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Proposal Submission Timeline


COS Research email:

In order to ensure that your proposal will be submitted on time to the sponsor, please follow the Proposal Submission Timeline.  Let COS Pre-Award know as early as possible, even if you do not know if you’ll submit:

No Later than 15 Business Days (3 Calendar weeks) Prior to Sponsor Deadline

  • Notify Pre-Award Office of planned proposal submission for proposals with requirements such as subcontracts, University level signed letters of support, sponsor required cost-share or match, or multiple investigators.
  • Notify Pre-Award Office if this is your first proposal, you need a NIH login or similar, or if you need to request an off-campus F&A rate from COS ADR.
  • A zoom meeting can be arranged as needed to go over all the needed documents and deadlines.
  • Pre-Award will:
    • Begin a PINS record
    • Assign a Pre-Award staff person
    • Set up cayuse (if applicable)
    • Provide a list of documents needed from the PI
    • Begin to draft a budget with PI input
    • Begin to organize subcontract documents (see below)
  • The PI will:
    • Provide Pre-Award with the RFP/proposal instructions and rudimentary budget information using either the full or “quick” budget templates.
    • Grant NSF Fastlane SPO/AOR view/edit/submit access or similar if applicable.
    • Begin to prepare Biosketch/Current & Pending for Pre-Award review
      • Due to additional compliance requirements implemented in 2020 that required significantly more detail, COS Preaward cannot prepare a Biosketch or Current & Pending documents
      • Contact library if help needed with SciENcv or data management plan
    • Contact Department Head for cost share (if applicable)
    • Provide contact information for subcontractors (if applicable).

No Later than 10 Business Days (2 Calendar weeks) Prior to Sponsor Deadline:

  • Notify Pre-Award Office of planned proposal submission for proposals that do not have sub awards or require University level letter(s) of support.
    • Pre-Award and PI tasks are the same as above for these proposals
  • For proposals in the queue:
    • Pre-Award will:
      • Begin to route, but not yet approve a PINS record.
      • Work with PI to finalize Budget / Budget Justification
      • Provide a list of any documents that are still needed
      • For complex proposals, gather subcontract documents, work with ADR and Department Heads to document cost share
      • Check forms/documents from PI as they come in for compliance and completeness and work with the PI to correct errors.
    • The PI will:
      • When submitting an NSF proposal allow NSF Fastlane SPO/AOR view/edit/submit access.
      • Aim to have all non-science/non-technical documents complete or nearly complete by this point.
      • Work with preaward to correct any errors related to formatting/compliance to ensure a smooth, error-free submission.
      • Make sure COI/NOI is up to date and fully approved in the RED system.

5 Business Days (1 Calendar week) Prior to Sponsor Deadline:

  • If the proposal requires a signature from a University office (i.e. SPARCS, Chancellor, COI, EHS, OIED etc.) it must be ready for submission by this date. If this deadline is missed the proposal is unlikely be be submitted.
  • Approve, at PI level only, the completed PINS record that includes the following:
    • RFP or equivalent instructions
    • Final Budget and Budget Justification (An internal budget and justification is required)
    • Cost Share documentation
    • Final Title and Abstract, Project dates (start, end)
    • All fields/boxes, information tabs in PINS are completed
  • In the submission system (i.e. Fastlane, Cayuse) upload all documents.
  • Final versions of all non-technical documents are due at this time.


    • Pre-Award will proof the documents as they come in and work with the PI to make any needed corrections. Anything submitted after this deadline cannot undergo a full review.
      • Formatting and other corrections ensure a smooth, error-free submission.
    • Draft versions of the “science” parts (ex. summary, project description, references) are acceptable at this time.

3 Business Days Prior to the Sponsor Deadline:

  • Final versions of ALL required proposal documents are due at this time.
  • The COS Research Office will complete final review and submission.
  • PINS record is pending at the College level.
  • The College has “Submit” access in Fastlane (NSF).
  • The proposal has been “Released” to the College for NSPIRES proposals (NASA)
  • Pre-Award will check all documents for compliance and completeness and submit the proposal by the deadline.
  • Proposals missing this deadline will be considered non-compliant with the timeline and submission is no longer guaranteed.
    • Any documents submitted after this deadline cannot undergo review.

The College of Sciences Pre-Award Office is open 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. Proposals will NOT be submitted after 5 pm even if the sponsor deadline is after business hours. Please take into account the office business hours when planning your proposal submission.

