Proposal Preparation

This section was created to give new researchers, project coordinators or research administration staff the nuts and bolts of proposal submissions process.     

Proposal preparation within the College of Health Solutions is a collaborative effort between the principal investigator or project director, the Research Advancement Pre-Award team and the Office for Research and Sponsored Projects Administration (ORSPA). Each party must be responsible for timely completion of tasks for a successful submission. The process for proposal submissions is explained on this page. In addition, proposal kits are provided with resources for each sponsor. Our aim is to decrease the administrative burden by making these resources accessible. We will update and add new resources as they become available.

If you are ready to move forward with a proposal, complete the intake form

This will alert the research team of your intent to submit. We will consider it in our workload. A member of the team will reach out to help you get started. 

Proposal preparation basics

  • A proposal is a detailed request for funding prepared in accordance with the sponsor’s instructions.
  • A proposal must comply with university policies and sponsor requirements.
  • A proposal, upon submission, becomes an official record of what ASU promised to a sponsor.
  • The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for preparing the proposal but normally does so in conjunction with an assigned research administrator.
  • Review the sponsor guidelines carefully. Most sponsors require preferred formats and specific forms. In addition, each solicitation details the requirements for that particular submission.
  • Cover or Title Page
  • Abstract or Project Summary
  • Statement of Work
  • Budget
  • Budget Justification
  • Curriculum Vitae or Biographical Sketches
  • References
  • Additional Information (varies by sponsor)
    • Current and pending support
    • Letters of support from non-institute investigators
    • Subaward documentation
    • Description of facilities
    • Table of Contents
    • Certifications and representations required by federal sponsors
    • Description of available equipment

