Texas Tech University

Why Wait for the RFP?

Crafting a Concept Paper for Fast Feedback – Part Three


Writing your concept paper doesn't have to be intimidating. Remember these tips as you work through the process to get to the final product.

When crafting the first draft of a concept paper, be sure to include all the important content, even it exceeds the two-page limit. Share this draft with an Office of Research Development (ORD) member or with a grant writer from your college, and they can help you get this draft down to two pages. You're then ready to share it with your research colleagues. Typically, they are happy to provide feedback to a colleague pursuing research in their field.

Once you begin work on your second version, it is important to remember who exactly will read the paper. If the concept paper will be sent to more than one funder, be sure each version is crafted with each targeted funder in mind. Revise your paper and ask an ORD member or your college's grant writer for another review, then share your concept paper with the targeted funder and schedule a time to discuss feedback.

The title of your project should be thoughtfully crafted and be no more than 10 words. From those 10 words, identify a short title that represents the longer version. Use this short title throughout your narrative instead of saying "this study" or "this project."

Don't overwhelm the reader with detail, and avoid sounding vague or unsure about what your research will accomplish. Use an active voice to convey your ability to carry out the research. Be confident, positive, and definitive. A page full of text is hard to read. Use white space, headings and/or subheadings to help the reviewer to organize the components of your project. Make sure your grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct. Good luck with your concept paper!

The Office of Research Development is always happy to help you create a work plan. Contact us today!