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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 both Drexel and DUCOM 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 our Coeus site to learn more.

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



The goal of Office of Research’s Pre-Award team 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, Office of Research must review and approve all proposals prior to sponsor submission.

In order to ensure sufficient time for review, correction, and compilation, the Office of Research should receive the completed proposal at least five (5) working days prior to the sponsor’s due date. If subcontracts to other institutions are planned or if the submission involves a cross-departmental collaboration, the Office of Research should receive the proposal at least ten (10) working days prior to the sponsor’s due date. Proposals are generally reviewed in the order in which they are received. Office of Research staff will do everything reasonably possible to submit a proposal on time.

The increase in e-submissions has highlighted the need for sufficient lead time to ensure successful submission. In general, electronic grant applications must be successfully transmitted to the sponsor no later than 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the date due. As the e-submission deadline approaches, computer servers get sluggish, making log-ins, uploads and final submissions slow at best. The most reliable electronic submission time is before noon. Sponsor deadlines of 8 p.m. allow for submissions on the west coast and do not affect the 5 p.m. Office of Research deadline.

When a submission date falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the sponsor may extend the due date to the next business day. However, do not assume this is the case without verification.

For hard copy submissions, the Office of Research generally sends these by overnight carrier prior to the due date. Faculty may mail proposals themselves if they prefer but only after review by Office of Research. Please be advised that courier pick up at Office of Research is approximately 3 p.m. Some sponsors require proof of mailing before the due date, which may consist of a dated U.S. Postal Service postmark, or dated receipt from a commercial carrier such as UPS. In general, privately metered postmarks are not acceptable and most sponsors no longer permit individuals to hand deliver applications.

Effective Monday, December 3, 2012, Office of Research will institute the following e-submission protocols, in order to better position proposals for success:

  • Electronically submitted proposals (e.g. SF-424, NSF Fastlane, etc.) must be received by Office of Research at least one (1) business day prior to the sponsor’s published deadline in order to ensure successful transmission through the sponsor’s online interface.
  • Coeus system-to-system (“S2S”) proposals must be complete, with all attachments and approvals in place, ready for transmission to sponsor, at least three (3) business days prior to the sponsor’s published deadline. S2S proposals not meeting this deadline must follow the e-submission guidelines above.
  • Investigators must have utilized the Coeus system for two or more proposals prior to attempting S2S submissions.