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Proposal Approval and Submission

The University’s internal grant approval process begins at the department level with the Project Director (PD) discussing his/her project idea with the department chair. If the chair supports the project, the faculty or staff member should contact OSPR for assistance in finding funding for the project or for technical assistance in proposal development. 

All grant proposals and applications are subject to internal review and approval.  The Proposal Review Form (PRF) is required for every grant or contract application intended for submission for external funding. This internal form is used to compile relevant information regarding proposals for external funding and to confirm compliance with University policies and sponsor/federal regulations. The Project Director is responsible for completely filling out the form and securing the required signatures. 



All faculty/professional staff who intend to submit a proposal must first discuss the project with their department chair or unit supervisor to determine if their time commitment, use of University equipment or space, or travel will impact their teaching and advising responsibilities or the functioning of the department. The Dean or area Vice-President must also review all applications and approve grant submissions that involve the use of institutional resources, including course release or faculty leave, or the commitment of institutional match or cost share. OSPR reviews all budgets prior to submission to insure cost allowances. It is the responsibility of the PD to allow adequate time to obtain approvals prior to the grant submission deadline.

The Proposal Review Form must be signed by: 

  • Project Director and Co-PD, if applicable
  • the department chair or supervisor for each faculty or staff member named in the proposal
  • the dean or area VP for each faculty or staff member named in the proposal
  • the director of OSPR
  • the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • the Vice President for Administration and Finance

Special Approvals

Additional approvals are required for the creation of new positions and hiring of personnel, use of certain equipment and facilities, and research with human subjects (including questionnaires), vertebrate animals, or genetic, biohazardous, or radioactive materials. Only the Institutional Review Board and committees that oversee these matters for the University, or appropriate administrators, can determine if a proposal is exempt from review.

It is the investigator’s responsibility to indicate whether a proposal includes research that requires committee or special approvals by answering the Special Approvals/Proposal Information questions on the PRF.

University Approval

The Director of Sponsored Programs & Research is the authorized organizational representative for Longwood University for electronic submission via FastLane and Grants.gov. The official signatory for all grants and contracts for the University is Ken Copeland, Vice President for Administration and Finance. Mr. Copeland has the authority to formally commit Longwood University resources and to accept federal funds on behalf of the University.

Proposal Deadlines

Submit the signed Proposal Approval Review along with draft of your proposal and final budget docs to the sponsored programs office at least ten (10) business days prior to the application deadline. OSPR will obtain institutional approvals. 

To ensure proposals are submitted to sponsors by the deadline, all administrative documents (proposal forms, budgets, and other required documentation, MUST be received in final format (ready to submit) at least five (5) business days before a sponsor’s deadline.

The PD can continue to refine the draft proposal narrative, but it must be received in final form by OSPR no later than 9:00 a.m. two (2) business days< before the deadline.

Observing this timeframe allows OSPR to complete a thorough review of your materials, obtain the final university approvals, set up university records and transmit the proposal before the last day of a deadline.

It is crucial to avoid transmission problems that could prevent the successful submission of your proposal. As you are aware, most proposals are now submitted electronically, and we are dependent on the reliability of sponsors’ submission systems. Sponsors' systems sometimes crash or experience slow-downs near published deadlines. A system slow-down can result in delayed notification by the sponsor if there is an error in your application and a revision is required before it will be accepted. In an extreme case this could mean a missed deadline. The best way to avoid potential problems is to submit your proposal to us as early as possible.

Please note: Pre-proposals and/or "white papers" do not require OSPR review and university approval unless budgetary information is provided and/or institutional certifications/assurances are required. If budgetary information is required, then the pre-proposal or white paper must be pre-approved for submission just as a regular funding proposal.

Submitting the Proposal to the Sponsor

Important Information Regarding Electronic Proposal Submissions

Once all of the preparation, compliance and approval process is completed, OSPR will review your proposal and coordinate the actual submission. OSPR is the responsible for the submission of all sponsored project proposal applications. Proposals may not be submitted directly to the funding agency without the prior authorization of OSPR. OSPR will transmit the proposal application packet to the agency via the sponsors preferred method (paper or electronic). 

Review and Approval Responsibilities

Project Director and Co-Project Director –  The signatures of the Project Director and Co-PD on the proposal routing form indicates his or her agreement to:

  • accept responsibility for the intellectual content of the research or scholarly activity that is proposed;
  • ensure that all necessary institutional approvals are received prior to submission of the proposal to an outside funding source;
  • abide by all University, governmental, and sponsor certifications, policies, and regulations;
  • report any inventions or financial conflicts of interest in accordance with prescribed University policies;
  • meet deadlines for the completion of reports to the sponsoring agency;
  • use funds for the awarded project appropriately and ensure that all expenditures are consistent with the terms of the award;
  • complete the work on schedule and within the project's approved budget.

The Department Chair/Supervisor – The Department Chair/Supervisor must review and approve the project budget and draft proposal. The department or academic unit shares responsibility with the Project Director for performance of the work, compliance with sponsor and University requirements and verification of cost share obligations.

The signature of the department chair or supervisor on the PRF indicates acknowledgement of the:

  • research or scholarly activities that are being conducted in his/her department or administrative unit and its compatibility with departmental objectives;
  • competency of the Project Director to conduct and manage the proposed project;
  • appropriateness of the project in terms of budget, space, personnel, or equipment;
  • approval of release time (if any) for designated faculty;
  • commitment to meet any obligations if the proposal is funded;
  • coverage of any over-expenditure or disallowed expenditures from departmental funds

The Dean/Vice President assures that he/she:

  • recognizes the project as compatible with the institutional goals and objectives of the college or academic unit;
  • will make available the staff, space, or resources necessary for conducting the project; 
  • gives official approval to any cost-share commitments and accepts financial responsibility for any eventual over-runs and/or cost disallowances.

The Provost/VP of Academic Affairs attests that all appropriate reviews have occurred and approves the overall project.

The Office of Sponsored Programs & Research attests to the completeness and accuracy of the budgetary and administrative information, including indirect cost recovery contained in the application.

The Director of Sponsored Programs & Research:

  • ensures that proposals comply with University and sponsor policies,
  • confirms that proposals are complete and that all signatures/certifications and approvals, including those of appropriate regulatory offices, have been obtained.

The Vice President for Administration and Finance:

  • confirms that the proposed project is consistent with the educational and professional objectives of the University;
  • approves all cost-sharing/matching requests for both direct and indirect costs
  • certifies, as the authorizing official, that the proposal is a valid offer by the university.