Proposal Preparation

Externally sponsored projects involve all those meeting at least one of the following criteria:

  • The sponsor is a federal, state, or local government agency, a quasi governmental agency, or a nonprofit organization which receives a majority of its funding from a government source;
  • The sponsor is a foundation, corporation, or nonprofit organization and refers to the award as a grant to be used for specific purposes other than as an endowment;
  • The sponsoring agency/organization refers to the award as a contract, cooperative agreement, subgrant, subcontract, or purchase order;
  • The sponsor specifies that the funds are to be used for research, program development and/or operation, curriculum development, training, or some other specific activity identified in a specific scope of work;
  • Funds provided by the sponsoring agency/organization cover the cost of performance of a specified scope of work or set of activities or to provide a specific product, service, or other deliverable outcome within a specified period of time;
  • The sponsor specifies how funds will be used, usually through an approved line item budget identifying expenses by activity, function, and/or project period.

In preparing a project proposal for submission to an external funding source (sponsor), the project director assumes responsibility for ensuring that the project proposal is (1) completely prepared and is accurate in its technical content; (2) adheres to the conventions of proper scholarship, including proper attribution and citation of textual matter and graphics used; (3) complies with federal standards for integrity in research (such as the National Science Foundation’s  “Misconduct in Science” policy);(4) has been prepared in accordance with the proposal requirements established by the sponsoring agency; and (5) that the facilities, space, equipment, and other UMW resources necessary to complete this project have been arranged with the university officials responsible to make commitments for the use of those resources should the project be funded.

All proposals to external funding sources must be reviewed and pre-approved prior to submission.  See the steps required for proposal pre-approval.

In preparing a proposal for submission to an external funding source, a number of individuals/offices bear certain responsibilities.

The Principal Investigator/Project Director prepares and submits the grant or contract proposal and is responsible for carrying out the project as it is outlined in the proposal. The Principal Investigator/Project Director is further responsible for administering the project according to the terms of the grant or contract and applicable UMW and Commonwealth of Virginia regulations.

The Department Chair (or staff member’s supervisor) is responsible for approving the project’s scope and ensuring that it conforms to the objectives of that department or administrative unit. In providing approval, the Department Chair or supervisor signifies that facilities and personnel under the Chair’s/Supervisor’s jurisdiction are available and can be committed as proposed to accomplish the project.

The College Dean (for faculty grants) reviews proposals to ensure that the described project is consistent with the missions of the University and the College.  The Dean’s review confirms that the quality of the proposal is such that it will be seen as a credit to the University and the College, and that the proposal is free of any questions regarding potential ethical issues that might reflect negatively on the University or the College.

The Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, on behalf of the Provost, ensures that the proposal is complete, effectively presented, complies with all proposal requirements as established by the sponsor, is consistent with UMW policies covering external grants and contracts, and that any commitments for cost sharing or matching funds, use of UMW facilities and equipment or services have been fully agreed upon by all necessary offices and are documented in writing before the proposal is submitted.  The Associate Provost (who functions as the University’s AOR/SRO) confirms any certifications as required by the sponsoring/funding agency or source.

The Vice President for Administration and Finance, on behalf of the President, examine each proposal and reviews the contractual details and requirements to ensure that they are consistent with UMW and Commonwealth of Virginia requirements and policies.  The Vice President also ensures that all proper arrangements have been made to support the administration and financial/accounting requirements associated with the project.

If the proposal is funded by the granting (sponsoring) agency, and if funding is accepted by UMW, the Project Director agrees to conduct the project in accordance with all terms and conditions as established by the sponsor.  The project director also agrees to assume full responsibility for providing the proper stewardship of the funds provided, for maintaining proper records as required, and for submitting in a timely fashion all required narrative project reports and other documents as may be required by the terms established by the project sponsor.  UMW”s Director of Accounting (or designee) will be responsible for establishing the account to manage and track grant/contract funds, will oversee invoicing/payments procedures as required by the grant, and will submit required financial reports and statements as per the terms of the grant/contract agreement.