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Grant Submission and Administration Procedures

Processing Proposals

The University is interested in funding proposals from multiple sources: foundations, state, and federal agencies. To encourage collaboration and to facilitate this process, please use the Concept Paper Application (79kB)  in developing ideas that support your departmental and college goals. The completed concept papers will be useful documents as the Sponsored Programs office makes faculty aware of funding opportunities, and as the Foundation office makes inquiries with potential sponsors.

If a Pre-Proposal or Letter of Intent (LOI) is required and has no binding financials or University committments, the Principal Investigator (PI) should submit a copy of the Pre-Proposal or LOI to the Sponsored Programs office.  If the Pre-Proposal is binding, which means the submitted financials, narrative description of scope of work, and University committments can not be changed when submitting the full proposal, then it will need to be processed through the SVSU Transmittal Process.  Please discuss with Sponsored Programs.

See Flowchart (131kB) of Grant Proposal Development and Transmittal Process.


The Transmittal Checksheet requires the signature of the Project Director as well as the appropriate dean, the director of Sponsored Programs, the controller, an appropriate administrator such as director or vice president, the vice president of Academic Affairs, and the president. The Sponsored Programs office is responsible for obtaining the required signatures.

Signatures on the Transmittal Checksheet certify that the proposed work is consistent with University objectives, and that all faculty involved in the proposal agree to participate, to accept the obligations and commitments described in the proposal, and to perform the work in accordance with University and sponsor policies. These signatures also certify that federal funds have not, nor will be, used to attempt to influence the granting of the award (pursuant to restrictions on lobbying).

The remaining signatures on the Transmittal Checksheet carry the further commitment to ensure the release time required to carry out the project, to assign space and facilities as indicated in the proposal, and to provide appropriate administrative support to the project.


The Office of Sponsored Programs staff review the proposed budget to ensure accuracy and completeness. Office staff also check that all sponsor requirements are fulfilled and route the completed proposal, the Transmittal Checksheet, and necessary accompanying documents to the appropriate University offices for the required endorsements, signatures, and certifications. Office staff work to ensure that all circulated documents are returned promptly so that sufficient copies can be made for mailing or electronically submitted to the potential sponsor. Two weeks should be allowed to complete this process.

The staff will do everything possible to get the proposal to the sponsor on time. However, as the amount of time for processing is reduced, so the chance for insurmountable obstacles increases. Certain parts of the review process lay outside of Sponsored Programs and, therefore, are subject to the schedules of other offices. Given sufficient lead time, the staff can compensate for these problems. Therefore, faculty should make every effort to provide the maximum time possible for Sponsored Programs to process and adequately review their proposals. Proposals received with less than one full working day prior to the send time are not eligible for submission.

Electronic Research Administration

Electronic research administration (ERA), in the generic sense, is simply doing research administration tasks electronically.

As more and more of our sponsoring agencies are requiring submission of applications and sending award notices electronically, faculty and staff are reminded that they must work with Sponsored Programs on all grant applications, regardless of the submission process. Even when the sponsor requires that proposals be submitted electronically by the PIs, this can be done ONLY with approval from SP.

Each system has its unique requirements. To ensure a smooth process for review and submission by the deadline, PIs are strongly urged to contact Sponsored Programs staff early-on about plans for electronic submission of proposals. 

Due to unforeseeable technical difficulties with hardware performance, Internet access, and software compatibility, as well as the ever-changing requirements by agencies for electronic proposals, SP can only ensure submission by the required deadline if e-proposals are complete and ready for transmission at least 24 hours prior to the deadline . Budgets must be reviewed and approved prior to this 24-hour review deadline.

Responsibilities of. . .

Principal Investigators (PIs) and Departmental Administrators Assisting the Proposal Preparation Process for Electronic Submissions

  1. Upon learning of a deadline requiring electronic submission, PIs must contact Sponsored Programs to alert them of the upcoming electronic submission.
  2. Proposals requiring electronic submission, must follow the same processing rules as paper proposals, i.e. they are required to be routed through the appropriate departments and approved by Sponsored Programs prior to submission to the sponsoring agency. See Processing Proposals above.
  3. Project Leader or Principal Investigator submits a copy of the grant guidelines (RFP), completed narrative and budget to Sponsored and Academic Programs Support and the Office of the Controller, for pre-review two weeks prior to deadline/due date in preparation for the transmittal process.
  4. If paper copies of any documents are required to be sent to the sponsoring agency, they must be submitted to SP with appropriate signatures, approvals, and attachments, where applicable.
  5. If an electronic proposal submission involves a multi-institutional consortium or has sub-awards to other institutions, it is the responsibility of the PI to provide documentation to SP: a) proposal cover sheet or document that provides signatures of the PI and authorized representative of the external organization; b) budgets/justifications from the sub-awardee organization.
  6. Failure to follow these instructions could result in a proposal not reaching the sponsor by their deadline and could jeopardize the potential for an award.

The Office of Sponsored and Academic Programs Support

  1. Sponsored Programs (SP) is committed to being and remaining savvy in the arena of Electronic Proposal Submission. Any information directly related to this process will be disseminated through this website under the caption News .
  2. Sponsored Programs will, upon request, assign identification or PIN numbers required by some sponsor electronic systems. This will allow PIs to begin working on proposals and to review reporting and proposal tracking systems. Contact SP at 989.964.4295 to request this service.
  3. SP will assist faculty and departmental staff with proposal instructions and other administrative processes relating to the grant and/or contract submission.
  4. SP will continue to review proposals and budgets, and to prepare institutional certifications and assurances before proposals are submitted.
  5. In the majority of situations, SP will electronically "submit" proposals to sponsoring agencies, rather than PIs.
  6. SP will mail paper copies of all documents required by sponsored agencies.
  7. SP will retain and provide paper and/or electronic file copies of the completed and submitted proposal.

Tips for Submitting E-Grant Applications

  • Don't wait until the day of the deadline to submit as computer glitches may occur and you may not be able to get technical assistance. Set an early deadline for yourself and make it one or two days early.
  • Some agencies will require that you secure an account through which you will make your submission. When reading the application instructions, be alert for this requirement. Establishing this account may take extra time.
  • Keep a printout (with date and time of submission) to verify that a proposal has been submitted electronically as the agency may not have a record of it. If this occurs, you may still be able to get back into the competition.
  • Don't rely solely on instructional prompts which appear on screen but also on a printed copy of the detailed program announcement and/or instructions.
  • Keep a record of passwords and password changes and share it with colleagues who may be working with you, especially when you may have tight deadlines. It can be enormously frustrating to be delayed in waiting for the Help Desk to return this information.
  • Do not assume that exiting a form will save it. Always press the "Save" button before exiting. Some applications also prefer that you do not use the browser "back" button. Save work frequently.
  • Remember that text documents prepared in advance with standard word-processing software tend not to preserve formatting when pasted into the appropriate boxes on the online form.
  • Always print a hard copy of your proposal before you press the "Submit" button.