Washington University in St. Louis | OVCR

Home > Proposals|Grants|Contracts > Proposal Development Print Page

Proposal Development

General Resources | Grant Writing Resources |
Data Management Plans

imageGeneral Resources

Washington University has a pre-award office to advise and assist researchers with proposal preparation. The Office of Sponsored Research Services (OSRS) provides communication, education, and assistance related to proposal development for the WUSTL research community.   

Proposal Submission Forms and Procedures
The Office of Sponsored Research Services can provide assistance with proposal submission forms and procedures.

With robust search capabilities, ONE aggregates key services and applications across the WashU landscape into one web portal, presenting information as tasks with direct links to the desired functionality

PDS Log-in via ONE 

Originally known as the Grants Budgeting (or G-Bud) System, the Proposal Development System (PDS) guides administrators in developing a sound and compliant budget. The system is intended to be flexible and comprehensive, yet streamlined. PDS has the capability to calculate cost sharing, a change in fiscal years, primary/joint appointments, and appropriate facilities and administrative (F&A) rates, and to submit electronically system-to-system (S2S), via Grants.gov. Use of the PDS System is a required part of the University proposal review process. Departments and schools may structure the routing of budgets according to department, school, and University policies.  

Institutional Data
Many funding agencies require specific information about Washington University. This is a list of frequently requested institutional information.

Training Grant Information
For training grant tables and other information for the Medical School, please contact Betsy Abente.

For training grant tables and other information for the Danforth Campus, please contact your assigned Grant Analyst or Dyanna Vitale.

Assessing the Impact of Research​
It is critical when writing renewal grant applications to show the impact of previous research. Created by a team at Becker Medical Library, this site provides a suggested model for quantifying the impact of a specific research project conducted by an individual PI. The site provides an outline of available resources and tools for gathering information about the impact of your research in such areas as research output, knowledge transfer, clinical implementation, and community benefit. It also provides suggested strategies for enhancing research impact. While the site is specifically geared for basic and clinical biomedical research, the ideas and suggestions may be helpful to WUSTL researchers from a variety of disciplines.

imageGrant Writing Resources

Academic Publishing Services
Academic Publishing Services (APS) provides education and training in scientific writing and editing, manuscript publishing, grant proposal development, and oral presentation skills. For faculty who need individualized editorial services, APS manages an Editorial Services Directory of qualified freelance writers and editors who, for a fee, provide writing and editing assistance for manuscripts, book chapters, grant proposals, and other forms of written communication. For more information, send an email to Karen Dodson or call 314.362.4181. Grant writing classes are also offered periodically.

The Engineering Communication Center​ assists Engineering graduate students, faculty, and alumni with written, oral, and graphic communications, including grant writing. For more information or to schedule an appointment, email ECC@seas.wustl.edu.

Many schools and departments have personnel who can assist with grant writing. Check with your school for resources, or email Catherine Determan for referrals.

The Office of Foundation Relations can provide assistance with writing grants to private foundations. Please contact them before approaching a private foundation directly about a funding opportunity.

Helpful Grant Writing Links
Washington University's Grants Library​​
Washington University's Grant Writing & Review Matrix
Washington University's Office of Training Grants' Examples of Individual Development Plans (IDPs) (Requires WUSTL Key)
NIH's Grant Writing Tips Sheets
Center for Scientific Review (insights into writing for NIH)
NIH's Mock Study Section
NSF's Guide to Proposal Writing
NSF's Grant Reviewer Tells All
Learn About Proposal Writing (The Foundation Center)

Many agencies provide tips and advice on grant writing. Check with the agency that you are applying to for web pages or documents on writing for that agency.

imageData Management Plans

Data management is essential, from before your sponsored research project begins and throughout the research process, to ensure that the data is current, usable, protectable, and accessible. 

In general, proposals submitted to the NIH of $500,000 or more must include a "Resource Sharing Plan" which covers model organisms, genome wide association studies, and data management. Smaller NIH grants may also require a resource sharing plan, depending on the solicitation. All proposals submitted to the NSF require a “Data Management Plan” consisting of no more than 2 pages. The NEH Office of Digital Humanities also now requires a 2 page data management plan and other sponsors may have similar requirements.

The following guidelines provide general information to assist you in creating a data management plan. Please refer to your funding opportunity announcement or the specific agency requirements when creating a data management plan for a specific grant or project.

The NIH defines data as: 

"Recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to document and support research findings. This does not mean summary statistics or tables; rather, it means the data on which summary statistics and tables are based."

Creating your data management plan:
WU Libraries Data & GIS Services provide data management plan services which include the drafting and review of DMP’s, consultations on data management best practices, recommendations on data archiving and sharing, metadata schemas, and more. For more information on DMP's please contact WU Libraries Research Data Services at: dataservices@wustl.edu, or your subject librarian.

The National Science Board recommends that data management plans cover the following general elements:

  • Types of data (samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, etc.)
  • Standards to be used for data and metadata format and content
  • Policies for access and sharing data including provisions for privacy/intellectual property
  • Policies and provisions for reuse, redistribution, and the production of derivatives
  • Plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, preservation of access, and for how long the products will be retained. The general standard for federally sponsored projects is three years after final submission of all project reports, but your timeline might be different depending on the nature of the data and/or the particular sponsor’s requirements.

Other topics to cover in your written plan include:

  • Description of the data and the methods used to collect or create the data​
  • How data will be documented throughout the research project
  • How data quality will be assured
  • Backup procedures
  • How data will be made available for public use and potential secondary uses
  • Any exceptional arrangements that might be needed to protect participant confidentiality or intellectual property
  • Name of the person responsible for data management within your research project 

The California Digital Library has created an excellent Data Management Plan (DMP) Tool to help users create plans tailored to specific agency and directorate requirements. Remember to follow the specific requirements of the funding announcement that you are responding to as your primary guide, however.

Additional Resources
NIH Resource Sharing Plans
NIH Data Sharing Information
NIH Data Sharing Policy and Implementation Guidance  (includes example plans)
NSF Data Management page  (includes links to specific directorates)
University of Michigan Data Management Plan Guidance (NSF)
Data Management Plans for NEH Office of Digital Humanities Proposals and Awards
Creating a Data Management Plan for NIH (with examples)​​​​​​