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Pre-Award Services


OSP LogoPre-award services encompass preliminary review and approval of projects with potential for external sponsorship, funding source identification, cost sharing analysis, compliance review, proposal processing and approval.


The OSP:
  • Register and train faculty on the use of funding opportunities databases
  • Assists in identifying funding sources for research, instruction, or public service projects, including federal and non-federal sources;
  • Offers consultation about all aspects of proposal preparation;
  • Coordinates research and sponsored programs activities in the development of interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research projects;
  • Disseminates information on funding sources, federal budgets, funding priorities and agency guidelines - electronically and hard copy;
  • Contacts potential sponsors, as needed, to obtain forms not already on file in OSP or for guidance and clarification regarding the submission of a proposal;
  • Acts as negotiator and liaison between the PI/PD and the funding agency on issues that arise prior to funding;
  • Maintains SPIN database on potential funding resources and programs;
  • Offers grant/contract related workshops, seminars and meetings;
  • Analyze solicitations and identifies key components
  • Coordinates the internal transmittal process for all grants and contracts in securing official institutional authorization; and,
  • Offers follow-up consultation when a proposal is denied funding by helping to secure the comments made by the reviewers and assisting in the re-submission of the proposal.
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Funding Mechanisms

Three mechanisms that the government use to fund projects are:

Grants are used when the sponsor is not seeking immediate benefit for itself, but is simply providing support for work initiated by the researcher as outlined in the proposal. A grant is used whenever the sponsor anticipates NO substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance of activities.

Contracts specify deliverables (tangible items and/or services) within a specified project period. Contracts can be for a specified fixed price or can provide for payment on the basis of reimbursement of expenses or a combination thereof. Contracts are used by the sponsor to secure specific products or services in return for pre-arranged compensation.

Cooperative Agreement is a legal instrument which transfers money, property, or services to a recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose of support where substantial involvement is expected between the agency and the recipient. The cooperative agreement usually involves more detail than a grant, though perhaps less than a contract.

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Types of Proposals

The common types of proposals are:
  • Solicited Proposal- a response to a specific solicitation issued by a sponsor. The solicitation is usually called RFP (Request For Proposal), RFQ (Request For Quotations), or RFA (Request For Application). Such requests are typically specific in their requirements regarding format and technical content, and may stipulate certain award terms and conditions.
  • Unsolicited Proposal - submitted to a sponsor that has not issued a specific solicitation, but is believed by the investigator to have an interest in the subject.
  • Continuation or Non-Competing Proposal - confirms the original proposal and funding requirements of a multi-year project for which the sponsor has already provided funding for an initial period. Continued support is usually contingent on satisfactory work progress and the availability of funds.
  • Renewal or Competing Proposal - is a request for continued support for an existing project that is near termination.
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Proposal Preparation and Processing – Principal Investigator (PI) Responsibilities

A proposal is a request for support of a research, instruction or service project. It usually consists of a cover page, a brief summary, a technical or narrative section, biographical sketches of key personnel, and a detailed budget.

  • Discusses project idea with department chair, dean, colleagues, other experts and/or potential collaborators;
  • Conducts literature search;
  • Consults the OSP for assistance and, if applicable, potential funding sources; • Studies requirements of potential funding sources;
  • Checks the following items to ensure compliance with both sponsor and university requirements:
    1. format and content comply with guidelines;
    2. resources are adequate and available to meet the projects needs (space, cost-sharing commitment);
    3. requirements for the use of animals, human subjects, DNA, biohazards, and/ ordination safety have been met;
    4. supporting documentation from collaborators is included if a subcontract is proposed;
    5. internal routing forms are completed and signed by all appropriate university personnel;
  • Informs OSP that a cover letter or a letter of support is required;
  • Writes the technical proposal and completes all required application forms and certification forms;
  • If applicable, have proposal reviewed by appropriate committees (Institutional Review Board (IRB)
  • Obtains written approval from appropriate personnel for release time and cost share;
  • Delivers proposal and signed Internal Grants forms to the OSP FIVE WORKING DAYS prior to grant application deadline. Frequently Used URLs
    1. NSF Fastlane: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov
    2. NIH Home Page: http://www.nih.gov
    3. NASA Home Page: http://www.nsf.gov
    4. Office of Naval Research: http://www.onr.navy.mil
    5. Grants.gov
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