Assistance in Proposal Preparation

Contact with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), particularly at the proposal drafting stage, will help establish the proper sequence of events and thereby assure meeting the sponsor’s deadline. The OSP can provide the following assistance: locating funding sources in government and private agencies; budget development; information on cost sharing, indirect costs, and employee benefits; formatting; developing a justification; completing sponsor forms; clarifying agency and institutional policies/guidelines; providing boilerplate information on the institution; assisting with the electronic submission process, such as for Fastlane or; and other related matters. Remember that assistance with grant development and submission are the OSP’s primary goals and faculty/staff at all stages of grant development are welcome to contact the OSP for discussion. Early contact with the OSP is strongly encouraged to ensure adequate lead time for proper review and approval of grant submissions.

Approval of Proposals

As described below, proposals are routed and approved within the University using the OSP External Grant Routing Approval Form. The University may elect not to honor obligations undertaken by faculty or staff that have not been properly reviewed and authorized. The approval process is as follows:

  1. Contact the OSP as soon as you begin thinking of submitting an external grant.
  2. The Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD) submits the proposal and Approval Form to the department chair or supervisor for review and signature. Budgetary information and statements concerning the availability and use of personnel, space, and facilities for the contemplated activity must accompany the proposal. The chair’s or supervisor’s approval constitutes an endorsement of all aspects of the proposal. When more than one department is involved, the proposal must be approved by the chair or supervisor of each department.
  3. The proposal, along with the Approval Form, is transmitted to the OSP by the PI/PD a minimum of 7 days before the deadline for review to assure it adheres to University and agency policies; to resolve any financial, administrative, or legal questions such as those related to conflict of interest or intellectual property; and to review commitment of University space, facilities, and services. In addition, the budgetary and other administrative provisions are closely reviewed. If the proposal involves complex administrative or fiscal arrangements, e.g., submissions, interdisciplinary programs, collaborations with multiple external agencies or institutions, additional time should be allotted for review and approval. Please note, if other institutions are participating in the proposal, appropriate institutional approval from those institutions should be provided to or will be requested by the OSP.
  4. The OSP will assist faculty/staff by securing approvals from the appropriate dean(s) or vice president(s) and academic affairs, and will submit the proposal electronically on behalf of the PI/PD.

Download this Guide to the Preparation of Proposals