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Review & Submit

Conducting a timely and thorough review before submission will ensure that your proposal meets all the sponsor's requirements and increases your chances for a successful application. 

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  • Explore a wide range of curated internal and external funding opportunities to help advance your research and scholarly activities.

    What is a Sponsored Program?

    Sponsored programs include research, instruction and training, public service, evaluative testing, and other scholarly and creative activities conducted under the direction of University faculty and staff and funded by organizations external to the University, in accordance with award instruments containing one or more of the following provisions:

    • Funds to be used only for activities approved in advance by the sponsor;
    • Expenditures to be made according to a budget, which may be as simple as an allocation between direct costs and F&A (Facilities and Administration – also known as indirect costs) approved in advance by the sponsor;
    • Requirement for audits by or on behalf of the funding source;
    • An obligation to satisfy specific funding source requirements (e.g., terms and conditions setting forth a detailed scope of work to be accomplished rather than a general area of research or program endeavor);
    • Testing or evaluation of proprietary products;
    • Specification of a time period during which activities are to be conducted and completed;
    • Requirement for technical or financial reports, or for some other outcome or product of the activity, to be delivered to the sponsor during or at the completion of the activity;
    • Terms for the disposition of rights in tangible or intangible property (data rights, copyrights, inventions) developed or obtained during the activity;
    • Requirement for unexpended funds to be returned to the sponsor at the completion of the activity.

    Sponsored Program Agreement Types

    There are three basic funding mechanisms used to support sponsored programs. Each particular type of funding mechanism carries with it different characteristics and objectives. Following is an overview of each:

    Characteristic Grant Cooperative Agreement Contract


    A grant is used to support a particular project conceived and proposed by the principal investigator, with minimal involvement and control by the sponsor. Grants generally contain fewer administrative requirements than other funding instruments such as contracts.

    A cooperative agreement is a type of federal award that provides assistance to a particular project with substantial federal involvement throughout the life of the project.

    A sponsor issues a contract to procure goods or services for their direct benefit. Goods or services to be procured are specifically defined in the request for proposals inviting bids or quotes. Many contracts provide for substantial sponsor involvement in the performance of the contracted activity. Contracts tend to be governed by fairly restrictive administrative requirements.


    Basic Purpose

    Provide assistance with few restrictions

    Provide assistance with substantial involvement between parties

    Procure tangible goods or services

    Solicitation Method

    Application kit or guidelines

    Request for proposals

    Request for bid or quote

    Award Instrument

    Short, may refer to general conditions

    Describes involvement, party relationships

    Long, detailed specs, clauses, regulations and expected results, milestones

    Involvement by Sponsor

    Generally, none

    Substantial involvement

    May be extensive



    Usually allowed

    Occasionally allowed within restrictions

    Equipment Title




    Patent Rights

    Generally liberal

    May be involved

    Provision in contract



    May ask to be informed

    May require prior review/deletion of proprietary information


    Annual summary report

    Frequent reports

    Detailed, often monthly

    The grid below provides guidance on the type of sponsored program agreement needed and the central office that processes that agreement. A process flow detailing the same information can be found in the downloads section of this page.

    Incoming (Scope of Work) Agreement

    Scope of Work   Sponsor Type Example Agreement Type Responsibility



    Business/For-Profit Entity

    The Boeing Company


    Sponsored Research Agreements



    • Federal, State, Local Government

    • Foundations

    • Non-Profit Business Entity

    National Institutes of Health

    Sponsored Project (Grant or Contract)

    Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP)


    Includes Designated Health Services (DHS)*

    All Sponsor Types (primarily hospitals/clinics/non-profits)

    Northampton County Mental Health

    Professional Service Agreement

    Office of Enterprise Risk Management



    Business/For-Profit Entity

    Bristol Meyers Squibb

    Clinical Trial Agreement

    Sponsored Research Agreements

    Outging (Scope of Work) Agreement

    Scope of Work   Sponsor Type Example Agreement Type Responsibility


    Subrecipient does not have programmatic involvement

    All Sponsor Types

    Outside professionals (e.g. consultants, technicians, etc.)

    Professional Service Provider Agreement or IT Professional Service Provider Agreement

    University Procurement Services


    Subrecipient has programmatic involvement

    Business/For-Profit Entity

    Lockheed Martin

    Subaward Agreement

    Sponsored Research Agreements


    Subrecipient has programmatic involvement

    • Federal, State, Local Government

    • Foundations

    • Non-Profit Business Entity

    National Institutes of Health

    Subaward Agreement

    Research and Sponsored Programs 



    Business/For-Profit Entity

    Bristol Meyers Squibb

    Clinical Trial Agreement

    Sponsored Research Agreements


    Establishment of a Clinical Affiliation Agreement

    All Sponsor Types (primarily hospitals/clinics/non-profits)

    Saint Peter's Healthcare System

    Clinical Affiliation Agreement

    Office of Enterprise Risk Management

    *Scope of Work typically includes Designated Health Services (DHS):

    1. Clinical lab services;
    2. PT/OT services;
    3. Radiology and imaging services;
    4. Radiation therapy services and supplies;
    5. DME and supplies;
    6. Parenteral and enteral nutrients, equipment and supplies;
    7. Prosthetics, orthotics and prosthetic devices;
    8. Home health services and supplies;
    9. Outpatient prescription drugs; and
    10. Inpatient and outpatient hospital services.

