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Submission Process

Before GCA can submit your proposal, it must be routed through the internal approval process. A proposal narrative and budget must be circulated for review. This ensures your project is responsive to the University’s mission, has the necessary support, and that there are no disputes post-award, protecting both the PI and academic units involved. A Grant Proposal Internal Approval Form (aka the Blue Sheet) must be completed before submission. GCA will fill out the form and circulate it for approval. This form must be signed by the following:

  • Principal and Co-Principal Investigators
  • Department Head(s)/Supervisor(s)
  • Dean(s)/Director(s)
  • Associate Provost for Research & Engagement/Chief Research Officer
  • Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and/or other Vice Presidents
  • Senior Vice President for Business & Finance
  • President

If faculty or staff from more than one unit are participating in the project, their respective department heads/supervisors and deans/directors must sign the form as well.


4 Weeks Out

Contact GCA

As soon as possible! But at least 4 weeks before the deadline to allow time for basic review and budget development - more advanced notice is necessary if you require GCA’s editing services

2 Weeks Out

Start Routing

A near-final draft of the proposal narrative and final budget and budget justification must be complete at least 10 business days before the deadline to start routing the blue sheet

2 Days Out

Complete Proposal

Final reviewed and approved proposal documents should be complete at least 2 days before the deadline so GCA can assemble the application and avoid technical delays

Post Submission

The proposal review process can take as long as six months to a year, but there are plenty of things to keep a PI busy while waiting for an award notice:

Post-Submission or Just-in-Time Materials

Many sponsors will want or require updates to a proposal before it can be awarded, such as current and pending support documentation, revised budgets, or new publication information. These materials will generally be requested through GCA, but PIs must notify us if they receive a direct request from a sponsor.

IRB Approval

If a project involves human subjects research, PIs should start the process of gaining IRB approval early – in most cases, the sponsor will require proof of IRB approval before issuing an award.

Required Training

PIs applying for federal funds should make sure their research compliance training is up to date for Conflict of Interest (COI), Human Subjects, and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Once an award notice is received, PIs will be required to take PeopleSoft training through UNG.

Continue Submitting Proposals

Once a proposal is submitted, it’s good to take a breath, but PIs should continue searching for funding and preparing their next proposal! Submitting to multiple sponsors and/or programs during different funding cycles will improve the chances of a project being awarded.


Is it necessary to work with Grants & Contracts Administration (GCA) staff in order to submit a grant proposal?

Yes, all externally funded projects must be routed and submitted through GCA. The team assists you in evaluating grant opportunities, assessing the likelihood of success, coordinating proposal development, and ensuring institutional approval for submission of grant proposals. In addition, GCA staff has specific expertise that will increase the competitiveness of grant proposals. The staff has successful experience in helping develop federal, state, foundation, and corporate grant proposals.

I have a concept for a grant. What do I do next?

Please start by discussing the concept with your department head and dean or supervisor. Then, please contact GCA at We will assist you with submitting your proposal and ensuring required institutional approvals.

I have been asked to partner on a grant proposal submitted by another organization and/or to provide a letter of commitment for another applicant’s grant proposal. Do I need to contact GCA?

All grant-related commitments are processed through GCA. If you’ve been asked to partner on a grant or provide a letter of support/commitment, please contact your department head/dean/supervisor and GCA staff as soon as possible for assistance. Please be prepared to answer questions regarding the role that UNG would play in the project. Please do not commit the University to any activity without checking with your department head/dean/supervisor/GCA. Grants & Contracts staff can assist with the preparation and submission of a letter and other required documents for a collaborative proposal.

Why does a grant proposal require institutional approval?

Since a grant award is a legal obligation and commitment by UNG, due diligence is needed to ensure that appropriate individuals are aware of and approve of a grant proposal before it is developed and submitted to the funder. The University System of Georgia (USG) is legally responsible for all grant expenditures. A number of issues may be considered during the approval process, including the likelihood of funding, ability to charge indirect costs, alignment with the university’s strategic goals, availability of matching funds, and requirements to sustain the project after the funding ends. Grants and Contracts will assist you by routing the UNG Grant Proposal Fact Sheet and Sign-Off form, aka the blue sheet, to secure internal approval before the proposal is submitted.

I just found out about a grant that is due in a few weeks. Can UNG submit a proposal?

Please contact your department head/dean/supervisor and Grants and Contracts as soon as possible to review the grant opportunity. Some of the most promising grant opportunities often have the shortest time constraints. Although some grant proposals can be developed in this short time frame, many proposals, including major federal grant proposals, often require weeks of planning and development in order to produce a competitive proposal. You are encouraged to contact Grants and Contracts ( early in the grant development process.

How long does it take to learn about whether a grant has been accepted for funding?

It depends on the funding source and can range from 2 weeks to 12 months. It often takes around 6 months to learn about federal awards.

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