Proposal Development Workflow

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

  • Tips for understanding solicitations and guidelines
  • 4C Question List
  • Questions?

Get organized

Understand your team's roles and responsibilities

  • For those New to Campus
  • For Researchers, Principal Investigators (PIs), and Project Directors
  • For Graduate Student and Post-Doctoral Researchers
  • For Administrators and Kuali Aggregators

Develop the project budget

  • Review budget categories for direct costs
  • Refer to sponsor guidance for budget limitations
  • Use Kuali to build the budget
  • Include indirect costs
  • Include cost sharing only if required by the sponsor
  • Provide back up documentation to show how costs were determined
  • Prepare a budget justification (view samples and templates)

Document collaborations

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

Prepare required documents and forms

  • All proposals must include a budget, budget justification and scope of work
  • 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

  • Can be completed by Principal Investigator or Aggregator
  • Approve proposal in Kuali
  • Instructions for Ad Hoc Routing and other special routing situations
  • Routing approvals at PI level, Department or Unit level, and College or Major Unit level are required to start OPAS review process 
  • When a proposal is due in the middle of a specific date, OPAS treats it as though it is due the day before. This is to ensure the early cutoff time does not jeopardize submission. Please take this into account when calculating the five-day internal deadline.

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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