CWRC Project Proposal Format

Each project proposal should follow the format below: 


    Please provide an abstract of 200 words or less.


    Project description (A-E) is not to exceed 10 typed, single-spaced pages. (For modest expense grants, the project description, while still following the general outline, can be reasonably abbreviated.)

    It is understood that any academic research proposal will employ the technical vocabulary of the researcher's field of specialization. However, since proposals for Summer Research Fellowships, Kapfer Research Awards, University Research Professorships, and Wheat Ridge Ministries - Kretzmann Endowment grants are evaluated and approved or rejected by faculty members from a variety of disciplines, technical language often proves an obstacle rather than an aid to fair evaluation. Therefore, the Committee on Creative Work and Research requires that applicants, for funds to be awarded by the Committee, shall either (a) write their proposals in non-specialist's language, or (b) append to their proposals a restatement in non-specialist's terms of key sections, especially the abstract and the sections on purpose and significance. Thus, such a description should be sufficiently detailed but at the same time sufficiently non-technical to give the reviewers, who may not have a specialized knowledge of the applicant's field of research, a firm grasp of a specialized knowledge of the applicant's field of research, a firm grasp of what the project is, how it will be carried out, and what it can be expected to accomplish. The description should be organized around the following points:

    1. Purpose

      Explain the objectives of the project, giving the basic ideas, problems or questions to be examined, and indicate in a general way how these will be explored and developed.

    2. Significance

      1. Describe the contribution this project can be expected to make to the applicant's field of study. If appropriate, mention both specific and technical contributions and also the more general significance of dealing with these particular ideas and problems.
      2. Indicate the contribution this project will make to the development of the applicant's abilities both as a scholar/artist and as a teacher.
      3. Comment on the significance of this project in the specific context of the Valparaiso University academic community, a community which has its own central objectives and values.

    3. History

      Describe the previous development, if any, of the project, its current state, stages yet to be completed, the plans for each stage, and how the work proposed under this project fits into the whole. If appropriate, comment also on the relationship of the project to work already done by others in the field.

    4. Plan of Work

      Give a clear and detailed plan of work on this project, including the expected timetable of what is to be done, when, and where. An adequate description should be given to any special methods, procedures, and experiments to be employed.

    5. Expected Results

      Indicate as specifically as possible what results can reasonably be anticipated from this project. For example: Will certain hypotheses be validated or rejected? Will new material be brought to light? Will new methods be tested? Will the project result in public presentations, journal articles, or a book? It is expected that both during the project and at its completion the applicant will review and evaluate the progress and success of the project on the basis of the Project Description.


    A few tips for preparing an effective vitae are:

    • Display prominently your title or position along with your name.
    • Date the document.
    • Give your birth date, not your age.
    • State your primary and secondary fields of specialization along with your position.
    • List your professional positions in reverse chronological order.
    • Use separate headings for books, published articles, and papers presented orally at international, national, regional, or state-wide conferences.
    • List the courses you have taught.
    • Provide some evidence that you are a good teacher.


    1. Stipend

      The funds for the University Research Professorship ($4,000), the Wheat Ridge Ministries - Kretzmann Grant ($10,000 maximum), the Kapfer Research Award ($10,000), and the Summer Research Fellowship ($3,500 maximum) can be received as a stipend or expenses or a combination of both.

    2. Expenses

      List any equipment or material needs and estimated cost. Even if all the money in a Summer Research Fellowship is being asked for as a stipend, it is still important to provide a budget of expenses associated with the project, if any.

    3. Travel

      List any anticipated travel needs and estimated cost.

    4. Anticipated Outside Funding

      The Committee encourages applicants to seek outside funding, and securing outside funding as a supplement strengthens the application. The worthiness of a proposal is heightened by serious attempts to secure outside funding. With your application, please include copies of proposals submitted to foundations and agencies. If outside funds can replace the University grant, then CWR funds should be returned.

All applications and supporting documentation must be uploaded using the appropriate online submission form