Proposal Preparation (Pre-Award)

Once you have identified the grant program to which you’d like to apply, we will meet with you to create a checklist of proposal requirements, discuss a timeline for completing the proposal, and create a preliminary budget that can be adjusted as you develop your proposal. At this stage you should also inform your Division Chair, and the Dean’s Office of your intent to submit a proposal.

We encourage you to reach out to us early and often. The Grants Office facilitates the submission, acceptance and management of sponsored projects and related research agreements for UMN Morris investigators. Feel free to contact us with questions at any time during the proposal development process.

Budget Planning Categories to Consider

Direct Costs

  • Personnel: Appointment term, Full Time Equivalent, % time spent on project, annual base salary, Amt. charged on project, Fringe rate, Annual increases (specify), Sponsor restrictions
  • Consultant and Professional Services Costs
  • Equipment: See Managing University Capital Equipment
  • Materials and Supplies
  • Travel Subaward/Subcontract Costs: Names of Organizations and primary contact person, Obtain subaward’s detailed budget
  • Other Direct Costs and Services

Indirect Costs

What are indirect costs?

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs, otherwise known as indirect costs, cover both facilities costs and administrative costs that are incurred by the University of Minnesota when conducting sponsored research, instruction, and public service projects. The F&A rate is the mechanism used to reimburse the University for these infrastructure support costs. When a funder allows F&A the rate is either pre-negotiated, or is published in a specific grant program's request for proposals.

Facilities and Administrative Costs: Determine what rate will be used, List any budget items exempt from F&A.

Other Budget Considerations

The "Office of Management and Budget’s Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, 2 CFR Part 200," (UG) is a government-wide framework for grants management and provides an authoritative set of rules and requirements for federal awards. The UG includes directions regarding all things financial, including definitions of allowable and unallowable costs.

Examples of unallowable costs

Budget Narratives

Your proposal will contain a detailed budget narrative that will add explanations and details that appear in your budget. The Grants Office can assist you with the preparation of this document.

Draft Proposals

  • Prepare a draft proposal and budget. We will walk you through budget questions in preliminary meetings, since budget policies can impact multiple areas of your project.
  • Contact the Institutional Review Board if human subjects are involved, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee if animal subjects are involved
  • Assemble/prepare all required attachments including CV and statements of collaborators

Final Draft

  • Submit final draft of proposal and budget to Grants Office no less than one calendar week prior to funding agency receipt date or you risk not having your proposal submitted.

Applicant/Primary Investigator (PI) Responsibilities

  • To be eligible to serve as a PI, University of Minnesota researchers must complete the responsible conduct of research (RCR) core curriculum. They may also complete additional instruction in specific topics.
  • PI must have an approved Report of External Professional Activities (REPA)
  • Write technical narrative
  • Identify contractors and/or subawards
  • Assess any cost sharing conditions
  • Update Grants Office with Sponsor communications

Grants Office Responsibilities

  • Assistance to complete sponsor forms
  • Assistance formulating a budget
  • Reviewing proposals for completeness and compliance with agency and university requirements (nontechnical)
  • Set up of online Sponsor submission accounts (where applicable and necessary)
  • Notification and routing of Proposal Routing Form (PRF)
  • Obtaining of signatures as required
  • Submitting the final signed and approved proposal to the Sponsor

Review the Responsibility Matrix for more information

Grant Proposal Writing Resources