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Prepare for the proposal process

Need assistance with the proposal process?

When preparing to submit a proposal, it's important to understand the systems, processes, and roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the submission well in advance of the internal submission deadline

Also, it is important to understand errors that can cause delays in the proposal review and submission process (or prevent submission altogether). Access an example list of errors commonly found in applications and proposals for external funding and how these errors can be avoided. 

Roles and responsibilities for proposal submissions

Use the matrices below to understand pre-award roles and responsibilities. Additionally, access common questions and answers about roles, responsibilities, and partnerships during the pre-award stage.

Responsibility definitions:

  • Primary (P) - Responsible for completing a task or accountable to ensure task is complete
  • Support (S) - Provide support responsibility for task execution to the Primary role as delegated. Primary retains ultimate responsibility for proper completion.
  • Operational Oversight (OO) - define University strategy; advocate for appropriate University support. 
  • Input (I) - Receives information on process actions. Provides input to those taking action. Provides input to those taking action.
  • Compliance Oversight (CO) - Creates institutional policies and procedures, monitors for compliance, collaborates with management to create remediation plans
Proposal submission roles and responsibilities
Area/Activity Principal Investigator Grant Administrator Department Leadership School Leadership Management Center (CAMC/PAMC/MNMC) Pre-Award Office (ORA/ORC/ORS) Central Finance Office (OPAA/PAFM/TBS)
Ensures application in support of mission and objectives and meets eligibility requirements and capability P S P OO OO

CO

 
Tracking and accountability of pre-award application metrics         P P  
Internal routing of proposal for approvals   P OO     CO  
Approval of cost share (financial)  S S P P   CO  
Approval of voluntary cost share (policy) S S P   P CO  
Approval of F&A waiver S S P P P CO CO
Timely, accurate completion of Technical Proposal P   OO OO   CO  
Timely, accurate completion of Other/Current and Pending Support (if required) P P OO     CO  
Timely, accurate, complete, and compliant Budget & Justification I P OO     CO  
Development of budget in support of science P S OO        
Timely, accurate completion of Biosketches (if required) P S OO OO   CO  
Timely, accurate completion of Compliance Documents and Facilities information  P S OO OO   CO  
Review letters of support (if required) P S OO     CO  
Institutional review and approval           P  
Release of proposal to sponsor (if applicable) P         P  
Contracting roles and responsibilities (Federal, subcontracting, foundations/industry)
Area/Activity Principal Investigator Grant Manager Department Leadership School Leadership Management Center (CAMC/PAMC/MNMC) Pre-Award Office (ORA/ORC/ORS) Central Finance Office (OPAA/PAFM/TBS)
Collaborate to discuss Duke's institutional approach to contracting risks          

P

P
Internal routing of contract   P OO OO   CO  
Development of scope of work P S OO OO   CO  
Development of budget P S OO OO   CO  
Review of terms and conditions I   OO/S     P CO
Negotiation of terms and conditions I   OO/S     P  
Resolution of contract issues I   OO/S I   P  
Communications in support thereof to facilitate contract execution   P OO     P  
Execution of the contract           P  
Post execution contract administration; budgeting, modifications, etc.  I S S     P/I  
Post-submission roles and responsibilities
Area/Activity Principal Investigator Grant Manager Department Leadership School Leadership Management Center (CAMC/PAMC/MNMC) Pre-Award Office (ORA/ORC/ORS) Central Finance Office (OPAA/PAFM/TBS)
Communication of receipt of post submission updated request (e.g., JIT)  P S      

P

 
Completion of post submission update request (Support, Biosketches, Budget, Compliance etc.) P S OO OO      
Review and submission of post submission requested materials   S       P  

Common electronic submission systems

While preparing a proposal for funding, ensure that you have access to the applicable electronic submission system well in advance of the sponsor deadline. See below for information and access to common electronic submission systems.

Special Considerations

SBIR/STTR applications

The federally-funded SBIR and STTR programs stimulate innovations that encourage domestic small business concerns to engage in research and development that has the potential for commercialization. Currently, eleven separate agencies participate in the SBIR program, and five in the STTR program, and the standards can differ from program to program. Access the SBIR/STTR guidance for more information about the two programs and procedures for submitting an application. 

International activities

Proposal that contain international collaborations or research activities may require additional disclosures or approvals. Access guidance on international activities for sponsored research.