Finding Proposal Sample Documents (and What to Include)

Updated November 6, 2020
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A written proposal is often required in order to gain sponsorship or to get a grant for a proposed project. Research proposals may also be written by students who are hoping to explore a given subject, or by professionals who want to expand their horizons within their field by studying a specific issue. All written proposals should contain some essential elements within them in order to ensure that serious consideration is given to the idea. Reviewing some sample written proposals can help you to determine what should be included within your proposal.

Online Written Proposal Samples

You can find many samples of written proposals on the Web by doing a search using your favorite search engine. These samples can help you to better understand the process of writing a proposal and help you to ensure you do not miss any of the necessary information that must be included.

The following are some sites that have copies or samples of written proposals for you to use should you need to.

  • Sample Proposals for Undergraduate Engineering Review: This is a sample of a written proposal that details the importance of performing research concerning the storage facilities for a nuclear power plant. The proposal argues that this type of research is essential in order to be sure that nuclear facilities are doing everything possible to keep power plants from becoming over full. This is the type of written proposal that would commonly be used by students or scientists who wish to get permission or grants to undertake a specific research project.
  • Non Profit Guides provides several different sample proposals. Files at this link include both private and public requests for proposal (RFPs). The RFP sample proposals here can be used by not-for-profits that are requesting people to submit applications for grant money that will be used to fund projects that fulfill the mission of the organization.
  • Kurzweil Education Systems provides a sample grant proposal that can be used when requesting a grant or funding. This type of proposal would be used by an individual or organization that is hoping to obtain funds to complete a task or project.
  • A business plan may also be considered by some to be a "proposal," especially if the business plan is being created for the purpose of obtaining funding. A business plan is often written by companies and given to investors in order to peak interest to gain financial backing when the company wants to try something new. A sample of this type of written proposal can be found at

What to Include

These proposals provide a guide, but the specifics of what you must include depend on what you are proposing and for whom you are writing the proposal.

For instance:

  • Scope - When you submit a written proposal for a suggested project, one of the things that you will want to include briefly in the written proposal is the scope of the overall project.
  • Timeline - In this section, you will want to outline briefly all the parameters. This includes when the project will begin provided proper funding is obtained and when the project is expected to end.
  • Planned Activities - The written proposal should also elaborate on the methods of research or course of action that will be used to achieve whatever the proposal is aiming to do.

The key is to be thorough, be detailed and ensure the proposal is free of any possible errors or mistakes that might arise.