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Preparing & Submitting a Proposal Impact

Preparing & Submitting a Proposal

Faculty/staff are encouraged to seek external grants and contracts in support of their research, service, and instructional activities. The Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs (OGSP) serves as the first point of contact for anyone seeking approval for the submission of proposals to external sponsors or upon receipt of an unsolicited award. 

It is important to notify the appropriate supervisor early in the proposal development stage to ensure that the project is in concert with the mission of the department/unit and that internal support for project activities will be available. Matching funds, release time, and other institutional commitments should be secured from the department chair and the dean well in advance of developing the actual final proposal. Please allow at least THREE weeks prior to final deadline to notify the appropriate administrators of your intent and to discuss your plans with these individuals.

To ensure accurate, comprehensive and coordinated management of all sponsored activities, all proposals for external grants and contracts originated by faculty or staff members at Fairmont State University are to be routed through the OGSP. The OGSP serves as the single point of contact for all grant and contract activity.


  1. The submission meets the approval of an appropriate supervisor with full-time academic standing who will serve as the responsible entity for the conduct of the project;
  2. Project activities benefit the institution; project activities will be conducted on campus or in conjunction with a field site approved by the supervisor,
  3. The applicant (individual submitting the proposal) agrees in writing to abide by all institutional and OGSP policies and procedures.

Approval and Signatures

All proposals are required to be endorsed by those individuals responsible for carrying out the project as well as those individuals authorized to commit the institution to a sponsored program. An internal review and routing procedure, the Declaration of Intent, has been established in order to ensure that each proposal or application for external grants and contracts has been reviewed and endorsed by various responsible persons and that there is compliance with the agency, institutional, and state policies, regulations, and guidelines. 

Process for Review and Approval

The Proposal Certification Form must be completed and signed by all authorizing signatures at least TEN (10) WORKING DAYS PRIOR TO SUBMITTING ANY FINAL PROPOSAL TO A FUNDING AGENCY OR ORGANIZATION. Individuals preparing a proposal for submission should contact their department/school chair to discuss their project, including securing the approval of the unit head to proceed with further proposal development. Grant writers are encouraged to contact the OGSP early in the process for appropriate guidance and to identify potential questions that may arise during the approval process.

The OGSP will review the Proposal Certification Form with the grant writer and provide approval, request further information or, in rare instances, indicate the inappropriateness of the proposal for reasons such as misalignment with the mission and goals of the institution or lack of sufficient internal funding/support.

If the Proposal Certification Form has full department/unit approval, with all necessary signatures, the form should then be submitted to the OGSP. A copy of the project (project abstract or summary), budget, and budget justification should be attached to the PCF and the entire package should be submitted to the OGSP for final action. Modifications and/or changes to the proposal, the budget or other supporting documentation will only be made by the OGSP upon notification and approval of the PI. Certain modifications may necessitate additional approval by the unit head.

Proposal Submission

The PI/PD is responsible for the submission of the proposal in most circumstances. However, the OGSP will ensure that the proposal is submitted in the appropriate manner if the awarding agency or electronic submission protocol specifically requires submission by the authorized institutional entity. The PI/PD will be notified that the proposal has been submitted in a timely fashion via email.

Allowing for Appropriate Review Time

The Proposal Certification Form and supporting documents must be received far enough in advance of the submission deadline to allow the OGSP to review the complete proposal for submission. Inaccuracies or problems that might be discovered in the course of this routing procedure could result in a delay in the submission of the proposal to the intended sponsor. In order to minimize this possibility, it is important to work with unit heads and the OGSP as far ahead in the process as possible. A completed Proposal Certification Form and all supporting documents should be submitted to the OGSP no later than TEN WORKING DAYS prior to the deadline date for submission of the proposal.

Other Considerations

Intellectual Property

All faculty, staff and students are subject to the institution's Intellectual Property Policy. This policy specifically addresses both ownership and responsibility to report the development of intellectual property - new processes, creative and scholarly works, materials, software, devices and/or other inventions. The creation of such work, particularly under the auspices of a sponsored program, must be disclosed on project disclosure forms provided by the OGSP.

Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A Costs – aka Indirect Costs)

The OGSP requires that proposed budgets must contain the full negotiated Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rate, as currently approved. Current F&A rates are noted on the OGSP Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Exceptions to the F&A rate must be authorized by the OGSP.  Exceptions may be permitted if the sponsor's guidelines specifically state that F&A costs are prohibited or that a different rate must be used. The OGSP will assist in determining the appropriate F&A rate and in securing guidelines verifying sponsor policy on F&A.

Institutional Review Board and Institutional Safety Committee Approval 

For research or instruction involving the safety of individuals who work or study within the research and instruction environment, the appropriate committee must be consulted and approval secured prior to initiating any project or program activities. Information for each committee is shown below.

  • Human Subjects
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB):  Information can be found on the IRB webpage.
  • Bio-Hazardous Materials
  • Institutional Safety Committee (ISC):  Contact Safety Coordinator


Award notifications should immediately be forwarded to OGSP. All contracts, award agreements, invoices, and financial reports require a signature by the authorized institutional representative which is currently the Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO. All original award documents and award payments are to be submitted to the OGSP for processing. These documents are NOT to be signed and submitted by the PI, Department Chair, Dean, or other departmental representative.