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Proposal Submission

Step 4: Submission to the Sponsor

The PI will be responsible for submitting the proposal to the sponsor. They are responsible for the mailing costs, and for meeting the sponsor deadlines. If, the PI or one of their department's staff are unable to submit the proposal, the Office of Sponsored Programs can submit it for them; however, the PI should provide an index code that mailing costs can be charged to.

If the proposal is funded, the Sponsored Programs Administrator prepares a grant file and gives it to the Sponsored Programs Accountant, who then requests an index and sets up the grant for administration.

Submission to National Science Foundation: FastLane
FastLane is an electronic submissions system used by the National Science Foundation (NSF) . All grant-related communications with NSF (proposals, reports, etc.) must be submitted through their FastLane system. A FastLane demonstration website for new users is available.

Investigators wishing to submit proposals to NSF should first contact the Grants & Research Specialist. That individual is responsible for managing all submissions through the FastLane system, assisting PIs with FastLane, and is designated to submit and electronically sign proposals. In addition, OSP provides passwords for new users or those who have not used FastLane within the past 12 months.

Submission to the National Institutes of Health and other Federal Agencies
For the National Science Foundation, Pacific will continue to use the FastLane system.  However, for many other federal agencies, such as the NIH, submission through Grants.gov is required.

The University is registered with Grants.gov and NIH eRA Commons.  The individual investigators should not register with those systems.

The first step is to advise the Grants & Research Specialist of intent to apply.  The appropriate application form will be filled out with institutional information, and e-mailed to the investigator.  The investigator is responsible for uploading all the required forms, and filling in their information as well as information for any co-investigators, post-docs, collaborators and graduate students.  Note:  for NIH applications, all principal investigators, co-investigators, collaborators are required to have an NIH Commons ID already established. 

Five working days before the grant deadline, the completed application form should be mailed back to the Grants & Research Specialist for review and submission to the appropriate agency.

Receipt by Agency
The principal investigator should ensure that their proposal was actually received. Many agencies will send some type of notification, and most mailing services can track packages. It is not always advisable to call agencies to ask about the status of a proposal. Most guidelines will tell you when to expect notification; if not, it is acceptable to call the agency and ask when notification should be expected. If possible, request copies of reviewer comments. Whether or not the proposal is accepted, these comments can be helpful in future grant writing efforts.