Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Proposer's Workshop

proposal teamPDSO LogoA practical guide to best practices for developing compelling pitches and white papers that transform technical ideas into funded projects
Michelle Rubin, Ellen Raber, and Chris Hartmann, LLNL Program Development Support Office

November 2, 30, and December 12
HPCIC Yosemite Room
Brownbag Session from noon – 1:30 pm

For more information on this course, please contact Randy Roberts.



The Pitch View slides
November 2

In this exercise- and example-rich workshop you will learn techniques for creating and delivering successful funding pitches. You will learn how a sponsor uses fast and slow decision making during a pitch, and use this knowledge to create verbal, visual, and rhetorical cues that persuade a sponsor to fund your idea.

  • Anticipating and responding to your sponsor’s needs
    • Science of attention/retention
    • Decision making with fast logic vs. slow logic
    • Sponsor analysis—What do they want?
    • Effective responses to difficult questions
  • Capitalize on different types of communication methods
    • Verbal vs. visual communication
    • Types of visual examples
    • Effective visual information
  • Tips for persuasive communication
    • KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)
    • Respect and maximize sensory experience
    • Body language matters
    • Delivery

The Whitepaper View slides
November 30

In this informal workshop we discuss best practices for developing compelling white papers. We will cover a variety of strategic and practical topics related to designing and building white papers that capture your sponsor’s attention, peak their interest, and win their support.

  • Introduction to white papers
    • What is a white paper?
    • What types of white papers are there and what role do they play in the funding process?
    • Where do white papers go wrong?
    • What can we do to make a white paper compelling to a sponsor?
  • Designing your white paper strategy
    • How to learn about your sponsor’s needs
    • How to hone your approach into something compelling for sponsors
    • How to assess your competition
    • How to communicate your approach’s return on investment
  • Translating your strategy into a white paper
    • Building out your white paper’s structure
    • Identifying the best components (visual and textual) to include in the white paper
    • Acing your communication
    • Getting feedback
  • Tips for polishing a winning white paper

One-on-Ones with NA-22 Sponsor Experts
December 12, 2016

Building upon the concepts discussed during our November 30th Whitepaper session, this round-robin style class will provide PIs with the opportunity to receive individualized feedback about their current project ideas. Each attendee will have the opportunity to briefly discuss their ideas with NA-22 POCs and other sponsor-experts familiar with the non-proliferation community. Additionally, the Program Development Support Office team will be onsite to provide guidance to PIs who are in the process of developing their NA-22 white papers.

Registration is required and a light lunch will be provided.

We ask that all attendees bring their filled out idea forms to facilitate productive conversations.