Proposal Submission Process

Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: 

Principal Investigator (PI) completes Proposal Intake Form 


Step 2: 

Grant Manager (GM) reaches out to discuss details and budget of project, and provide timeline based on project requirements. 


Step 3: 

PI drafts abstract, narrative and other required proposal documents. 


Step 4:  

GM prepares sponsor’s application which includes budget forms and budget justification. Prepares application package for routing through UW approval process. 


Step 5: 

7 BUSINESS DAYS PRIOR TO SPONSOR DUE DATE: Proposal packet (eGC1) is routed for internal UW approvals. If personnel from other UW units are involved, their unit must also approve. After all necessary approvals are obtained, eGC1 routes to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). 


Step 6: 

OSP reviews proposal, contacting GM and PI with any questions. OSP notifies GM and PI when their review has been completed, asks PI to attach the final version of the proposal to the eGC1. 


Step 7: 

3 BUSINESS DAYS PRIOR TO SPONSOR DUE DATE: This is the GIM 19 deadline. Proposal must be in complete final form by 5pm this day. PI finalizes narrative and forwards to GM. GM uploads full final proposal to eGC1, marks it “RTS” (ready to submit), and returns it to OSP. 


Step 8: 

OSP signs any required sponsor forms and/or prepares letter of transmittal, uploads signed documents to eGC1, and notifies PI and GM that signed documents are ready for retrieval. 


Step 9: 

Proposal submission.  

Issues Requiring Extra Time or Special Consideration

Proposal Deadlines

Grant proposals take a considerable amount of time to prepare accurately and thoroughly, and sponsoring agency deadlines are specific and inflexible. You should contact the Grants Manager (GM) as soon as you decide to submit a proposal. Please note the following internal deadlines:

  • 10 Business Days (at a minimum) in Advance of Sponsor’s Due Date: The GM should have received your final budget, along with the rest of the information and documents required to complete your grant proposal. 
  • 7 Business Days in Advance: An approved eGC1 and the final budget, budget justification, and subaward pieces should be received by OSP. Proposal narrative may be in draft form at this time.
  • 3 Business Days in Advance: GIM 19 deadline. OSP must receive the final fully complete proposal by 5:00 pm. A proposal received by OSP after this day/time will be returned to the PI and will not be submitted to the sponsor.        

(Business days do not include holidays or weekends.) 

UW policy: GIM 19 – Internal Deadlines for Proposals to External Entities

Budget preparation

At the initial meeting, PI and GM will discuss staffing, equipment, travel, and other needs you anticipate for your project. Based on this information, GM will create a budget that reflects current rates for salary, benefits, tuition, indirect costs, etc. Once you’ve reviewed and approved the budget figures, GM will transfer them to the sponsoring agency’s budget forms. These budget figures will also be included on the eGC1 form. For the corresponding narrative budget justification, GM will provide the PI with an outline and boilerplate language. The PI will complete descriptions of personnel roles and responsibilities, details of travel required, specifics about equipment, materials and supplies, etc.


Your grant proposal may include a subcontract (also called “subaward”) to another institution(s). If so, the amount of the subcontractor’s total budget is included as a separate item on your proposal budget. The subcontractor’s proposal must be approved by an authorized official of the subcontracting institution. The UW requires the following items for all subawards:

  • Budget on sponsor’s form
  • Narrative budget justification
  • Scope of work
  • Letter of authorization from appropriate office at the subcontractors institution (equivalent to our OSP)
  • Forms required by the sponsor as specified in the RFP or guidelines

You should request this information from the subcontractor as early in the process as possible, since they will need time to have their subcontract proposal reviewed and approved by their institution before sending it to us for inclusion with our proposal for review by OSP. The GM can work with personnel at the subcontracting institution to provide information and instructions on preparing and submitting the needed documents.

A subrecipient must be registered in the UW’s vendor system before a subcontract agreement will be issued. At the time of proposal, check to see if subrecipient is registered; if not, the registration process should begin well in advance of the proposed start date of the award. 

Unsure if you should include a subcontractor or a consultant?

Registration with sponsoring agency

Many sponsors, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and some foundations, require the principal investigator to be registered in the agency’s database. Depending on the sponsor, registration is managed by OSP, the College of Education Grants Manager, or the PI. 


If new personnel (including Graduate Research Assistants) will be hired for the project, you will need to determine at the outset whether any office space will be available for them. Additional office space requirements should be discussed with the Associate Dean for your area. 

Faculty Effort

When considering the amount of faculty effort (FTE) to include in a grant or contract proposal budget, you should consult the Effort Reporting Policy for Sponsored Agreements. For the purpose of sponsored agreements, faculty effort is the time faculty spend on their university activities, including research, instruction, administration, service, and clinical activity. Employee Compensation Compliance (ECC) are semi-annual reports designed to track the effort of faculty who have been paid from and/or committed to sponsored project effort. ECC intro training.

Human Subjects

All research involving human participants requires human subjects review and approval. The eGC1 contains a question about whether the proposed project proposal involves “human subjects research.” If the response is “yes,” you will be asked to indicate whether you have an existing IRB approval number (for competing or non-competing grant renewals), will submit a modification (to add a new funding source to an existing study), or will get “just in time” IRB approval (for new grants). It is not necessary for you to submit the IRB application at the time you submit the grant proposal. If the grant is awarded, before OSP will allow the funds to be released, you will be required to provide OSP with documentation of IRB approval, or else provide a written assurance that the project qualifies as delayed onset human subjects research and that no human subjects research will occur without IRB approval.