Proposal Preparation

Proposal Preparation

Grant Proposal Routing and Proposal Preparation Basics

General Tips about Internal Review and Proposal Routing

  • To allow time for assistance with budget preparation and other necessary support, all faculty and staff members should contact the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) about proposals well before the sponsor's published deadline. If you need help with the budget or other aspects of your proposal, we request a two-week lead time before the sponsor's due date. When you contact your SPA about a proposal, it's helpful to provide a URL to the sponsor or the program, so she can review submission requirements and help you with any sponsor-specific requirements with which you might not be familiar. This is especially true of proposals to private funding sources.
  • Applicants to NIH or NSF should review the RFP to familiarize themselves with the full set of submission requirements.
  • Always check the "Institutional Information" page to the right for the current fringe benefit and indirect cost rates (if you use the budget template, rates are current) along with some boilerplate text for proposals. Chances are there is other information you'll need for your application on that page as well.
  • Beginning November 15, 2021, all final proposal documents responding to a grant/contract application (including routing package) must be submitted to OSP 5 business days before the funder’s deadline. This new deadline will provide OSP with the needed time to obtain internal approvals and review applications to ensure that each document meets the funder’s requirements and has all the needed components.
  • Proposals will not be routed without Space, Cost-Sharing, and Time & Effort information.
    If the proposal submission is incomplete or contains inaccuracies, your submission to the sponsor may be delayed.
  • In order to ensure that electronic submissions through,, etc., meet all technical requirements for submission and to give us time to troubleshoot any technical submission errors, your entire proposal submission package must be complete, checked for compliance with all program/RFP requirements, and approved for submission no later than 5 business days prior to the sponsor deadline. OSP may submit approved applications received after the internal deadline with the understanding that the PI/PD takes responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, and compliance of their proposal if the internal deadline is missed.

Basic Instructions

  1. Effective Fall 2021 - No less than five business days (9:00 am ET) prior to the sponsor deadline, submit to OSP the following documents:
  2. Effective 2015, All signatures and internal approvals will be conducted electronically via Adobe Sign,
  3. Work with your SPA to complete all necessary sections of the

    For use when obtaining internal approvals. Note: Please complete utilizing Adobe Acrobat ONLY, not Reader.

    (complete in ADOBE ACROBAT ONLY not Reader).  
      • Proposal draft narrative and abstract.
      • Completed Routing Sheet. Your SPA will load your routing sheet into Adobe Sign, so you, your department chair, and all other approvers can review.
      • If the program you're applying to does not allow indirect cost charges at our normal rates or places other budgetary restrictions, include the relevant sections of the program guidelines.
      • Budget and budget narrative (double-check all salaries for current employees prior to budget submission).
      • See the Forms tab for the New Budget Templates.
      • Letters from collaborators or consultants, if applicable. If a subcontract to another organization is part of your proposal, full authorization must be received from the collaborating institution prior to proposal approval.
  4. Once you have completed steps 1 & 2, OSP will route the proposal for additional authorizations from the Office of Grants and Contracts Accounting, and the Institutional Authorizing Official (President, Provost, Vice-Provost) and others, as applicable. Additional amendments and clarifications may be requested.
  5. Once the submission has been reviewed and appropriate authorization has been obtained, the PI/PD will be notified via phone or e-mail.  OSP will submit electronic proposals on your behalf.  The PI/Project assumes responsibility for mailing/copying the proposal to the sponsor.
Back to skip to quick links