Research and Sponsored Programs

Proposal Preparation and Submission

Getting Started

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) staff is committed to assisting investigators and administrators across both campuses.

  • Complete the Proposal Intake Form to request assistance from ORSP on developing your budget and other essential documents when submitting a proposal for funding from external sponsors.
  • For assistance with proposal writing or development, please contact Eva English, Manager of Proposal Development.
  • Quick guide to steps in proposal preparation or the FAQ page for more information

ORSP works with UToledo faculty, staff and students, external sponsors and subcontractors to manage requests for funding for research and other scholarly and creative activities. The ORSP staff also provides oversight and advice on issues of federal, state and institutional compliance, and regulations related to these activities.


Lead times

So that your proposal receives the most thorough review and processing  of your proposal, The Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (ORSP) requires receipt of complete proposal documents  a minimum of five business days prior to the sponsor or lead institution’s submission deadline. The completed budget must be approved via the Proposal Endorsement Form (RSP-100) before submission to the sponsors, so please plan accordingly.

Some situations require additional time:

  • If you are including subrecipients on your proposal, including co-investigators at other universities or national labs, consultants, and/or purchased services, please note that complete subrecipient commitment forms, budgets, scopes of work, and other documents must be received by ORSP at least 10 to 15 business days prior to the sponsor submission deadline so that your own budget and other documents can be finalized within the five-day window.
  • If UToledo is a subrecipient on another institution’s proposal, your budget, scope of work, and subrecipient commitment forms must be received by RSP at least ten business days prior to the lead institution’s deadline for full review and processing.

Proposal Endorsement Form (PEF)

Download and complete the Proposal Endorsement Form (RSP-100)  prior to proposal submission. A pdf of the budget, marked final and initialed by your grants coordinator, must be attached to the PEF when it is presented to the co-investigators, deans, and chairs of all represented departments for signatures. The percent credit must be designated on the PEF and allocation for investigators must sum to 100%. The budget sheet must be initialed and dated by all signers. The completed PEF must be signed and received by ORSP before submission to any sponsor.

Effort vs. Credit

Percent effort is not the same as credit. Effort is determined by compensation paid through or committed for a sponsored project (i.e. through mandatory cost share). UToledo policy states that compensation charged to a sponsored program should be reasonable and consistent with earnings for similar work expected for that person’s appointment. This is defined by the Academic Year Base Salary (AYBS). The maximum compensation that can be requested in a sponsored project budget is the individual’s AYBS multiplied by the percent effort committed to the Sponsored Program (UToledo policy 3364-70-18). 

Percent credit is determined by agreement among the Principal Investigator(s) (PI), Co-PIs, and Co-Investigators.  Credit allocation distributes recognition of the investigators and departments as well as Facilities and Administrative (F&A, indirect) costs recovery and distribution among investigators’ departments and colleges.  Credit must total 100% on each PEF.  If the PI claims full credit for the grant then Faculty 180 will indicate 100% credit to the PI and his/her department with all indirect cost recovery allocated only to the PI’s unit. 

Split credit is used to fairly represent the contributions of investigators from various units.  The process encourages collaborations across departments and colleges by facilitating an equitable distribution on award reports.  Such a system also allows recognition of investigators and their departments including when program guidelines stipulate that the PI must be a Provost or VP.


Required Documents

For a complete proposal, the Principal Investigator works with the grants coordinator in ORSP to prepare detailed budget documents for UToledo and subrecipients.  A complete budget and drafts of all other documentation is required at least five days prior to proposal submission deadline.  Longer lead times are required for proposals with subrecipients or multiple institutions:

  • Detailed Budget — changes to your budget cannot be accepted by ORSP within 5 days of sponsor or lead institution deadlines, except under extraordinary circumstances. Changes may not be made to the budget marked final by your grants coordinator without approval by ORSP at any time. Remember that small changes in budgets are usually allowed after award without sponsor approval.
  • Applicable subcontract documents (i.e. approved budget from subrecipient research office, scope of work, consortium agreement)
  • Complete proposals typically include:
    • Project Summary
    • Project Description or Plan
    • Budget Justification
    • Biosketches for All Key Personnel
    • Current and Pending Support
    • Data Management Plan
    • Facilities and Resources
    • Post-Doctoral Fellow Mentoring Plan
    • Letters of Support or Collaboration

ORSP Proposal Review & Submission Deadlines

Proposal submission confirms UToledo’s agreement to the sponsor's award terms and conditions. During the pre-award review, unfavorable or unacceptable award terms and conditions may be addressed. However, when a proposal is submitted without ample time for pre-award review, there is not only the potential for an incomplete or inaccurate submission but also the risk of award terms and conditions to which the University is not able to agree. If the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is unable to negotiate removal of such terms and conditions at time of award, the University will decline the award.

The timelines below refer to proposals with all documents complete.

Proposals Arriving On-Time to ORSP | 5 Days or More Before Deadline

The pre-award team’s proposal review of documentation requires five full business days (up to 10 - 15 days for proposals with subrecipients) and include the following:

  1. Review of Request for Proposal (RFP), FOA, or solicitation to ensure compliance with guideline.
  2. Review cost share requirements and calculations
  3. Review draft budget and make suggestions and corrections where needed
  4. Review budget justification to ensure that it matches final budget
  5. Advise and assist with letters of support or commitment
  6. Review budget and other documents for compliance with UToledo policy and submission requirements
  7. Assist with sponsor submission portal
  8. When proposal includes subaward(s) – check that all required documentation is received (a minimum of ten full business days is required for proposals with subrecipients, subcontracts, or subawards).
Proposals Arriving Late to ORSP | Less Than 5 Days Before Deadline

If requests for assistance including proposal documents arrive at ORSP less than 5 business days of the submission deadline, grants coordinators will not perform the full proposal review activities listed above. Rather, the focus will be solely on submitting the proposal in time to meet the sponsor deadline. The Director will inform you that your proposal is at risk and ORSP makes no guarantees that the budget or other documents are complete or correct.

The proposal will receive pre-award proposal review activity as indicated below.

On-time submissions will be given  priority.

Proposals Arriving 2 to 4 Business Days in Advance of the Submission Deadline

Depending on the volume of proposals already received and in progress within ORSP, review may include the following:

  1. Review budget
  2. Review budget justification for consistency with budget
  3. Review for submission issues
  4. Review cost share forms and letters of support and/or commitment
  5. Review for compliance with UToledo policy and federal regulations
Proposals Arriving 1 Business Day in Advance of the Submission Deadline

On-time submissions will be given priority.

  1. Review budget
  2. Review budget justification for consistency with budget
 Proposals Arriving on the Day of the Submission Deadline

If submission issues cannot be rapidly resolved, submission may not be possible. On-time submissions will be given priority.

  1. Review for submission issues

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Last Updated: 6/25/21