Pre-Proposal Guidelines 

Submitting a Baldwin pre-proposal requires the following steps:

  1. Develop your pre-proposal.
  2. Develop project budget using the Excel worksheet provided (not required for mini-grants).
  3. Electronically submit a “pre-proposal cover sheet.” Then print the pre-proposal cover sheet after you have submitted it (see details below).
  4. Submit the pre-proposal cover sheet, pre-proposal and budget spreadsheet (budget spreadsheet not required for mini-grants) to your department chair and dean’s office for approval.
  5. Once your cover sheet has the appropriate approval signatures, submit the packet (signed cover sheet, pre-proposal and budget sheet) to the Office of the Provost. A scanned (pdf) copy of the pre-proposal packet may be emailed to, however the original should also be sent or delivered to the Provost's Office. 

Step 1: Develop Pre-proposal

In addition to articulating clear goals and objectives, it is important to thoroughly describe the project activities and to reference the evidence-base that links these activities to the expected outcomes. Your work will be evaluated by an inter-disciplinary team of faculty and staff, so the use of highly specialized jargon is discouraged. The proposal should also stipulate how impact will be documented (ideally a combination of quantitative measures along with narratives that convey the essence of the program.) A pre-proposal should be no more than two 1.5-spaced, single sided pages (not including the cover page or budget form).

Pre-proposals should contain the following information:

Program plan and objectives

Describe the problem or opportunity to be addressed. Describe your goals and objectives and explain the methods, techniques, and formats you will use to accomplish your goals and objectives. Explain how this project is transferring knowledge and expertise from your unit (and potentially vice versa). Include a statement of how this project is a new initiative or is a new dimension to an existing activity.

Intended audience, partner(s) and anticipated outcomes

Who is the audience you will serve and work with, and how will the audience benefit from your project? Identify partnering organizations and co-sponsors (including in-kind support and/or financial support) and explain how they will be involved in the project. (Do not include letters of support from partnering organizations at the pre-proposal stage. However, note that if you are encouraged to submit a full proposal that letters of support will be required at that stage.)

Time frame and location

Describe the project timeline and where the activity(s)/program(s) will take place.


List the name, title, affiliation and one-sentence description of the role of key personnel. (Do not include a vita at the pre-proposal stage. However, a one-page vita will be required at the full proposal stage.) Baldwin proposals may include faculty, staff, PA/TA or student hourly support. Resources proposed should not be used to supplant funds that support existing teaching or research, but should rather be used toward additional activities that put research into action with and for communities. Because the grants are intended to leverage existing programs, where faculty and staff are concerned, a guiding rule might be to keep the Baldwin funded support level to approximately 10%. This maximum is intended as guidance only. Each budget will be reviewed carefully to ensure that proposed support is both adequate and necessary.

Step 2: Develop project budget

For proposals requesting more than $4,000, please complete the Excel spreadsheet with your project budget. Please see budget instructions for more specific guidance. Note that annual progress and budget reports will be required for multiple-year projects before second- or third-year funds are transferred. Budget spreadsheets are NOT required for mini-grant pre-proposals requesting $4,000 or less. Information regarding the requested budget for mini-grants should be included in the two-page pre-proposal.

Step 3: Complete the on-line form and submit a pre-proposal cover sheet

This will help us create a database of pre-proposals and contact information for each project. Once you fill in and submit the form electronically, it will provide an option to produce a printer-friendly version. Print a copy of the cover sheet. You will submit this cover sheet with your pre-proposal, signed by your chair and dean/director.

Step 4: Submit cover sheet, pre-proposal and budget for approval

Pre-proposals should be submitted for signature/approval to department chairs, and then the dean’s office by Monday, December 5, 2016.

Step 5: Submit one copy of your pre-proposal packet

Your pre-proposal packet should include the signed cover sheet, pre-proposal and budget sheet (budget sheet not required for mini-grants). Please deliver (or be sure your dean’s office will deliver) one copy to the Office of the Provost, room 117 Bascom Hall, by Wednesday, December 14, 2016.

Pre-proposal review

A committee will review the pre-proposals and make recommendations to the Provost about which proposals to advance to the full proposal stage. The committee may select mini-grants directly from the pre-proposal pool, but reserves the right to ask for a full proposal, if the committee believes that additional information is necessary to make a decision about the proposed activity. The pre-proposal review is very competitive, and not all pre-proposals that meet the Baldwin criteria will be selected for advancement. 

The target date for notification to those encouraged to submit a full proposal is Monday, February 6, 2017 with the intent of making final award decisions by Monday, May 15, 2017.

Questions regarding the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment should be directed to Eden Inoway-Ronnie, Office of the Provost, 608-265-5975.