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Proposal Development & Processing

A successful proposal starts with a thorough understanding of the mission, goals, and application requirements of the sponsoring agency. It is also vital that the proposal is prepared in accordance with Drexel’s current rates and policies, and receives the necessary reviews and approvals before submission to the sponsor. The following information details the responsibilities of the PI and Office of Research through the proposal preparation and processing phases.

Proposal Development

Principal Investigator:       

  • Identify sponsor solicitation, review carefully, taking note of deadlines, restrictions (i.e. funding caps, IDC limitations), and other specific requirements. Be sure to use the most current version of all guidelines and forms.  The solicitation or application instructions may also be referred to as: PA, RFA, RFP, BAA, and more. Please visit our glossary for more information 
  • Contact sponsor’s programmatic representative with technical questions about your proposed project. It is entirely appropriate and even encouraged for researchers to discuss their scientific ideas with the technical divisions of sponsoring agencies, in order to ensure that their aims and methods are what the funders are looking for
  • Investigators are urged to contact their Office of Research program administrator (PA) as soon as a submission is anticipated
  • Develop concept budget in Coeus (excel template may be used (link)). Ensure that correct F&A rate is applied
  • Start Coeus proposal development
  • Obtain required documentation from subcontractor(s) or collaborators external to Drexel who will be involved in the project, if applicable
  • Prepare application form set as required by sponsor’s instructions or guidelines
  • Contact pre-award PA with any questions as you are working
  • Upload sponsor application documents and required internal forms to Coeus
  • Click “submit” in Coeus to route proposal for necessary approvals from other faculty participating in the project, department heads, deans, and Office of Research
  • Remain available and ready to make necessary corrections and/or additions to the application during review by Office of Research

Proposal Processing

Office of Research

  • Review Coeus proposal transmittal and sponsor application forms
  • Compare application to sponsor instruction and Drexel policies
    • Check budget, including salary figures, fringe & IDC rates (link), as well as the allowability and allocabiltity of all requested budget items
    • Page limits
    • Institutional information (for proposals not using system-to-system generated form sets)
  • Confer with PI and dept staff on any changes needed before submission to sponsor
  • Ensure that all required documents and approvals in Coeus have been obtained
  • Submit to proposal sponsor
  • Confirm successful submission

Proposal Requirements

The proposal delivered to Office of Research must always include:

  1. A completed Coeus proposal transmittal with all required approvals, including the department head(s) and the dean(s) for all investigators
  2. Project budget and narrative budget justification
  3. Project abstract (i.e. technical narrative, research plan, project description)
  4. Conflict of Interest Statement for each investigator, co-investigator, and key personnel
  5. Completed sponsor application form set
  6. Copy of the solicitation or the web address for the solicitation
In addition, the submission may include the following, as required:
  1. Cost Sharing Commitment Form 
  2. Indirect Cost Waiver Form 
  3. Animal Use Committee Form
  4. Human Subjects Protocol
  5. Subcontractor Documentation
  6. Collaborator Documentation
    • Generally, a letter from the collaborator on letterhead must be sent to the sponsor with the other proposal documents. The letter should indicate the collaborator’s interest in participating in the project, briefly describe what the collaborator will do on the project, and should be printed on the collaborator’s letterhead or that of their institution.

Additional Forms

Who can sign proposals?

The Office of Research is the designated signatory for all proposals submitted on behalf of Drexel University or the Drexel University College of Medicine.

All proposal documents that obligate university personnel, facilities, intellectual property, or other resources require an authorized University signature. The signature assures that appropriate policies, procedures, legal requirements and risks have been addressed.

Since a proposal is an offer to perform research, services, etc., in exchange for institutional review and approval, care should be taken when dealing with potential sponsors so they do not mistake preliminary discussions for institutional commitments.
In preliminary proposals or discussions with a prospective sponsor regarding the budget, remember to consider F&A costs and the costs of employee fringe benefits. These are real costs that need to be included in the budget and should be included.