All proposals will be reviewed in accordance with the timeline. Late proposals may or may not be accommodated.  Notifying the College Research Office of your proposal less than 5 business days* prior to the sponsor deadline will result in your proposal being considered a late proposal. In this case, there is no guarantee that the submission can be accommodated. COS Pre-Award cannot fully proof the documents so the PI is responsible if any errors occur (including budgetary errors) or the proposal is deemed not compliant. The Pre-Award Office will make an effort to submit all proposals but cannot guarantee any review or submission if the submission timeline outlined above is not adhered to.

On very rare occasions, an opportunity will arise that truly requires a same-day response and was not known to the researchers, department or college previously. In those instances,  the College Research Office will forward documentation of that circumstance to the Director of Sponsored Programs, with a copy to the Associate Dean for Research and, immediately and in parallel with electronic (Rush PINS) routing. This does not guarantee that Sponsored Programs will be able to accommodate the exception.  It will be considered a RUSH proposal.

*One business day is in no case less than a full business day when the university is open. For example, materials due at noon on Monday must be received by noon the previous Friday.


Please note:

The College Research Office has delegated authority to submit some proposals on behalf of the university. Proposals that do not fall within this delegation must be signed for and /or submitted by SPARCS. For the full criteria, visit the Signature Authority Delegation SOP website.

If your proposal requires a signature or submission by SPARCS and is received less than 3 days prior to the sponsor deadline, there is no guarantee that your proposal will be submitted on time. Visit the Timely Proposal Submission Policy website for more information.


Subrecipients  are outside institutions that contribute to the intellectual programming of a project. As a result, they are subject to the same terms and conditions of the award. Subawards, or subcontracts, are issued to subrecipients who will be contributing to your project and will have costs associated with their participation. The subrecipient PI will likely be a co-PI or key personnel on your project and will likely be listed as a co-author on any resulting publications.

If you are trying to obtain specific services from an entity outside NC State, but they will not be contributing to the intellectual development of your project, they should be considered a Vendor instead of a Subrecipient. For additional information on the distinction between Subward and Vendor, please review the following Checklist. If you have additional questions about this distinction, please contact the Research Office.

If you will have a subaward to another institution as part of your proposal, please make sure that we have received the required documentation (outlined below) no later than one week prior to the submission deadline. If you would like your proposal processor to coordinate this, please provide her/him with the name and contact information for your collaborators and their research administration office.

Required documents for a subcontract package:

FDP Clearinghouse Participating Institutions

  • Signed Institutional Letter of Intent (signed by an Authorized Organizational Representative)

Institutions Not Participating in the Clearinghouse

  • Signed Institutional Letter of Intent (signed by an Authorized Organizational Representative)
  • Completed Subrecipient Form
  • Copy of the institution’s F&A Rate Agreement
  • Produce proposal documents
  • Complete, route, and approve PINS record
  • Identifies subcontracts and request documents

Department Research Administrator (if applicable)
  • Provide initial review of proposal for compliance
  • Coordinate communications with the College Research Office

Department Head
  • Approve PINS record on behalf of the department

College Research Office
  • Provide general guidance to proposal submission guidance to PI and Department Research Administrators
  • Point of contact for PI and Department Research Administrators for Proposal Submissions
  • Review non-standard Request for Proposals and provide review comments to SPARCS prior to submission
  • Review of proposal documents for submission
  • Coordinate and review all subcontract documentation
  • Submit proposal if the sponsor is a member of the FDP or the submission is through / Cayuse 424
  • Forward proposal to SPARCS for submission if the previous conditions are not met
  • Initiate and approve PINS on behalf of the College

COS Associate Dean for Research
  • Approves PINS records on behalf of departments and centers when the PI is the director/department head
  • Negotiates Cost Share with Department Head as needed

SPARCS / Central Office
  • Submission of proposals to non-FDP sponsors
  • Provide signatures on subcontracts for non-FDP sponsors
  • Provide signatures on any non-standard proposals


IRB and IACUC Approval

Please note that if your proposal has been recommended for funding by a sponsor and you have proposed to use vertebrate animals and/or human subjects, the funds will not be released until the sponsor has received a copy of your IACUC Approval and/or IRB Approval.


If your proposal has been discussed by the review panel, you and the university will receive an email request to submit Just-In-Time documentation. If you choose to respond to this request (generally based on your Program Officer’s advice), please let the College of Sciences Research Office know. JIT documentation must be submitted by an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) through eRA Commons.

In addition to IRB and IACUC approval mentioned above, a typical NIH JIT requests include Other Support documentation for all senior personnel.

If you have any questions about the process, please contact the College of Sciences Research Office.

  • Develops requested JIT documentation and uploads into eRA Commons

Department Research Administrator (if applicable)
  • Works with PI to develop required documentation

College of Sciences Research Office
  • Reviews and submits JIT documentation to NIH
  • Uploads documentation into RADAR

  • Notifies college of pending requests for JIT