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Proposal Development

Writing a robust proposal is a strategic process that requires thorough research, compliance with sponsor and Rutgers requirements, and clear content. Our proposal development resources will help you every step of the way. 

Research and Sponsored Programs office (RSP)

The Research and Sponsored Programs office (RSP) is responsible for all pre-award and non-financial post-award functions related to all sponsored projects, with the exception of awards issued by corporate for-profit sponsors.

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Accordion Content

  • 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 rsp
    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 RSP 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.

Accordion Content

  • RSP is responsible for approving budget(s) of all proposals to outside granting agencies, and negotiates awards with funding agencies. Budget development should be detailed, realistic, and as comprehensive as possible to ensure that all costs of the project have been accounted for.

    The Budget Template is used by faculty and staff in the preparation of their grant budgets.

    • The budget template includes auto-calculating features to calculate the most current approved fringe benefits and facilities and administrative costs (F&A) as established by the current Rutgers rate agreement, as well as imposing the correct calculation rules regarding those purchases or services that do not incur F&A.

    • Please also see the cost share policy for information regarding when a budget with cost share detail is required.

    • Once completed, the budget template and a complete budget justification (including cost-share detail when applicable) should be sent electronically to the Grants Specialist for review and comment. The Grants Specialist will respond back with any questions, concerns, request for correction(s), or suggestions on how to clarify the budget or justification.

    Please note that the total funds awarded/granted by the sponsor at the time of award may not reflect the total amount of funds requested at the time of the proposal submission. As a result, your Grants Specialist will request a revised budget when necessary to reflect the exact amount of funds (in MTDC or TDC) and F&A received from the sponsor as stated in the award document.

    System/Software Requirements:

    PC : Please be sure you are using the most recent version of of Microsoft Excel available.

    Mac: Please be sure you are using the most recent version of of Microsoft Excel available.

    Instructions (Budget Template)

    1. Begin using the template by completing the Welcome worksheet. This must be completed in order for the template to calculate correctly.
    2. Continure on to the Personnel Worksheet.
      • Personnel Worksheet (Advanced) allows for calculation of salary by base salary, effort and cost of living
      • Personnel Worksheet (Basic): retained for those that wish to use a simpler format in calculating the requested salalry
      • Either or both of the tabs may be and the information will be summarized on the Budget Worksheet.
    3. Complete the Consultant Worksheet to include any consultants on the project (optional). These totals will be carried to the Budget Worksheet.    
    4. Complete the Subcontractor Worksheet to identify any outgoing subcontracts. The totals will be carried over to the Budget Workseet.    
    5. Complete the remainder of the Budget Worksheet.    
    6. The Notes section is optional and may be used to enter freeform notes regardng the budget.    
    7. The Effort Calculator is available for use in determining effort in person months.

    Instructions (Advanced Budget Template incliding Cost Sharing)

    This template may be used when there is need for a more complex budget preparation/estimation that will calculate F&A across fiscal years and/or if cost sharing is a component of the project.

    1. Begin using the template by completing the Welcome worksheet. This must be completed in order for the template to calculate correctly.
    2. Continue by lcicking on the Personnel worksheet. This information will populate the the respective sections on the individual Budget Period and Budget Summary worksheets.
    3. If applicable, use the Personnel (Cost Sharing) worksheet to include as part of the overall request. The categories and names will carry-over from the Personnel worksheet. This information will populate the the respective sections on the individual Budget Period and Budget Summary worksheets.
    4. If applicable, complete the Consultant worksheet to include any consultants on the project. This information will populate the the respective sections on the individual Budget Period and Budget Summary worksheets.    
    5. If applicable, complete the Subcontractor Worksheet to identify any outgoing subcontracts. This information will populate the the respective sections on the individual Budget Period and Budget Summary worksheets.
    6. Complete the worksheets BP1 through BP5 for each of the budget periods. Note that there for each fiscal period the budget spans, a default allocation will be applied (by percentage) based on the number of days the project is in that given fiscal period. The default allocation may be overridden to meet specific needs for each individual line item. Salary allocations must be changed on the respective salary worksheets.
    7. The Budget Summary is not editable and reflects the total amounts of the information provided on BP1 through BP5.
    8. The Notes section is optional and may be used to enter freeform notes regardng the budget.    
    9. The signature page may be used to obtainin the necessary signatures when cost share is involved. You may enter the cost sharing distribution for each line there will be a summation at the bottom of the page.