Pre-award process

  • PI: Intention to apply - completes Intake Form (i.e. proposal details including preliminary budget, resources and time-line).
  • RA: Receives notification from PI of intent to apply once the proposal intake form is completed.
  • RA: Reviews the Funding Opportunity Announcement helps determine:
    • PI eligibility
    • Institutional eligibility
    • Limits on number/types of proposals
    • Requirements for applying to the FOA
  • RA: Reviews the FOA (and referenced materials within FOA) to note requirements for proposal preparation and content (See Prepare Proposal Checklist). Specific FOA requirements complement the general sponsor proposal guidelines. Where there are conflicts, the FOA takes precedence.
  • RA: Determines proposal type
  • RA: Prepares proposal checklist
    • Organizes sponsor requirements for applying
    • Identifies the party responsible for parts of the proposal
    • Outlines internal ASU steps necessary for the review and submission of proposals by the ASU institutional official
    • Refer to the checklist documents in the proposal toolkits section below for more information.
  • RA: Creates the funding proposal (FP) where required, to ensure that the proposal is in ASU’s records in the event of questions from the sponsor allow for internal and external reporting
  • RA: Will complete FP data entry using responses provided by PI on the proposal intake form or by e-mail
  • RA: Will build ERA budget that meets the sponsor's guidelines and build a budget justification according to the FOA
  • PI: Submits the final Project Abstract/SOW, approves the budget and budget justification for routing
  • RA: Routes the funding proposal (FP) to provide an opportunity for all ASU reviewers to ensure the proposal is appropriate to the unit and institutional goals to confirm that personnel and facilities are available to carry out the project
  • PI: Continues to develop other proposal elements (i.e. project narrative, research strategy, etc.) as proposal is routing
  • PI: At least seven (7) business days prior to sponsor due date, the PI must submit all final proposal documents to the assigned research administrator.
  • PI: Continues to write the various sections of the proposal (i.e. narrative, abstract, research strategy, etc.)
    • The Research Academy supports investigators by providing information on:
      • How to determine what sections need to be written for the proposal
      • What needs to be addressed in each of those sections
      • What steps should be taken to strengthen the proposal before submission
  • RA: Will continue to Create and Route Funding Proposal
  • RA: Will provide investigators a link to How to Get Research Funding
  • RA: Will ensure all administration data is entered and accurate in ERA and in the proposal package
  • RA: Will complete other checklist documents assigned to the RA
  • PI: Will submit final documents to RA
  • RA: Will obtain final documents prepared by PI and/or other responsible parties including:
    • Technical Narrative
    • References
    • Letters of Commitment from collaborators, consultants, and subrecipients
    • Other documents are listed on the FOA and on the checklist developed
  • RA: Will attach and sequence documents required:
    • For Non S2S and Other proposals, follow the FOA instructions for the sequence of the proposal documents
    • For S2S, use the “bundling” function to order documents in the correct sequence
  • RA: Will run validations in ERA for S2S proposals. For Non S2S proposals RA will make use of sponsor validations where available
  • RA: Will check proposal against sponsor guidelines, FOA, and where available, ERA/Sponsor validations.
  • RA: Will send a copy of fully completed proposal to PI for review
    • Optimally copy is sent to the PI 3-5 business days prior to the submission
    • Where time does not permit, send to PI as early as possible
    • When sending the completed proposal for PI approval on the sponsor deadline day, establish a time that the proposal will move forward for submission in the event no word is received from the PI. Established time to be set by the RA to avoid missed deadlines and in accord with unit approved practices. The RA may send standard disclaimer language to PI since issues can arise for last minute submission.
  • RA: Will make any final corrections requested by PI
  • RA: Will do a final review to ensure the information entered into ERA and the proposal package for completeness
  • RA: Will Notify PNT that the proposal is ready for review
  • RA: Will address any feedback received from PNT
    • For documents/information which the PI is responsible for, consult to ensure changes are okay
    • If PI has feedback for PNT. Notify PNT with additional information/questions
  • RA: Will make necessary changes:
    • Where possible, changes should be administrative in nature or otherwise approved by PI
    • If the PI will not be available prior to proposal due date, make the changes required by PNT to submit.
  • RA: If changes have been made, RA will review proposal application again to ensure the package is still accurate
  • RA: will continue to request proposal submission
  • RA: Will confirm all reviewer approvals are in place. PI and Dean approval are required before submitting.
    • If all unit approvers have not completed the workflow, PNT may agree to submit the proposal
    • If F&A waiver and/or Cost Sharing approvals are not in place at the time of submission, RA will Notify PNT of the reason for the incomplete approval(s). The assigned GCO may, depending on circumstances, ask for Director of Pre-Award Services approval to submit without completed approvals. There are no guarantees of approval of an exception
  • RA: Will Forward for PNT review with a request to submit the proposal
  • PNT GCO: Once the proposal has been submitted, the PNT GCO will run the activity Submitted to sponsor (Non S2S) ERA will generate a notice to the PI and RA of submission
    • Where the sponsor requires that the PI submit (after approval from PNT), RA is responsible for obtaining and uploading the confirmation of submission and will Notify PNT that the proposal has been submitted, attaching the sponsor confirmation

Proposal toolkits

These toolkits are provided to give the principal investigator (PI) some scope of the details typically required in certain proposal components. Its important to keep in mind that the guidelines associated with samples have more than likely been updated so it’s critical that PIs follow the current solicitation, RFP, RFA, program announcement and/or grant proposal guide when drafting their proposals.

For example, NIH will update the application packages and give them a new Form name. While the samples provided in certain toolkits were created using Form C, D or E, the current Form F application is used for proposals with due dates on or after May 25, 2020. By the time you see this section, the application may be revised again by NIH. Please consult with the Pre-Award staff to ensure you have the correct documents before starting an application.

The National Institutes of Health has established standard proposal preparation instructions and guidance through the NIH Application Guide. This checklist is not intended to substitute for the instructions found in the Guide or a thorough, careful review of materials prior to submission. 

Please also note that additional information regarding proposal preparation and submission may be available in the specific NIH funding opportunity announcement and may deviate from the standard NIH Application Guide for Research. Where possible, notable deviations applicable to the area activity code (i.e R01,R03,etc.) funding opportunity announcement are noted in the checklists. 

Sample applications (Sample applications may have an outdated form. This is provided for illustration only.)

Contact Information

General mailbox:

Page updated on Nov 30, 2020 4:52 pm MST