Proposal Submission Process

California State University Long Beach uses Cayuse 424 for all external and many internal proposal submissions. Visit the ORSP Pre-award for detailed instructions and access to necessary internal forms. The following planning stages are provided as an overview for CNSM proposal submission.

Stage 1: Identify Your Funding Agency and Begin Writing Your Narrative

Identifying the funding agency is the first step and should be done as early as possible –as soon as you have an idea for a project, starting looking for potential funding. Writing your project proposal narrative can only begin in earnest once you have identified the funding agency. Your project idea, regardless that it is brilliant, must be 'sold' to a specific audience and conform to their format. It is often helpful to obtain examples of successful proposals to guide your writing, and ORSP Grant Development Specialist Jacquie Wilvers (5-1065; Jacqueline.Wilvers@csulb.edu) can help. Here is Jacquie's method, i.e., what she will do for you.

How to Obtain Examples of Successfully Funded External Proposals

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) can assist you in obtaining a copy of a successfully funded external proposal funded by a public agency.

Step 1:

Make your request early. It is very important to plan ahead since retrieving proposals often takes time. The amount of time it takes to receive a sample proposal ranges from a day to a few months depending on the PI being asked. Some PIs respond immediately and others either respond much later or not at all.

Step 2:

It takes just a little research to find a project proposal that could assist you. Most federal agencies have a link on their webpage to projects that have been awarded.

Examples of agency links:

Search for funding information from several research funders, including NIH, NSF, NASA, EPA, DOD, AHRQ, FDA, CDC, VA, and more.

Step 3:

Once you identify a funded proposal you'd like to see, email the PI contact information and project description to Jacquie. She will contact (and re-contact) the PI on your behalf, keep you updated about your request, and send any responses that are received. Proposal examples are also uploaded to the ORSP Grant Development BeachBoard. There may be something there already that can assist you, so ask Jacquie to give you access to the Grant Development BeachBoard.

Stage 2: Identify Your Pre-award Specialist

Currently, Senior Pre-award Specialist Nora Momoli (5-1567; Nora.Momoli@csulb.edu) supports CNSM, so start by contacting Nora.

Stage 3: Notice of Intent

Submit a Notice of Intent Form (available at ORSP Pre-award) to ensure that adequate time is reserved for assistance with the internal clearance process and to submit your proposal and appropriate agency forms before the submission deadline date.

Stage 4: Budgeting

Two to four weeks in advance of your deadline contact and submit a draft budget to CNSM Grants and Contracts Specialist, Kathy Vega (5-4539; Kathy.Vega@csulb.edu). Budget forms are available at ORSP Pre-award. Upon final approval by you, the PI, the final budget will be forwarded to ORSP to begin the internal clearance process.

Stage 5: Internal Clearance

The task of writing, re-writing, and wordsmithing your proposal narrative will expand to fill all available time, so take some breaks along the way and give attention to completing all the internal clearance and routing documents. Depending upon your specific funding mechanism, there can be up to 8 required clearance and routing documents, which are accessible via links under Step 5 of ORSP Pre-award.

These documents, along with the final budget and summary/abstract/scope of work, are circulated via Cayuse 424 for approvals by the PI, Co-PI, Department Chair, Dean, ORSP Director, Research Integrity and Compliance, ORSP Senior Director of Sponsored Programs, and CSULB Associate Vice President of Financial Management. Once all these documents are in the Cayuse 424 folder, the clearance process may take 4-5 days. Internal clearance can be processed before the proposal narrative is finalized and must be completed before the proposal can be submitted.

Stage 6: Institutional Information and Boilerplate Materials

A budget and budget justification are standard requirement as part of a proposal submission. Many agencies have additional requirements. Just as you must be familiar with and integrate into your writing process the completion of the internal clearance documents, so too you need to address requirements for proposal components beyond the project narrative. Commonly required institutional information is provided below as boilerplate materials and more institutional information (addresses, contacts, organization codes, and agency identification codes) is provided on ORSP University Information.

  • RUI statement
  • Institutional Context
  • Facilities and Other Resources

Stage 7: Submission

ORSP will initiate the proposal routing once all internal documents have been received, reviewed, and approved by the Pre-Award Specialist. Once clearance has been approved by the Department and College, the proposal is circulated for budget audit, and then receives final review by Administration and Finance and Academic Affairs. When all reviews have been completed the proposal can be submitted. Typically electronic submission is required and the proposal will be submitted by the Associate Vice President for Research and External Support or Designee.

Stage 8: Feel Good and Move On

Submitting a proposal is a scholarly activity and an accomplishment. Once your proposal is submitted, take a few days to feel good and pat yourself on the back –then forget about it. Funding decisions are often announced long after the proposal is submitted, so move on to other tasks while you wait for your proposal reviews.

Stage 9: Congratulations! You're Funded!

When an award is made, typically ORSP and the PI get the news at the same time; however, to avoid delays confirm that ORSP received any message you receive. ORSP Post-Award has the management processes that you will need to know. After a proposal has been accepted for funding by the sponsor, the award negotiation process begins.

Sponsored awards are reviewed and, if necessary, negotiated by ORSP to ensure the terms and conditions are acceptable to the University and Research Foundation. ORSP may consult the PI, Risk Management, College Dean, and other offices, including legal counsel. Most often, thanks to the internal clearance process, little to no negotiation is required. When the sponsored award is fully executed, ORSP will assign a fund number and establish a chart-field string in the accounting system. The grants and contracts administrator (GCA) will issue an Award Orientation Form along with a copy of the award document. The form summarizes all pertinent terms and conditions of the award and any special sponsor requirements.

An important part of post-award management is reporting. Responsibilities for submitting report documents to meet award terms and conditions are shared at CSULB by the PI and ORSP. Actual reporting requirements vary by award, but most awards typically require both periodic progress and financial reports to be submitted to the sponsor. Details of the reporting requirements to the sponsor are normally outlined in the sponsor's notice of award. The PI is responsible for the progress reports on the deliverables associated with the award. ORSP is responsible for completing financial reports.

For additional post-award information, consult the Foundation Project Director's Manual.