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Proposal Submission and Administration Procedures

Processing Proposals

The University is interested in funding proposals from multiple sources: foundations, state, and federal agencies. 

If a Pre-Proposal or Letter of Intent (LOI) is required and has no binding financials or University commitments, the Principal Investigator (PI) should submit a copy of the Pre-Proposal or LOI to the Sponsored Programs office.  If the Pre-Proposal is binding, which means the submitted financials, narrative description of scope of work, and University commitments can not be changed when submitting the full proposal, then it will need to be processed through the SVSU Transmittal Process.  Please discuss with Sponsored Programs.

See Flowchart (131KB)  of Grant Proposal Development and Transmittal Process.

Transmittal - Signatures and Authorizations

SP’s Transmittal specifies approval requirements and contains general proposal information; this is an internal document that ensures support from all responsible parties at SVSU.  Required signatures include: 1) Principal Investigator/Project Director, 2) Director of Sponsored Programs, 3) Dean/Director/or Vice President, 4) Controller, 5) Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and 6) President. Each signer has a responsibility to the project listed on the transmittal.  SP is responsible for acquiring the appropriate signatures in a timely, but not in a rushed or 'last minute' manner.

Required Copies of the Proposal

The number of copies necessary for the submission to sponsors is often noted in the sponsor’s guidelines and varies with each sponsor.  If it is not stated in the guidelines, SP will obtain that information and make the appropriate copies. SP retains a completed copy of the guidelines and the proposal electronically and in its files. 


Sponsored Programs staff review the proposed budget to ensure accuracy and completeness. Office staff also check that all sponsor requirements are fulfilled and route the completed proposal, the Transmittal Checksheet, and necessary accompanying documents to the appropriate University offices for the required endorsements, signatures, and certifications. Office staff work to ensure that all circulated documents are returned promptly so that sufficient copies can be made for mailing or electronically submitted to the potential sponsor. Two weeks should be allowed to complete this process.

The staff will do everything possible to get the proposal to the sponsor on time. However, as the amount of time for processing is reduced, so the chance for insurmountable obstacles increases. Certain parts of the review process lay outside of Sponsored Programs and, therefore, are subject to the schedules of other offices. Given sufficient lead time, the staff can compensate for these problems. Therefore, faculty should make every effort to provide the maximum time possible for Sponsored Programs to process and adequately review their proposals. Proposals received with less than one full working day prior to the send time are not eligible for submission.

Deadline dates are strictly enforced by the sponsor and usually require that the proposal either be postmarked by the deadline date or received electronically by the deadline date.  SP has funding to pay for overnight delivery and verifies delivery by tracking the proposal. 

Electronic Submission

Nearly all sponsoring agencies require online submission of proposals/applications. Although online submission has a number of benefits, it also creates some unique challenges:

  • There is a lack of a common set of principles and guidelines for these systems.
  • Existing systems are changing and new systems are being implemented.
  • Users must become familiar with new concepts, buzzwords, and acronyms.
  • Many systems require that the PI have a user name and password through a registration process.
  • Some agency systems are not sophisticated and when submitting your information do not allow for log in and log out AND saving information.  Sometimes the application process must be done in one sitting. 
  • Each funder has different requirements for formatting and file conversion.
  • Often there is system “overload” as the application deadline approaches that slows file uploads and/or internet interruptions
  • Keep a printout (with date and time of submission) to verify that a proposal has been submitted electronically as the agency may not have a record of it. If this occurs, you may still be able to get back into the competition.
  • Don't rely solely on instructional prompts which appear on screen but also on a printed copy of the detailed program announcement and/or instructions.
  • Keep a record of passwords and password changes and share it with colleagues who may be working with you, especially when you may have tight deadlines. It can be enormously frustrating to be delayed in waiting for the Help Desk to return this information.
  • Do not assume that exiting a form will save it. Always press the "Save" button before exiting. Some applications also prefer that you do not use the browser "back" button. Save work frequently.
  • Remember that text documents prepared in advance with standard word-processing software tend not to preserve formatting when pasted into the appropriate boxes on the online form.
  • Always print a hard copy of your proposal before you press the "Submit" button.

As a result, SP recommends that electronic proposal submissions occur at least one day prior to sponsor deadlines, which means all approvals must be in place in order to submit your grant proposal.

Multiple Submissions

Identical proposals may be submitted to more than one sponsor at a time provided each sponsor is advised that this has occurred.  Each sponsor will be given the name of the other recipients of the proposal and the amount of funds requested. In instances where all sponsors are given the same total project budget, it should be specified as to how much of the total budget is being requested of each individual sponsor and for what purpose those funds will be used.  Careful attention is paid to restrictions sponsors have on the submission of identical proposals to other sponsors, for example. National Institutes of Health prohibits multiple submissions.

Responsibilities of. . .

Principal Investigators (PIs) and Departmental Administrators Assisting the Proposal Preparation Process for Electronic Submissions

  1. Upon learning of a deadline requiring electronic submission, PIs must contact Sponsored Programs to alert them of the upcoming electronic submission.
  2. Proposals requiring electronic submission, must follow the same processing rules as paper proposals, i.e. they are required to be routed through the appropriate departments and approved by Sponsored Programs prior to submission to the sponsoring agency. See Processing Proposals above.
  3. Project Leader or Principal Investigator submits a copy of the grant guidelines (RFP), completed narrative and budget to Sponsored Programs and the Office of the Controller, for pre-review two weeks prior to deadline/due date in preparation for the transmittal process.
  4. If paper copies of any documents are required to be sent to the sponsoring agency, they must be submitted to SP with appropriate signatures, approvals, and attachments, where applicable.
  5. If an electronic proposal submission involves a multi-institutional consortium or has sub-awards to other institutions, it is the responsibility of the PI to provide documentation to SP: a) proposal cover sheet or document that provides signatures of the PI and authorized representative of the external organization; b) budgets/justifications from the sub-awardee organization.
  6. Failure to follow these instructions could result in a proposal not reaching the sponsor by their deadline and could jeopardize the potential for an award.

Sponsored Programs 

  1. Sponsored Programs (SP) is committed to being and remaining savvy in the arena of Electronic Proposal Submission. Any information directly related to this process will be disseminated through this website under the caption News .
  2. Sponsored Programs will, upon request, assign identification or PIN numbers required by some sponsor electronic systems. This will allow PIs to begin working on proposals and to review reporting and proposal tracking systems. Contact SP at 989.964.4295 to request this service.
  3. SP will assist faculty and departmental staff with proposal instructions and other administrative processes relating to the grant and/or contract submission.
  4. SP will continue to review proposals and budgets, and to prepare institutional certifications and assurances before proposals are submitted.
  5. In the majority of situations, SP will electronically "submit" proposals to sponsoring agencies, rather than PIs.
  6. SP will mail paper copies of all documents required by sponsored agencies.
  7. SP will retain and provide paper and/or electronic file copies of the completed and submitted proposal.

Contact Us

(989) 964-4295(989) 964-4295


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