Preparing Proposals

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research promotes inquiry, learning, and the beneficial uses of knowledge in all fields. OVPR and the associated Offices of Research Administration and Office of Technology Licensing help investigators develop research ideas, identify funding sources, prepare convincing proposals, and organize the budgetary and administrative components of an application. Contact for assistance.

The Office of Research Administration (ORA) is the only institutional unit authorized to submit proposals (including those generated by the Office of Corporation and Foundation Relations) to external entities for financial support in the form of a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement and to commit the University in the event an award is made.

To ensure time for a thorough review, the Division of Science preaward group, the department, center, institute, or school grant administrator must submit to ORA a draft of the project summary and/or abstract (close enough to final form to allow for a comprehensive compliance review of the proposal), and a draft of the “business proposal,” consisting of all the administrative and financial components of the proposal, at least five business days before the proposal is to be submitted to the sponsor. And then three business days prior to sponsor deadline, a complete, final version of the entire proposal, as well as a PAF with all required signatures must be submitted to ORA for final review. Read the Proposal Deadline Policy for more details.

The department, center or institute is responsible for the preparation of research proposals under the direction of the department chair (or Center or Institute Director) and principal investigator who will oversee the planned project. Department and/or grant administrators should work closely with the principal investigator to prepare the proposal for submission to ORA and to obtain all of the necessary documents required for subsequent proposal review.

The Department Chair or Center and Institute Director is responsible for the review and endorsement of a proposal on a department, center, or institute level and is required to sign the project approval form.

Cost Sharing on Sponsored Projects requires approval by the Vice Provost for Research (see attachment E of the Project Approval Form).

ORA ensures adherence to all external and internal policies and procedures.

New NSF Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

We are pleased to announce that a revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1) has been issued.

The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted or due on or after Oct. 4, 2021. Significant changes include:

  • A new section covering requests for reasonable and accessibility accommodations regarding the proposal process or requests for accessibility accommodations to access NSF’s electronic systems, websites and other digital content;

  • A table entitled, NSF Pre-award and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support. This table identifies where pre- and post-award current and pending support disclosure information must be provided. Proposers and awardees may begin using this table immediately;

  • Increasing the page limit for the biographical sketch from two to three pages;

  • Updates to the current and pending support section of NSF proposals to require that information on objectives and overlap with other projects is provided to help NSF and reviewers assess overlap/duplication;

  • Adding planning proposals and Career-Life Balance supplemental funding requests as new proposal types;

  • Updates to travel proposals will require that AORs certify that prior to the proposer’s participation in the meeting for which NSF travel support is being requested, the proposer will assure that the meeting organizer has a written policy or code-of-conduct addressing harassment.

You are encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of changes provided in the Introduction section of the PAPPG.

NSF plans to conduct a webinar covering these changes. Visit the NSF policy outreach website to sign up for notifications about this and other outreach events.

While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective Oct. 4, 2021, in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 20-1) continue to apply.