Internal deadlines for research proposals are necessary to assure that Duke is meeting sponsor expectations in the conduct and administration of research. See below for important deadlines for proposal submissions, along with guidance and best practices to help adhere to these deadlines.
Proposal submission best practices
Once the funding opportunity has been identified, early notification and planning is critical in submitting a successful proposal for funding. The Intent to Submit form should be submitted as soon as possible. That form notifies grant administrators and pre-award offices of a researcher's intention to apply for an opportunity so they can support the researcher throughout the application process. Researchers can also request a project planning consultation with the Research Navigator team.
Additionally, it is a good idea to convene the project team in the early stages of the submission process in order to discuss proposal plans and any elements that may take additional time or approvals, such as subawards or international activities.
Important deadlines for proposal submissions
Fifteen business day Intent to Submit deadline
An Intent to Submit (I2S) form must be completed a minimum of 15 business days prior to the intended submission date. This requirement is for new research, clinical trial, and fellowship submissions only (not for progress reports, RPPRs, and non-competing renewals, which should be managed via SPS and in accordance with sponsor instructions). This is not required for travel grants.
To note: many departments require the Intent to Submit form be completed more than 15 business days in advance.
Training and guidance on accessing and completing the Intent to Submit form is located in the "Related Resources" section of this page
Ten business day PI Eligibility and IBS/Appointment Change Request deadline (SoM/SoN only)
Requests to adjust salary or appointment percentage must be received at least ten business days ahead of the planned application submission date.
Request for PI Eligibility (PI Status) must be received at least ten business days before the SPS record is due in ORA.
Department/Center/Institute review (and any associated deadlines)
Prior to the internal five business day submission deadline, the investigator(s) and grant manager should work together to ensure the application is complete and compliant with the sponsor and Duke University requirements.
Departments, Centers, and Institutes may have their own deadlines in advance of the five business day submission deadline in order to accurately prepare and review the proposal prior to routing to the central pre-award office. The investigator(s) and grant manager should coordinate early about any unit-specific deadlines to ensure they are factored in to the submission timeline.
Accuracy and acceptability of information included within the application are the responsibility of the investigator(s) and the owning Department, Center, or Institute.
Access additional guidance on what should be reviewed by the Department/Center/Institute on the Proposal review and submission page.
Five business day internal deadline
Proposals must be received in final form (submission ready) by the central pre-award offices (ORA for SoM/SoN or ORS for Campus Schools) at least five business days in advance of your submission deadline.
Final documents include all contents of the application as intended to be submitted to the sponsor. Only changes requested/required by ORA/ORS can be made to the application once it has been received by ORA/ORS for institutional review.
In rare, extenuating circumstances, when the five business day deadline cannot be met, a Late Waiver Request may be submitted, subject to institutional review and approval. Access guidance about submitting a Late Waiver Request.
Exceptions to the five business day internal deadline:
The five business day deadline does not apply to white papers, Letters of Intent to apply, and Pre‐Proposal submissions, unless a budget or Institutional Authorized Official signature is required. These can be submitted directly to the sponsor, unless the department has a review/submission process in place.
Effective October 2, 2023, the central pre-award offices will no longer perform pre-submission review for small, low-risk travel grants. This effort aims to increase efficiency and help reduce delays in proposal review. Access additional information about the criteria for qualifying as a small, low-risk travel grant and a step-by-step process for how to manage and route these opportunities.