address how the tool will be used. The instrument(s) (e.g., a questionnaire) described or listed in the references.
    4. Procedure: Describe the design and the procedure to be used for the proposed data collection. Specify the kinds of data you expect to obtain. Give details of client/subject selection and intervention, if one is involved. If appropriate, discuss potential problems with and/or limitation of the procedures. Discuss in detail any procedure, situation, and/or material in your proposed research that may be hazardous to subjects. Indicate precautions to be exercised. Include an orientation plan for data collectors, if appropriate.
    5. Plan for Data Management/Analysis: Describe the means by which the data will be merged, analyzed, and/or interpreted.
    6. Limitations: Describe the limitations of the study including those related to design and methods.
  7. Time Frame: Provide a 12-month schedule that specifies the timing of the main steps of the investigation. Justify that the project can be completed within the time frame.
  8. Facilities/Resources: Describe the facilities and other physical resources available for this study (e.g., laboratories, clinical resources, office space, etc.)
  9. Collaborative Arrangements: If the proposed research requires collaboration with other institutions, describe the nature of collaboration and provide evidence to the reviewers that those institutions are willing to cooperate.
  10. Consultative Support: Include a description of availability of adequate consultation to assure refinement and completion of the project.