In this section of TCC401, you will have a choice of two real-world proposal formats:
1) The guidelines used by the National
Science Foundation. At first glance, these will seem overwhelming,
but what you need to do is focus on the parts
of the proposal, keeping in mind that you do not need to worry about
NSF cover pages,budget requirements, current and pending support, document
design constraints or other categories that clearly do not apply to a student
writing a proposal that does not involve actual funding. I
have provided an example of a pre-proposal and proposal I wrote following
these guidelines. This kind of format is best suited to those who
will have careeers in science and engineering research or education.
For an NSF pre-proposal format, see the one used by the Integrated Graduate Education REseach and Training (IGERT) initiative, which requires a pre-proposal in order to determine which institutions and groups will be allowed to submit a proposal.
2) The guidelines used by the Lemelson Foundation, which supports undergraduate research teams doing innovative engineering projects. This is the sort of organization that might actually fund a project like yours. Again, you will not be using their cover sheet and you do not actually have to have a budget, although you should indicate what resources you will need and demonstrate that you have them. This kind of format is most appropriate for those who plan to do engineering design.
The purpose of using these formats is to prepare you for the kinds of proposal-writing you might have to do when you graduate. Additional guidance is provided by the undergraduate thesis manual for 401 and 402. Look at this for the appropriate forms.