Accordion Content

  • Cost Share is the portion of sponsored program costs not paid by the sponsor. Resources dedicated to cost share may draw from contributions, donations, or proportional matching from the University and/or external Third Party (“In-Kind”) entities. There are three types of cost share associated with sponsored programs:

    1. Mandatory Committed

      Cost share is required by the terms of the sponsored program, and must be included and budgeted for as part of the sponsored award. It is explicitly required by the notice of funding opportunity and must be included in the proposal for consideration by the sponsor.

    2. Voluntary Committed

      Cost share is not required by the terms of the sponsored program, but is included and budgeted for as part of the sponsored award. It is not expected by the sponsor in the proposal and cannot be considered as a factor of merit review by the sponsor unless criteria for consideration are explicitly described in the notice of funding opportunity.

    3. Voluntary Uncommitted

      Cost share is not required by the terms of the sponsored program, and is not included or budgeted for as part of the sponsored program. It is neither proposed nor expected but may occur during program administration.

    Inclusion of cost share in a funding proposal requires approval by the Department Chair/Director/Dean via approval in RAPSS. Moreover, only mandatory cost share is advised due to University resource restraints. Please download the University policy for cost share to the right for more detail regarding cost share.

    The table below summarizes the University’s procedure for collecting budgets with cost share detail and tracking expenditures via companion accounts, depending on the type of cost share involved:

    Type of Cost Share Budget Template with Cost Share Detail at Time of Proposal Budget Template with Cost Share Detail at Time of Award Tracking Method
    1 Mandatory Committed Required Required Companion Account  
    2 Voluntary Committed        
    Effort unpaid by the sponsor (ex. State Lines) Requested* Required Companion Account or Third Party Certified if Applicable
    Supplies, Equipment, Other Requested* Required Companion Account or Third Party Certified if Applicable
    Over the Cap Salary, Tuition, and/or Health Benefits n/a n/a Departmental Tracking
    3 Voluntary Uncommitted n/a n/a n/a  

    * = A detailed cost share budget is not required to be submitted to RSP at the proposal stage, but cost share must be flagged in RAPSS. Departments may choose to require the budget template. If so, the cost-share budget should be submitted to ORSP with the proposal packet for review and will result in expedited award set-up, if an award is received. Note, a cost-share budget is required at the time of proposal if the type of cost-sharing is mandatory committed.

    ** = Budgets and companion accounts are not required unless funds are not recovered up to the maximum amount allowed by the sponsor.

Accordion Content

  • What is a Subaward?

    Research endeavors often require the collaboration of multiple investigators.  Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (Rutgers) may seek to enter into a subaward agreement with an outside entity in order to engage in collaborative research efforts within a sponsored project.

    The Prime Institution or Pass-Through Entity (collectively “PTE”) is responsible to the Sponsor for the work of any sub-recipient on a project.  The issuance of a subaward agreement is based on many important considerations, such as determining the appropriate type of subaward agreement to be used, as well as the appropriate terms and conditions to be included in the subaward agreement, based on the risk assessment which is prepared by the PTE.  Please see Subaward Processing (https://orsp.rutgers.edu/subaward-processing) for more information.

    At the present time, many Institutions / Organizations are participating in the Federal Demonstration Project (“FDP”) Expanded Clearinghouse to streamline the process of entering into collaborations.  The published organizational information listed in the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse on-line system is routinely utilized by collaborating institutions to evaluate the risks of conducting business with others.  The information in the system has been certified correct by the applicable institutional official and includes data regarding the entity’s most recent Single Audit, F&A and fringe benefit rates, as well as suspension and debarment, PHS financial conflict of interest policy status, Federal Wide Assurance number, other compliance-related information, and a wide variety of federal codes (DUNS, EIN, CAGE, etc.) and contact information (senior authorized official, FFATA, financial, COI, etc.) that are commonly needed for various types of subawards.  The FDP Expanded Clearinghouse Steering Committee team monitors the profiles regularly to ensure the data is current.

    FDP Expanded Clearinghouse

    Rutgers Legacy campuses:

    • Newark – DUNS 130029205
    • New Brunswick – DUNS 001912864; and
    • Camden – DUNS 625216556

    became participants of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse on September 18, 2019.

    Rutgers RBHS Piscataway / New Brunswick – UBHC / GSBS – DUNS 078816195, became a participant on December 2, 2019

    At the present time, we will be using the RBHS Piscataway / New Brunswick UBHC / GSBS entry as the front end / public facing profile while having the other 7 RBHS DUNS linked to that profile.  Once all 8 RBHS DUNS numbers are consolidated into one, the RBHS profile will be updated accordingly.   

    Please contact subawards@research.rutgers.edu with any requests or inquiries regarding subawards.

