The Grant Proposal Process

If you would like help in identifying a funding source, please contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) for assistance .  

The following information applies to those who have already identified a funding source. Please contact the ORSP as soon as you consider writing a proposal. Please provide the following information:  

  • Name of funding agency;
  • Program name and/or number (if applicable);
  • Deadline for submission;
  • Approximate dollar amount of proposal;
  • Any special circumstances or requests surrounding the project/proposal.

Proposal Preparation and Signature Process

  1. Obtain a copy of the application materials or Request for Proposal (RFP) from the funding agency. They are usually available on the web. For assistance, please contact the ORSP.
  2. Thoroughly read the application materials and be prepared to follow all of the specific instructions including page limits, font sizes, and margin requirements. Failure to follow each and every requirement may result in the proposal being declined or returned without review.
  3. Write a draft of the scientific/technical/text part of the proposal. If you have any questions about the program or whether your specific project will qualify for the program, call the agency program officer. It is advised that you make contact with the program officer prior to submission. Research has shown that this may increase chances of funding.
  4. Prepare the budget. Call the ORSP regarding any questions you may have about this process. We can assist you in calculating salaries, fringe benefits, indirect costs and/or any other items you wish to include in your budget A budget breakdown by line item will be required by EIU, even if it is not required by the funding agency.
  5. Prepare the required funding agency forms, which may include a cover sheet, biographical sketches, current and pending support, certifications, assurances, table of contents, budget forms, etc.
  6. Once you have prepared a good “draft” of the proposal and the final budget, complete the ORSP Proposal Transmittal Form(internal approval form), have the approval form signed by the principal investigator/project director (in most cases this will be you), the chair of the department and the dean of the college. Please note the following special approvals/signatures that may be required for your proposal:
    • If your proposal/program includes an EIU Cost Share Commitment (Item G), you must obtain the signature of the fiscal agent providing the funding and indicate the source of funding and account number.
    • If your project/program will involve building renovations and/or modifications, you must work with the Facilities Planning and Management (FPM) staff to develop the plans and to get a cost estimate before the proposal is submitted, this a copy of this quote must be attached to the Proposal Transmittal Form. You will also need the signature of the FPM representative and the representative from the responsible unit on the Proposal Transmittal Form as well. If needed, the ORSP can facilitate the discussions with FPM for you. Just let us know as far in advance as possible so plans and estimates can be developed prior to proposal submission.
    • If computer equipment/services/software is included in your budget, you will also need the signature of the assistant vice president of Information Technology Services (ITS) on the Proposal Transmittal Form. (Please call ITS at 581-3227 and ask for an appointment to meet with the assistant vice president.)
    • If credit for continuing education courses is involved, you will need the signature of the Dean of Continuing Education on the Proposal Transmittal Form.
    • If your project/program will involve the use of human subjects or vertebrate animals, you will need the signature of the Compliance Coordinator from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
    Once all of the signatures are obtained, bring the proposal draft, final budget and proposal transmittal form to the ORSP.
  7. ORSP will review the proposal and obtain the signatures of the director of Research and Sponsored Programs, the grant accountant, and the vice presidents and president (if necessary).
  8. Once all signatures have been obtained, the proposal will be returned to you for copying and mailing.*

*Some funding agencies require electronic submission by the ORSP. Other agencies allow principal investigators/project directors to electronically submit a proposal, but this may only be done after all the institutional approvals and signatures are obtained.