Grant Proposal Process

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Getting Started

When the principal investigator/project director (PI/PD) makes the decision to submit a proposal for external funding with Wright State University serving as the lead institution or agrees to serve as a sub-award/subcontractor PI/PD on another organization’s proposal, they are strongly encouraged to provide notice of intent (by email or phone call) to the assigned RSP pre-award administrator. Advance notice of impending submission will allow the pre-award administrator to prepare in a timely manner for all submission requirements within the larger timeframe of RSP’s internal deadlines for routing and proposal submission.

Once informed, the pre-award administrator will request the completion of a series of setup questions providing the requisite data for the initiation of a proposal package within Cayuse.

At the same time, the PI/PD should also inform their chair, supervisor, dean or director, of the submission and discuss project needs such as space requirements, course release, and any cost-share needs. This conversation should include details related to the submission timeline in order to resolve potential delays of the internal routing process.

Roles and Responsibilities of The PI/PD and Pre Award Administrator, as a Team

Overall, both the PI/PD and the pre-award administrator should become familiar with the comprehensive proposal requirements of the selected funding opportunity. In some cases, the sponsor issues both an announcement of funding and as well maintains a general guide to proposal development, both containing required elements for proposal completion and submission.

The following table outlines the general responsibilities for each the PI/PD and pre-award administrator during the proposal development/submission effort:


Principal Investigator (PI)/Program Director (PD)

Pre Award Administrator

Budget: Direct Costs

Provide budget request/cost-share information (personnel time/effort, equipment, and travel quotes, sub-award budgets, and non-personnel items) to pre-award administrator; should be finalized at least 5 business days ahead of the proposal deadline.

Will draft request/cost-share budgets for PI/PD review/revision/approval; attach a final budget in the Attachments section of Cayuse Sponsored Projects for internal routing approval.

Budget: Indirect costs/F&A

Determine project type (research, non-research, instruction) and where the majority (>51%) of the project work will take place (off-campus, on-campus); provide sponsor citations for any imposed limits to indirect costs/F&A.

Apply appropriate indirect cost/F&A rate based in information provided by PI/PD; seek any needed clarification from the sponsor regarding any imposed limits to indirect costs/F&A.

Budget Justification/ Narrative

Create a budget narrative based on a finalized budget.

If the proposal is compliant with RSP internal deadlines, review narrative for completeness and accuracy.

Proposal Narrative

Craft all content as outlined in sponsor guidelines using all requisite format/ content directives.

If the proposal is compliant with RSP internal deadlines, the pre-award administrator will review to confirm the presence of all requisite narrative items.

Forms, Certifications, Assurances

Provide all project-related data points to pre-award administrator (project title, project dates, the inclusion of human or animal research subjects, etc)

Will complete sponsor-required forms upon retrieval of PI/PD-provided information.

Letters of Intent (to submit a proposal)

Unless the sponsor requires RSP’s participation in the submission of an LOI, the PI/PD can directly submit the LOI.

If the sponsor requires LOI to be submitted by an authorized institution official, the pre-award administrator will obtain an appropriate signature for the letter.

Letters of Intent to Participate (as sub-award/subcontract)

Request RSP to create a Letter of Intent to Participate; provide required information to RSP for the letter (Statement of Work, detailed budget and budget justification).

Letters of Intent to Participate require the signature of the authorized institutional official. RSP will complete the letter, secure the signature, and route internally for approvals as a proposal for external funding, subject to RSP’s internal deadlines.

Letters of Support (as proposal attachments)

Obtain all required letters of support from internal and external sources

If the proposal requires a boilerplate letter signed by the university’s authorized institutional official, the pre-award administrator will complete.

Proposal Routing

Send pre-award administrator final budget, budget justification and abstract. Follow up with personnel on the internal routing to ensure all approvals are completed prior to proposal submission.*

*  Routing status does not hold up proposal submission.

Starts the internal routing once final budget, budget justification and abstract are received from PI/PD. Send reminders when necessary to ensure routing is completed prior to proposal submission.

Proposal Attachments

In general, most project-related attachments will be PI/PD-created or compiled.

The PI/PD is responsible for uploading all attachments in the Cayuse Proposals S2S or other electronic portals. The pre-award administrator will confirm the absence/existence of attachments during the submission effort and provide assistance as appropriate to confirm the conformity of attachments with sponsor guidelines.

Proposal Submission

  • If the proposal is submitted system-to-system through to the sponsor, or through another portal requiring the participation of RSP (i.e. NSF FastLane) the pre-award administrator is responsible for submission, upon the notification of readiness by the PI/PD.
  • If the proposal is submitted electronically through a portal profile created by the PI/PD, they are responsible for submitting the proposal once the internal routing process is complete and providing a final copy to RSP for archive purposes.
  • Email submissions: RSP will submit when the internal routing process is complete and the PI/PD has approved the final proposals; The pre-award administrator will copy the PI/PD on the submission email to the sponsor.
  • Paper submissions: RSP will submit when the internal routing process is complete; RSP will make all required proposal copies upon request and ship via postal mail or express carrier as needed.

Compliance Resources

Narrative Development

The principal investigator/project director (PI/PD) is responsible for the development of the proposal narrative according to the sponsor’s page limit and formatting instructions. A rough draft of the narrative or a summary/abstract is required for the internal routing. The PI/PD may continue to work on the narrative while the proposal is routing. The final version should be ready for submission along with the rest of the proposal two business days before the proposal deadline.

Grant Writing Assistance

Hanover Webinars on RSP Website

Other Agency Resources