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Proposal Preparation

Proposal Review and Submission

The Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) is responsible for reviewing grant, cooperative agreement, and contract proposals and is charged with ensuring that proposals are consistent with University policy and can be accepted if an award is made. SPO has established policies and procedures that facilitate the submission of proposals in an expeditious manner while also assuring that the University meets all federal mandates and assurances. The UC Contract and Grant Manual provides additional guidance on policies for the solicitation, acceptance or execution, and administration of awards from extramural sponsors.

SPO requests that all proposals, regardless of sponsor or submission method, be submitted to the sponsor (i.e. push the button) at least 48 hours prior to the sponsor imposed deadline. This timeframe reflects the two (2) business day period it may take sponsor grant submission systems, such as the federal system, to validate a proposal for errors. This “UCSB Proposal Deadline” is to allow SPO, departmental staff, and PI(s) adequate time to address any possible submission issues prior to the sponsor imposed deadline.

Therefore, the length of time needed by SPO to review a proposal is seven (7) full business days prior to the Sponsor Proposal Deadline. The seven days includes five (5) full business days for SPO to review the proposal, communicate review comments to the department, and allow the department and PI(s) enough time to address needed changes prior to the UCSB Proposal Deadline as well as the two (2) business days for submission and sponsor system validation described above.

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



Pre‐review Proposal to be
received by OR by 5pm



UCSB Proposal Deadline

All proposals should be
submitted by 5pm to allow for
adequate time to address
possible submission issues. 48 hour window
begins at 5pm



We require that proposals submitted in response to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) or Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) be submitted to SPO at least ten (10) business days prior to the UCSB Proposal Deadline. Since RFPs frequently require the campus to take exception to proposed award terms (including terms that may injure the research effort) at the time of proposal submission, the RFP or BAA itself (guidelines) should be provided to SPO as soon as available but at least ten (10) business days prior to the UCSB Proposal Deadline.

Only certain individuals have the authority delegated by the Regents to submit proposals and accept awards of extramural grants and contracts. The Sponsored Projects Office has been entrusted 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 promises made in proposals can be honored if the project is funded. For more information see campus policy on submission of proposals (Research Circular A.1).


When submitting a proposal for review, include:

  1. OR Information Sheet
  2. One copy of complete proposal*
  3. A Data Sheet (prepared in ORBiT)
  4. A copy of the sponsor's guidelines.
  5. Additional documentation as applicable: Form 99, Subaward documents and forms, Project Contribution Commitment Memos etc. See the proposal submission matrix for more information about which forms to submit.

*Complete proposal means all the pieces are present. The technical/science section of the proposal (scope of work, research plan, references, targeted study information) may be in draft form. The PI may continue to finalize the technical/science sections during the SPO review period. The UCSB detailed budget, budget justification and sponsor budget documents (if applicable) should be in as close to final form as possible. As applicable, the sponsor cover page, any form pages, subaward documentation and any other required pieces of the proposal should be included in final form. It is recognized that some edits or changes to the proposal elements may be necessary prior to submission to the sponsor. Without all the elements of a complete proposal present, Sponsored Projects cannot begin its review of the proposal.


Items which ARE reviewed in proposals*
  • 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 animals
  • 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
Items which ARE NOT reviewed in any proposals
  • Table of contents
  • Current and pending support
  • References cited
  • Biographical sketches
  • Appendix information
  • Pages margins, font/pitch, line spacing, characters per inch, page limitations

*For proposals not received in SPO five working days or more prior to the UCSB Proposal Deadline, an “Expedited” proposal review will be performed. In an Expedited review, SPO may not have the resources to review all of the items listed above. If a proposal is submitted with only an Expedited review is later found to be noncompliant with University or sponsor policy, SPO reserves the right to withdraw the proposal.




Pre-proposal Guidance

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