Proposal Planning

The chart below provides an overview of the application process for a standard proposal and an ideal timeline. To allow for adequate time for proposal development, FAS Research Administration Services (RAS) recommends identifying an appropriate grant opportunity approximately one year prior to the sponsor’s deadline. Timelines may vary depending on the complexity of the proposal and familiarity with the sponsor. RAS services are available at any time during the application process, in response to the scheduling needs of the Principal Investigator (PI).




PI and RD

Identifies a suitable grant program.

Reviews guidelines to determine eligibility and contacts the Program Officer to confirm project fit.

FAS Research Development (RD) works directly with faculty to identify funding opportunities that match their research interests. RD also provides proposal development support and advice throughout the application process, including how and when to contact a program officer, hiring a program evaluator, and assistance developing non-disciplinary proposals components and drafting and securing letters of commitment.

9-12 months
before deadline


Begins writing proposal narrative and contacting collaborators and specialists to confirm availability.

If Human Subjects will be involved, contact the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (CUHS) as early as possible to discuss the timeline for IRB approvals. If Animals will be involved, contact Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) as early as possible.

6-9 months
before deadline

PI and SRA

Reviews Sponsor Guidelines and Scope of Work with Department-level or RAS Sponsored Research Administrator (SRA), prepares a draft budget, and determines application roles and responsibilities.

Establishes contact with subcontracting organization, if applicable. Introduces department administrator (DA) to administrative contact at subcontracting organization so that supporting documentation can be gathered. The subcontracting PI will need to obtain institutional authorization and plan for an additional set of internal deadlines.

3-6 months before deadline

PI and SRA

PI checks in with SRA on status of other non-narrative proposal attachments. See Proposal Development Resources for a collection of tools, templates and checklists.

Reviews and revises budget as needed.

1-3 months
before deadline

PI, SRA and RD

PI and SRA finalize budget and budget justification. SRA enters project and research staff into GMAS to trigger appropriate approvals.

SRA works with PI to gather information about all International Collaborations and Activities (ICA) planned as part of the proposed project.  PI completes ICA checklist and forwards to SRA for entry into GMAS.  More information about International Collaborations and Activities may be found on the OSP website.

SRA notifies Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) and FAS-RAS of upcoming proposal and checks in with FAS-RAS on any potential school-level issues.

The RD team can review draft proposals in advance of submission to check for responsiveness to grant program guidelines and sponsor priorities.  This is a service offered to help enhance proposal competitiveness and is different from the required FAS/OSP proposal reviews.

3 weeks
before deadline


Uploads final application to GMAS and route for approvals.

SRA corresponds with OSP, RAS and PI throughout the week on any edits or revision requirements.

5 business days before deadline



Provides FAS sign-off.

Provides Institutional sign-off and submit to Sponsor.

by Sponsor Deadline

Award notification can often take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year. Applicants should map out their work plan in accordance with sponsor guidelines on review timeline and notification date.

The role of FAS varies depending on the needs of the PI and the Department.  If you are not sure where to start, contact one of the RAS Staff members listed on the left-hand side of this page.