A concept paper should include an introduction, the rationale and description of the proposed project, an action plan and required support. The purpose of a concept paper is to put forth an overview of a project proposal.

An example of a concept paper format starts with an introduction that hooks the reader by demonstrating the writer's understanding of the target company. In the next paragraph, the paper includes the purpose of the proposed project, including any statistical data or other background research. Next comes a brief description of the project.

Subsequent paragraphs of the concept paper should include the goals and objectives of the project, the methodology for completing the project and the anticipated benefits of project completion. The final part of the concept paper includes the proposed costs and required support, as well as the proposer's contact information.

The paper's actual format can depend on the company being proposed. For example, the Gerber Foundation has a specified format for concept papers. The paper should start with a cover letter from the senior officer of the applying organization. The paper must name the project and include the length of study, estimated total cost, number and type of subjects to be studied, and the age range of the proposed subjects.

The Gerber Foundation also specifies wanting the hypothesis and impact to be approximately 2,500 characters each. A description of the study design should be about 7,500 characters. Additionally, Gerber doesn't want to receive resumes or papers with scientific references and biosketches.