Project Proposal Form

A couple of days ago I posted a Project Charter template we used to use in the Digital Scholarship Commons at Emory. A charter is a relatively light weight document we used to facilitate the planning process and to help out when team members couldn’t quite remember what the original plan was.

In DiSC, the project charter would come into being after a project had been approved for development. In order to get that approval, hopeful partners would need to submit Project Proposal. We created and iteratively modified this template in the hopes of getting consistently clear and workable proposals. This is a slightly more detailed document that requires some relatively heavy lifting. At Emory, we actually required strongly encouraged folks to consult with the Office of Scholarly Communications, the Digitization Lab, the Director of Software Development and/or a metadata specialist whenever applicable to their project. I’m sharing it below in case any one is interested. I also want thank my collaborators Brian Croxall, Miriam Posner and Roger Whitson for their work on the template.

I should note that this form will be over-kill for many projects. At DiSC, this form was used for projects that would receive funding and months of committed development work. I encourage everyone to read Jennifer Vinopal and Monica McCormick’s excellent article, Supporting Digital Scholarship in Research Libraries: Scalability and Sustainability, for a model of how to think about tiers of service rather than a one size fits all approach. A project proposal process will be vital for large projects but may scare away and/or annoy people with smaller projects. Striking a balance between empowering experimentation and providing sustainable support is tricky for everyone.

Name of Faculty/Staff/Graduate Student Sponsor:




Project manager:

Team members:


  • Brief project description (300 words)
  • What scholarly questions does this project address?
  • Site map and wireframe (if applicable)
  • Bulleted list of specific outcomes/deliverables/products
  • Intended audience

Costs and Requirements for Development and Maintenance

  • Itemized project budget
  • Specific Timeline
  • Are there any intellectual property or copyright concerns with this project?
  • What specific technologies and expertise will be required to develop and maintain this project?
  • What library resources are needed?

Post Completion

  • How will users find/access the project once it is complete?
  • Will new content need to be added to this project after two years? If so, who will add this content?
  • Will the project remain on Emory’s servers (if applicable), or will it be hosted privately or at another institution?
  • Who will maintain the project (e.g., update software) after two years?

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