Writing Winning Technology Proposals

Sample Review Criteria

The following material was adapted from Reviewing Applications for Discretionary Grants and Cooperative Agreements: A Workbook for Application Reviewers, 1991. Horace Mann Learning Center: U.S. Department of Education

Meeting the Purposes of the Funding Program

  1. What are the purposes of the funding program?
  2. What are the objectives of this project?
  3. How will these objectives further the purposes of the program?

Extent of Need for the Project

  1. What needs are outlined by the funding program?
  2. What needs does the applicant identify?
  3. How did the applicant identify those needs, i.e., what specific documentation or evidence does the application offer to support the applicants assessment of need?
  4. Are the neeeds identified by the applicant consistent with the purposes of the funding program?
  5. Does the applicant identify too many or too few needs for the proposed time frame and resources of the project?
  6. Are the identified needs well defined so that the project can be focused on them, or are the identified needs very generic?

Plan of Operation

  1. Do the project objectives serve the puruposes of the funding program?
  2. How well is the project designed?
  3. Are project objectives consistent with stated needs?
  4. Are project activities consistent with project objectives?
  5. Are project objectives measurable?
  6. How will the applicant use its resources and personnel to achieve each objective?
  7. Has the applicant developed an effective management plan that will ensure proper and efficient administration of the project?
  8. Do project milestones represent a logical progression of times and tasks?
  9. Does the applicant propose a realistic time schedule for accomplishing objectives?
  10. Will the proposed activities accomplish the projects objectives successfully?
  11. Are the approaches planned based on sound research that indicates they will be successful for the population to be served?
  12. Does the project have clearly developed provisions for providing equal access to eligible participants who are members of traditionally underrepresented groups (racial or ethnic minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, elderly persons)?

Quality of Key Personnel

  1. Do the job descriptions adequately reflect skills needed to make the project work?
  2. Are the duties of personnel clearly defined?
  3. What relevant qualifications do the proposed personnel possess, especially the Project Director? (focus on their experience and training in fields related to the objectives of the project, though other information may be considered.)
  4. Will proposed personnel need to be trained for the project?
  5. How much time will the proposed personnel actually devote to the project?
  6. To what extent does the applicant encourage employment applications from members of traditionally underrepresented groups (ethnic or racial minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, elderly persons)?

Evaluation Plan

  1. Are the proposed methods of evaluation appropriate for the project?
  2. Will the proposed evaluation be objective?
  3. Will the proposed evaluation methods measure the effectiveness of project activities in meeting project objectives?
  4. Will the evaluation plan produce valid and reliable data concerning the accomplishment of project objectives?
  5. Does the evaluation plan include criteria that project leaders will use to make decisions about the effectiveness of activities and strategies?
  6. Does the evaluation plan meaure the effectiveness of project management?
  7. Does the evaluation plan measure the projects effect on the project audience?

Adequacy of Resources

  1. Are the proposed facilities adequate for project purposes?
  2. Is the prposed equipment adequate for project purposes?
  3. Does the applicant have access to special sources of experience or expertise?

Budget and Cost Effectiveness

  1. Is the budget adequate to support the projects proposed activities?
  2. Are overall project costs reasonable in relation to project objectives?
  3. How much of the projects total cost is devoted to administrative costs?
  4. Are budget items sufficiently justified?
  5. Is the budget padded?