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Office of Sponsored Programs

Proposal Preparation & Submission



Grants and Proposal Routing forms along with the required documents should be submitted four (5) business days before the submission deadline. Please view the suggested timeline above for a complete timeline of grant process.


The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

The Office of Sponsored Programs staff assist PIs with proposal preparation and other pre-award work (and/or post-award work). Generally, working directly with the PI to prepare and submit proposal application packages to OSP for their review and submission to sponsors. OSP will also manage accounts, assist with reporting on grant progress, or anything else that comes up after the funding has been awarded and before the grant is closed out.

  • The OSP is responsible for identifying potential funding sources and communicating such information to the faculty/staff and maintaining contacts with potential sponsors.
  • In addition, the OSP is responsible for proposal processing, ensuring prior to submission that proposals conform to all agency requirements, that the proposed financial arrangements are correct and consistent with the regents and University’s requirements, and that special commitments have had prior internal review. OSP is the keystone for grant and sponsored program administration, functioning as the liaison between the funding agency, faculty member and other University offices and departments.
The Principle Investigator (PI)

The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for preparing the application for funding to the external sponsor. The PI prepares both the technical portions of the proposal and the proposal budget. In addition, the PI identifies necessary cost-sharing and/or matching and requests these funds from the appropriate institutional authorities. If the proposed project involves the use of human subjects or laboratory animals, radioactive materials, recombinant DNA/RNA, infectious agents or carcinogens or hazardous materials, the PI must complete the appropriate compliance documents and obtain the approval of the appropriate University committee.


How do I start the Process?

  • To begin the transmittal process, the faculty/staff member (Principal Investigator {PI}/Project Director {PD}) should first complete the University’s Intent to Apply form and obtain the signatures of the department chair, dean, and ancillary signatures as required.
  • The PI then initiates the Grants and Proposals Routing form. The Grants and Proposals form is the official University form for the documentation of concurrence of University officials with plans and commitments contained in proposals for externally funded programs.
  • The Grants and Proposals Routing form is the internal mechanism to inform all parties of the proposal. This form documents all party’s knowledge of and support for the proposal, documents any needed and committed cost sharing for the program, and documents that the PI/PD or any other member of the proposed team does not have a significant financial interest in the proposed project
  • The Office of Sponsored Programs coordinates the review of proposal and contract budgets with the Business Office.

When OSP receives a proposal or contract from the PI, OSP sends the Grants and Proposals Routing form and a copy of the proposal, budget and budget justification to the Business Office for review and approval. At the same time, OSP reviews the narrative and budget, to ensure consistency and completeness in information. If the budget is approved, the Business Office’s reviewer signs the Grants and Proposals Routing form and returns it to OSP; however, if the Business Office detects a problem with the budget the Grants and Proposals Routing form is returned to OSP with the nature of the problem indicated. An OSP staff member contacts the PI/PD and works with him/her and the Business Office to resolve the problem. The Grants and Proposals Routing form and corrected budget are then returned to the Business Office for approval of the budget and signing of the Grants and Proposals Routing form, which is then returned to OSP.

  • The PI/PD should then forward the rough draft or complete proposal and budget, along with the Grants and Proposal Routing form, necessary certifications, and any Significant Financial Interest Disclosure forms, if appropriate, to the Office of Sponsored Programs for internal review and approval. The PI/PD should allow at least five working days for this internal review.

In the meantime, The Office of Sponsored Projects will help you obtain access to the electronic systems required for proposal submission and award management. To request system access, email the Director of Sponsored Programs. The Federal Government and individual sponsors have proprietary systems through which your proposal will be submitted and your award managed. The University maintains accounts in several sponsor systems, and OSP is the authorized organizational representative (AOR) for the University. Some of the more commonly used sponsor systems are:

National Science Foundation (NSF) (Fastlane &

National Institute of Heath (NIH) (eRA Commons)


  • All proposals for external grants and contracts must have the appropriate signatures as indicated on the form at least two weeks prior to the deadline for submission to the funding agency. The President will sign only after all other appropriate signatures are obtained.
  • After the President has reviewed and approved the application/proposal, The Office of Sponsored Programs can now submit the grant application to the funder.

Submitting a Revised Budget

During the course of project negotiations, it often becomes necessary to reduce or adjust the budget initially proposed. If this is the case, the Principal Investigator should send the revised budget and any other pertinent information (a revised budget explanation or revised statement of work or project duration may be appropriate) to the OSP for processing prior to sending the revision to the sponsor. A new “Proposal Review Form” is not required in this case as the OSP will update the figures on the one originally authorized.

Award documents take many forms depending upon the type of sponsor and project. The OSP is responsible for award document processing. These documents require review and signature by the official institutional representative authorized to sign on behalf of the institution.

The official applicant for all Sponsored Programs is the University, with the Executive Office of the President (and only the President) designated as the official signatory.

Upon receipt of fully executed award documents or other proof of award, a New Account Request Form is completed by the PI and submits it to OSP. The OSP forwards information to the Business Office for assignment of account number and setup of the account. Once the Principal Investigator receives notification of the project account number from the Business Office, funds may be encumbered or expended against the project.

Notices of Award (NOAs) for sponsored projects are processed through the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) when a project has been awarded. The Business Office will set up the budget account details in CX. Generally, there is a three to five day turnaround for having an award set up in CX once the NOA has been processed by OSP.

Note: NOAs also may accompany extensions, additional funds, changes of unit codes, de-obligation of funds due to scope reduction, or another significant change in the award’s terms.

The Office of Sponsored Projects plays a dual role in the post-award phase of sponsored project activity. The OSP serves as a central point of contact for sponsor grant or contract officers regarding administrative matters throughout the duration of the project. The OSP also serves as facilitator and advocate for Principal Investigators in all matters pertaining to the non-technical management of their grants and contracts. In addition, the OSP coordinates compliance with each sponsor’s requirements for interim and final research reports. Principal Investigators are responsible for submission of all required reports in a timely fashion.

If you want to revise your budget and the sponsor guidelines do not allow for it, you will need to request by submitting a Budget Amendment form. The request must be processed through OSP. If you have questions about what is allowed, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs Post Award Specialist.

Facilities & Administrative (F&A) or Indirect Costs (IDC)
Project budgets should include all costs required to accomplish the objectives in the proposal or agreement. These costs are categorized as either direct or indirect costs:


  • Direct Costs (e.g. salary, fringe benefits, and materials and supplies) can be identified specifically with a particular final cost objective or can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy. Costs incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances must be treated consistently as either direct or indirect (F&A) costs.
  • Indirect (Facilities and Administrative – F&A) Costs means those costs incurred for a common or joint purpose benefitting more than one cost objective, and not readily assignable to the cost objectives specifically benefitted. These costs include building depreciation, equipment and capital improvement, utilities, custodial services, general administration, research administration, the libraries, accounting, and purchasing. The University’s F&A rates are determined by an agreement with the federal government in accordance with the federal Uniform Guidance. In May 2020, the University negotiated its current Cost Rate Agreement of 36%.