Argonne National Laboratory

Tips for Writing a Successful Proposal

Contact CNM Prior to Proposal Submission

  • Use the CNM Scientific Contacts List or contact the CNM User Office to find staff suitable for your proposed experiments
  • Get feedback on the scope and feasibility of your project
  • Make sure you have reasonable estimates/requests for tool usage questions
  • Ensure you have requested the correct tools for your experiments or obtain suggestions for other experiments/tools that could aid in the proposed research
  • Check out the Proposal Review Process and Evaluation Criteria

Features of a Successful Proposal

  • Defines work that can be completed in the span of the proposal timeframe of one year
  • Provides justification for the tools requested (why the CNM facilities are required)
  • Supplies background information on the importance of the proposed work and the impact on nanoscience
  • Explains how the proposed work will generate impactful results and advance the scientific/technological field
  • Expands upon prior CNM proposals. Demonstrate that you have an industrious research record and have the experience to be productive with CNM resources

When Writing the Proposal

  • Propose a single, targeted hypothesis
  • Be specific, provide details on your plan and timeline. Explain what you plan to do and why.
  • Include references to show what has been done and what is being done in your field
  • Explain the importance of your project
  • If providing attachments, remember they are pdf-only and are only for supplementary information such as nanofabrication process flow charts, figures, etc.

Sample Proposals

CNM user proposal sample (non-theory)

Computing cluster Carbon sample proposal