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Proposal Development Process


The staff in Research and Technology Transfer (RTT) are your campus collaborators for preparing proposals for submission to federal and state agencies and other sponsors that provide external funding for research, creative endeavors, public service projects, contractual agreements, and fixed-fee agreements. Our expertise allows you to focus on the specific project, and we will assist to ensure all submitted applications are complete and all documents are prepared to the sponsor’s specifications and in compliance with university policy and state and federal law. RTT’s pre-award team wants the highest-quality, most competitive proposals to be submitted, and we will work with each scholar to ensure the development and submission of the best proposals.

Proposal Development Tools: The proposal development process requires access to various types of information to prepare the required proposal documentation.  Assistance can be found at the RTT website under the Investigator's Toolbox & Institutional Profile.

Proposal Submission Portal: Cayuse is the official submission portal used by Arkansas State University for proposal preparation, proposal approval, sign-off by the Vice Provost for Research, Innovation, and Discovery and submission to the sponsored agencies’ systems for electronic submission of sponsored funding proposals.

What RTT will provide:

  • Thorough review of the grant solicitation (aka the request for proposals or RFP) to understand the specific sponsor requirements
  • Assistance with the development of certain aspects of the proposal, including the budget (with an eye toward allowable and unallowable costs, cost share [aka match], and other budget complexities), the budget justification, boilerplate language about the institution and region (NOTE: If you have any questions, reach out directly to 870-972-2694 or research@astate.edu.)
  • Review of all application materials
  • Feedback to the investigator(s) on required additional elements or edits before submission
  • Feedback on optional elements and best practices before proposal submission
  • Regular communication with the investigator(s) throughout the proposal preparation process
  • Upload to our internal approval system (Cayuse), which is required in advance of proposal submission
  • Submission of the proposal to the sponsor (NOTE: This is not the responsibility of the investigator, as only RTT has the authority to enter into an agreement with the sponsor.)
  • Communication about recommendation for funding or resubmission from a sponsor

What the Principal Investigator (PI) will provide to RTT:

  • As much notice as possible (preferably 3 months – 1 year) regarding intent to submit a proposal (NOTE: The longer the lead time, the more RTT can assist with proposal development.)
  • Completing the Proposal Notice Form on the RTT Research Development website (https://www.astate.edu/a/ortt/index.dot): Smartsheet
  • Regular communication with RTT staff well in advance of the submission deadline if plans change or if the PI needs assistance in proposal development
  • All required documents for proposal submission to RTT at least 10 business days in advance of the sponsor’s deadline
  • All PIs must use the A-State Budget Template for all proposals. When another format is required for a submission, RTT will handle entering or transferring the budget for PIs into the sponsor-required format
  • Timely responses to RTT requests for additional information in the lead up to a proposal submission

Other important elements of the proposal development process

  • Approvals for submission must be documented in Cayuse by the investigator, chair, dean, and RTT prior to proposal submission.
  • RTT will complete the proposal submission no later than 24 hours in advance of the sponsored agency’s deadline date and specified time to ensure agency’s receipt of proposal in acceptable form.
  • Award receipt to the University, including review and negotiation of terms and conditions when necessary, is conducted by RTT. Investigators are not allowed to receive awards or sign agreements and contracts on behalf of the University. Funds are awarded to the University and the signature of the Vice Provost for Research, Innovation, and Discovery is required for legally binding purposes.

Important Reminders and Final Points

RTT needs proposal documents from PIs 10 business days or more in advance of the sponsor’s deadline. This is a firm requirement, and investigators may be denied grant submission and asked to wait for the next funding cycle if the internal deadline is not met. This requirement necessitates a lot of planning and coordination with collaborators in advance of a proposal submission. Please review the sponsor’s proposal solicitation, determine the sponsor’s deadline, and calculate and use the RTT deadline of 10 business days in advance of submission as your firm deadline.

Starting in FY24, RTT’s revised goals were to grow the number of submissions, increase the proportion of high dollar-value submissions, and increase interdisciplinary submissions. We have already been successful in this goal, which is a result of creative and innovative faculty members and their hard work. Thank you! It also means that the complexity of the requests and the sheer number of submissions has increased, and to collaborate with you effectively, we need your cooperation in the external funding pipeline.

Again, our mission is to submit the highest quality proposals possible. This requires time to prioritize, review, edit, load, receive internal approvals, and submit proposals.