Full Proposal Application Requirements
Finalist teams will have the opportunity to develop and refine their pre-proposals into 10-15 page full proposals due on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017. In this full proposal, finalists will expand on the ideas presented in their pre-proposals, edit their proposals based on judges’ feedback, and have the opportunity to refine their project ideas through collaboration with a Big Ideas mentor.
Finalists are instructed to submit full proposals between 10-15 pages, single-spaced (including their required budget and implementation timeline, but not references or appendices). Big Ideas recommends the format below to ensure students include critical proposal components, however, students are allowed to modify the order and presentation of the information as needed to tell their story. The basic components we ask students to include are:
1. Problem Statement
This section includes a clear description of and background information on the identified problem. An effective problem statement is thoroughly researched, shows a deep understanding of the issue, and builds a strong case to support why the project is needed. This includes but is not limited to: research/statistics on the problem, and/or research/statistics about the target community or market.
2. Existing Solutions
This section is an overview of any existing services, programs, interventions or products that have been designed or implemented to address this problem. Where applicable, applicants should discuss the limitations of these approaches, the gaps that still exist, and present research on what has been done in the past and where those solutions fell short.
3. Proposed Innovation
This section includes a summary of the innovative project (e.g. program, service, good, etc.) how it works, and its intended impact. This is the “nuts and bolts” portion of the proposal and focuses on what the project will look like in its 1st year of implementation. It briefly explains any implementation challenges that may arise and how they will be addressed. It may note (but does not focus on) whether the project intends to scale up or expand in future years.
4. Implementation Timeline
The timeline describes the key next steps for implementing the idea for the 1st year only. Big Ideas awards will be disbursed in June/July 2017. Therefore, for the purposes of this contest, the 1st year is defined as June 2017-June 2018. Teams are allowed to mention work conducted prior to or after this 1-year timeline, but it should not be considered in their scoring.
5. Measuring Success
Teams should include information about how they will monitor or measure the impact or success of their project throughout the 1st year of implementation (June 2017-June 2018). This does not need to be a formal monitoring and evaluation plan, but can take the form of metrics and methods to make sure they can track their progress.
Includes both expected costs and revenue for the 1st year of the project (June 2017-June 2018).
Note: The average Big Ideas award is approximately $5,000 and proposals should not request more than $10,000 from Big Ideas. The requested amount form Big Ideas is typically seen in the “Funding Gap” section of the budget template we have suggested for use (available HERE but not all teams may choose to utilize this tool). Teams may also include any plans to leverage additional funding sources, if appropriate.
7. Team Bios
A list of key project team members with brief biographies that explain the capability of the team to pursue their idea.
Full Proposal Judging Criteria
Entries will be judged according to the criteria below.
Viability (40%): Given the project description and the team members’ expertise, skills, training, the team will likely be able to meet their proposed goals. (Please keep in mind that we asked teams to explain how their project would look and consider implementation in only the 1st year of their project.) For example:
- The proposal demonstrates consideration of potential obstacles to implementation/ adoption and has proposed convincing solutions to address these challenges.
- The team has considered all relevant aspects of development, considered/developed viable marketing goals, effective marketing strategies, and realistic training and recruitment procedures for personnel or volunteers, if applicable.
- The team has identified and developed relationships with potential community partners, where applicable.
- The project team members and partners possess the necessary skills and experience to be successful in implementing the project.
Community or Market Familiarity (15%): The team demonstrates a great deal of familiarity with the market or community they plan to enter (either through research, professional, or volunteer experience). The proposal discusses similar programs, projects, or products that currently exist (especially with regard to the target population), the issues that have emerged with those other initiatives, and specifically how their project compares. The proposal demonstrates that the applicants have given sufficient consideration to the cultural, ethical, and legal implications of their proposed intervention.
Potential for Impact (15%): The proposed project addresses a pressing and important social problem. The team provides the reviewer with sufficient statistics and research to understand the problem, and makes a clear and compelling case that their project addresses this need.
Realistic Budget (10%): The proposal includes a thorough and realistic budget that outlines all relevant expected expenses and revenue for the project’s 1st year. The budget demonstrates that the applicants have given sufficient consideration to necessary supplies, equipment, travel expenses, etc. The funding requested from Big Ideas is no greater than $10,000. If the projects’ expenses are greater than $10,000 total, the team has a reasonable plan to raise additional funds (e.g., the team has plans to submit additional grant applications, fundraise, etc.).
Measuring Success (10%): The proposal demonstrates a viable plan for measuring success in achieving the project’s goals. The exact measurement tools (e.g. survey instruments) need not be developed at this stage, but the proposal should explain what will be measured, when/how it will be measured, and justify how those measurements lead to the achievement of the team’s desired impact.
Quality and Creativity (10%): The project is innovative, the overall merit of this idea is high, and this is an idea worth funding.
Full Proposal FAQ1. I'm a student from an eligible campus, but my teammates are not. Are we eligible for the contest?
Full Proposal Examples
Click the links below to download examples of past exemplary full proposals.Pre-proposal - Full Proposal Example 1 Full Proposal Example 2
Full Proposal Writing TipsFull Proposal Writing Tips
Click the link below to download the Excel budget template you are required to submit with your proposal. Feel free to edit this spreadsheet as necessary (e.g., add or remove rows or sections).Download the Budget Template (.xls)