Sponsored Projects Procedures

Submit a Proposal Overview

Research, Sponsored Projects   |   Approved October 19, 2017


High-level description of the sponsored project proposal process, from concept to submission.


Principal Investigators and department administrators preparing sponsored project proposals for grants and contracts (agreements), except those funded by for-profit companies. For information about corporate-sponsored proposals, contact the Center for Clinical Trials and Corporate Contracts (CCT)

For more information and detail about proposal development and submission, go to the Sponsored Programs Administration’s (SPA) websites on Developing Proposals and Budgets and Expenses. Contact your SPA Team with questions regarding specific proposals.


  1. Principal Investigator (PI) finds funding opportunity.
  2. Principal Investigator identifies project team (co-investigators, subrecipients, consultants).
    1. Federal research agencies have policies and procedures to allow more than one co-equal Principal Investigator (PI) on research projects that require a "team science" approach. For information about proposals with multiple principal investigators, review SPA’s website on Multi-PI Proposals.
  3. Read the sponsor instructions for proposal preparation, including format and required information, page limitations, review criteria, and evaluation priorities.
  4. Review eligibility requirements for the PI in the sponsor’s funding opportunity. Review eligibility requirements for the PI in the university's Policy on Eligibility to Apply for External Grants/Funds.
  5. Prepare pre-proposal if required by sponsor. (See Letters of Intent and Preliminary Proposals procedure).
  6. Prepare proposal
    1. PI and collaborators write programmatic and technical information.
    2. PI works with administrator to develop proposal budget.
      1. Review sponsor instructions for budget requirements and restrictions.
      2. Apply the correct Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Cost Recovery Rate. If a reduction in the F&A rate is desired, prepare a waiver request. (See Request an F&A Rate Waiver procedure)
    3. If the proposal involves subrecipients, PI and administrator obtain budget, Subrecipient Commitment Form, and other information (such as biosketches for subrecipient personnel).
    4. PI and administrator gather other required proposal documents such as letters of commitment from consultants, letters of support, and biosketches).
  7. Complete proposal entry in Kuali Research and submit for approval.
    1. Information about Kuali Research proposal entry and approval is available on the Kuali Research User Resources site and Training site.
    2. Submit for approval well before the sponsor’s submission deadline. All proposals should be submitted to SPA at least 5 business days prior to the sponsor deadline for review and validation. See Proposals section of SPA Business Practices.
  8. After submission and approval by the PIs, the proposal is approved by the department, the dean’s office, and SPA.
  9. SPA reviews proposals for compliance with proposal, budget, and electronic submission requirements.
  10. SPA provides certifications and authorized institutional signatures.
  11. SPA submits or approves electronic proposal submission to sponsors, via Grants.gov, NSF Fastlane, eCommons, or other sponsor systems.
  12. PI or department administrator submits paper copy proposals to sponsors after approval by SPA.
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