Proposal Process and Guidelines

Responding to the Addictions Crisis: phase two Proposal Frequently Asked Questions

Optional Concept Papers

To allow interested faculty members maximum feedback and guidance as possible, optional concept papers are due no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 5, and should be submitted through Infoready.

Concept papers must not exceed 1,000 words (approximately 2-3 pages, not including cover sheet and endnotes) and must include:

  1. A summary of the primary short- and long-term goals of the project, and how the project aligns with the primary goals of Responding to the Addictions Crisis: reducing substance use disorders; reducing the number of deaths from opioid overdose; reducing the incidence of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.
  2. A summary of the activity proposed, including approach, methods, timeline, and expected outcomes.
  3. A summary of team member expertise as it relates to project activity and indication of expertise required but not yet secured. External partners should be included as appropriate.

In addition, concept papers must include a cover sheet (template available at IU Infoready) listing the primary focal areas of the project (in order of priority), personnel (PIs, co-PIs, other key personnel), and budget (divided into personnel and non-personnel expenditures, with a brief summary of each).

Concept papers will be reviewed by members of the Steering Committee and Scientific Leadership team for responsiveness to goals, utilization of IU strengths, potential for strong partnerships with community organizations, and likely impact on the addictions crisis. Feedback to teams will be designed to help them determine how best to move forward and what partnerships may strengthen their projects.

Full Proposals

To assist with preparing for the review process, a Letter of Intent is required, and is due no later than 11:59PM on June 5th, 2018. LoIs must be submitted online at IU’s internal grant application portal,, and must include

  • A brief Executive Summary (<150 words) of the project.
  • A list of all key personnel and external partners, whether confirmed or expected.
  • Identification of the priority focal areas being utilized, and goals being addressed, in the project.

Full proposals are due no later than 5:00 p.m (EDT) on June 25, 2018, via submission at InfoReady. Proposals should be written so that a reader from any discipline can understand and assess them.

Full proposal packets must include:

  • Cover sheet (template available at IU InfoReady)
  • Narrative as described below
  • Budget (using template available at IU InfoReady) and budget narrative
  • Brief biosketches for IU personnel
  • Letters of commitment describing relevant expertise and contributing resources from external partners
  • Letters of support from all deans/Responsibility Center leaders whose personnel or facilities will be used in the work of the project. Guidelines for letters will be made available to deans and RC leaders.

Full proposal narrative will be no more than 10 pages and must include:

  1. Executive Summary (maximum 150 words)

    Lay summary of the project intelligible to a reader who is not a specialist in this field; summarize the aims, significance, and expected outcomes of the project. Identify focal area(s) informing this project, and contribution of the project to primary goals of Responding to the Addictions Crisis.

  2. Introduction (two-page maximum)

    2.1 Background and Rationale Describe the background that makes the project necessary, reasonable, and feasible. Include a brief summary of the needs the project is addressing, and an explanation of how this project will address those needs. Include a summary of work already completed leading up to this project, including any technical evidence (e.g. proof-of-concept, supportive data, references) that support the feasibility of the proposed research plan.

    2.2 Project Aims and Objectives What are the goals of this project? What impact will achieving these goals have on the addictions crisis – in what ways will achieving these goals contribute to reducing the incidence of Substance Use Disorder, decreasing the number of opioid overdose fatalities, or decreasing the number of babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome? What are the component objectives that will enable you to reach your goals? Be sure that your objectives are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

  3. Project Design (four-page maximum)

    3.1 Project Team
    Identify key members. Provide a summary of their roles and responsibilities and their specific expertise and experience for the work involved. Identify the key additional collaborators, partners or other linkages that are relevant. Describe their roles and responsibilities and include a rationale as to why they are important. Indicate whether partnerships are established, or need to be established.

    3.2 Project Method
    Describe the approaches you will use to complete your objectives. Identify hypotheses being tested, models used, research being conducted or interventions planned. Explain how this methodology will enable you to complete your objectives. What are new or original methods vs existing methods? It is important to show that using these methods can achieve the theme’s objectives in the time period available. Identify members of the research team that will lead specific aspects of the project efforts. How will this project engage with (inform, be informed by) other aspects of Responding to the Addictions Crisis?
    As relevant, please also address:

    3.2A What data will you use, collect, or analyze? How will you obtain access to, or collect new, data? What are your plans for analysis and interpretation of the data? How will data be disseminated or made accessible to others?
    3.2B With which patients, participants, sites, or subcontractors (including community health workers, patient advocates, etc) will you be working? Why is this participant pool/site appropriate? If relevant, describe how participants (including team members such as community health workers) or sites for project activities will be identified and selected.
    3.2C How will you train participants (such as community health workers, patient advocates, etc)? If a training protocol or proof of concept exists, describe it and its success. If you will develop a training protocol, describe how, and how you will validate its utility once implemented.
    3.2D How will you incorporate patient and/or community engagement in the design, implementation, or assessment of the project?
  4. Timeline and Major Milestones (three-page maximum)

    4.1 Activities to be performed Provide an overview of the high-level activities to be performed. These should be connected to project aims/objectives and broken into phases. (Example: phase one: Planning and Design, phase two: Data Collection, phase three: Analysis, phase four: Dissemination). Phases should be linked to project outcomes.

    phase one: Planning and Design
    Activity 1: Data Analysis and Selection The Data Team (DT) will evaluate and compare existing data available to the theme through reports, publication reviews, and analysis. The DT will establish an advisory board within 45 days of receiving funding. The DT will provide recommendations on data purchases to the advisory board for approval.

    4.2 Major Milestones: A milestone is an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development and should be related to phases identified above. Identify when one or multiple groups of activities will be completed. Verification method could be a report, deliverable, product, event, etc.

  5. Future Visioning (one page)

    Describe what it would mean if this project were successful – and what next steps might build on, scale up, or translate the lessons of this project to new contexts. What would it take to make the gains realized in this project sustainable (financially and in other ways)? What strategies for sustainability might be important to consider?

  6. References

Budget Narrative (two pages) (see forthcoming budget guidelines for additional information) Complete budget template and include a budget justification. Provide detailed information to support each budget category; ensure that specific budgeted categories are linked to specific project phases or objectives, breaking down those categories into sub-categories as required.

  • IU Personnel
    • Academic Personnel (current IU faculty, new TT faculty; postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, research staff)
    • Other IU Personnel (professional staff, support staff)
  • Start-up Funds (New TT faculty hires only)
  • Capital Equipment (more than $5,000)
  • Research Supplies and other equipment
  • Computing requirements
  • Travel
  • Other costs
    • Publication Costs / Documentation / Dissemination
    • Consultant Services
    • Subawards
    • Other