Pre-Award / Proposal Development

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Pre-Award / Proposal Development

Proposals are defined as an application submitted by the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) to a sponsoring agency on behalf of a principal investigator seeking project support. Most proposals contain a research strategy or statement of work, budget, budget justification, as well as other applicable documentation required by the selected sponsor. Proposals are typically submitted in response to a funding solicitation or funding opportunity announcement.

Sponsored projects typically fall into three main categories - grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. Each project type can be further categorized as new, resubmissions, revisions, competing renewals, competing supplements and transfers. These projects are submitted to four main sponsor types - federal, state, industry and non-profit.

Prior to preparing your proposal, it is important to carefully read the sponsor's funding guidelines or funding opportunity announcement. These documents are designed to guide an investigator in the proposal creation process. Be sure to use any sponsor-specific templates and discuss any questions you may have with your assigned Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) staff member.

Roles and responsibilities

Principal Investigator

The principal investigator (PI) is ultimately responsible for the entirety of the proposal, including all documents and forms, the budget, any subaward materials, and any other materials requested by the solicitation guidelines or required internally, as well as compliance with all internal and external deadlines.


Several UMMC departments have department administrators who hold various departmental responsibilities such as the creation of budgets, data collection, initial document reviews, etc. ORSP works to ensure proper communication with department administrators and suggests that all PIs consult with their department prior to submission.

Department chairs, or their designees, are responsible for signing an internal transmittal form to ensure the department has reviewed the project and is supportive of the submission.

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Project Managers

ORSP Project Managers are responsible for complete proposal reviews, including all required internal forms, budget documents, all documents and forms required by the sponsor to ensure compliance with institutional, sponsor, state, and federal guidelines. ORSP Project Managers will ensure that the proposal is successfully submitted and accepted by the sponsor.

Tools and Resources

Pre-Award maintains standard forms and templates to assist with proposal development. Our Forms and Templates page on the intranet includes budget and budget justification templates; pre-approved contract templates for material transfer agreements, data use agreements, and confidentiality disclosure agreements; biosketch templates; transmittal forms; and much more. Please allow us to assist you as your build your application. 

In addition, Pre-Award personnel can provide access to internal and external systems and assist with pre-filling standard UMMC information. Please contact a Sponsored Programs Project Manager or if you need assistance. Access support includes, but is not limited to, National Institutes of Health electronic Research Administration (eRA) Commons,, Health Resources and Services Administration Electronic Handbook, American Heart Association grant portal, National Science Foundation FastLane, and the Electronic Biomedical Research Application Portal (EBRAP) for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Internal resources

External resources

Internal submission deadline

The ORSP requires that all proposal applications and contracts be submitted via Cayuse SP at least seven (7) business days prior to the sponsor's deadline. While the science (research strategy, specific aims, etc.) may be in draft form at this time, it is imperative to provide completed detailed budgets, budget justifications, and any other institutional forms. An ORSP Pre-Award staff member will then be assigned to your proposal based on their expertise. ORSP cannot guarantee a successful proposal submission if the five business day policy is not followed.

Budget development

Visit our budget development page for in-depth information on budget development at UMMC.