HowTo: Write a project proposal

Writing project proposals is part and parcel of academic life; what better way to learn how to write a proposal than to take a look at one? Here you go for a proposal submitted to NSF; the proposal did not get funding; however, since Prof. Suo has published the referee comments also along with the proposal, they might also give you some pointers about the proposal writing process.

It was Paul Halmos, who called himself a maverick mathematician, and argued against funding mathematics projects since that would force only those who are truly interested in mathematics take it up; he thought that too much of funding attracts people who are more interested in funding than in mathematics (in this book, I think). I do not know how far it is true; however, in this case, as is clear from the comments of the Prof. Suo, the non-funding turned out to be  a blessing in disguise:

Lack of funding in this case may as well be a blessing in disguise. When the idea of using the Internet to evolve all knowledge of mechanics first came to me, as an academic, my natural action was to talk about it and write a proposal. During that period, I had many long conversations with Zak Stone, a student in physics and computer science. He once asked me, “but Zhigang, why do you need funding for doing this?” Indeed, for what we want to do, at least initially, we don’t need more research about online communities. Rather, we need to motivate many people to participate. The technology already exists.

The lack of funding has drastically reduced the scope of the proposed work, and focused our attention to one aspect: bringing the community together through Drupal. This has given us time to reflect on what we have learned through online interactions. The levels of commitment of the participants are not too high to disrupt our other activities.

Now we can regard iMechanica as a testbed for further experiments. One possible way to move forward is to decentralize the development. Individual users may include their iMechanica activities as parts of their regular NSF proposals. Possible ideas include helping K-12 students produce videos, posting innovative material for teaching, promoting a new area of research through forum discussion…

For more ambitions development of iMechanica as an online platform for mechanics, we can use iMechanica as a forum to discuss specific ideas, and can even write a proposal as a community.

Take a look!


22 Responses to “HowTo: Write a project proposal”

  1. Thesis’s log » Resources supporting proposal writting Says:

    […] HowTo: Write a project proposal — an example here is worth to read […]

  2. HowTo: Write research proposals « Entertaining Research Says:

    […] HowTo: Write a project proposal […]

  3. chandan Says:

    i want to develop my projcct proposals writing skil. help me.

  4. claudine Says:

    i need more guidelines… to improve my project proposal….thx asap…

  5. claudine Says:

    more elaboration…
    i need more sample of project proposal so i can finished it earlier..
    and to improve my writing skills..
    and to have a nica project..
    to have a good grade…

  6. mutui joseph Says:

    i need more sample of project proposal so as to improve my writing skills

  7. Isaac Aninkwah Says:


  8. Ngozi Says:

    hi, i want to write a proposal to my local government chairmann to build a bore-hole in my community. please what procedures do i follow and how do i go about it?

  9. leslie amparado Says:

    I want to write a good project proposal for an online teaching business
    i want it to good because we are talking of millions of pesos to be out…

  10. Get Says:

    I need more sample of project proposal (especialy in Mathematics) so as to improve my writing skills.

  11. mark sciano Says:

    I am trying to find some help with writng a charity proposal to the surrounding blood centers in the milwaukee area.This was my moms idea since she works there,but,when I heard it,I became very interested plus we are going to need alot of help. Ill begin by telling you that 2 years ago my little brother died due to cystic fibrosis at the age of 24.His whole entire life was extremly difficult,painful and full of complications. The amazing thing is that he was so strong that he made sure his life was as normal as possible.He mostly did this so he didnt bother my mom or anyone else with his struggle. He was the strongest person Ill ever know. Anyways, my mom is a plabotomist at the waukesha blood center and she came up with idea of collecting all the soda cans on a weekly or monthly basis and start a collection for a cystic fybrosis foundation. She not only would collect there but all the surrounding blood centers. We need to write the best proposal letter ever to give to the people at corporate headquarters to assist us and get this great idea off the ground. If you can give me any help or ideas or copys of similar proposals that would be awesome.

  12. rekiya Says:

    Am writing on a propoasal on Air line Ticketing Reservation and really don’t know how to go about it, can you send me aid on this topic. Thanks

  13. phillip mashinkila Says:

    i am a young peer in the entertainment industry i am working on a dancing project but don’t know how to go about it,i need your help.thqnk you in anticipaption

  14. How was my blogging last year: 2010 in review « Entertaining Research Says:

    […] HowTo: Write a project proposal May 2007 14 comments 4 […]

  15. Felix Says:

    Am to write project on the topic NEWSPAPER COVERAGE OF THE INEC VOTERS REGISTRATION EXERCISE (A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF NIGERIAN DAILIES. How can i write proposal and the project.

  16. joy Says:

    am writing a project on design and implementation of a computerized multi choice question for examination. how do i write a proposal for this topic

  17. sodiq Says:

    i want 2 write a proposal on the topic:branding is an effective tools for product differentiation. please how to i start

  18. candy Says:

    hi my name is candy,
    i want to write a proposal on starting a radio talk show please how to i go about it i need your help

  19. lucrari de dizertatie Says:

    lucrari de dizertatie…

    […]HowTo: Write a project proposal « Entertaining Research[…]…

  20. Hassan bilal Says:

    I want to make a project on a payslip of a institute. Nd i hv no idea about tht perposal snd me how to make a perposal of a payslip of a institute?

  21. Lucrari de licenta Says:

    more elaboration…
    i need more sample of project proposal so i can finished it earlier..
    and to improve my writing skills..
    and to have a nica project..
    to have a good grade…

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