Overview of the Grant Proposal Process

Plan Early

  • Generate ideas with colleagues or the Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects (aka "Grants Office")
  • Contact the Grants Office for assistance in looking for appropriate sources of funding
  • Look for sources of funding on your own using SPIN, Grants Resource Center, grants.gov, or individual agency websites

Developing the Proposal

  • Once a funding source has been identified, review the grant guidelines and application information for submission
  • Be attentive to the deadline for receipt of the proposal by the funding agency and type of submission process (mail or electronic submission); the Grants Office must have a copy of the completed proposal at least 5 days before the proposal is due to secure signatures and approval
  • Contact the Grants Office to inform them of your plans to apply for funding and to seek assistance in preparing an effective proposal
  • Follow the guidelines provided by the funding source and address every question or topic in each required section
  • Seek assistance from the Grants Office when developing the budget, especially for reassigned time, dual compensation, fringe benefits and indirect cost calculations
  • Discuss the budget with your supervisor, chair and dean
  • If the sponsoring agency requires prior Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval before proposal submission, contact the IRB or IACUC Chairs
  • Utilize colleagues and the Grants Office to act as reviewers of your draft proposal to provide constructive criticism

Application Approval, Signatures and Submission

  • Complete the Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects Application Approval Form available online and submit it at least 5 days before the proposal is due
  • Contact the Grants Office regarding submission of the proposal
  • The Grants Office will submit the proposal; however, there may be exceptions when the proposal is submitted by someone else


  • If an award is contingent on budget modifications, inform the sponsoring agency that you must discuss the modifications with the Grants Office and get appropriate approval of the budget changes
  • When an award is made, contact the Grants Office to begin the process of implementation, which includes setting up a cost center for the grant
  • Principal Investigators must adhere to all KU purchasing guidelines in expending grant funds and all expenditures must be approved by the Director or Assistant Director of Grants and Sponsored Projects
  • Principal Investigators must adhere to all PASSHE and KU policies, procedures and guidelines  
  • All reports required by the sponsoring agency must be completed on-time; the Grants Office and Grants Accountant will assist in this process