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Application Guidelines: What to look for

What are the qualifications of the Principal Investigator or Project Director (PI/PD) and the institution?
  • Do you meet the qualifications to apply for the program as outlined by the sponsor?  Many sponsors have numerous programs that are applicable to project directors at a specific point of their careers.
  • If defined by the sponsor, does The Research Foundation meet the requirements to qualify?
  • If the sponsor specifies only a limited number of proposals will be accepted from a single institution, have you been approved to apply?  (Contact the Office of Research Development & Assessment at 2-9033 for more information about Institutional Nominations)
When is the application due?
  • Does the sponsor state a receipt date, postmark date, target date or electronic submission date?

    Receipt Dates: The last day the sponsor will accept proposals.

    Target Dates: Unless otherwise stated in announcements or solicitations, proposals postmarked after these “cutoff” dates will be reviewed, although they may miss a particular panel meeting or review cycle.  It is recommended that project directors contact their Program Official concerning specific target dates.

    Postmark DatesA postmark is a stamped calendar date set by the sponsor for proposals.  It is important to have your proposal stamped on or before the required postmark date.  To obtain a postmark, project directors need to bring their proposal package(s) to a local United States Post Office.  A postmark is NOT the same as a deadline; the actual postmark is the requirement of the sponsor.

    Electronic Submission Dates:  Proposal must be submitted electronically by the date and time indicated in the proposal announcement.  Attention should be paid to the time zone indicated.

    Other Types of Submission Dates: Most programs that do not have a specific deadline or target date will accept proposals at any time of the year.  If unsure, contact the sponsor for clarification.

Are there sponsor specific application forms and submission requirements?
  • Are there specific agency forms that are required by the sponsor?
  • Is the submission required to be submitted via
  • Are you using the most recent issue of application forms?
  • What is the sponsor policy regarding use of facsimiles--do they require original forms only?
  • How is the proposal assembled for mailing or electronic submission?
  • Does the PI need to be registered to use the sponsor’s electronic proposal submission site?
Are there any special budgetary considerations?
  • What kinds of costs are permitted?  What may be permitted by one sponsor may not necessarily be allowed by another.
  • How do they want the budget prepared? 
  • Are matching funds required?  Did you get approval?
Is there a specific application format?
  • Does the sponsor explain how to present the text of the proposal?
  • What are the specific areas and concerns cited by the sponsor that should be included in the text?
  • Is there a limit in the type size?  Page limits?
  • Are there specific instructions regarding margins, copying and binding?
What kinds of institutional endorsement besides that of The Research Foundation are required?
  • Additional signatures from the PI/PD, chair, dean, or compliance?