Customize Your Path

Select all of the following that apply to you and your research project to tailor the topics and resources displayed. Your selections will persist every time you access the site on the same device, until you change or reset the selections.
Your role:
Project inclusions:
Project sponsor or funding:
(seeking funding from or have already secured funding from)
Project managed by:

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. It is also important to understand errors that can cause delays in the review and submission process (or prevent submission altogether).

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 for ensuring a 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.
  • Compliance Oversight (CO) - Creates institutional policies and procedures, monitors for compliance, collaborates with management to create remediation plans
Proposal submission roles and responsibilities
Area/ActivityPrincipal InvestigatorGrant AdministratorDepartment LeadershipSchool LeadershipManagement 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 capabilityPSPOOOOCO 
Tracking and accountability of pre-award application metrics    PP 
Internal routing of proposal for approvals POO  CO 
Approval of cost share (financial) SSPP CO 
Approval of voluntary cost share (policy)SSP PCO 
Approval of F&A waiverSSPPPCOCO
Timely, accurate completion of Technical ProposalP OOOO CO 
Timely, accurate completion of Other/Current and Pending Support (if required)PPOO  CO 
Timely, accurate, complete, and compliant Budget & JustificationIPOO  CO 
Development of budget in support of sciencePSOO    
Timely, accurate completion of Biosketches (if required)PSOOOO CO 
Timely, accurate completion of Compliance Documents and Facilities information PSOOOO CO 
Review letters of support (if required)PSOO  CO 
Institutional review and approval     P 
Release of proposal to sponsor (if applicable)P    P 
Contracting roles and responsibilities (Federal, subcontracting, foundations/industry)
Area/ActivityPrincipal InvestigatorGrant ManagerDepartment LeadershipSchool LeadershipManagement 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     PP
Internal routing of contract POOOO CO 
Development of scope of workPSOOOO CO 
Development of budgetPSOOOO CO 
Review of terms and conditionsI OO/S  PCO
Negotiation of terms and conditionsI OO/S  P 
Resolution of contract issuesI OO/SI P 
Communications in support thereof to facilitate contract execution POO  P 
Execution of the contract     P 
Post execution contract administration; budgeting, modifications, etc. ISS  P/I 
Post-submission roles and responsibilities
Area/ActivityPrincipal InvestigatorGrant ManagerDepartment LeadershipSchool LeadershipManagement 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) PS   P 
Completion of post submission update request (Support, Biosketches, Budget, Compliance etc.)PSOOOO   
Review and submission of post submission requested materials S   P 

Common electronic submission systems

While preparing a proposal for funding, ensure that access to the applicable electronic submission system is in place 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. 

Institutionally Limited Nominations (ILNs)

Institutionally limited funding opportunities differ from other funding opportunities, in that Duke University is invited to submit a limited number of proposals in response to each solicitation. Therefore, anyone interested in submitting a proposal to one of these programs must first submit an application for internal review and nomination by the appointed review committee.

ILN Guidance

International activities

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