Proposal Guidance

SPA Pre-Award is responsible for reviewing and approving requests for external funding prepared and submitted by the campus community to federal, state, and private sponsors. Each campus unit has an assigned proposal coordinator as the primary SPA point of contact for that unit's proposal reviews. For large-scale, interdisciplinary proposals, the Office of Proposal Development offers comprehensive project management and proposal development services, in addition to managing the Limited Submission Selection Process.

Find Your Proposal Coordinator

Ready for Submission?

  • Regardless of sponsor requirements, all proposals must include at minimum:
    • A completed and signed PIF
    • Statement of Work (SOW)
    • Budget
    • Budget Justification
  • The proposal package must include all sponsor and University-required elements to initiate the review process
  • Submit the entire proposal package to SPA using the Pre-Proposal or Proposal eForm
  • Submit to SPA at least 4 business days prior to the sponsor deadline

Proposal Submission to SPA

What Does SPA Review?

  • Compliance with sponsor guidelines
  • Compliance with university, state, and federal policies
  • Budget accuracy and proper assessment of negotiated rates
  • Cost sharing
  • Thoroughness of the budget justification
  • Required approvals (IRB, IACUC, etc.)

Federal Sponsor Proposal Submission

Sponsor Standard Proposal Submission
NSF FastLane1
NIH ASSIST 2
NASA NSPIRES
Other Federal Agencies grants.gov Workspace


1 Research.gov is available, but proposal font must be all 11pt. Times New Roman and the proposal cannot involve a collaboration.
2 eRA Commons is available for Administrative Supplements as well but is not preferred for most submissions due to the lack of certain budget categories.

Proposal Updates

To revise a previous submitted proposal that has not yet been awarded, please submit a Proposal Update eForm. If the update includes a budget change of 10% or greater, a revised Statement of Work or a Budget Impact Statement is required. The Budget Impact Statement should address how the scope of work has changed due to the budget revision.

A PIF is not necessary for a Proposal Update.

F&A Rate Exceptions

Exceptions to the University's federal or state negotiated rates are granted only for special circumstances. Approved exceptions include:

  • Sponsor has a published rate less than our negotiated rate and is a federal agency, state agency, or non-profit
  • For non-profit foundations or charitable organizations without a published rate, 10% TDC may be used

Exceptions are granted only rarely for other circumstances. In order to request a lower or 0% F&A rate, seek approval from your unit executive officer to submit a waiver request to a college dean, institute director, or campus administrative officer. The waiver request should include:

  • Name of the Principle Investigator, sponsor, and project title
  • Brief description of the project, period of performance, and budget
  • Reason that a reduced rate is necessary
  • Any evidence of a sponsor policy or practice to support the request

If the academic dean, institute director, or campus administrative office approves the request, the request and approval should be submitted to SPA for approval at least 7 business days prior to the proposal deadline. SPA will review the request and send notification of the final determination.

Waiver requests are unlikely to be approved if the sponsor is a for-profit entity.