General Proposal Guidelines

Policy 2 – General proposal guidelines

Initiation of proposals

Contracts or grants are normally awarded only after submission of a proposal to a funding source. The proposal describes a task to be performed or a project to be undertaken by the University or an agent of the University. It includes a budget statement clearly defining the total costs of the proposed project and the amount of funds requested from the funding source or agency. Proposals are prepared by the person who directs or is responsible for the proposed project within the University. This person is referred to as the principal investigator. Before beginning the proposal writing process, a principal investigator should contact the Office of Research Administration to obtain guidelines for proposal preparation. A potential principal investigator should check with the appropriate Department Head, Dean or Director to determine the appropriateness of the project or program to be proposed before the proposal writing process begins.

Office of research administration

The Office of Research Administration is charged with administering proposal submission procedures. All proposals are to be processed through the Office of Research Administration. The Office of Research Administration reviews each proposal to see that the proposed activity is consistent with the goals of the University. In addition, the proposal is also reviewed for compliance with guidelines established by the funding source to which the proposal is to be submitted and with the appropriate University and State guidelines.

Preliminary discussions with funding sources

Preliminary discussions of program objectives or project scope with a potential funding source are encouraged. Pre-proposals need not be processed formally through the University. Unauthorized commitments must not be made by pre-proposals or informal communication of any kind. Valid commitments of grant or contract supported projects or programs can be made only through the established proposal submission process.

Grants and contracts accounting

Grants and Contracts Accounting is available, if needed, for the fiscal review of proposed projects and programs being treated as a grant or contract. You are encouraged to seek guidance early in the budget proposal development process. Your needs can be as varied as discussing methodology on how to develop a budget, reviewing the draft budget and budget narrative, to the final review of your budget and budget narrative. Last minute requests for budget proposal review may not be possible. Thus, please plan ahead and allow us the opportunity to help meet your specific budget proposal needs.