Proposals and Your Next Idea

Proposals are among the most critical documents a young engineer will write. Maybe you’re applying for funding at a hatchery for a great idea you have; or maybe you’re embarking on a research project that requires you to secure resources to support your exploration; or perhaps you’ve noticed a better way to do something in your company. Each case will require you to define a gap and explain your idea to fill it in an interesting, memorable, and credible manner.

An idea, however fantastic it may be, can only be impactful if the person who envisioned it is able to get it across to the people who matter in a way that makes them respond; otherwise, the idea remains unrealized potential. A well-constructed proposal is the vehicle that transforms an engineering idea into active initiatives.

Proposals will be as important to your employers and colleagues as they are to you because, at its core, a proposal must persuade someone (a supervisor, an investor, a government, etc.) to act on your idea.  Your reader can take action only if they understand exactly what you have in mind and what is required to carry out your project. Most importantly, you must convince your audience that your idea is worthy of their action.

To help you make your ideas a reality, have a look at our Engineering Communication Handbook’s page on writing successful proposals.