Project Management Institute

Submission Guidelines

2020 Funding Cycle

The 2020 Request for Proposals is currently closed. The 2021 Request for Proposals will open 1 February 2020.

PMI research grants support new academic research with the intent to advance knowledge in project, program and portfolio management. We invite proposals from scholars both within and outside the field of project management, whose themes and perspectives have direct application to some aspect of the project management body of knowledge or its practice.

The preliminary proposal for the 2020 funding cycle should be submitted online, starting 1 February 2019 at All fields must be completed.

General Guidelines

Proposal Body (limit to 3 pages, not including references) should be uploaded as a separate PDF file through the online submission system, to include the following sections. DO NOT INCLUDE ANY INVESTIGATOR NAMES, INSTITUTIONS OR IDENTIFYING CONTENT IN YOUR 3 PAGE PROPOSAL, OR IN THE FILE NAME:

  1. Statement of Research Question
  2. Specific Aims of the Project
  3. Anticipated and specific application(s) to the practice of project management
  4. Brief Literature Summary
  5. Overview of the Research Design and General Methodological Approach
  6. Preliminary Analysis Plan
  7. Expected Deliverables
  8. Schedule of Activities
  9. Timeframe and estimated Completion Date (Timeframe for proposed research should be no more than two years.)

Please note:

  • A detailed project budget is not required at this stage in the review process.
  • The total funding requested may not include indirect costs or overhead. These costs may not be charged to a grant from the PMI Sponsored Research Program.

Proposal Body Formatting Guidelines

  • Include project title as header on each page of proposal.
  • Number pages consecutively in lower right corner.
  • Bold and underline all major sections of proposal (See Proposal Body above).
  • Underline sub-headings, if any.
  • Single-space, with one-inch margins on all sides of page.
  • Use no smaller than Times New Roman 11 pt. typeface.
  • Use the system of grammar, usage and documentation outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA Sixth Edition).
  • Do not exceed three (3) single-spaced pages (three-page limit does not include references).
  • Remove all identifying information from body of proposal and in the list of references.

Review Process

The PMI Sponsored Research Program uses a two-stage review process. In the first stage, applicants submit a three-page preliminary proposal which is subject to double-blind review. Preliminary proposals are reviewed by a Peer Review Committee. DO NOT INCLUDE ANY INVESTIGATOR NAMES, INSTITUTIONS OR IDENTIFYING CONTENT IN YOUR 3 PAGE PROPOSAL, OR IN THE FILE NAME. Proposals focused on theory-building are reviewed by a committee of faculty/academic researchers; translational research proposals are reviewed by a committee consisting of both academics and practitioners.

Those advancing to the second round will be invited to submit a ten-page proposal, and the project team’s qualifications are assessed. Second round proposals are reviewed and scored by the Academic Member Advisory Group with the Manager of Academic Resources, based on the following criteria:

  • Clarity of the research question(s) and its significance to the field of project management; research must address a recognized and justified managerial problem
  • Proper theoretical grounding of the research question
  • Adequacy of literature review
  • The methodological approach and its “fit” to the research question
  • Clarity and importance of the knowledge gaps that the research will fill and how the results will build on existing work
  • “Readiness for application” of the eventual research findings (translational research proposals).
  • Future implications of the research findings for both theory and the originally identified managerial problem (theory building proposals).
  • Experience and qualifications of the project team to execute the research (assessed ONLY in the final, invited proposal round).
  • Adequacy of financial resources

Review and Funding Decisions

Important dates relative to the review and notification process are listed below. Notifications will be sent out on or before the dates noted.

1 February – 25 April
Call for Proposals

19 June
1st Round Notification

31 July
2nd Round Due

15 November
Final Decision

1 January
Project initiation

Grantees receive a Project Implementation Package from PMI Academic Resources with the notification of the award.

Research Agreement

  • The Research Agreement will be mailed to the grants administrator at the university/ institution following notification of the award.
  • Parties to the Agreement are PMI and the university/institution with which the principal investigator is affiliated. No grants are paid to individuals.
  • When the project involves multiple investigators from different universities/institutions, the parties to the Research Agreement will be PMI and the university/institution with which the lead investigator is affiliated. The lead investigator’s university/institution will be responsible for executing sub-contracts with the universities/institutions of co-investigators on the research grant.
  • PMI funding cannot be used by the university/research institute for indirect costs.
  • Research agreements between PMI and the university should be reviewed and signed by 31 December 2019.
  • Grants begin on 01 January of 2020, provided the Research Agreement is executed in accordance with the timeline.



  • Final Report describing methodology, results and practical applications of the project, in a format provided by PMI.
  • Primary article suitable for submission to the Project Management Journal
  • 1-hour Webinar for a practitioner audience
  • Summary of research for reflective practitioners (4-6 page written research summary in a format provided by PMI)


  • PMI Monograph
  • Presentation at a peer-reviewed academic or practitioner conference
  • Article for online publication on


Should you have any questions regarding the submission process, please contact PMI Academic Programs at


1 February – 25 April
Call for Preliminary Proposals

19 June
1st Round Notification

31 July
2nd Round Due

15 November
Final Decision

1 January
Project Initiation