There are 5 major types of research proposals as discussed below:
1. Solicited Research Proposals
These are research proposals submitted in response to a specific call issued by a sponsor. Such solicitations are referred to as Request for Proposals (RFP), or Request for Quotations (RFQ). They are usually guided by specific rules and guidelines in terms of format and the technical content. They may also specify certain award conditions and terms.
2. Unsolicited Research Proposals
These are research proposals submitted to a sponsor that has not given out a specific solicitation. Nevertheless, the researcher believes the sponsor has interest in what he or she intends to investigate.
These are research proposals requested by a sponsor who wants to minimize an applicant’s effort in preparing a full proposal. They are usually in the form of a letter of intent or a brief abstract. After reviewing the preproposal, the sponsor then notifies the investigator for a full proposal.
4. Non-competing or Continuation Research Proposal
This is a research proposal that confirms the funding requirements of a multi-year project which the sponsor has already provided funding. These kind of proposals warrants the continued support of the sponsor as the research continues. Therefore, it usually depends on the satisfaction of the sponsor and the availability of funds.
5. Renewal or Competing Research Proposals
These are research proposals that request for more funding of research that is about to end. These requests, from the view of a sponsor, are equal to the unsolicited research proposals.