Letters of Intent

Letters of intent to apply and preliminary proposals or “pre-proposals” are in a gray area with regard to routing. Neither the letter of intent nor the pre-proposal, as such, will result in funding. However, an institutional endorsement is often required. Should these documents be routed?

Letters of intent

A letter of intent is a non-binding document that simply helps the sponsor determine how many applications can be expected as a result of the solicitation or announcement and, in some cases, how many reviewers and the specific expertise that is likely to be needed for peer review. Letters of intent do not need to be routed.

Preliminary proposals (Pre-proposals)

Pre-proposals may serve a similar purpose of sponsor resource allocation but often are used to determine the "top tier" of proposals. In this case, after review of the preliminary proposals, a select number of these applicants are invited to submit full applications. Some companies request a preliminary proposal for their consideration for support of a research project.

Pre-proposals that include a preliminary or estimated budget should be routed. The preliminary or estimated budget should include Facilities and Administrative Costs (indirect costs) at the appropriate rate. If turnaround time for submission of the pre-proposal is short, Office of Research and Development staff will work with you to meet the deadline.

If a full proposal is submitted as a follow-up to the preliminary proposal, the full proposal must be routed as a "New" submission even if the preliminary proposal was routed. For system-to-system Grants.gov submissions, follow agency instructions for referencing or attaching the pre-proposal.