Strong Proposals

Questions We Ask When Assessing a Grant Proposal


What is the central question of the project?

Does the question suit the context?

Is the project focused on teaching, student learning, or classroom teaching practices?


  • Do the activities facilitate the exploration of the central question of the project?
  • Are the goals, activities, assessment, and dissemination well aligned with one another?

Allocation of Money

  • Would these grant funds enable something they could not otherwise do?
  • Are the funding amounts reasonable for the design and work involved?
  • Are the stipend payments judicious and reasonable?

Formative Assessment

  • Is there a process for feedback from participants in the project?
  • Does the design have time built-in to reflect and learn as the project progresses?
  • Is there an indication of flexibility to adjust to what is being learned?

Evaluative Learning

  • Does the proposal articulate  specific measures of what would count as success?
  • Are there actual identifiable indicators of the change that is being sought?
  • Does the proposal explain how what is learned during the project will be communicated to decision makers?

Institutional Readiness

  • Does the proposal show that there is support for the project at appropriate institutional levels?
  • Does the proposal show buy-in?  Are there faculty peers who will be central to the activities and success of the project?
  • Is the institution ready to move forward with changes, if necessary?
Wabash Center