Pre Award Guidelines

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Pre Award Guidelines

The purpose of this document is to assist faculty, project directors (PD) and project investigators (PI) with the process of seeking extramural funding for the university from grants or cooperative agreements.

In order for the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) to accurately track proposal development, submission, and award, Proposal Developers should initiate all grants and contracts only after first contacting the OSP.

Before proceeding with a proposal, the following issues should be considered by the individual or group wishing to pursue a grant or agreement.

  • Does the proposal serve Northwestern's mission?
  • Is it in the best interest of the university, school and department to pursue the proposal?
  • Does the university possess the necessary resources that will allow it to effectively carry out the grant or agreement? (staff, faculty, facilities)
  • What obligations will the university have following the life of the grant?

If the responses to the above questions are all positive, then a Proposal Planning Sheet (PPS) should be submitted to Office of Sponsored Programs for the Grants Oversight committee to provide preliminary approval.  The Proposal Planning Sheet is the first step in the university grant submission process.  The PPS document can be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Programs located in Fine Arts 209 or online.  The PPS contains basic information about the proposal and should be completed prior to actual proposal development.  Although the PPS contains sections requesting financial information, data entered on the Planning Sheet provides only preliminary estimates.  Final figures for a submitted proposal will be taken from the file copy submitted to the OSP.  Please see the Office of Sponsored Programs for assistance with the Proposal Planning Sheet Document.

The Office of Sponsored Programs will schedule approval of the Proposal Planning Sheet with the Grants Oversight Committee and the President of the University, which is required before and actual proposal development.  When submitting a Proposal Planning Sheet, please allow at least 10 days for approval.

NOTE: SERVING AS A PROJECT INVESTIGATOR DOES NOT ASSURE THE POSITION OF PROJECT DIRECTOR FOR A PROJECT.  THE GRANTS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE WILL OVERSEE THE ELECTION OF THIS POSITION.

Following Approval of PPS and Abstract

  • Research and write the proposal.  When preparing a proposal, the PI or PD will conform to all cost limitations or exclusions set forth in the OMB circulars, federal laws, state laws, university guidelines, sponsoring agency requirements and in the sponsoring agency agreement.  Please visit the Office of Sponsored Programs for assistance with policies, procedures, form preparation, proofreading, and other support issues.
  • Present the grant application (hard copy and electronic copy) for review to the Office of Sponsored Programs 14 days prior to final submission of the grant for Committee review.  This will allow for the Committee to view the grant and the Office of Sponsored Programs to organize forms, create copies and submit through mail/electronic mail.

NOTE: ONLY THE PRESIDENT OF NORTHWESTERN MAY SIGN GRANTS OR AGREEMENTS UNLESS OTHERWISE DESIGNATED.

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