    Rutgers is participating in a PTE Proposal (Rutgers is the Subrecipient)

    1. Use the Letter of Intent - Rutgers is the Subrecipient form. This form should be used INSTEAD of the PTE’s long Subrecipient Commitment Form. If the PTE insists on their long Subrecipient Commitment form, please use the recommended “push back” language (select the appropriate document as provided in the sidebar).
    2. Provide all other documentation requested by the PTE.

    Including Subawards in Rutgers Proposals (Rutgers is the PTE)

    If a subaward collaboration is anticipated, Rutgers (the PTE) must collect relevant documents from any Subrecipient(s) for submission to the Sponsor during the proposal stage. These documents consist of:

    1. Subrecipient Commitment Form / Letter of Intent:

      It will be the PI / Department’s responsibility to find out if a potential subrecipient is an FDP Expanded Clearinghouse participant. Please follow the steps below to obtain this information:

      1. Go to https://fdpclearinghouse.org/
      2. Click on “Find an Organization”
      3. Enter the Organization’s name in the “Search” box.

      Once a determination is made of an Institution/Organization’s status, follow the steps below to ensure that the appropriate forms are provided to the collaborator(s) to begin the subaward process.

      Scenario 1 – Rutgers is the PTE and the Subrecipient IS currently a participant of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse:

      Use the Letter of Intent - Rutgers is the PTE. The Subrecipient should be requested to complete this form INSTEAD of the Rutgers Subrecipient Commitment Form. This form requests far less information related only to the proposed subaward scope of work.

      Please note that many Institutions / Organizations that are FDP Expanded Clearinghouse participants, have developed their own Letter of Intent. This documentation is also acceptable instead of the Letter of Intent - Rutgers is the PTE form.

      Scenario 2 – Rutgers is the PTE and the Subrecipient is NOT currently a participant of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse:

      Use the Subrecipient Commitment Form. This form collects all necessary disclosure information from the subrecipient, such as compliance and institutional contact information, as well as specific information related to the proposed subaward scope of work.

    2. Scope of Work:

      Required of the potential Subaward in order to outline expected work to be completed. Please see SOW guidelines below for more information

    3. Budget and Budget Justification:

      Required of the potential Subaward in order to categorize and justify expected costs of conducting research.

    4. Other Documents (if applicable):

      Other documents may be necessary as identified by the specific Sponsor and/or the specific Sponsor announcement. These documents may include:

      • Biosketches
      • Current and Pending Support
      • Equipment
      • Letter of Collaboration / Letter of Support
      • Facilities, etc.

      Subrecipient Documents are due to RSP at 12 P.M. five (5) business days in advance of the Sponsor’s proposal submission deadline. Please note that many forms require the signature of the requesting Principal Investigator, as well as that of an Authorized Official. Downloads for above referenced forms can be found to the right.

    Subawards vs. Service Contracts

    There is an important difference between a subaward and a service contract. A research subaward is issued by ORSP and involves financial assistance activities to perform a substantive portion of the Prime Award, whereas a contractor/consultant/vendor involves the procurement of goods and services.

    Note: A subaward should never be issued to an individual. Determine whether the prospective agreement is a subcontract or service contract based upon the criteria below:

    contact procurement

    Scope of Work Guidelines

    The scope of work (SOW) content should be carefully tailored to address how the subrecipient will contribute to the success of the prime award objectives. The table below provides guidance for the information detail that the scope of work should include:

    Scope of Work Guidelines

     

     

Accordion Content

  • NIH grants policy allows the submission of certain elements of a competing application to be deferred for certain programs and award mechanisms, as referenced in the NIH Grants Policy Statement [see the section titled Just-In-Time Procedures under Completing the Pre-Award Process]. These elements, that can be submitted Just-in-Time by the applicant when requested by NIH, include:

    • Other Support
    • Certification of Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval of the project’s proposed use of human subjects (when applicable)
    • Verification of Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) Approval of the project’s proposed use of live vertebrate animals (when applicable)
    • Evidence of compliance with the education in the protection of human subjects requirement

    If a Just-In-Time (“JIT”) submission is required, you will be notified by NIH accordingly which will allow you to generate/upload any necessary documentation into eRA Commons for submission. This JIT request will be sent electronically to the Principal Investigator (PI). When the PI receives the JIT request, a copy should be forwarded immediately to the appropriate Grants Specialist. Once the JIT request is completed, access to submit should be given to the ORSP Grants Specialist. Once access is given, the Grants Specialist should be notified by email that the JIT is ready and access has been granted to complete a final review. If the JIT is amenable for submission, the Grants Specialist will then submit on behalf of the investigator and the institution.

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