Your feasibility assessment is complete. You have made necessary adjustments and you are confident your proposed research project is feasible. Now what?

Constructing your timeline is the next step in building your plan for proposal submission. Review the earlier images of completed timelines. As you can tell, constructing the timeline is a very low-tech process! But once completed, it will give you a sense of all elements involved in writing a grant proposal and the time required to successfully complete your submission.

Go to the materials you assembled as part of your Planning to Plan assignment. A standard size of non-sticky flip chart paper is 32 X 26 ½ inches. Orient the paper horizontally and draw 16 two-inch columns. Then draw a horizontal line about 2 inches down from the top. Your blank timeline should look like this. The last column on the right will be your legend, so write Legend at the top of that column. You now have 15 columns devoted to planning your submission.

Obtain submission dates from your proposed funding agency. Some (like the NIH) will have standing submission dates. Other agencies will have their own dates. Decide when you plan to submit. The week that includes that day (or the day itself—your choice) will go in the next to last column on the right side of the timeline.

Divide the time between then (week or day of the submission) and now into units of time. Units can be days, weeks, months, or a combination. Here is an example for NIH Cycle 1 submissions. Write the time units at the top of each column. You are now ready to begin populating your timeline.

In next week’s blog, I’ll explain milestones. You will develop milestones for your plan and place them in the appropriate columns.


  • Complete your blank timeline
  • Determine your submission date and add units of time to your timeline

Next Post: 500 Mile(stones)

Previous Posts:

  1. #*@*! Plan Is Not a Four-Letter Word
  2. Planning to Plan: Gathering Materials
  3. Can You (Really) Do Your Proposed Study?

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