Sponsored Projects Administration      College of Science and Engineering (COSE)

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Pre-award Proposal Submission


The pre-award proposal process is handled by the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs.  All sponsored project proposals must be submitted through ORSP. 


At least three weeks before the grant will be submitted (four weeks if the grant will be submitted via grants.gov), you need to complete an ORSP PI Checklist http://research.sfsu.edu/applyforgrant/pichecklist.html.


The COSE team from ORSP is located in TH434. You will work with your assigned team member for both pre- and post-award needs. Your ORSP grants administrator (GA) will contact you after receipt of your PI Checklist to arrange a meeting to work on the proposal budget and other submission logistics. ORSP will be responsible for ensuring the timely submission of your proposal. 


Note that all proposals must be received by ORSP no later than seven business days prior to the sponsor deadline. In order for a proposal to be considered "on time", the following documents are required:


  • A finalized budget
  • A final budget justification
  • A draft of the proposal narrative


PIs will still be able to refine and work on the proposal narrative, but changes to the budget and budget justification will not be permitted, as these sections will be in the process of being routed and approved.


Proposals that are not submitted to ORSP by seven business days before the proposal deadline will not be submitted to the sponsor.



Prior to meeting with your assigned ORSP proposal specialist, it is a good idea to have a draft budget, or a clear idea of what you will need to fund your proposed project.  Arlene Essex can assist with this draft budget prior to meeting with your proposal specialist, and, if you chose, attend the meeting with you and the specialist.


Click here for a budget template for your use.


When preparing your own draft budget, begin the faculty salary portion by putting in your monthly salary (i.e. $5,000) not your annual.  The template is formulated so that it will automatically calculate your annual academic year salary and your monthly summer rate, as well.  The spreadsheet will automatically populate your salary calculations:  if you are requesting RRT, put in the percentage for the entire academic year; similarly if you are requesting summer salary just put in the number of months requested  (remember that some agencies, such as NSF, will only fund 2/9 of your academic year salary, which the university interprets as 2 summer months).


In the Personnel section of this site you will find terminology that will help you better understand some of the employment costs you might need to consider when preparing your budget.


In the Student Information section of this site you will find some information that may be of assistance in determining student payment considerations.


Generally, salary increases will be budgeted for faculty and staff each year, and should be taken into consideration when you’re thinking of the bottom line for the entire proposed period. Fringe benefit percentages for faculty and staff are based on actual costs for that particular person, and include such items as social security, worker’s comp, unemployment, and health and other optional benefits.  If a salaried person’s benefit cost is unknown, ORSP uses a 50% rate to ensure enough funds are available.


Note that while most of the federal agencies funding sponsored projects in COSE will grant the university’s DHHS audited indirect cost rate (currently 53.5% on new basic research proposals), not all agencies do, particularly agencies other than federal. Always check the RFP or solicitation guidelines prior to working up your budget. 


Click here for the SF State Facilities and Administrative Costs Policy and Procedures.


Institutional Data:

Institutional data including SF State facts, student demographics, etc. may be found at  http://www.sfsu.edu/~ubp/datasite/.


The ORSP pre-award FAQ is found at http://research.sfsu.edu/faqs.html.


After submission and prior to receipt of your grant award, you may be requested by the funding agency to revise your proposal and/or budget. Arlene Essex can assist with budget revisions, however, you will also need to work with your GA to ensure proper submission of the revised budget.




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