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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.

The length of time needed by SPO to review a proposal is seven (7) full business days prior to the Sponsor Proposal Deadline date.

SPO recommends 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 time frame 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.

Please note - If a proposal lists a Department Requested Deadline, you will need to include a justification as to why the proposal needs to be submitted prior to 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 deadline listed.

If SPO receives Pre-review Proposal documents with less than the full seven business days, the proposal will be subject to an expedited review.

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











Submission recommended by 5pm to allow 48 hours for sponsor system to validate the proposal for errors.






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 Sponsor 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 Sponsor Proposal Deadline, or the department-requested submission date.


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, please include the following documents:

  1. One complete copy of all proposal documents
  2. A Data Sheet (prepared in ORBiT)
  3. A copy of the sponsor's guidelines (both prime and flow-through sponsors if applicable)
  4. Additional documentation as applicable. For further information regarding which forms to submit, please see the Proposal Submission Matrix.


The Sponsored Projects Office is unable to review a proposal unless it has the following documents - UCSB Statement of Work, UCSB Detailed Budget, and Sponsor Guidelines (unless none are provided by the sponsor). The UCSB Statement of Work and technical sections of the proposal may be in draft form. The PI may continue to finalize the UCSB Statement of Work and technical sections of the proposal during the Sponsored Projects review period. The UCSB Detailed Budget should be in as close to final form as possible. It is recognized that some edits or changes to the proposal elements may be necessary prior to submission to the sponsor. However, without a UCSB Statement of Work, UCSB Detailed Budget, and Sponsor Guidelines (unless none are provided by the sponsor) 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 seven working days or more prior to the 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.

Corrected Types of Signatures

Pre-proposal Guidance

Information for researchers on the use of controlled substances, including marijuana, in research at the University of California.


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