Submitting Proposals to Sponsored Projects

These guidelines are intended to clearly describe the documents and information that SPA needs to initiate the institutional review of a proposal, the submission lead times applicable to Standard and Non-Standard Proposals, the process for requesting an exception to the lead times, and SPA’s methodology for prioritizing proposals for institutional review.


These guidelines apply to all extramural proposals (including proposals for subawards) for which there is a Sponsor Deadline. They also apply to letters of intent, white papers, or other pre-proposal submissions that contain or propose institutional commitments to which UCI will be expected to adhere (e.g., budgets, cost sharing, space renovations, acquisition of equipment/instruments, etc.).

Documents and Information Required for Institutional Review and Approval

Kuali Research (KR) is UCI’s electronic system of record for all proposals to Extramural 
Sponsors. It is used to route proposals for review and approval by departments/units, 
their coordinating points and SPA. 
To avoid proposal review delays, Principal Investigators and departments/units should 
submit a complete proposal to SPA. A complete proposal includes the proposal 
information and documents listed below:

  1. A complete KR proposal document with all applicable approvals.
  2. The Extramural Sponsor's Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) or the URL 
(web address) for the FOA.
  3. All proposal documents and information required by the Extramural Sponsor’s 
FOA, which may be submitted in draft form – except for the following, which 
must be submitted to SPA in final form:
    1. Application face page (sometimes referred to as the cover sheet)
    2. Budget and budget justification
  4. Complete subrecipient proposal package (if applicable), which consists of:
Subrecipient Commitment Form
    2. Subrecipient v. Contractor Determination Form
    3. Scope of work specific to the subrecipient site
    4. Budget and budget justification specific to the subrecipient site; and
    5. Other subrecipient documents as required by the Extramural Sponsor’s 
FOA (for example, certifications, assurances and/or representations from 
the subrecipient)

Without the above documents/information (including a draft scope of work), SPA cannot 
start the institutional review. In such a case, the proposal will be returned to the 
department/unit so that they may include the missing documents/information and 
resubmit the proposal to SPA.

In addition, institutional review may be delayed and a proposal may be at risk for late submission if the Principal Investigator and/or department/unit make changes to draft documents/sections which then result in changes to the final documents/sections already submitted to SPA. Principal Investigators and departments/units should closely coordinate with the Contract and Grant Officer assigned to the proposal regarding any such changes. In the absence of such coordination, significant changes may necessitate re-review by SPA.

Lead Times for Submitting Proposals to Sponsored Projects Administration

To ensure the timely submission of proposals for Sponsor Deadlines, they should be submitted to SPA in accordance with the following:

  • Standard Proposals (see below) should be submitted to SPA no later than five (5) business days prior to a Sponsor Deadline.
  • Non-standard Proposals (see below) should be submitted to SPA no later than seven (7) business days prior to a Sponsor Deadline.
  • If UCI is submitting a subaward proposal to a lead institution, the Sponsor Deadline is the day and time established by the lead institution for receiving the proposal.
  • The Final Proposal (including applicable financial disclosure forms) should be submitted to SPA no later than eight (8) business hours before the Sponsor Deadline.

Non-standard Proposal - A proposal or funding application that involves any of the

following uncommon circumstances:

  • The sponsor or prime sponsor is a foreign entity.
  • The proposal is for a U.S. federal government contract – not a grant or cooperative agreement.
  • By virtue of submitting the proposal to the Extramural Sponsor, UCI is accepting award terms and conditions contained in the FOA.
  • As part of the proposal, the sponsor requires the submission of a small business subcontracting plan, an intellectual property management plan, a laboratory safety plan, or any other plan(s) that must be developed by one or more UCI central administration
  • The proposal requests funding in excess of $5 million of direct costs per budget year.
  • A purpose of the proposal is to establish a new UCI center or institute.

Standard Proposal - A proposal or funding application to a domestic entity that will

result in the award of a grant, cooperative agreement or subaward (under a prime grant

or prime cooperative agreement) and that does not involve any of the elements of a Non-standard Proposal.

A Late Proposal is defined as a proposal received in SPA for review during the weekend, outside business hours and/or less than 48 hours of the time to meet the Sponsor deadline. These proposals will have a very limited review or no review at all and run the risk of being submitted with errors or submitted past the sponsor deadline.

Proposal Review

As part of the Institutional Review process, SPA officers are responsible for verifying that the proposal is in accordance with the Request for Proposal (RFP) and/or Sponsor Guidelines to ensure compliance with university policy and sponsor policy. Proposals will be reviewed for “institutional issues” that could create financial, audit, and/or policy risks for the University. This involves, but it is not limited to, a non-scientific review of the proposal in order to identify human subject/animal subject work, export control issues, verifying that the applicable F&A rate and base has been used and applied correctly, and verifying the allowability or allocability of costs in the budget and subcontractors/ subrecipients package.

A proposal may be routed with a draft SOW while the final SOW is finalized. All other aspects of the proposal such as budget should be final. Incomplete proposals, that are routed to SPA without the minimum requirements, will be returned without a review.

Please refer to the above section, “Documents and Information Required for Institutional Review and Approval” for details. Note that these requirements are applied to all proposals, including Late Proposals, Proposals with no Sponsor Deadline or After-the-Fact proposals.

Letter of Intent (LOI) usually does not need to be routed via KR, unless the Sponsor requires a detailed budget and/or budget justification as part of the LOI.