Tips on preparing your pre-proposal and proposal

1. A pre-proposal or proposal should have sections of (1) motivation, (2) background, (3) issues, (4) problem statement, (5) survey, (6) solution approach, (7) evaluation plan, (8) expected contributions, (9) schedule, (10) references. Note that (4) and (5) could be switched if you problem is a new one without existing solutions.

2. The key message in your ¡§pre-proposl¡¨ is whether you have a ¡§well-defined problem statement¡¨ and how existing works, if any, have touched or solved that problem and their drawbacks.

3. A problem statement, which is a sentence itself, is said ¡§well-defined¡¨ if its inputs, outputs, constraints, and objectives can be written down, preferably in parameters.

4. The key message in your ¡§proposal¡¨ should include the above two in your pre-proposal PLUS whether you have a solution approach that appears to be more promising than existing ones, if any.

5. You need to argue whether your problem is a new, old, or revised problem, and, if it is an old or revised problem, why existing solutions are not good enough. The type of your contribution could be an old or new solution to a new or revised problem, or a new solution to an old problem. Often defining a new problem and solving it has higher contribution than proposing yet another new solution to an old problem.

6. For the solution, you could have a rough solution idea in your pre-proposal and a more concrete algorithm/architecture/model in your proposal.