Pre-Award Guidelines

Proposal Development and Submission

SPAdmin can assist you with many aspects of developing and submitting a proposal.  Once you identify a funding opportunity to which you intend to apply, please notify SPAdmin so that we can prepare to answer any questions you may have, discuss any special considerations, and submit your application in a timely manner.

Funding Opportunities

A funding opportunity announcement (FOA) can take the form of a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), program announcement (PA), PA with special referral guidelines (PAR), Request for Applications (RFA), or Request for Proposals (RFP).  Generally, a FOA may be seeking PI-initiated projects (“unsolicited”) or sponsored-defined projects (“solicited”).  The Vice Chancellor for Research provides a directory of internal and external funding opportunities available to UNMC faculty which can be found at: 


A sponsor’s guidelines generally include an identifier (e.g., FOA number); due date and time; paper or electronic submission instructions; required content and format; award amount, including F&A; period of performance; and eligibility requirements.  These may be program-specific or applicable to the sponsor as a whole.  Care should be taken to be sure you are accessing the current version of the guidelines.


A completed application generally is comprised of mandatory and optional forms, which are then submitted either in paper or electronically.  Care should be taken to be sure you are accessing the most current version of any forms.

Types of Proposals

A sponsor can require that proposal be submitted in one or two (or more) steps.  Care should be taken to be sure your proposal meets the sponsor's expectations for each step in their process so that it will be accepted.

Proposal Development and Submission

The administrative aspects of developing and submitting a proposal are listed below:


SPAdmin reviews the sponsor’s terms and conditions, the program guidelines, and the proposal to ensure compliance with UNMC’s policies and procedures.  It is important to keep in mind that a proposal must comply with both sponsor and UNMC policy.  In cases in which sponsor policy is more restrictive, UNMC must manage the project carefully (e.g., if the sponsor does not allow any budget variance).  In cases in which UNMC policy is more restrictive, sponsor policy does not override UNMC policy (e.g., if the sponsor allows the direct charging of facilities and administrative costs).  SPAdmin welcomes discussion about differences in policy.


SPAdmin encourages you to use the internal budget form to calculate your budget and transfer the information onto sponsor budget forms.  The internal budget form takes into account UNMC’s fringe benefits, inflation factor, and F&A rates and UNMC’s Institutional Base Salary and cost-sharing policies.  Care should be taken to ensure that the requested amount is sufficient to complete the proposed project and is within sponsor parameters.


Sponsors frequently request such institutional information as legal name, federal employer identification number, Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and federally negotiated facilities and administrative rates.  This information is available from the SPAdmin website.  If a sponsor asks for institutional information that is not on the on-line list, contact SPAdmin for assistance.


SPAdmin is UNMC’s official signature authority for sponsored projects.  SPAdmin is responsible for verifying UNMC’s eligibility and the accuracy, validity, and conformity with the most current institutional guidelines of all the administrative, fiscal, and scientific information in an application.  SPAdmin’s Director’s ink signature on a paper application or electronic signature in an on-line system certifies that UNMC will be accountable both for the appropriate use of any funds awarded and for the performance of the grant-supported project or activities resulting from the application.  

Generally, SPAdmin will submit the application on a department’s behalf to the sponsor after review.  A department can make arrangements with SPAdmin to submit an application.  Ideally, the department will provide SPAdmin with a review copy of the complete application, but SPAdmin will accept a subset of “key components.”

In cases in which a sponsor accepts proposals that are not signed and/or submitted by an institutional official, the department remains responsible for obtaining SPAdmin’s approval before submitting.

In addition to the application, SPAdmin requires a set of internal forms, signed by the appropriate parties.  These forms provide SPAdmin with the information needed to understand your project and the documentation that your unit supports your application.


By submitting an application to a sponsor, UNMC is certifying to the sponsor that it will comply with the terms and conditions of the grant, if awarded.  SPAdmin must review a sponsor’s terms and conditions prior to application submission.


The Director of SPAdmin is the official signature authority for sponsored project applications.  If the Director is unavailable, other UNMC personnel are authorized to sign on the Director’s behalf and SPAdmin will route your proposal to the appropriate signer.


SPAdmin will make every effort to submit your application in a timely manner.  To ensure successful submission, SPAdmin strongly encourages early actions, including: