Getting Started

You’ve identified a perfect funding opportunity, have notified your unit leadership of your intent to apply, and are ready to begin preparing your proposal. Before you can focus on the writing, be sure to follow the following procedural steps to ensure a compliant proposal and successful submission. The Office of Research Development is happy to help walk you through any of these steps and guide you to the correct resources.

The PI or his/her designee should complete the following steps:

Establish submission deadlines

Per OP 70.01, The Office of Sponsored Projects requires all proposals to be complete and identified as final in the OSP Portal along with accompanying dept/college approvals on the Internal Approval Sheet at least three business days ahead of the sponsor deadline in order to be submitted for funding consideration. OSP will not accept late submissions, so remember to set internal deadlines as needed.

OSP Service Request Portal Ticket

Initiate a “Proposal Submission Request” via

If you do not have an account for the OSP portal, go to and click on “sign up to submit and track your service requests” at the bottom left of the screen. You will be required to enter your email address (must be your and full name. Now, you can create a ticket! If you need assistance, see the user guide or reach out to OSP.

Agency Submission Platform Registration (if applicable)

PI(s) and Key Project Personnel must be registered with the appropriate agency and most sponsors require advance registration to their submission platforms. For example, submissions to the National Science Foundation require an NSF ID. Submissions to the National Endowment for the Arts require an account with NEA-GO.  Some sponsors require a proposal to be submitted by email and do not require a special account, however, OSP must still approve such submissions. If you need assistance, please contact OSP.

Create the proposal package in submission platform

Your identified Request for Proposal (RFP) will describe how the proposal is to be submitted, usually an agency-specific platform or by direct email to the Program Official. The PI or designee should initiate an application package at the appropriate platform for submitting the proposal. Most non-NSF federal projects will be submitted via Cayuse. If you need assistance with this process, please submit a development support request.

Responsible Conduct of Research / Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure Requirements

All key project personnel should be up to date with training in RCR and FCOI as required by the funding agency to which the proposal is submitted. See info at the Office of Research Compliance to check status and enroll/complete training:  If your project includes human or animal subjects, you must complete the appropriate training and obtain authorization from ORC.

Initiate Internal Approval Sheet (IAS)

Your proposal's IAS must be completed and signed by all investigators, appropriate dept. heads, and deans of all investigators. Cost share, if applicable, should be noted and approved as instructed on the IAS. OSP will not submit a proposal without a completed IAS.

Coordinate with Collaborators

If your proposal will include external partners (public or private) begin thinking about their role and understand the types of mechanisms needed to work with them on the project, such as subaward agreements, non-financial agreements, contracts or consultant agreements, and vendors.

Potential subawardee organizations which are not a member of the Federal Demonstration Partnership Clearinghouse, will be required to complete the Subrecipient Commitment Form and provide related documents. (OSP subawards) You may check to see if your partner institution is a part of the FDP Clearinghouse here.

For all types of collaborators, the PI should work with collaborators to collect collaborators’ agency credentials if needed, collect required proposal components (narrative contributions, budgets and justification, biographical documents, etc.,) and procure required letters.

Prepare Proposal Components

Following the instructions in the solicitation, and with careful attention to the stated review criteria, prepare the proposal's narrative and supplemental pieces. A description of standard proposal components may be found here.