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Facts & Deadlines

Proposal preparation and submission can be challenging for even experienced researchers and administrators. Having the all of the necessary information at hand and submitting in a timely fashion, help to mitigate the anxiety that can surround proposal submission.

All proposal applications require a combination of general institutional information and project specific information. Virtually all of the institutional information needed for a proposal can be found on Office of Research’s website. Our Data Sheet contains important address, certification numbers, and contact personnel that may be needed for proposals.

Additionally, the Coeus Proposal Development system, through which all proposal submissions must be routed for review and approval, contains pre-programmed Drexel data which automatically populates into the form sets that are downloaded and eventually submitted to for all federal grant applications. These “system-to-system” submissions require much less data entry and completely eliminate the possibility of human error for those fields that are auto-populated. Please visit the Coeus section of our website to learn more.

If a specific proposal requires information not found on the Data Sheet or Office of Research website, please contact your pre-award administrator for assistance.

Proposal Submission Deadlines

The primary goal of the Pre-Award team in the Office of Research (OR) is to maximize the quality of proposals and consistently achieve on-time submission. To this end, both sponsors and Office of Research have published deadlines as well as guidance to make the process go smoothly. To confirm that proposals contain accurate institutional information, comply with both sponsor and university policies and procedures, and that the financial picture (budget) expresses the technical statement of work, the Office of Research must review and approve all proposals prior to sponsor submission.

Effective September 1, 2015, OR will begin enforcing an updated Proposal Submission Deadline Procedure. This procedure requires submission of Completed Proposal/Applications and Completed Coeus Records to OR three (3) business days prior to sponsors' due dates. No proposal will be submitted to a sponsor without both components (Completed Coeus Record and Completed Proposal/Application). Proposals submitted to OR after the deadline will not be reviewed but an attempt(s) will be made to submit to sponsors.

Read the full text of the procedure.

The following resources have been developed to assist investigators and their staff in interpreting the implementation of this procedure:

Enforcement of this policy will benefit investigators, reduce the financial risks to the University, as well as contribute to the overall success of Drexel’s research enterprise. We look forward to collaborating with you to produce the most successful proposals possible.

The Office of Research is committed to partnering with faculty and staff in order to ensure the timely review and submission of research proposals that are compliant with University and sponsor regulations.

We have seen an increased level of scrutiny related to the proposal process since the December 26th, 2014 implementation of the Uniform Guidance. Both the NIH and NSF have published reminders that successful submission does not preclude a proposal from being returned without review. To ensure compliance with these rules the NSF has added additional checks in FastLane that will now produce errors (which will prevent submission) or warnings (which will allow us to submit but can cause a proposal to be returned without review). Some items that can cause a return without review are applications that:

  • Contain one or more biosketch that does not conform to the required format.
  • Do not conform to the page limit requirements due to the inclusion of inappropriate materials.
  • Are submitted as new but contain elements of a resubmission or renewal application.
  • Are linked collaborative proposals for NSF not including the word “collaborative” in the title.
  • Do not include prior NSF support in the narrative section or contain improper format (work done at the graduate student level counts as prior support).
  • See the full list of additional NSF checks here.

Timely review of outgoing proposals by the OR allows for the identification of potential administrative, regulatory, financial, or programmatic issues that may endanger the success of a proposal as well as put the colleges/schools/University at financial risk. The OR analyzes the responsiveness of the proposal to the administrative requirements of the funding announcement helping to ensure Drexel faculty submit proposals of the highest quality and with the highest probability of funding.

Occasionally, faculty or investigators envision projects that present potential programmatic, administrative, or financial challenges to their College/School or to the University. In these cases, adequate time for review allows for thoughtful consideration of the University’s ability and resources to participate in the program. It also allows for the formulation of creative solutions in support of the University’s research, faculty, and strategic plan.

When given the proper lead time, some of the services that the Office can provide include, but are not limited to:

  • Review supplementary documents and appendices to ensure that attached items are appropriate and not a continuation of the project description or narrative.
  • Ensure correct and accurate information is included in the proposal (i.e. inclusion of prior NSF support, NSF current and pending documentation).
  • Work with PI/Dept. to communicate with the Program Officer regarding solicitation specific questions to gain clarification on ambiguities when needed.
  • Work with PI’s and Sponsors to develop creative solutions to ensure that proposal is compliant with solicitation and sponsor requirements (i.e. NSF prohibited cost share).
  • Review the budget and budget justification to ensure that all costs are allowable under the Uniform Guidance and within any budget limitations in a solicitation.

The following new services are available from OR to allow faculty more time to focus on the scientific sections of their proposals:

  • Consolidation of non-standard requirements in solicitations
  • Assist with creation of biosketches and current and pending support
  • Assist with Coeus record development (for faculty that do not have support staff in their units)
  • Add salary information to Coeus records for participating personnel upon receipt of authorized approvals
  • Work with partnering organizations to obtain subaward documentation

The proposal submission deadline also conforms to the submission of proposals through “system-to-system.” This submission mechanism eliminates the risk of routine repetitive data being input incorrectly that can cause a proposal to be rejected and therefore removes the potential for administrative errors. It also allows for the upload of items in one location, as opposed to entering a budget and budget justification into multiple electronic systems, saving valuable time and University resources. System-to-system submission provides a head start if the proposal will be submitted to another agency or a future RFP since the proposal can be copied from one record to the next, allowing the reuse of forms and budgets.

While we recognize that every hour of time is precious when preparing an application for sponsored funding, the proposal submission deadline has the best interests of both the faculty and the University in mind. We look forward to working with you to ensure your application receives its very best chance at funding.