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Proposal Review and Submission

Overview of Chapter


All proposals must be received, along with the signed Routing Form, in accordance with ORSP’s Proposal Submission Policy. The Routing Form is required before proposals can be submitted.

ORSP’s Pre-Award team will review the entire proposal to ensure compliance with the program guidelines, federal/state regulations, and University policies. ORSP will provide feedback regarding required edits, as well as suggestions to make your proposal more competitive. Keep in mind that ORSP will be in a much better position to provide you with more thorough feedback and analysis of your proposal if you submit your final proposal well. in advance of the deadline. For proposals received after the three-day deadline, ORSP will only review the budget and mandatory proposal requirements necessary for submission. The ORSP Associate Provost for Research is Pacific’s Authorized Institutional Official and approves all proposal submissions through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. In many cases, the Associate Provost for Research ORSP will delegate final electronic signatory on a proposal submission to a Pre-Award staff member.

           Grant Info ButtonGrant and Contract Legal Information commonly asked for in Proposals can be found here 

ORSP Proposal Submission Policy

All proposals through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs are required to be submitted in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Single Institution Submission (Pacific only): When submitting single institution proposals for external funding, a minimum of three (3) business days advance notice are required for review, approval, and submission of completed applications.
  • Multi-Institution Submission (Pacific and one or more domestic collaborators): For proposals that involve one or more collaborating domestic institutions, a minimum of seven (7) business days advance notice are required for review, approval, and submission of completed applications. Observing these lead time requirements will help ensure the proposal can be reviewed and that any required modifications that impact more than one institution might be made in sufficient time to meet deadline dates.
  • International Collaborations (Pacific and one or more international collaborators): For proposals involving international collaborations, a minimum of ten (10) business days advance notice are required for review, approval and submission of completed applications. International proposal collaborations, in particular, can present additional challenges given time zone differences, export controls considerations, exchange rate conversions, and varying institutional processes, procedures, and requirements.

Bear in mind that ORSP’s review of proposals consists of much more than a budgetary review. Many sponsors prescribe very specific content and formatting requirements that in some cases, if not followed, may result in a proposal being returned without review. The above guidelines are in place to prevent that occurrence and, as noted, assist proposal applicants in submitting a compliant, high-quality proposal.

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Electronic Proposal Submissions

While some sponsors still request “paper” copies of a proposal, this has become the exception rather than the rule. Most federal proposals are electronically submitted through the Grants.gov website. The National Science Foundation’s FastLane is one exception.
While “streamlining” and “standardization” of applications across the many federal agencies has proven to be of great benefit, submission through e-systems is not 100% reliable. For this reason, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit proposals at least a few days in advance of the deadline so that any problems can be addressed and the proposal can be resubmitted by ORSP to the sponsoring agency. ORSP can submit corrected applications prior to the project deadline.

Proposal Routing Form

The Pacific Proposal Routing Form is a very important document. It is used to document the PI/PD’s proposed activities, budget, committed cost-sharing, and other important considerations by the University. It is also used by ORSP to record, track, and report on the proposal submission in its reporting, and to identify “special considerations” that may result if the proposal is awarded (e.g., human and/or animal subject use; use of biologically or chemically hazardous materials; export controls).
Routing ButtonTo access the Proposal Routing form Click here. 

Funding Agency Review

After submission, many proposals will undergo a peer review process specific to the funding agency. Typically, applicants will be notified of a funding decision six to nine months from the date of submission. Specific information about the NSF and NIH’s peer review process and scoring guidelines Refer to the funder's guidelines about their review process and planned time frame for announcing awards

Important: Sponsors may request information if a proposal is being considered for funding such as IACUC or IRB approval. The PI/PD should contact ORSP as soon as he or she has received such a request. Many sponsors have tight timeframes for which they can issue an award.

Receiving Reviews, Proposal Scoring, Planning Resubmissions

Unfortunately, there are not enough resources available to fund every worthy proposal submission. The funding environment is competitive. However, most funders or sponsors will release reviews of your application following the peer-review process. For applications that are not funded, it is an opportunity to take advantage of the peer review feedback received and to resubmit your proposal, addressing the points raised during the peer-review process. Rarely do PIs get an award on their first submission—rather, second and third attempts increase their chances at success. ORSP can go over your review with you and offer suggestions for resubmitting and improving your proposal. In some cases, you may choose to contact the Program Officer directly for any advice on how your resubmission might be strengthened and/or made more competitive.
Contact Senior Grant Writer to go over your reviewer comments.

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