Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
Some of the more commonly asked questions about proposal preparation and award administration are listed below. If you do not find the answer to your questions here, please contact an OSP staff member, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 351-1907
- How do I find a grant opportunity for a project I would like to develop?
The Funding Opportunities section of this website describes some of the resources available to help you find funding to support your work. You may also request assistance from OSP by contacting Associate Director Cira Mathis.
- Who can answer my questions about a sponsor's proposal guidelines
OSP staff members have expertise in different areas of proposal development and submission;
- Visit the Who Do I Call? page for detailed contact information.
- For questions regarding allowable costs and budget requirements, email your Grants and Contracts Administrator.
- For questions about preparing your proposal documents for submission and electronic submissions systems, contact your Grants and Contracts Administrator.
- If your proposal information will be going to another organization to be submitted as part of its proposal to a funding agency, contact your Grants and Contracts Administrator.
- When do I need to inform OSP that I am planning to submit a proposal?
As soon as you have decided that you are going to submit, notify OSP by sending a Notice of Intent to Submit (NIS). The information you provide on the NIS, allows the OSP staff to schedule workloads and contact you to plan for proposal development and submission.
- The proposal guidelines say that I need to register for Grants.gov (or some other
proposal system); is that something I should do?
OSP registers the university for all proposal submission systems. However, you may need to be signed up as a principal investigator to use a system. Contact your Grants and Contracts Administrator if you are unsure or if you don't know if you are already signed up.
- Do I need to notify OSP if I'm going to work with a partner at another institution,
and that institution is going to submit our proposal?
Yes. In this situation, your sponsor is that other institution. The funding agency to which their proposal (including the information for your work) will be submitted is referred to as your prime sponsor. Your proposal to the other institution will be processed through OSP like any other proposal.
- The sponsor requires that I need to submit a letter of intent (sometimes called a
notice of intent, pre-proposal, or other similar term). Do I send it myself, or does
it need to go through OSP?
If the letter of intent has to provide any budget information, a description of your project, or a commitment from the university of any kind, it must go through OSP. However, if the sole purpose is t let the sponsor know how may proposals to expect in order to plan for the review process, you may send it yourself. OSP would appreciate being copied.
- May I include individuals who are not UNC employees on my proposal?
Yes. However, they may not be included as personnel in your proposal budget. If you plan to use non-UNC personnel, you will need to either hire them as consultants or subcontract with their institutions/organizations.
- When do I have to provide OSP with my completed, final proposal documents?
OSP must have final versions of all proposal documents by 9:00 a.m. three business days prior to the sponsor's deadline date. See the Internal Submission Deadline Policy.
- I want to show that UNC is contributing cost share on my Budget; how do I find sources
of cost share funding?
Unless the sponsor's guidelines require it, UNC does not contribute cost sharing on proposals. If the sponsor does require a cost share, you should first discuss it with your chair/director and then your dean/VP. Funds for institutional cost sharing may be available, but only if you provide evidence that your units are contributing or reasons that they are not able to.
If the sponsor guidelines do not require cost share, but do recommend it, you should contact your OSP Grants and Contracts Administrator for your unit to discuss what should be done.
- How do I know what costs I can include in my proposal budget?
Items charged to a sponsored program must first be expenses that are allowable to the university and State of Colorado.
After that, items that can be budgeted in a proposal will depend on the sponsor and that program to which you are applying. Most all proposal guidelines include budgeting information that will answer this question. General provisions for the allowability of costs on federal proposals are described in the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200), Subpart E – Cost Principles.
OSP will work with you to develop a Budget that meets all requirements.
- Where can I get a copy of the Proposal Review and Endorsement Form (PREF)?
A partially completed PREF will be emailed to you after your budget has been finalized and entered on the PREF. You will then need to ensure that it is complete, print it, and obtain all required signatures. The fully signed PREF must be received by OSP by 9:00 a.m. three business days prior to the sponsor's proposal deadline date.
- I'm submitting to a sponsor that doesn't require institutional signature. May I submit
the proposal myself, or does it need to go through OSP?
All proposals soliciting funds for sponsored projects must go through internal routing for approval using the PREF. See University Regulations 3-7-114(2) and Guidance on Sponsored Projects for details. Contact your Grants and Contracts Administrator if you are not sure if your proposal is for a "sponsored project."