Proposal Preparation

Proposal Approval Process

Unit/Department Approval


Each unit/department has its own procedure for internal routing, fiscal review, and Dean/Director approval. Some units provide proposal coordinators for their faculty. In some units, the business office provides support for proposal preparation.

All proposals must be finalized and completed before OSP review. Proposals must be:

  • Reviewed by the business office or fiscal officer responsible for proposal
  • Entered into Banner
  • Signed by PIs, all Co-Is, and the Dean or Director for all departments involved in the project ( UAF Proposal Routing Form)
  • Approved by all MAUs involved in the project
  • Completed (all e-forms and paper forms filled out; letters and documentation included with proposal)

    For a better understanding of a UAF Pre-Award process please view our Flowchart

Office of Sponsored Programs Approval

All proposals for external research and programmatic funding require administrative review by the Office of Sponsored Programs (suite 212 West Ridge Research Building) BEFORE submission to a sponsor. OSP reviews proposals in the order in which they are received. Five business days is required for review and approval. If a proposal must be reviewed and returned to its department for mailing in less than five days, contact OSP as soon as possible. OSP will try to accommodate your "RUSH," but be cognizant of the fact that OSP staff are also reviewing proposals brought in on schedule by other investigators or departments. Proposals that involve cost sharing/matching, reduced F&A, or subawards REQUIRE MORE REVIEW TIME.

OSP Shared Drive Instructions

All proposals UAF OSP reviews are reviewed through the Unit/OSP electronic Shared Drive. The Instructions on how to use the Shared Drive and obtain access are located here.

Authorized Organizational Representative

The OSP Director is the organizational representative delegated by the Chancellor to authorize proposal submissions after the proposal has been reviewed by OSP. Do not submit a proposal to a sponsor without OSP authorization. The university has no obligation to accept awards that result from unauthorized proposals.

Paper Submissions / Email Submissions

OSP does not mail paper copies of proposals to the funding agency. After the OSP Director has signed a proposal, OSP returns the proposal to its department. The department makes copies and submits the proposal to the sponsor. A copy of the proposal will be kept on file in OSP. When the proposal is awarded by the agency, the proposal will be forwarded to the Office of Grants and Contracts Administration for account set up.

The department is usually responsible for email-based submissions of proposals after OSP review and approval.

Electronic Submissions

As a result of the Paperwork Reduction Act, more and more agencies are moving towards electronic proposal submission systems. OSP is responsible for most recognized electronic submissions (except for email submissions as noted above and for other disparate electronic systems where the proposer is required to individually register and then can submit directly after OSP approval). Some private sponsors accept electronic submissions as well. If your proposal must be submitted electronically, indicate that electronic submission is required on the UAF Proposal Routing Form.

Pre-Proposals, Notices of Intent (NOI), Letters of Intent (LOI), White Papers

OSP reviews contractually binding pre-proposals, notices of intent, letters of intent, or white papers that require AOR approval before submission to the sponsor. If the pre-proposal is non-binding and does not require AOR approval, then it does not need to be submitted to OSP for approval before submission. If pre-proposal needs to be submitted electronically via NSF Fastlane or NSPIRES, please contact OSP.

We strongly recommend that OSP review any budgets before submission to a sponsor, even if they are part of a non-binding pre-proposal. This helps to prevent any mistakes going out to the sponsor, such as incorrect rates or unallowable costs, that could result in difficulties during the full proposal process.

What else does OSP review?

  • Supplemental Funding Requests: Requests for additional funding to add or supplement the current project (Note: You must use the most current F&A rate for supplemental requests.)
  • Annual Continuations: Requests for the next year's funding (only when required by the sponsor)
  • Renewals: Requests to “renew” the sponsor’s support for the project’s continuation
  • Pre-Award Revisions: Any changes to the proposal or budget before the official award is accepted by the university
  • Internal minigrant proposals.

What does OGCA review?

  • Award documents
  • Annual progress reports
  • Amendments or modifications to existing awards
  • Post-award revisions to the proposal and/or proposal budget


OSP will return the original proposal to the department after approval if there are no outstanding compliance issues or missing documentation. This includes outstanding IRB, IACUC, and other protocols, IP issues, missing signatures, forms, or other needed paperwork. Original proposals that are returned to the department will have a RED STAMP (signature line) that has been signed by the OSP Director. OSP will send the original proposal with the signed RED STAMP directly to OGCA for award set-up. If the proposal has not been red stamped by OSP, then OGCA must contact OSP before award set-up for more information about missing components in the proposal.