The slides below were designed to familiarize graduate students with the process of submitting an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant proposal. Due to the complex nature of the submission procedures, it is important to begin the process well in advance of the submission deadline (at least a month, and ideally two).
Receiving an NSF DDRIG requires that you have a good research idea that is feasibly executed in the allowable time frame. You already need to have done considerable preliminary research and you need very clear and precise ideas about your project. Your project must be theoretically interesting, methodologically sound, and relatively low risk to be fundable.
Example of a successful DDRIG: Brian Min's 2009 proposal