Proposal Preparation and Submission Process
A proposal is a detailed request for funding prepared in accordance with the sponsor’s instructions. Most proposals are submitted by the University (as the applicant) with one or more University faculty/staff person as the Principal Investigator (PI) or Project Director (PD). Once submitted a proposal becomes an official offer and a record of what LU promised to a sponsor. Because Lincoln University is the applicant, all proposals and supporting documents must comply with Lincoln and sponsor policies. In addition, these proposals must also obtain institutional approval prior to submission. The following guides will assist Lincoln faculty and staff in the preparation of strong, competitive, and compliant proposals.
Roles and Responsibilities
Project Director (PD)/Principal Investigator (PI)
- Responsible for the overall development and content of the proposal; may delegate aspects of preparation to administrative and scientific staff, but remains ultimately responsible for all aspects of the proposal as submitted
- Reviews sponsor requirements—both standard and non-standard
- Develops the scope of work and determines the resources necessary to complete the project
- Prepares the budget and justification
- Consults with the Department/Dean regarding the use of space and personnel, cost sharing, international activities and other key issues, as needed
- Secures all institutional letters of support and/or letters of commitment required for proposal
- Complies with all regulatory requirements; plans for applicable reviews
Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
- Provides high-level support in the development and strengthening of proposal documents
- Reviews proposal, budgets, and supporting documentation for compliance with sponsor solicitation, federal and Lincoln University policies
- Notifies the PD/PI of any changes required to make the application compliant
- Prepares and executes Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs), Memorandum(a) of Understanding (MOUs), Teaming and Collaboration Agreements (consulting with other LU offices as appropriate) and when necessary and appropriate
- Prepares supporting documents for proposal, including the transmittal letter, certifications, and response to terms and conditions, if appropriate
- Oversees the review and routing within ORSP
- Ensures proper institutional sign-offs on proposals and financial commitments, such as F&A and cost sharing
- Contacts the Business office or any other LU office that needs to approve a proposal before submission
- Submits electronic proposals or notifies the PD/PI when the proposal is ready to be picked up and sent to the sponsor (if not an electronic submission)
Preparing the Proposal: The PD/PI is responsible for preparing the proposal. In doing so it is imperative that the PD/PI review the sponsor guidelines carefully. Most sponsors require preferred formats and specific forms. In addition, each solicitation details the requirements for that particular submission.
- Consult with a member of ORSP to discuss research/program plans, funding opportunities, and submission process.
- Once a funding opportunity has been identified, a member of ORSP will be assigned to work with the PD/PI on the application. He/she will prepare a checklist of all documents needed for submission and develop a timeline for the submission of application documents to ORSP.
- The Prospective PI completes the ‘Intent to Develop & Submit a Proposal’ form, that is inclusive of timelines, in collaboration with assigned ORSP staff person, to move his/her ideas into concepts and finally into a fundable proposal.
- Prepare all application documents. ORSP will provide high-level support in this process as the PD/PI requests and as staff are able.
- Submit a “camera-ready” proposal, finalized budget, and finalized budget justification to ORSP a minimum of 5 business days before the funder’s deadline with the completed routing form. The routing form must be signed by the Dean and Department Chair (if an academic program) prior to submission to ORSP.
- ORSP will route the proposal through the final approval stages.
- ORSP will submit the proposal to the funder (if electronic submission) or notify the PD/PI (if paper submission).