Preparing a proposal is a multi-step process that involves people working in various offices and departments on campus. Contact the Office of Research Services as soon as you decide to apply for a grant and as often as necessary as you prepare your proposal. This allows the Office of Research Services to provide you with the maximum amount of support when you are seeking feedback on proposal drafts, budget items and policy questions.
Once you have located a funding source, read their guidelines carefully. The guidelines will specify what you should include in your proposal, the order in which they should be provided, and the format. Most proposals include the following sections:
- Project Summary/Abstract
- Problem Statement
- Project Description/Narrative
- Evaluation Plan/Assessment Plan
- Budget Justification
PRE-AWARD STEP SUMMARY
Step One: Faculty member contacts Office of Research Services or sponsoring agency directly for information about grant opportunities, guidelines etc.
Step Two: Faculty member develops proposal and budget and must communicate with Dean and/or Department Chair during process. Communicate with the Office of Research Services, especially if budget development is required.
Step Three: GrantsERA system will obtain signature of Dean (and Department Chair if required by Dean) and of directors for all campus services (dorms, meals, Physical Education Center, Wheelwright, etc.). Office of Research Services will provide the name(s) of the necessary campus official(s). The signature of the Dean (and Dept. Chair if appropriate) constitute their awareness of an agreement with:
- the relation of the project to the mission of the School and University, and
- Commitments of time, personnel and other costs to the School (Deans and Department Chairs must be aware that faculty cannot receive summer teaching assignments that conflict with the time(s) which faculty receive summer salaries from grants).
Step Four: Faculty member sends finished proposal to Office of Research Services.
Step Five: ORS reviews proposal for:
- conformity with institution’s polices and sponsor’s guidelines and requirements
- typos, spelling, clarity and numerical accuracy
- budgetary figures
- revisions (if necessary) are made to the proposal.
Step Six: ORS secures necessary University signature(s), makes required number of copies and submits the proposal to the sponsoring agency. University signatures constitute acceptance of terms and conditions of award and agreement to fulfill all financial obligations (matching) conditional upon award of the grant. This requires three working days.
*Upon receipt of an award ORS notifies the Office of Grant Accounting to open the appropriate account(s). Grant Accounting assumes responsibility for all costs accounting and adherence to financial guidelines, provides interim and final financial reports to the sponsor, and at appropriate times bills the sponsor for all allowable costs incurred on the project to date. ORS continues to serve as the point of contact between the University and the sponsor.
Writing a Proposal - a step-by-step guide of definitions and what to include in proposal sections
Grant Proposal Submission Process (flow chart)
- Who and what department is responsible for what?
- Grant Proposal Submission Process
- Proposal Submission FAQ
- Writing a Proposal a step-by-step guide
- Proposal Writing Resources
- Handbook for Principal Invesitgators
- Responsibility Matrix
- Budget Development
- Budget FAQ
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