Pediatrics Research Guide

Writing & Submitting Proposals

Proposal Writing Timeline


  • Identify relevant funding sources
  • Gather funding opportunity information
  • Conceive the research question
  • Find collaborators & additional mentors
  • Confirm your Division’s commitment 



  • Develop a writing routine 
  • Draft Specific Aims 
  • Draft your NIH Biosketch
  • Seek Feedback


  • Talk to the relevant Program Officer(s)
  • Construct your Research Strategy / Plan Framework
  • Craft a Career Development Plan 
  • Use the Review Criteria to inform your Writing
  • Request letters 
  • Refine the Project Summary / Abstract




  • Follow Stanford specific Policies & Process
  • Polish your writing
  • Assemble the required administrative forms

The Department of Pediatrics is deeply committed to training the next generation of physician scientists and scientific leaders in biomedical research. An important aspect of this training is writing research proposals because developing a research proposal enables skill-building opportunities in thinking critically and communicating ideas. However, writing a compelling proposal is a time-consuming task because it takes time to develop your ideas, articulate your research goals, and incorporate feedback. The Office of Pediatric Research Development is here to support you as your proposal is developed and refined, so please contact us. 

In the School of Medicine, proposals that postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows, and instructors can apply for are considered Fellowships or Career Development Awards. 


Fellowships, like NIH Fellowships (F32), provide funds to support the research training of students or postdoctoral fellows. Submission of fellowships is supported by the Research Management Group (RMG) Fellowship Team and require the Proposal Development Routing Form (PDRF). Learn More.

Career Development Awards

Career Development Awards, like NIH K Awards (K01, K08, K23, K99/R00, etc.), provide funding to facilitate the transition to your next career stage (usually an independent position) by completion of career development and research plans. Submission of Career Development Awards is supported by the Research Management Group and require the Proposal In-take Form (PIF). Learn More.

Proposal Documents Library

The Office of Pediatric Research Development maintains a library of proposal documents for most NIH and NSF funding mechanisms. Documents can be viewed and downloaded with a Stanford SUNet ID. Please note that these are only examples and therefore may not reflect the most current NIH/NSF requirements or requirements of your specific funding opportunity announcement.

General Proposal Timeline

Proposals can be 50-200 page documents - here is a general timeline of writing tasks and internal deadlines that will help you keep track of important milestones

DEVELOP The Research Question

6-12 months before deadline

START Writing Research Plans

4-6 months before deadline

REFINE Proposal Documents

2-3 months before deadline

FINISH Edits & Submit

30 days before deadline

Need help preparing grants?

Office of Pediatric Research Development offers free experienced grant writing and pre-award strategic planning 

Grant Writing Academy for Graduate Students and Postdocs

Route To Getting Grants (R2G2) for Junior Faculty

Office of Faculty Development an Diversity (OFDD)