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Development of the Proposal

Step 1: Developing the Proposal

It is helpful for PI’s to consult with their department chair and/or dean, as well as the Office of Sponsored Programs regarding institutional issues early in the process of developing a proposal.

Although all proposals to granting agencies should be processed through the Office of Sponsored Programs, individuals are encouraged to hold discussions with prospective sponsors on an informal basis. Possible sources for external funding are listed on the Sources link; however, the  Associate Director of Research and Compliance can assist in finding additional sources for your proposal.

Before approaching corporations or private foundations, be sure to contact the Director for Foundation & Corporate Development, (209-946-2166) so that multiple proposals can be monitored.

Proposal Budget
Most funding agencies provide budget forms or indicate a preferred budget format. The Office of Sponsored Programs can assist in locating required forms. If no format is specified, the Project Budget Planner can be used.

If employee fringe benefits are requested in the budget, contact the Manager, Post-Award Administrator for the current rate.

NIH Modular Budgets
Although the NIH Modular Grants do not require detailed budgets for submission to the sponsor, we do ask PIs to submit one to us when they route the proposal so that, if the project is funded, we can more quickly assist them in monitoring project activity.

Indirect Costs
Indirect Costs are those expenses that are borne by the University, but cannot be attributed directly to a specific project. Some funding agencies call them “Facilities and Administrative” costs (F&A Costs). Indirect costs include the expenses associated with general maintenance, utilities, security and fire protection, library services and resources, and administrative services.

Indirect cost requests should be part of the requested budget for every project. When sponsors will not pay indirect costs, written documentation from the sponsor stating so should accompany the proposal.

For Federal agencies, the University negotiates the indirect cost rate on a scheduled basis. For the current indirect cost rate, please call the Manager, Post-Award Administrator (209-946-7425).

Cost Sharing
Cost sharing in the form of waived indirect costs, partial support of faculty/staff time, and the costs associated with that faculty/staff time are generally appropriate contributions from the University toward total project costs. All commitments of cost sharing require prior approval of the school dean and the University budget officer.

Note the new National Science Foundation Guidelines regarding cost sharing.