    Gifts vs. Sponsored Programs

    Gifts are not used to fund sponsored programs which support a defined project. Gifts represent a source of support for general University programs or activities with limited restrictions. Generally, funds from private, non-government sources, are administered as gifts when the funding source neither expects nor required consideration in return for transfer of funds to the University.

    To determine whether your award is a gift or sponsored project (grant, cooperative agreement, contract), download the Gift vs. Sponsored Project Checklist to the right. This provides guidance to determine whether an award is considered a gift or sponsored project, the office that handles the agreement and the form needed to request an account or index.

  • Proposal preparation takes considerable time and effort. Effective 9/1/2015, all administrative items are required in their final version with placeholders for the final science by 12pm noon five (5) business days before the sponsor deadline.  The proposal in its final form for submission to the sponsor, including the final science, is due by 12pm noon two (2) business days before the sponsor deadline.  Once ORSP reviews the proposal, the Grant Specialist may request changes to the administrative and/or scientific components of the proposal in line with all university and sponsor policies.  All changes requested by ORSP must be completed and returned to ORSP no later than 9am Eastern Time on the day of the sponsor deadline.  ORSP is not responsible for additional changes that the investigator may make to the proposal during this time or any adverse impact such changes may have on the proposal submission.  Requests to withdraw and resubmit  changes once a proposal has been submitted to the sponsor are at the discretion of ORSP.

    For all proposals being submitted via the sponsor's electronic system (NSF FastLane, Proposal Central, etc.), if the system permits, ORSP must be granted access to the submission a minimum of five (5) days in advance of the sponsor's deadline. If the sponsor’s system does not allow for the ORSP to be given access, a copy of the final proposal must be provided in accordance with the established 5/2 day policy.  All documents including the final science must be uploaded and in final format and access provided to ORSP by 12pm noon two (2) business days before the sponsor deadline.

    If your proposal is not submitted to ORSP by the two (2) business day deadline, an exception request must be sent to the Vice President for Research (cc your ORSP Grants Specialist) to, including the date and time the proposal is due to the sponsor, a justification as to why your proposal could not meet the established internal deadline(s) outlined below.

    Documentation Required for the (5 Day/2 Day) Deadlines

    Please note the 5/2 day policy applies to ALL activity that is submitted to ORSP for review (proposals, progress reports, letters of intent, subawards, etc.)

    Documents Required at Five (5) Business Day Deadline Documents Required at Two (2) Business Day Deadline
    Completed RAPSS Funding Proposal with PI Signature/PI Approval to Submit and the working project title Completed RAPSS Funding Proposal with all required signatures/department approval and final project title
    Sponsor's guidelines
    Final proposal excluding final science

    Final Science, which may include:

    • Project Summary/Abstract
    • Project Narrative
    • Bibliography & References Cited
    • Facilities & Other Resources
    • Specific Aims
    • Research Strategy
    • Resource Sharing Plan(s)
    Final budget with budget justification

    Subaward documents (if applicable):

    • Budget
    • Budget Justification
    • SOW
    • Statement of Intent
    • Subrecipient Commitment Form

    Completed COI Disclosure Form

    For all Investigators, a disclosure must be on file and active (submitted within the last 12 months) at the time of proposal submission.  A new disclosure is not required.

    Proposal Development Timeline

    This timeline below is a representative example of the proposal submission timeline for PIs and Department Administrators. This timeline has been developed to allow sufficient lead time to produce a quality proposal, receive required internal approvals, and ensure thorough central office review prior to submission.

    proposal submission timeline


  • The Endorsement Process is:

    • The internal mechanism utilized to obtain the necessary research project information in order to process a proposal to a sponsor. RAPSS should be used to complete the Endorsement Process for all ORSP submissions.

    • Detailed, binding documentation between the department and ORSP where all appropriate signatures from the PI, Director/Chair, Dean, and ORSP Specialist must be obtained prior to submission of a proposal or award. When an animal or human research, stem cells, or biohazardous materials are involved, ORSP will obtain signatures from the appropriate Compliance officer at the time of the award.

    • Required for all proposals (new, competitive renewals, and supplements/revisions), contracts, and clinical trials. All signatures are mandatory.

    • Required for non-competing continuations, Only the PIs signature is necessary. Department policies may require additional signatures for non-competing continuations.

    The Fully Signed/Executed RAPSS Funding Proposal:

    • Ensures a proposed project is complete and consistent with the missions and policies of the department, college, and the university

    • Outlines all applicable proposal information for grants, contracts, MOA, MOU, Cooperative Agreements, and any other type of proposed submissions.

    A Complete and Electronically Signed RAPSS Funding Proposal

    • Is required at 12 pm noon 5 business days prior to the sponsor deadline date of any proposal for sponsored funding with the PI signature

    • Is required at 12 pm noon 2 business days prior to the sponsor deadline date of any proposal for sponsored funding with all applicable department, chair, etc. signatures

    • View all documents required for submission at the 5 and 2 business day deadlines

  • 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 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.


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