In academia we constantly need to write project proposals and apply for funding. Sometimes it helps to read what others have already tried or written in order to learn from them.

I wonder whether there is somewhere a repository or database of freely available project proposals that research groups or companies have written when they have applied for funding to some funding agency (seventh european framework in Europe, National Science Foundation in USA, in industry I do not know, etc), and of course, that have been successful. Also would be great to access to unsuccessful proposals and to understand why the failed in the call.

  • Here is some advice from Carnegie Mellon University on how to write proposals to the National Science Foundation. cs.cmu.edu/~sfinger/advice/advice.html. You might also consider calling those organizations directly and see if they have a database.
    – jmort253
    Feb 4, 2012 at 17:30

2 Answers 2


US federal funding agencies such as the NSF, NIH, NEH, and NEH-ODH (these are the ones with which I have personal familiarity) with all at least have the following publicly available on their web site:

  • abstracts of funded projects (taken directly from their project proposals; see the NSF's, for example)
  • a sample proposal for each award program (in several cases, these are actual proposals only slightly anonymized); search "NSF sample proposal", "NIH sample proposal", "NEH sample proposal", etc in Google and you will find numerous examples - bear in mind that proposals or "grant narratives" require specific structures that are outlined in each agency's "guidelines" sections of their sites.
  • a number of very thorough guides (as well as workshops to attend; although I know that's not what you're asking, agencies do provide this service) and tips for preparing a proposal
  • Can you include some links to a few sample proposals?
    – jmort253
    Feb 4, 2012 at 23:13
  • @jmort253 Gov sites are notoriously confusing to navigate and find things -- Google's actually quicker and I've added links to searches that bring up plenty of results. Users can backtrack to the Gov site that includes those links, which is typically easier than going through the Gov's site's own navigation...
    – jcmeloni
    Feb 4, 2012 at 23:26
  • Awesome! Thanks. I tried looking earlier and came up with things that didn't quite answer the op's question. Thanks :)
    – jmort253
    Feb 5, 2012 at 22:40

There is a database of freely available project proposals from Engineering School at Dartmouth: http://engineering.dartmouth.edu/cook/sample/

Also, you might take a look at project proposal toolkit with different samples and templates: http://project-proposal.casual.pm/

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