Sponsored Projects Review and Submission

Authority to Submit Proposals and Accept Awards

Pursuant to the policies of the University of California, proposals for extramural support must be submitted through the appropriate local contracts and grants office. The UC Regents entrusted the Sponsored Projects Office with the authority, on behalf of the Santa Barbara campus and the University of California, to certify that proposals are consistent with University policies and that promises made in proposals can be honored if the project is funded. For more information, see the campus policy on submission of proposals (Research Circular A.1). SPO has established policies and procedures that facilitate the submission of proposals in an expeditious manner while also ensuring that the University meets all federal mandates. The UC Contract and Grant Manual provides additional guidance on policies for the solicitation, acceptance, and administration of awards from extramural sponsors. 

Timeline for Submitting a Proposal to SPO

SPO needs seven full business days prior to the Sponsor Proposal Deadline date to conduct a complete proposal review. 

SPO recommends that all proposals, regardless of sponsor or submission method, be submitted to the sponsor at least 48 hours prior to the sponsor-imposed deadline. This time frame reflects the two-business-day period required by online proposal submission systems, such as Grants.gov, to check for errors and validate proposal submissions. 

For your convenience, we have provided the following quick reference guide illustrating an example of this timeline. 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Pre-review Proposal to be

received by OR by 5pm.      

monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Submission recommended by 5PM to

allow 48 hours for sponsor system to

validate the proposal for errors. 





Requested Deadlines

Please note, if SPO receives a proposal for pre-review with a Department Requested Deadline, the PI or department liaison must include a justification as to why the proposal needs to be submitted prior to the sponsor deadline. SPO will use this requested deadline to determine whether the proposal is subject to a standard or expedited review. If a requested deadline is listed, SPO will treat the requested deadline as the Sponsor Proposal Deadline. Therefore, SPO must receive the Pre-Review Proposal documents seven (7) full business days (holidays and office closures excluded) prior to the requested deadline listed. 

Standard vs. Expedited Review

If SPO receives Pre-review Proposal documents with less than the full seven business days, the proposal will be subject to an expedited review. In an expedited review, SPO checks only the minimum proposal elements to ensure compliance with University policies and federal regulations. In an expedited review, SPO does not review the specific proposal requirements or check to ensure that all proposal elements are correct and have been included for submission. Rather, the department liaison and the PI are responsible for ensuring that the proposal is compliant with all applicable guidelines. If a proposal that received an expedited review is later found to be noncompliant with University or sponsor policy, SPO reserves the right to withdraw the proposal. 

Special Circumstances Requiring Additional Review Time

Proposals requiring either of the following must be submitted to SPO at least ten (10) business days prior to the sponsor deadline or the department-requested submission date: 

  • University acceptance of or exception to award terms and conditions.*
  • Non-standard representations or certifications. (The routine certifications in online systems such as Fastlane, NSPIRES, etc. are "standard" and do not require additional review time.)

*Although SPO's strong preference is to receive the entire pre-review packet together, the proposal guidelines -- along with the award terms and conditions or representations and certifications -- can be sent to SPO ahead of the pre-review proposal documents if the pre-review documents are not ready for submission to SPO 10 business days prior to the deadline. 

What to Include in Pre-Review Proposal Documents

When submitting a proposal for review, please include the following documents:

  1. A statement of work (SOW) 
  • The SOW and other technical sections of the proposal may be in draft form so that the PI may continue to finalize these sections of the proposal during the SPO review period.
    • The draft must be specific enough to allow SPO to determine the nature of the research and ensure that any sponsor-specific requirements are satisfied. In general, an acceptable draft SOW would include a narrative description of the work proposed, which may be in the form of bullet points or a rough summary of technical details.  Such a description should make clear where the work will be carried out (on- or off-campus), who the project partners and participants are (both UCSB and non-UCSB personnel) and whether the project involves human or animal subjects, stem cells, or anything that would require Environmental Health and Safety review. 
    • For NSF proposals, for example, incomplete or blank Current and Pending Support, Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources, etc. may be submitted to SPO with a note that the PI will fill the information in prior to proposal submission.  The project description, however, should be in a form that allows SPO to determine the nature of the proposed work, as described above.  The PI is ultimately responsible for the inclusion and accuracy of proposal elements not submitted to SPO for review.  
    • If UCSB is submitting a subaward proposal, the SOW must show the UCSB PI's portion of the work separate from the work to be carried out by the prime institution. 
  1. A UCSB detailed budget in as close to final form as possible.
  2. A copy of the Data Sheet (prepared in ORBiT).
  3. A copy of the sponsor's guidelines (both prime and flow-through sponsor's if applicable).
    • An email from the sponsor detailing what is needed for submission can serve as guidelines if no formal solicitation is available. 
  4. Additional documentation as applicable. For further information regarding which forms to submit, please see the Proposal Submission Matrix. 

SPO recognizes that some edits or changes to the proposal elements may be necessary prior to submission to the sponsor. 

If any of the above items 1 through 4 are missing from the pre-review documents, SPO cannot begin its review of the proposal. SPO will return the proposal to the department liaison without review, and the liaison will have to resubmit a complete set of required pre-review documents to SPO. For purposes of determining whether the proposal gets a standard or expedited review, SPO will deem the proposal "received" on the date when all the required pre-review documents are submitted to SPO. 

  • Data Sheet
  • Budget and Budget Justification
  • Project Contributions (Cost sharing)
  • Limited submission proposal approval
  • Principal Investigator (PI) eligibility
  • Sponsor's cover page
  • Subaward documentation
  • Vertebrate animal subjects
  • Indirect Cost rate and calculation
  • Export Control issues
  • Regents items
  • Stem Cells
  • Human Subjects
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Representations and Certifications
  • Award terms and conditions (as required)
  • Subcontracting plan/MBE/WBE requirements
  • Institutional eligibility to apply
  • Additional information required by the sponsor

* This list applies only to proposals received in time for a standard review. In an expedited review, SPO does not have sufficient time to review all of the items listed above. 

  • Table of contents
  • Current and pending support
  • References cited
  • Biographical sketches
  • Appendix information

** SPO does not review proposal documents for margin size, font/pitch, line spacing, characters per inch, etc.

Type of signature required/allowed
  Original ('wet') Photocopy/Fax/PDF Digital with date/time stamp (SSL cert, etc) Other Digital (jpg, bmp)
Data Sheet
NIH PI Assurance
Form 99
NASA China Certs
Sub K-Forms