Preparing a grant proposal takes a considerable amount of time because of the amount of thought, information and review required and the specific formatting requirements. Because agency deadlines are very specific and strictly adhered to, a PI and those who are helping him/her are advised to contact OSP as soon as he or she plans on submitting to ensure a thorough process, including a thoughtful and timely review prior to submission. For details see the Procedures on Communication, Proposal Preparation, and Proposal Review and Submission.
Remember, OSP can not guarantee last-minute review. All completed proposals must be submitted to OSP at least five (5) business days prior to the external sponsor deadline to allow sufficient time to review for compliance issues/concerns and help ensure a successful submission. Failure to meet the 5 day rule means that OSP cannot guarantee your application will make the sponsor’s submission deadline.
Please contact OSP early in the process for specific kinds of assistance in developing your proposal. In particular, for NIH and NSF proposals, OSP has developed tools to help you organize your writing and to make writing standard sections more efficient while tailoring them to your particular goals or aims. Get more grantsmanship information. OSP also has forms and other useful information available to save you time.
As a guide for lead-time requirements, you will benefit from consulting your Sponsored Projects Officer and your Department Chair or Dean at least two (2) weeks before the sponsor deadline, particularly when your proposal involves complex compliance issues.
The department chair, who you will eventually be asking to approve the proposal and thereby endorse your plans for staff and facility commitments, should be informed of your intentions and especially of any aspect of the proposed project that might conceivably affect departmental administration or your departmental duties. Early discussion of potential problems will smooth the way for the proposal later.
Your Sponsored Projects Officer can explain funding peculiarities that might affect your preparation of the proposal, can sometimes put you in touch with others capable of helping you in some way, can judge whether any additional University officials need to be informed at an early stage about your proposal, and in general can raise the pertinent questions that must be resolved before the proposal will be approved for submission by OSP. These questions may concern, for example, subcontracting, consultants, equipment purchase, proprietary material, cost sharing, and other matters. If you are a new investigator or would like individual assistance with your proposal, at least 90 days is recommended.