A well-conceived and well-written proposal can serve several purposes.
- Communicates the purpose of the research and the planned approach among all partners
- Forms the foundation for funding applications
- Guides decisions and directions throughout the project
- Defines and operationalizes key concepts (for example, a proposal would specify how an outcome, such as educational achievement, would be measured)
It is important to determine your audience and purpose before you structure your proposal. Project proposals for internal use may differ from more formal research proposals that you would submit to a granting agency. For whichever purpose, a proposal is always helpful in research or evaluation projects.