Writing and Submitting Your Proposal

Find out as much as you can about potential sponsors

  • Review their web site, mission statement and other information that can provide insight into whether your project is a good fit for the mission of their organization.
  • If you can, find out what projects that sponsor has previously funded. Does your project seem to fit into their portfolio?

Read the funding announcement thoroughly

  • You will notice in Federal announcements that there are a number of required institutional registrations. WSU maintains the institutional registration for SAM, Grants.gov, NSF FastLane, eRA Commons, etc. Individual accounts/affiliations are also needed for NSF FastLane/Research.gov and NIH ASSIST/eRA Commons. If you need to have one of these accounts to submit a proposal, please contact the WSU Vancouver Grant and Contract Manager.

Contact the funder/program officer

Large, Collaborative and Multi-disciplinary Proposals

International Collaborations

If you are planning to work with collaborators in other countries or travel outside the US to conduct part of your research, please let us know as soon as possible. There are some additional steps we need to take in order to be in compliance with Federal regulations.

Contact the WSU Vancouver Proposal Coordinator

We are here to help you navigate the complex and constantly changing requirements of grant submissions. Please contact us early and often for help throughout the proposal development process. The sooner you contact us – even at very early stages of your proposal process – the better we can support your research efforts.

As soon as you think you might submit a proposal, please send us an email with the following preliminary information:

  • Name of sponsor, due date and a link to the announcement
  • Proposed project dates
  • If you are planning any external collaborators/subawards

Once we have some preliminary information, we can help with:

