Proposal Notes

The following is a writeup of today's (6/10/2005) meeting on proposal writing. There are hints on getting your project accepted and the general outline of a successful proposal...

Proposal Outline:

  • Contact Info
  • Title - attractive enough to read synopsis
  • Synopsis -
  • Benefits to Community -
  • Deliverables - clear work breakdown structure
    • two-level breakdown of major and minor milestones
    • waterfall it?
    • some kind of whitepaper
    • ok to include thinking time ("investigation") in work schedule
      • investigation
      • programming
      • documentation
      • dissemination
  • Description - SMALL list of project details (i.e. rough architecture, etc)
  • Related Work - short list of other people's work
    • url with one sentence description
  • Bio - personal info that
    • small (half page at most)
    • short background (education, work)
    • skills
    • mention published papers

General Notes:

  • Should be around 1k words
  • ASCII formatted, since copied into web textbox
  • No official limit on number of submitted proposals
  • Include pointer to webpage with existing skeleton of project
  • Risk Aversion: better to have project which is under-scoped and sure to complete than large project which may not get done
  • Integrate/Leverage: good to use existing open-source technologies in project
  • For writing help, email judy (jfisch at
  • "Pencils down" deadline is September 1st
  • Sign up to google groups (already have one if you have gmail account)

Purpose: Want to capture people who would like to do open source this summer that would otherwise go work for corporation over summer.