Proposal Development Guidelines
For assistance please contact: Pre-award Manager assigned to your department.
The Pre-award group assists university faculty and staff with:
- proposal development and submission
- ensuring that UMass Dartmouth is in compliance with sponsor, state, and university requirements.
Are you looking for a sample for the proposal you are contemplating? Please check out the Open Grants List - a list of grants that are openly available on the web. These grants can help with learning grantsmanship, understand particular funders and their programs, and communicating science.
Sample proposals are just a click away at Open Grants.org.
Pre-award Workflow (PDF)
The Office of Research Administration (ORA) is UMassD’s Authorized Representative for grants, contracts, and agreements related to research and sponsored projects. ORA reviews all proposals for compliance with the funding agency’s rules and regulations, as well as UMassD’s policies. ORA recognizes that Investigators may need to revise their research plan and proposal close to the agency’s deadline. We are committed to the successful submission of all proposals in accordance with the following timeline:
Notification to ORA about intent to submit at least three weeks before the submission deadline is required. Please note that earlier notification is better, ideally as soon as a submission is contemplated. Provide submission details RFP, BAA, etc.
Seven (7) business days prior to the submission deadline:
- Draft budget on ORA-approved template
- Final subcontract documents signed by Authorized Official (where applicable)
Three (3) business days prior to the submission deadline:
- Final budget due
- Draft proposal documents uploaded to Cayuse or the sponsor submission platform
Two (2) business days prior to the submission deadline:
- Final proposal documents (approved by PI for submission to the sponsor) uploaded to Cayuse or the sponsor submission platform. *Only changes requested by ORA can be made past this point*
- Final proposal ready for submission routed to ORA
- Signed Proposal Routing Form
- Any request for submission within 48 hours of the deadline will not be accepted unless approved by the VC for Research and Innovation. Approval will be granted only under exceptional circumstances.
During heavy submission periods (such as the NSF CAREER, MRI proposal cycles), ORA may issue revised internal deadlines to ensure that all proposals are provided a complete, quality review and submitted on time. If a revised schedule is needed, ORA will notify the PI well in advance.
When UMass Dartmouth is a subcontractor on a proposal submitted by another institution, the deadlines are calculated using the date that the subcontract documents are due to the submitting institution, not the deadline of the sponsoring agency.
Requests for a waiver/reduction of indirect costs require advance approval from the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation. Request for reduced indirect on federal funding, unless the work is predominantly conducted off-site, will not be granted. Request for reduced indirect, if approved, would be subject to ACA-023.
Institutional cost share is permissible only when required by the funding agency and requires advanced approval from the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, and department cost share requires advance approval from the Department Chair and College/School Dean.
Any submission requests not consistent with the deadlines above risk submission without review or not being submitted.
Any deviation from this timeline will need approval from the Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation to be considered.
- NIH Checklist (PDF)
- NSF Checklist (PDF)
- Proposal Checklist (DOCX)
- Complete Proposal Criteria (PDF)
Internal Forms (required to sign & date)
- Proposal Routing Form (PDF) (Download & save PDF on your computer prior to filling it out)
- Proposal Routing Form (DOCX)
- New Proposal Routing Form (PDF)
- Disclosure Summary Forms: (Fill out and submit only applicable forms)
External Forms & Requirements
Common External Forms & Requirements
- Data Management Plan (DMP) DMPTool
- Proposals with sub-awards: for each sub-awardee on a project PI should submit to ORA the following
- Letter of Intent (LOI)
- Scope of work
- Budget Justification
- F&A Rate Agreement, if applicable
Agency-specific External Forms & Requirements
- National Science Foundation (NSF)
- New NSF Grant Proposal Guide (PDF)
- NSF Prospective New Awardee Guide
- National Science Foundation IRB Form (PDF)
- Current & Pending form (Fillable in Word) (DOC)
- NSF Biographical Sketch (PDF)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Note: Applications which are subject to the NIH’s policy regarding applications or a group of collaborative applications requesting $500,000 or more in subtotal direct costs for any year must seek agreement to accept assignment from NIH Institute/Center staff at least 6 weeks prior to the anticipated submission deadline. ORA Pre-award staff will assist the PI with the submission of a cover letter identifying the program staff member or the Institute/Center that has agreed to accept the assignment of the application.
- Budget Template FY23 (XLSX)
- Simple Budget (No Subs) Template FY23 (XLSX)
Budget Justification Templates
- Other Cost Justification (PDF)
- NSF Budget Justification Template FY18 & 20 (DOCX)
- NSF Budget Justification Sample 1 (DOCX)
- NSF Budget Justification Sample 2 (DOCX)
- Travel Costs Justification (DOD) (PDF)
Budget Development Resources
- Institutional Facts and Rates
(F&A, Fringe Benefits Rates, Etc.)
- Bursar's Office
(tuition & fees information)
- Effort Conversion Table (PDF)
- Cost Allowability Chart (AARC) (PDF)
- Policy on Charging Administrative Salaries & Costs to Federal Grants
- Travel costs guidelines
- Course Buy-out policy
- Grant Course Buy-out Form (DOC)
- Purchasing computer equipment guidelines
- Cost Sharing
Per diem rates
Pre-Award Managers work closely with PIs to ensure proposals meet the highest standard of compliance. Utilizing a set of proposal review checklists, they review each proposal for compliance with the guidelines and policies of the sponsor and UMass Dartmouth. After the initial review Pre-Award Manager will e-mail corrections & suggested changes to the proposal for the PI’s consideration. A final review is completed after all necessary changes are made and the proposal is approved internally.
Electronic Submission Systems
Other online portals
- EERE-eXCHANGE (DOE)
- NSPIRES (NASA)
- Proposal CENTRAL (selected non-federal agencies)
Paper & Email Submissions
Coordinate proposal submission with Pre-award Manager assigned to your department.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued the 2020 Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) effective June 1, 2020. Among the most significant changes are new requirements for biographical sketches and current and pending support documents which will be required to be submitted in the new NSF-approved formats.
The Office of Research Administration encourages all faculty and staff to take necessary steps now to ensure proposals are compliant with these new requirements ahead of the June 1, 2020 transition date.
Approved formats for creating biographical sketches are:
- SciENcv - NSF is partnering with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to use Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv) as an NSF-approved format for use in preparation of the biographical sketch section of an NSF proposal. Adoption of a single, common researcher profile system for Federal grants reduces administrative burden for researchers. SciENcv will produce an NSF-compliant PDF version of the biographical sketch.
- The NSF fillable PDF is now available for use in preparation of the biographical sketch.
- Please test the two approved formats for creating biographical sketches (SciENcv & NSF fillable PDF) prior to June 1, 2020 to see which format works best for you.
- See FAQs on using SciENcv & FAQs on using the NSF Fillable PDF.