  • RFP/ANNOUNCEMENT REVIEW: We will provide a detailed review of the funding announcement to help ensure that your proposal is responsive and conforms to all the specific instructions and requirements.
  • FACE TO FACE MEETINGS: We are happy to meet with one-on-one to discuss your proposal submission at any stage of the process and answer any questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to contact us via email or phone and let us know.
  • CHECKLISTS: We can create a customized/detailed proposal checklist based on the RFP. While this is not a substitute for thoroughly reading and understanding the announcement, a customized, detailed checklist may help you plan your timeline, keep you on track and make sure all the required elements of your proposal are complete.
  • TIMELINES: To help ensure that all proposal components, including documents required from collaborating partners are prepared, reviewed, and revised as needed and ready for on-time submission.
  • LIAISON/FACILITATION: We can serve as a point of contact or liaison regarding questions of proposal logistics, and for collection of documents from collaborating partners. Team meeting coordination for large multi-disciplinary proposals to help keep the proposal development on track and moving forward.
    • Subawards: If you are planning to work with a colleague(s) from another institution, we can help facilitate all the required documents needed by WSU or for the other institution if they are the lead. Please let us know as soon as possible to allow time to gather all the required documents. We can work directly with our peers at the other institution to make sure all the requirements are met.
  • NARRATIVE TEMPLATES: To assist you and your collaborating partners in the preparation of required proposal elements and enhance the consistency, cohesiveness and appearance of the final submission.
  • APPLICATIONS: We will help with preparation of sponsor forms and required documents.
    • Systems Access: If you or your graduate student need access to or affiliation with NIH eRA Commons, NSF FastLane, Grants.gov Workspace or another organizational system, please let us know ASAP so we can get you set up.
    • NIH eRA Commons and NIH ASSIST: WSU Vancouver submits NIH applications though the NIH ASSIST system whenever possible. We will initiate the application and with your eRA Commons credentials you will also be able to view and edit the application as it is developed.
    • NSF FastLane: Once you have initialized an application in FastLane, if you allow SRO access to view/edit, we can help with budget entry, document uploading and review. When your proposal is complete and ready for final submission, then you will need to go back in and allow AOR view/edit/submit access.
    • NSF Research.gov: NSF is in the process of updating their submission portal from FastLane to Research.gov. They now have a single log-in for both systems. As NSF continues to migrate everything to Research.gov, we encourage you to start using this system when possible as they phase in the various type of applications. Need an account? If you do not have an account with NSF, you can self-register on the Research.gov web site. Once you have an NSF account (or to create an affiliation with WSU if you are transferring from another institution), log in and select Add a New Role. Select Add Investigator Role and enter the WSU DUNS number (04-1485301) then search to find WSU. Complete the rest of the profile information and submit. An automated message will be sent to ORSO to review and approve your WSU account.
    • Grants.gov: Many other federal sponsors use the Grants.gov system. We will download the appropriate application based on the RFP, complete the required institutional information, upload your documents and submit when everything is complete.
    • Grants.gov Workspace: Grants.gov is in the process of transitioning to the use of Workspace for proposal submission. This system requires a simple registration process for investigators. You can do this by going to the registration site and Register as an Organization Applicant. You will need the WSU DUNS number which is 041485301. Once you complete the registration form, a message will be sent to ORSO and they will approve your registration. You will receive an email when your account is approved. With an active account you can initiate an application package or we can do it for you. If you set up your own application, please add your Proposal Coordinator as a Participant so we can help you complete the required elements. If we set up the application, you will be added as a Participant so you can add/edit as needed.
    • Other Systems: There are a number of other systems and methods of submitting grants and we will help you navigate through the specific requirements of each one as needed.
  • BUDGETS: We can answer questions about specific budget items, amounts, and allowability.
    • Budget drafts: We will prepare a draft budget for your project based on your needs and the instructions in the announcement. Once everyone agrees on the budget, it will be finalized and certified for submission.
    • Subaward budgets: We will work with you, your collaborator and the administrative staff at your collaborator’s institution to coordinate budgets and other required documents.
    • Cost Sharing: Please contact us right away if your sponsor requires cost sharing. It may take some time to secure approvals for the needed resources.
    • Budget narratives: We can provide a draft budget narrative for your review once the budget is complete.
  • REVIEW/EDIT/FORMAT: Upon your request and as time allows, we will review your documents, help with editing, check formatting to meet sponsor requirements, compile and integrate collaborator input, strengthen narrative organization and project presentation, and ensure all guidelines in the announcement are followed.
  • PROPOSAL PEER REVIEW: We can help facilitate peer reviewers in various research disciplines to read your proposal and suggest edits.
  • WRITING RESOURCES:
    • All About Grants: A series of Podcasts on a variety of topics.
    • NIH Sample Applications and More: Hosted by NIAID, this site has a lot of samples and tutorials that are applicable to other PHS/NIH Institutes and Centers.
    • Developing and Writing Grant Proposals: Catalog of Domestic Assistance (CFDA) web site.
    • The Art of Grantsmanship: Human Frontier Science Program | Writing a successful grant application is an art. Although the science is primarily being evaluated, presentation and respect for the requirements of the funding agency are key aspects that can make or break an application. In this article, Jack Kraicer, former Director of Research Grants at HFSP provides guidelines on preparing grant applications from the moment of conception to submitting the final proposal.
    • On the Art of Writing Proposals: Some candid suggestions for applicants to Social Science Research Council competitions. Downloadable document.
    • Writing Your Objectives: GWSW Blog | Helpful Hints for Proposal Writers: Are you writing appropriate proposal objectives?
  • FORMS: If there are any sponsor proposal forms requiring official institutional signature, please let us know as soon as possible so we can make sure they are completed in a timely manner before submission.
  • INTERNAL APPROVALS: Also known as an eREX at WSU, we will prepare the document and route it for institutional approvals.
    • Export Controls Decision Tree – Please complete the decision tree and send us a PDF of the results if you will you be shipping or electronically transmitting any article, material or supply, technical data out of the United States or collaborating with any foreign persons or entities or working with or be provided any export controlled items, information, material, or substance.
  • SUBMISSION: Once the application and internal approvals are complete, the proposal will be submitted by the WSU Vancouver Grant and Contract Manager.