RFP Proposal Help for NIH and other Research and Healthcare Agencies

RFP Help to Win Contracts

with Federal Research and Healthcare Agencies

including NIH, NSF, FDA, CDC, VA, and Others

Tom Hollon, PhD has helped clients win more than $17 million in grants and contracts

Hi, I’m Tom Hollon. I help companies win RFP contracts and grants from federal science, technology, and health agencies such as NIH, NSF, VA, CDC, VA, and other agencies. I’ve helped clients win more than $17 million in contracts and grants.

Much of my RFP work with clients involves NIH contracts, but I can also help you with RFPs from the FDA, VA, CDC and many other federal science and health agencies.

As a writer, proposal manager, and former NIH researcher, I can help you prepare the most persuasive proposal possible to convince the federal agency to choose you.

Proposal services for federal research and healthcare agencies include:

Proposal Planning for RFPs:

  • analyzing RFP requirements
  • creating a RFP compliance matrix
  • identifying proposal themes and advantages over competitors
  • developing proposal section outlines
  • creating a schedule to gather information and graphics, write proposal sections, review the proposal, and deliver it on time

Proposal Management for RFPs:

  • coordinate with the proposal team daily to keep development on schedule
  • collect required subcontractor and vendor information
  • organize and assemble proposal documents and graphics
  • issue regular updates on proposal development status

Proposal Writing and Editing:

  • assign writing and editing responsibilities
  • writing the executive summary
  • writing nontechnical proposal sections
  • edit proposal sections for accurate biomedical terminology, completeness, readability, and persuasiveness

Proposal Red Team Review:

  • lead team’s review of the proposal for compliance with RFP solicitation requirement

Who can this service help?

  • Companies competing for contracts for the first time and uncertain how to present what they offer and why they deserve to win
  • Companies lacking experienced proposal managers and writers
  • Companies with a record of proposal success who want every possible edge against the competition

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How will I know your service is working?

A. You’ll know very easily, because you’ll be able to compare each section of your proposal to how it was before working with me and how it is after.  And if you don’t feel my help is making your proposal more persuasive, you don’t owe anything (see my Money-back Guarantee below).

Q. Why do you specialize in proposals for RFPs from research and healthcare agencies like NIH, NSF, CDC, and VA? Couldn’t you work on proposals for other federal agencies?

A. While I can work on proposals for many federal agencies, I specialize in proposals to research and healthcare agencies because this is where I can do the most to help clients win contracts.  I was employed by one of these agencies (NIH) for five years and understand how these agencies think about services they contract through RFPs. Thanks to this experience, I will be better at explaining your services to these agencies than proposal developers and writers without my experience.

Q. How long will proposal preparation take?

A. I can’t give you an estimate without knowing more about your situation. To estimate time to complete the proposal we’ll have to weigh several factors, including:

  • How many people on your staff are available to help, and what will their responsibilities be?
  • Has work already begun on the proposal, or has work not yet started?
  • Is the proposal being written from scratch, or is there material from previous proposals that can be revised and reused?
  • The complexity of the RFP’s instructions for preparing your proposal
  • What will my role be? Proposal manager? Writer? Red Team Reviewer? Strategist?
Q. How can you give me an advantage in winning?

A. You’ll have my knowledge of federal research and health agencies and the federal RFP process to guide you, help you save time, and help you avoid mistakes as we join forces to prepare the most persuasive proposal we possibly can. I can help you by managing your proposal, or by writing and editing, or by reviewing your proposal prior to submission as part of your Red Team. We’ll discuss which role will work best for you when we talk.

Q. What are my chances to win?

A. The things I think count the most in winning are:

  1. Do your services match what the federal agency is looking for?
  2. Can you offer something the agency doesn’t have now?
  3. Can you show you’ll be a reliable contractor when the agency has trouble?
  4. Do you have enough time to prepare a proposal?
  5. Are you willing to do the necessary work to prepare a compelling proposal?
  6. Does the contract now belong to a competitor who’s doing a good job?
  7. Are you willing to try again if you don’t win the first time around?

From your answers, you should be able sense your chances of winning. Here are a few comments about these questions. We can discuss them further when we talk.

  • It’s extremely hard to win if your services don’t match what the RFP calls for. Most of the time the federal agency will quickly see your round peg services don’t fit the square hole services they need. You’ll have wasted time and effort on a contract competition you never had a chance to win.
  • There are many ways to think about what you can offer that the agency doesn’t now have. For instance, can you offer more complete service? Faster service? More reliability? A better price?
  • Things go wrong at federal agencies just like everywhere else. Whether the trouble is disgruntled employees, budget crunches, or shutdowns due to bad weather, the agency will want to know you can be counted on when things get dicey. Can you show you’re more than a fair-weather contractor?
  • Never compete for a contract if you know the deadline will arrive too soon for you to prepare a proposal that is less than the very best you have to offer. Competition is too intense for you to win with a slapdash proposal thrown together in a week or two or three. It’s better to let this proposal opportunity pass and wait for one where time is on your side.
  • A winning proposal is going to go through several drafts. Can your team commit to the effort this will take?
  • If the contract now belongs to a competitor who’s doing a good job, your proposal must give NIH very strong justification not to play it safe and renew the contract with the incumbent.
  • You know the baseball saying, “No one bats a thousand.” Winning federal contracts is like that. You’ll have a much better chance to win eventually if you’re willing to persist and learn from mistakes. On the other hand, if you intend to give up if you don’t win on first try, you’re probably better off not responding to RFPs at all.

Invitation to a RFP Proposal Strategy Session

To consider getting help to maximize your chance of winning the contract, let me offer you a free one-hour RFP Proposal Strategy Session to discuss your needs and whether my help is right for you.

At the end of the strategy session, if we both feel we’re a good fit we can discuss the price, my guarantee, and when to begin working together. You can then hire me immediately or think it over for a day or two. Whatever feels right for you.

Money-Back Guarantee

I offer you this guarantee so trying my services places the risk on my shoulders rather than yours:

If you don’t believe the advice you’re receiving is making your proposal more persuasive, simply agree not to use the advice you’ve been given when you submit your proposal and I’ll send your money back in full. 

So, are you interested?

Then contact me at 240-753-0376 or tom@sciencesherpa.com for a free RFP Proposal Strategy Session.

To your success,

Tom Hollon, PhD