The Letter of Intent is telling the funding agency that you plan to apply for funding. While it is not a contractual agreement, it is a first impression that in some cases cannot be reversed. Depending on the funding agency, in some cases only approved projects that pass through the Letter of Intent review will be asked to submit a full application proposal. In all cases, but this case in particular, the Letter of Intent must reflect the structure and logic of your full proposal in a concentrated format that communicates your general intention, your specific aims and key objectives, a preliminary budget and provide tangible evidence of the significance of your proposal.

  • Ensure that you have all of the proper instructions for completing the Letter of Intent for not only your chosen organization, but also your specific RFP (Request for Proposal or Application). Then, revisit your one-page specific aims document and use similar phrases within your letter to ensure the significance and need are communicated in your Letter of Intent.
  • In your excitement do not glaze over the important administrative details, double-check your:
    • Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator(s), and the
    • Number and title of the funding opportunity.
    • Think hard about the team members you list as your key personnel, in many cases having a name and institution associated with each role, rather than a “to be determined” placeholder makes your application stronger.
    • If you have multiple institutions participating, be sure to highlight the collaborations and the various strengths each partner brings to the table.