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Grant Process Pre-Award

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The pre-award process begins with the research and selection of a grant Request for Proposal (RFP), and continues throughout the developmental stages of the proposal up to the submission to the funding agency. OSRP is available throughout the process to assist the principal investigator in the creation of their work.

Institutional and Principal Investigator Eligibility

The university’s eligibility is the most important factor in performing research for a grant proposal. Principal investigators (PIs) should take the time to review the RFP announcement to determine specifically if the university is eligible to apply.

Other factors include:

  • Will the university/campus leadership support the proposal?
  • Are the goals and objectives of the proposed project relevant to the university’s strategic plan?
  • Are resources available to meet the required match (if any)?

Pre-Proposal Activities

After assessing eligibility, the principal investigator (PI) should develop a timeline that helps to identify, organize, and prioritize tasks, forms, and approvals that are needed to complete the proposal submission process, as well as identify responsible personnel (i.e. co-PIs, contractors, sub-awardees, etc.).


Assessing time to develop the proposal should be carefully measured. If there is not sufficient time to develop the project, the principal investigator should consider pursuing another source of funds or preparing for the next funding cycle for the chosen RFP.

To go forward with the proposal submission process, the principal investigator should consider:

  • Is there sufficient time to develop the proposal?
  • Is there sufficient support to obtain authorizations?
  • Is there sufficient time to develop necessary partnerships?

Timelines should include:

  • Addressing statements and criteria required
  • Allowing for writing and editing time
  • Developing relationships with third parties/project partners
  • Allowing sufficient time before the deadline to undergo internal review (usually two weeks prior to submission date)
  • Scheduling adequate time to review issues and potentially make recommended changes as advised from internal reviewers

Timelines have also been developed by OSRP to ensure that all approvals, reviews, and authorizations have been obtained in the submission process. The Proposal Development Timeline addresses proposal benchmarks and processes for the review of proposals during the development stages.

If affirmative, the principal investigator should contact the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs (OSRP) to begin the proposal development process.

Proposal Development

The Office of Sponsored Research and Programs is the starting point for all submissions of publicly funded projects on behalf of Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Once the principal investigator has determined eligibility and the timeline has been developed, the principal investigator should do the following:

  • Complete the Proposal Transmittal Form, prepare a written concise project of work proposed and preliminary budget for review with their Department Chair and Dean. Develop the estimated preliminary budget supporting all the projects activities. Design the budget to reflect unit measures and cost per unit (Please refer to the Budget section of the website for more information on developing the budget).
  • Obtain written approvals from their respective Department Head and Dean to proceed with the project.
  • While the Intent to Submit form is being processed through the Department Chair's and the Dean's offices, the principal investigators should familiarize themselves with the RFP evaluation criteria, as well as develop the timeline and assign tasks with measurable outcomes to accomplish the project’s objectives. The evaluation criterion is essential to understanding and developing activities that meet the requirements of the proposal. Once the specifications of the RFP are reviewed, the principal investigator begins designing and writing the program to meet the RFP requirements. OSRP is available to assist the developer in intrepreting the RFP guidelines.
  • When the Intent to Submit form has been approved by the Department Chair and Dean, the principal investigator should schedule a meeting with OSRP to provide additional required information for your OSRP account and to discuss the institutional requirements for submission.
  • Additional support will be discussed during the pre-award meeting.
  • The principal investigator is now free to proceed with the writing of the proposal.
  • Once the proposal is developed, the principal investigator is to submit the final version of the proposal to OSRP for institutional review ten (10) business days prior to the proposal deadline. During the review process, the reviewer will either offer revisions back to the principal investigator or submit a request to the Institutional Representative (IR) to proceed with the submission.
  • Every funding opportunity varies in its complexities. Both the funding agency and OSRP highly recommend that proposals be completed well in advance of the deadline for submission. Note that many funding agencies offer review of draft proposals prior to their submission, allowing for a great opportunity for feedback directly from the experts in order to increase the likelihood of being selected for project funding; this offer (if available) is only applicable prior to the agency's deadline for submission. Consult with an OSRP representative if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity to verify it is available.


Institutional Review

The principal investigator is responsible for completing an authorization to submit their proposal through the Intent to Submit and Authorization/Budget forms. The proposal will then be reviewed to ensure it meets the specifications set by the funding agency and complies with the institution's mission and strategies. Only after this process is complete will a proposal ready for submission to the funding agency. Principal investigators are cautioned to allow approximately ten (10) working days for this process to be completed.

  • In some proposals, the president of the university is also required to authorize certain expectations of a proposal
  • Once the proposal has been authorized by all university leaders, OSRP requests that Metro State’s president or his/her designated Institutional Representative (IR) sign the documents (as needed) and submit the proposal through the process as designated in the RFP
  • Grant proposals not submitted by the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) of the university will not be processed or awarded by the funding agency

OSRP generally receives multiple proposals near institutional deadlines. The principal investigator is encouraged to provide OSRP with a final document prior to the submission deadline. Completed proposals received by OSRP at least ten (10) working days prior to the deadline will be guaranteed a timely submission. Proposals are processed in the order in which they are received; completed proposals not submitted at least five (5) working days in advance of the sponsor deadline cannot be guaranteed a timely submission. The Submission Services Timeline will explain the level of support OSRP will be able to provide for proposal review and submission, based on the delivery of the final proposal to OSRP.

Transmittal of Proposal to Sponsor

Many grant applications and all Request for Proposals (RFPs) contain certifications and representations that must be completed and signed by an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) for the submitting institution. These documents contain assurances that the university complies with federal regulations regarding conflict of interest, hiring practices, drug-free workplace, and other topics.


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