Proposal Preparation in LaTeX


Write the proposal

Use the latex template proposal_template.tex as a starting point. Write text to fill the sections. Note that this template uses the Times font, which converts nicely to pdf, but NSF guidelines now specify fonts, and this format will need to be updated.

Complete bibliography information in the draft.bib file. (Emacs has a macro that will help you fill in bibliography information. Make sure the file that you are editing ends .bib, and emacs will set up the templates, specified in drop down menus. The emacs command sequence ^C^C will clean up an entry once it has been filled in, ^X^S will save, and ^X^C will quit. Web of Science now allows you to save bibliographic information in bibtex format, and only minimal typing/editing should be required.)

You'll need two special style files: proposalnsf.cls is a proposal class file for latex originally developed by Stefan Llewellyn Smith (updated 1 June 2008. An older version is also still available: proposal.cls). jponew.bst is a bibliography style file based on AMS bibliography style. It was hacked from the AGU bibliography style file. Download them and insert them in your working directory.

Figures can be included using epsfig or psfig. Alternatively, they can be inserted as pdf, png, or jpg, and the proposal can be processed using pdflatex (rather than latex).

Here's a pdf version of the template file: proposal_template.pdf.

LaTeX the proposal and generate pdf

latex filename
bibtex filename
latex filename
latex filename

dvips -f -tletter -Ppdf -G0 filename >!
ps2pdf filename.pdf

Alternatively, the pdflatex command can be used in place of latex, in which case dvips and ps2pdf are not needed.

Note that ps2pdf uses ghostscript, and in the past NSF would reject the results if you did not use a sufficiently current version of ghostscript. (Version 7.03-1 works.) In dvips, you should use "-Ppdf" in order to fix the fonts; NSF is now fairly adaptable in what they can accept, but originally, they had a pdf checker that complained if you missed this flag.

NSF requests that each segment of the proposal be submitted as a separate document. To subdivide the latex file use the dvips flags -nnumber_of_pages -p=starting_page_counting_from_beginning_of_document.

Sarah Gille, 2002-2013