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Proposal Development Timeline

  • ~3 Months Prior to Deadline
  • This is the time to present your idea at a departmental Chalk Talk or Research Concepts meeting to obtain feedback on overall concept, need for preliminary data, collaborations etc. For more information on this, check out our Chalk Talks page.
  • 6 Weeks Prior to Deadline
    • Notify your departmental Pre-Award staff of your intent to submit a proposal
      • Departmental Pre-Award staff should review program-specific guidelines, begin to assemble required form packages (both internal and external) for submission and begin working with you to draft budget and budget justification. Make sure you communicate with them and that they are clearly aware of what you need from them.
    • Send a draft of the Specific Aims to your mentor &/or Research Development (us!) for feedback.
    • Let us help! We are experts in helping you present your aims in the most effective way possible.
    • This first contact with us is critical and will get you on our "board". Once you are on our radar, you have priority. We work on a first-come, first-served basis, so the sooner you tell us you will be submitting, the better. Let us know to which agency and deadline you will be submitting.
  • 5 Weeks Prior to Deadline
    • If the project involves sub-awards, Pre-Award Staff should contact the sub-award institution(s) at this time to request required documentation:
      • Scope of Work
      • Budget
      • Detailed Budget Justification
      • Institutional Letter of Intent
      • Any additional information as needed for individual program requirements
  • 4 Weeks Prior to Deadline
    • Send an initial draft of entire proposal to mentors &/or Research Development (us!) for feedback. In close contact with you we will work to strengthen the impact of your proposal and make it highly competitive. We do everything with track changes so you can see what we've done and accept/reject the changes as you like. We save all our drafts by date/team member, so your original will never disappear. Our team members are excellent scientific writers with significant grantsmanship expertise, and can make a profound difference in the effectiveness of your proposal.
    • If we have this much lead time, you will get the most comprehensive service we provide. We will have plenty of time to review and re-review your draft for:
      • overall grantsmanship
      • agency spin
      • effective scientific writing with reviewer-friendly flow and organization
    • You or your Pre-Award staff should send Research Development (us!) a near-final draft of the budget justification. We can assess it within the context of the proposal draft and provide valuable feedback regarding best presentation of costs based on specific agency funding trends. This is critical because we can help prevent serious budget cuts at award time.
    • Pre-Award staff should begin collecting and formatting necessary auxiliary grant components:
      • biosketches
      • letters of support/collaboration
      • facilities, etc
  • 2-3 Weeks Prior to Deadline
    • Pre-Award staff should provide the completed internal routing package to the Department Chair for signature. This package consists of:
      • Signed Routing Form
      • Final Budget and Budget Justification
      • Program announcement/guidelines
      • Draft of abstract or specific aims
      • Any subcontract documents
      • Any prior approval requests
      • This fully approved internal routing package is due to OSP no later than 10 working days (two weeks) before the deadline.
    • You should provide a near-final draft of the proposal to Research Development (us!) for final polishing review, e.g., grammar, typos, formatting, figure placement etc.
  • 1 Week Prior to Deadline
    • Final draft should be sent to Pre-Award staff
      • Pre-Award should compile a mock assembled application package and provide to the PI for final review/approval
  • 3 days Prior to Deadline
  • (Note:To run the widget, please enable Macros in Excel!)

    FAQ: Do my drafts need to be "near final" when I give them to you?
    No! In fact, we prefer really rough drafts. We don't even need all the pieces at the same time. If you have one part scribbled on a Post-it note, go ahead and give it to us. If you spend a lot of time polishing before you give us a draft, you are not really allowing us to do our job. Our goal is to free up your valuable time. Get a rough draft down then let us work with it.

    FAQ: What if I miss the suggested timeline? Will you still work with me if I don't provide anything until say, 1 or 2 weeks before the deadline?
    Yes, we can still work with you. We are more than happy to help no matter when you get us your drafts. However, the time we will have available to help you will be dictated by how many grants are already ahead of you on our board. We will do as much as we can, but it is possible if you wait until 2 weeks before the deadline that we will only have time to do basic editing for grammar and formatting. If you wait until 1 week before the deadline, then we will do what we can, but we only will be able to guarantee editing to ensure compliance with the solicitation, rather than grantsmanship.