LIFT Associates - SBIR Proposal Consultant
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Proposal Checklist

Managing ALL Aspects Of Proposal Development

Proposal Checklist

There is a natural tendency for the author of the proposal to focus on its technical content and ignore the myriad of other stipulations in the solicitation. They are commonly seen as "fussy details." This is a potentially serious mistake. More than a few proposals are disqualified without being read, merely because an important injunction in the solicitation has been ignored. The proposal manager should take as a given that each individual solicitation contains one or more additional requirements unique to that proposal cycle. The proposal manager must, at some point, sit down and carefully read through the entire solicitation, looking for and making note of these special instructions. This need be done only once, but it does need to be done at some point early in the proposal cycle, and done thoroughly. The novel terms and conditions should immediately be added to the checklist for later reference.

There are also other issues, such the protection of intellectual property and data rights, which are often far from the mind of the writer. Ignore this issues at your own peril. The best approach is to identify them early, add them to your checklist, and address them in the proposal.

The following form contains a general list of some of the more common oversights. Use it as a starting point for generating a list which includes those issues unique to each proposal.

Proposal Checklist

(Proposal Manager Should Personally Verify And Initial Each Item)

Cover Sheet (Appendix A)

  • ___ Font and word count restrictions on title (if any) have been observed.
  • ___ Pages containing proprietary information are appropriately identified.
  • ___ The cover sheet has been signed and dated (preferably in blue ink).

Project Summary Sheet (Appendix B)

  • ___ Font and word count restrictions have been observed.
  • ___ The abstract and proposal have been reviewed for public release.

Technical Proposal

  • ___ Formatting restrictions (margins, font size, etc.) have been observed.
  • ___ All required sections are included and properly labeled.
  • ___ Pages, figures and tables are correctly numbered.
  • ___ Confidential Proprietary Information is marked in accordance with the instructions.
  • ___ Data being provided with less than Unlimited Rights is clearly identified.

Cost Proposal (Appendix C)

  • ___ The Cost Pricing Proposal complies with budgetary and schedule guidelines.


  • ___ A Commercialization Report is provided, if required.
  • ___ Letters of Commitment are provided, if required.


  • ___ The assembled proposal complies with stated page limitations.
  • ___ The original is clearly distinguishable from the copies.
  • ___ The scheduled Fed-Ex delivery time is earlier than the stipulated deadline.


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