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Proposal Writing Resources

Proposal-Writing Guides

There are excellent articles, websites, and books designed to help students write effective proposals.  Here are our recommendations:

humanities and social sciences:

science, technology, engineering, and math:




Books on NIH Proposals:

  • Hollenbach, Andrew. A Practical Guide to Writing a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Grant. 2013. Waltham, MA: Academic Press
  • Yang, Otto O. Guide to Effective Grant Writing: How to Write an Effective NIH Grant Application, 2nd edition. 2012. New York: Springer Science Business Media, Inc.
  • Ogden, Thomas E., and Goldberg, Israel, A. Research Proposals: A Guide to Success, 3rd Edition. 2002. San Diego: Academic Press

Books on NSF and Related Science Proposals:

  • Friedland, Andrew J., and Folt, Carol L. Writing Successful Science Proposals, 2nd Edition. 2009. New Haven: Yale University Press

Sample Proposals In-House

The Office of External Fellowships maintains a catalogue of successful proposals written by Illinois students. We have proposals for NSF, NDSEG, Fulbright-Hays, Fulbright IIE, Google, Spencer, DAAD, and several others. If you would like to obtain copies, contact us at

Sample Proposals Online

Advice on Writing a Personal Statement

General Writing Tips