Preparing and Submitting Proposals

First Steps

  • Read the funding opportunity announcement or RFP thoroughly
  • Contact potential project partners, e.g. faculty colleagues, students, other researchers
  • Contact Sponsored Programs Office to alert them that you are preparing a proposal or have interest in a funding opportunity
  • Establish a relationship with the Program Officer, pitch your project idea, ask technical questions
  • Notify your Dean of your intent to apply for a funded project. This is especially critical if you will require release time, matching funds, special equipment or space needs
  • Assess any special procedures or issues; for example, human subjects, animal subjects, hazardous materials, space or special equipment requirements
  • Register for electronic submission (FastLane,, etc); the Sponsored Programs Office can help you with this
  • Prepare a proposal preparation timeline to ensure that you will meet the deadline; allow 2-3x more time than you think you will need; allow time for your colleagues to review and comment on your proposal draft

Proposal Preparation

  • Prepare a first, rough draft of your ideas and project approach
  • Review your draft with others involved in your project
  • Make a list of supplementary information needed; for example, available resources (faculty expertise, equipment, lab resources, etc); letters of support; supporting letter from university administration; your vitae and vita from all participating faculty
  • Begin collecting supplementary information
  • Complete a first draft of your budget
  • Review budget draft with Budget and Grants Office (Sara Hare)
  • Prepare final draft of your proposal


  • Circulate final draft of for comment and critique to proposal partners (Director of Sponsored Programs can review your draft and identify other faculty colleagues who can provide critiques)
  • Finalize proposal incorporating comments and critiques
  • Finalize proposal budget
  • Complete Internal Review & Approval Routing Sheet
  • Circulate finished proposal and budget with Routing Sheet to: 1) Dean and 2) Sponsored Programs Office
  • Coordinate proposal submission with Sponsored Programs Office

NOTE: All proposals must be submitted by the Sponsored Programs Office

Last Updated: 3/15/12