Proposal Preparation Guide

The Proposal Preparation Guide contains important information intended to assist faculty and staff in the preparation of sponsored-project applications. 

Developing a new proposal begins when you decide to apply to a specific funding opportunity. For competitive proposals, the process can take from one to twelve months, depending on the number of collaborators involved and the complexity of the project as well as sponsor requirements. However, we recommend starting the process at least 6-8 weeks prior to the sponsor's due date when possible.

Overview of steps required in proposal development process

Read the funding opportunity guidelines

Get organized

Understand your team's roles and responsibilities

Develop the project budget

Document collaborations

  • Sub-recipients, Subawards, Subcontracts
  • Consultants
  • Vendors, Contractors
  • Collaborators 
  • Co-Investigators

Prepare required documents and forms

  • All proposals must include a budget, budget justification and scope of work (or project description)
  • Other frequently required documents include:
    • Biographical Sketch
    • Current and Pending Support
    • Collaborators and Other Affiliations
    • Data Management Plan
    • Facilities and Other Resources
    • Equipment
  • The Technical Proposal documents or "Science" typically include:
    • Scope of Work or Project Description
    • References or Bibliography
    • Summary

Obtain special approvals

Route for internal approvals in Kuali

OPAS Review Process Begins Five Business Days Prior to Sponsor Due Date

  • Preliminary check for completeness in accordance with Five Day Submission Procedure
  • OPAS Reviewer reviews proposal for compliance with University and Sponsor Guidelines, provides feedback, and requests corrections
  • PI and/or aggregator may make corrections as needed, based on the OPAS review
  • Final proposal description should be uploaded at least two business days prior to the sponsor deadline
  • Common oversights

OPAS Submits Proposal

  • The Board of Trustees has delegated authority for submitting proposals for funding opportunities to the Office of Pre-Award Services.

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