For COVID-19 updates and guidance, visit For research-related updates, visit For matrix of summarized federal research guidance, visit

Proposal Process

Proposal Process

Working with ORSP

The Board of Governor’s has delegated authority for approval and submission of proposals to federal, state, not-for-profit and other non-corporate sponsors, to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP). All proposals to Federal and State agencies, industry and business entities, foundations and nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and other external organizations require institutional approval prior to submission to an external funding agency.

Faculty and staff members who plan to request, or anticipate receiving, funding, equipment, materials and supplies, or any other form of support from an external organization or institution, should check with ORSP to determine if institutional approval is needed. This applies to formal proposals, preliminary proposals, email submissions, letters, and even agreements reached at meeting Grants Specialist or during conversations with potential collaborators. Working with ORSP prior to proposing or accepting agreements from sponsors will ensure that potential problems are resolved in advance and will result in a shorter, smoother turn-around and implementation of the research project.

Developing and Submitting Proposals

The process flow below provides an overview of the proposal development and submission process. Please note that this process is subject to additional internal deadlines.

Working with ORSP

  1. Notification of Intent to Submit a Proposal

    The investigator or departmental administrator should contact the ORSP Grant Specialist (GS) assigned to their unit as soon as the decision to submit a proposal has been made. The investigator or administrator then emails the GS with the link to the RFP, or attaches the guidelines along with the agency name, opportunity name and/or number, and the submission due date. This “heads up” ensures that the GS is ready to assist the investigator and/or departmental administrator with questions or concerns regarding the requirements outlined in the guidelines as well as the submission mechanism.

  2. Submission Requirements and Electronic Systems

    The GS will review the submission guidelines for the investigator, ensuring that the institution meets the qualifications to submit the proposal and highlighting any special forms and/or terms and conditions that may be required. The investigator and/or departmental administrator should review the guidelines carefully paying close attention to the submission mechanism needed. Additionally, should the investigator require access to an electronic system for the submission, he/she should reach out immediately to the GS to ensure that any system changes or portal accesses are gained before the day of submission. At any time during the preparation process, access to review can be given to the GS and is highly suggested so that the Grants Specialist can see the continual progress of the proposal development.

  3. Proposal Development

    It is the responsibility of the investigator and/or departmental administrator to download and complete the appropriate grant submission package, including uploading and attaching any required supporting documents. If the submission is through an online system, then it is the investigator’s responsibility to provide all information including the statement of work (including abstract), budget, budget justification, administrative information pages and any other relevant proposal documentation to the GS prior to submission. The GS will assist the investigator in obtaining accurate information for compliance, sponsor-specific conditions and regulations, and institutional information.

  4. Proposal Review

    Once the application package is finalized and checked for completeness by the investigator, it is ready to send to the GS for submission. New proposals should be routed to the GS through RAPSS . PDS and LiFT systems are also available for large file transfers if necessary. If the Sponsoring Agency has a specific submission portal that is used (e.g., NSF utilizes the FastLane system and the NJ Commission on Spinal Cord Research utilizes the Blue Sage system), then access to submit should be given to the GS if it has not been provided already. Once access is granted, the GS should be notified by email that the application is ready and access has been granted to complete a final review. Please note that important ORSP deadlines apply.

  5. Proposal Submission

    Once the GS receives notification of receipt of the grant package, a final review will be performed to ensure the correct package has been used, the application is in compliance with the Sponsor guidelines, the proposal has been completed correctly, and all supporting documents have been attached. The GS will also verify that a completed and signed RAPSS Funding Proposal has been received and, if there are cost-sharing requirements or F&A waivers involved, that we also have the signed cost-share budget and supporting documentation. If everything is in order and the package is complete and accurate, the GS will submit the proposal and provide the investigator confirmation.