Writing a well-structured project proposal will help you to clarify the steps that need to be taken in order to achieve the project’s aims, as well as make it easier for others to understand how you are proposing to reach its objectives.
Use this guide to help you complete our project proposal outline template, which provides you with a framework within which to formulate your project. You do not need to complete every section, and you can combine sections that only partially relate to your project, but giving each section some consideration will help you to write a more compelling project proposal.
Please note that there may be specific requirements for information that your proposal must contain; always read your institution’s guidance.
For proposals longer than three pages, place the project’s details on a separate title page. For smaller proposals, this information should go at the top of the first page.
The title page should include the project title, the name of the organization submitting the proposal, and the date of the proposal’s submission.
The project’s title should be clear and concise, and refer to the overall aim of the project.
Within this section, you will provide an overview of the proposal, including:
- the aim of the project (what are you hoping to achieve with this project, what problem does it solve);
- the project’s objectives (the main steps that will need to be taken in order to achieve the project’s aims);
- an overview of the resources required to deliver the proposed project (time, money, staff, etc).
Within this section, you will describe the economic, political, social or cultural context which has contributed to the need for the proposed project.
What are the aims of the proposed project: what is it that you hope will have been achieved once it is completed?
What is the strategic, policy, or regulatory context within which the proposed project will operate?
Describe individuals or groups who have the problem outlined within your problem statement, and what impact it has on them?
What are the outputs of the proposed project, and how will they address the needs outlined in the needs analysis?
How will the proposed project go about generating its deliverables?
Within this section, you will describe the steps that need to be taken to realize the project’s aims.
A project can have a number of objectives, but each objective should be SMART: Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Realistic; and Time-constrained.
For each objective answer the following questions:
- What will be done to reach this objective?
- How will you know when you have reached this objective?
- What are the bounds of this objective?
- What resources will be required to reach this objective?
- When will you meet this objective?
Within this section, you will describe how the proposed project’s objectives will be reached.
What outputs will the proposed project generate? Deliverables can be tangible – such as a report – or intangible – such as a new service.
What are the main tasks that will need to be completed in order to produce the proposed project’s deliverables?
What resources will be required to complete the proposed project’s tasks? Resources can include money, or equipment, but also staff time and knowledge.
What is the timetable for undertaking the proposed project’s tasks (when will they start and finish)?
What assumptions have been made about the scope of the proposed project?
What constraints are there on the scope of the proposed project e.g. the budget is limited?
Risks & Contingency#
Within this section, you will describe the factors that may prevent the proposed project from reaching one or more of its objectives.
What are the main events or circumstances that could prevent the proposed project from meeting its objectives?
What uncertainties exist regarding the resource requirements for the proposed project, and how will they be addressed?
Monitoring & Evaluation#
Within this section, you will describe how progress towards the proposed project’s objectives will be monitored, and how you will evaluate whether its aims have been met once it has been completed.
What monitoring will be undertaken to measure progress towards the proposed project’s objectives?
How will the proposed project’s deliverables be evaluated against the original aims of the project?
Use this section to provide any additional information that supports the points that you have made within the main document.