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Submitting Your Proposal

Hard Copy Submissions

There are two very important guidelines to check when mailing your proposal: due dates and number of copies if the submission is to be hard-copy rather than electronic.

  • Due Dates and Delivery:
  • "Target Date" means the proposal should be received by the sponsor within one to two weeks of the stated target date.
  • "Post Date" means the deadline is the day the proposal package is sent to the sponsor. That is, the postmark date on the package must be the deadline date or earlier.
  • Receipt Date means the deadline is the day proposal package is received by the sponsor.
  • For security reasons some sponsors do not allow hand delivery, call and check if you are planning to hand deliver a proposal.
  • Number of Copies:
  • Do send the exact number of copies requested in addition to the original - no more and no less. Always be sure to send the original.
  • Do include a cover letter unless directed otherwise. If you are submitting to a foundation, corporation or non-profit organization, OSP will provide an endorsement cover letter. The PI may add a second, more specific cover letter if desired.
  • Do not copy pages that are to be submitted in the original only, such as the PI information page in an NIH or NSF proposal.
Electronic Submissions

Grants.gov submissions are prepared by the PI.  After OSP has reviewed and approved the proposal it will be submitted by a Grants Administrator through the grants.gov portal.   OSP strongly recommends submitting the proposal as early as possible to avoid the inevitable slowdowns that occur on the due date.

  In most cases, final submission of an electronic proposal can only be done by an authorized official in OSP.  The submission is equivalent to the University's institutional signature on the proposal. In order to be sure we do not miss a deadline, OSP asks that the PI

  • have the proposal complete and ready for submission a day ahead of time if possible or at least several hours ahead of time in order to avoid the last minute system slowdowns and crashes that can occur;
  • remember that our business hours are 8:30 to 5:00, and we do not stay in the office until midnight for proposals with a midnight deadline time
  • stay by a telephone until we confirm successful submission - just in case a problem arises.
Copies to OSP

Typically OSP requires one copy of the final version of the proposal for the file, unless the entire proposal is submitted by and available to OSP within the electronic submission system.

For federal agencies, non-federal agencies, corporations and foundations that do not accept proposal submissions electronically or that do not provide OSP access to proposals after they have been submitted electronically, OSP still requests that the department provide one copy of the full and final proposal. It is important to remember that having copies at OSP will greatly improve the ability of OSP to process the award in a timely manner.

Checking Proposal Status

PIs can check on the status of their proposals. This is especially true, when the PI submitted the proposal electronically. PIs can log onto the agency specific systems, such as FastLane at NSF or eCommons at NIH to check the proposal status. If the sponsor does not have or does not allow access to an on-line system, the PI will have to initiate an inquiry about the status of the proposal directly with the sponsor .