The research proposal is the means by which you will be trying to convince the panel that your proposal is worth funding so think carefully about what information you are going to give and how it is presented.
Make sure you think your project plan through and cover all stages of the research lifecycle. The project lifecycle includes the planning and research design stage, the period of funding for the project, and all activities that relate to the project up to and including the time when funding has ended.
The research lifecycle therefore also includes knowledge exchange and impact realisation activities, the dissemination process including reporting and publication and the archiving, future use, sharing, and linking of data.
Many proposals are unsuccessful not because they lack interesting or important research ideas, but because they fail to communicate adequately how these research ideas will be explored and translated into an achievable plan of action.
Many proposals devote too much space to explaining why the research is important and too little to detailing how the research will be conducted. Therefore it is vital that you have a full understanding of what is required, as well as knowing the various stages of the application process, so that you maximise your chances of gaining an award.
Convey to the panel your genuine interest, understanding and enthusiasm for the work.
The case for support is the core of your application. It is also important to make sure that you devote enough space in the proposal to describing the research you intend to conduct and the research design and methods – the panels find it very frustrating when applicants devote pages to explaining why their proposed research is exciting but then provide only a short and inadequate explanation of how they propose to explore this in practice.
Write in plain English. Your proposal is likely to be seen by many people, including some who will not be familiar with your particular specialism. Detail and specification may necessitate the use of disciplinary or technical terminology and this will be clear to peer reviewers, but the ideas you wish to convey and your reasons for doing so should be apparent to a wide audience.
Do not try to cram too much into your case for support and remember that we will be checking font size and page margins (please check the guidance for details).
Peer reviewers and panel members do not welcome dense blocks of text which have not been broken down into paragraphs and sub sections. By the same token, do take the trouble to check spelling, grammar and punctuation. These are all part of the quality of presentation and presentation matters.