“Whether they call it a preproposal, a concept paper, a white paper, or an extended abstract, many federal agencies are now asking applicants to begin the grant quest by submitting a short description of their projects. Much like first-round job interview, the purpose of the preproposal is to help agencies narrow the pool and invite the most promising applicants to submit a full grant proposal.”
Karen M. Markin, a university grant officer who writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education, shares a few tips on how to create a preproposals that “will earn you an invitation to the real competition”.
Markin also notes that federal agencies have also sought preliminary proposals to tone down the workload associated with grantmaking. These federal agencies include the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the National Science Foundation.