The Letter of Intent is telling the funding agency that you plan to submit a full application for funding. This is your first opportunity at a first impression–and we all know how important first impressions can be.

Depending on the sponsor, the fate of your Letter of Intent decides whether or not you will be asked to submit a full application in a few months.

The goal is to convey the logic of your full proposal in a concentrated format that leaves the sponsor wanting to read more. Get the reviewers curious and genuinely excited to see more. 

Remember, 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.

  • The introduction paragraph should immediately establish the relevance of your proposal to human health, and establish a need by covering the current knowledge to help the less expert members of the review panel get up to speed from the most important, older knowledge to the edge of the field as it exists today.
  • The statement or assessment of need paragraph needs to explain further the gap in knowledge base/unmet need that will drive your application. Introduce them to what is missing and therefore, holding back the field. Finish with a statement of need and objective evidence for its existence. Be sure to include a section on the geographical area and target study population, and any appropriate statistical information surrounding your topic.
  • The organization description is a very detailed and concise paragraph that explains the ability of the organization as an organization to meet the needs of your project and foster a successful environment. You can provide a brief history of your department’s history, the history of the hospital and how the current resources and goals are supporting your future goals and the goals of this specific application.
  • The objectives paragraph should describe what you seek to accomplish, which must be either to fill the gap or meet that need that you delineated in the introduction. Add a sentence or two about your central hypothesis and link it to the objective, and then how the central hypothesis was formulated—how you focused on this starting point. Close with your rationale to convey why you want to undertake the proposed research.
  • The project design paragraph should present a logical and realistic succession of activities leading to each specific aim and to the eventual closing of the project.
  • Some sponsors may require a preliminary budget to be submitted with the letter of intent. The budget should be as accurate as it can reasonably be within the beginning stages of your proposal. You want to include the greatest level of detail that you can with strong estimates for patient care and major equipment costs.

Good luck and happy writing! If you have any questions about writing your next Letter of Intent be sure to leave a comment or question in the reply section below.