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Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

Proposal Preparation Basics

A proposal is defined as an application submitted by the UW on the recommendation of a PI to a Sponsor seeking funding or other support for a project. Generally, a proposal will contain a scope of work, budget, budget justification, along with collaborator letters of intent, and other sponsor-required documentation, as applicable. Typically, proposals are submitted in competition with other applicants and usually in response to a broadly-distributed Sponsor-issued solicitation for funding, request for proposal, or other funding opportunity announcement. Categories of competing proposals include, but are not limited to:
  • New
  • Resubmissions
  • Competing Renewal
  • Competing Revisions
  • Competing Supplements
  • Transfers to the UW that require application documentation


There are three types of sponsored programs — grant, contract and cooperative agreements. There are three main types of sponsors — federal, non-profit and industry. See GIM 34 for information about classifying external support as either a sponsored project or a gift.

Before preparing your proposal, carefully read the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) / Sponsor Instructions. This will serve as your guide post when developing for your proposal. Remember to use any sponsor-provided templates.

System Access & Registration

Get access to systems early in the proposal development process.

See your department administrator for authorization or see the sponsor website for instructions regarding systems access.

UW systems authorization is managed by ASTRA (Access to Systems, Tools, Resources and Applications). It provides authorization and authentication to specified UW systems including SAGE (System to Administer Grants Electronically).

Federal sponsors have their own systems, each which may require special access and have a variety of functionality.

Internal Submissions Deadline

UW's Internal Deadlines for Proposals to Outside Agencies — GIM 19

Draft Proposal

The draft proposal, containing all business and administrative elements in final form, and attached to an eGC1, should be received by OSP at least 7 business days prior to the sponsor deadline. Concurrently, we encourage the PI and research team to take this opportunity to finalize the scope of work while the administrative review of the proposal is carried out.

Final Proposal

The final proposal including all changes per reviewer comments must be received by OSP no later than 5pm, three business days prior the sponsor deadline. Failure to send in the final proposal to OSP attached to the eGC1 and marked "Ready To Submit" will require a GIM 19 waiver.

This policy applies to all proposal submissions to external sponsors, including proposals to a collaborator in order to secure a subaward. In the case of a subaward, the sponsor's due date will be determined by the institution submitting to the originating sponsor (not the prime sponsor deadline). GIM 19 does not apply to After-the-Fact (ATF) eGC1s.

Schools & Colleges and departments may impose additional requirements regarding review and approval of sponsored programs proposals.

See Submitting a Proposal for more information.

Checklists & Tools

PI Resources