The proposal can be to conduct research on an environmental question or to implement an environmental project.
For example, if you were interested in the use of vegetative buffer strips to uptake agricultural pollution into Elkhorn Slough, you might write a proposal to: 1) study the effectiveness of different revegetation strategies, 2) survey farmers’ attitudes towards implementing buffer strips, 3) fund a program to educate farmers about the costs and benefits of buffers strips, or 4) install buffer strips along a particularly impacted location. The objective of this project is to give you experience in grant writing, as almost all jobs in environmental studies (research, non-profit, government) involve some grant writing.
The funder, Golden State Green, is a private endowment offering up to $10,000 for environmental projects or research in the state of California.
Proposal format Your entire proposal should be no more than 1200 words (excluding references). Use the following format. Both research and project proposals use a similar format but vary somewhat in content. Instructions in italics are for research proposals only and those that are underlined are for project proposals only.
1. Background information – At the beginning of the proposal list the following information:
• Title of project
• Individual or Organization with a one-line description
• Your name (if you are representing an organization)
• Project summary (no more than 100 words)
• Amount of funding requested
2. Proposal Narrative
a. Statement of Problem or Need
• Start with the generalized problem as it occurs in your community and/or the general research question.
• Move to the conditions that make this a problem and/or an interesting research question.
• Outline current resources that address this problem and/or past research that has been done on this problem and identify gaps in those resources/research.
• Identify how your proposal will fill these gaps.
b. Project Objectives or Research Hypotheses
• What specific objectives are you trying to achieve or hypotheses are you testing?
c. Methods and Schedule
• Describe your methodology for achieving these objectives or testing these hypotheses.
• Include a timetable for completing the work.
d. Evaluation Criteria and Process
• How will you know whether you are achieving your objectives?
• What will you measure to evaluate your progress?
• How will you analyze your data?
• How will you disseminate your results?
e. Budget – include a detailed budget of costs including justification
f. Literature cited – at least 3 references, preferably peer-reviewed