If not, go to your university library and ask the librarians for help!
UNC libraries have this excellent guide to finding dissertations.
In fact, the opening paragraph(s), structured in hierarchic fashion, can then serve as an outline for the rest of the proposal where you elaborate on the opening points in a highly structured fashion.
Another common tendency is to present the main topic in multiple versions that are just different enough from one another to leave the reader confused (all too frequently, there are even versions that contradict one another); once a topic is clearly and concisely presented at the opening, there is no need to repeatedly tell what the topic is.
It is also important to make all statements concise and compelling.
The use of fewer words is the best path to clarity.
The comedian may well postpone the punchline until last, this is not a good idea in a fellowship proposal.
There is another common tendency for the writer to present a multitude of specific questions in neutral fashion, scattered throughout the proposal, without distinguishing between the main central question and those that are subsidiary.
The reader is likely to be grateful to learn sooner rather than later what the project is all about and is likely to attach greater weight to what comes first.
This means having a strong but succinct opening paragraph(s), in which all the major points of the proposal are presented in a concise nut-shell fashion, with further elaboration postponed for subsequent paragraphs.