Project Proposal PDF download

Project Proposal Title Page (PDF Fillable)

MAES project proposals are for faculty intending to start a new Hatch project or renew an existing project. This is the beginning of the Project Review process. Follow the format in this example when completing a proposal. Below are some ideas to help complete each section of the proposal. There is no set length of this specific proposal, however the proposal should be sufficiently thorough and comprehensive to enable MSU and USDA/NIFA reviewers to make an approve/disapprove decision. 

This process is designed to integrate with the electronic submission via USDA/NIFA's reporting website, NRS. 

Sections to be copied into the NRS project initiation include Non-Technical Summary and Methodology. The system is limited to 8,000 characters per section, this is something to be mindful of in your proposal.

1. Title Page

Please use the fillable PDF Title Page linked at the top of this page.

If the project is a renewal:
-The "original initiation date" is the date the ongoing project originated.
-Complete the MONB project number by including the last three digits for the project being reviewed.
-The new accession number will be provided by NIFA.

If the project is new:
-The Program & Reporting manager will assign an MONB project number after the Project Review process is complete. 

2. Problem and Justification

State in this section the importance of the research as it relates to the department, COA/MAES, Montana, regional and national priorities, and the discipline. In the section, you must "sell" the research to the Project Review committee, Director, scientists, elected officials, and USDA/NIFA reviewers. Previous accomplishments or preliminary information justifying continued effort is appropriate and may be briefly documented. 

3. Literature Review

Summarize the literature which is relevant to the proposed project and give background information as well as research methods or techniques. 

4. Estimated FTEs

Estimate the full-time equivalent(s) (FTE) that will support this project over the course of the project's duration. You may enter fractions and round to the nearest tenth. FTEs should be separated by their roles: Scientist, Professional, Technical and Administrative/Other. 

5. Goals/Objectives

Provide a clear, concise statement of the goals and objectives of the project. The goals and objectives should be specific and attainable within the duration of the project and with the available resources. What major achievements and milestones does the project hope to realize?

6. Products/Outputs

Include all products/outputs that are expected to result from the duration of this project. Examples include activities, events, services and products that reach people.

7. Outcomes

Provide a description of expected outcomes over the duration of the project. NIFA considers the terms "outcomes" and "accomplishments" to be synonymous. An outcome/accomplishment is defined as a significant change in knowledge, action or condition.

8. Audience

Provide a description of the target audience(s) that will be the focus of efforts over the course of this project. This should include all of the audiences you plan to reach over the course of the project, even if only for portions of your efforts during certain activities of the project.

9. Methods

Describe general scientific methods and any unique aspects or significant departures from accepted methods. Include a description of how the results will be analyzed, evaluated or interpreted. Describe the efforts that will be used to cause a change in knowledge, actions, or conditions of a target audience. Include a description of how the output(s) will be evaluated and/or quantified for its impact on the intended audience(s).

10. Non-Technical Summary

Describe the need for this project as well as its overall purpose. Also include general statements describing the methods, the expected outcomes/impacts and the anticipated benefits. Provide information at a level that general citizens could identify with. 

11. Keywords

It is important to assign appropriate keywords for automated information retrieval of project information. Limit keywords to one- or two-word terms. Limit 20 lines. 

12. Project Evaluation

For new projects provide information from prior history that is relevant to the proposed project.

For continuing projects, summarize annual progress reports and/or provide other summary information and metrics for the current project. In addition, for continuing projects, specific outcomes/impacts should be clearly identified and articulated in non-specific language (e.g. new knowledge, scientists trained, economic results, new capacity or capability).

13. Literature Cited

List citations from all sections of the proposal.