The structure of a good project proposal
Approx. length 1-2 pages depending on font size and level of maturity
of the idea.
The idea: You should see this in two ways:
- this is a proposal pitch you show to an investor, who needs to be
convinced that you have done the background work, and have a plan
- this is your most important way to get feedback from me, thus
minimizing the chance for heartache later. Trust me, I have seen a lot
of heartache from people that thought they don't need feedback.
See at the end a key point in creating a paragraph.
Abstract: summary of the whole idea: what, why, what is done so dar,
Body: each of those questions which were answered in 1-2 lines in
would be a paragraph here. Paragraphs may vary in order but not by much.
Note a paragraph is supposed to be 4-8 lines not half a page.
- Motivation/Scope: why is this an important issue?
This paragraph could be moved around. Ie after the Problem
definition, or even after the contributions.
-Problem: what is the problem or question we want to answer?
- Previous work: what other people have done with Citations,
why what has been done is not enough for the problem we examine.
You must have citations. Complete lack of citations or randomly
chose citations shows lack of prep work, and can lead to reinventing
- Contributions/Expected results: a summary of what you propose to
It could be two paragraphs or one paragraph and a set of
What you propose to do
How you are going to go about it
Why the approach/survey makes sense: intuition or how it
will differ from previous work
Specific deliverables outcomes: e.g. explore the effect of
X on Y, understand why something works or does not work, repeat/verify
some work on different environment or different assumptions.
For surveys; ideally the main families of solutions and
will be identified and/or the specific questions that you will
answer: e.g. what is the most viable/popular solution for the
Key: each paragraph should be layed out to stress its role in the
document. A good way is to have the first phrase of the paragraph set
Ie. IN problem definition:
"We propose to address the following problem"
"In this study, we focus on how ..."