If this is the first time you will be submitting a proposal to NIH or NSF, you will need to be registered with NIH or NSF through RGC. Note that if you intend to submit a grant proposal to NIH, the PI must first be registered in the NIH eRA Commons at least two weeks in advance. Contact your RGC Grant Administrator to register.
At Northern Kentucky University, RGC is responsible for the coordination of proposal submission and the acceptance of awards for grants and contracts.
The submission process is generally as follows (for new proposals):
- The PI downloads the application for the opportunity from the funding agency website.
- The PI reviews and completes the application (“writes the proposal”), using all required forms and formats, providing all required information, and seeking/following advice from RGC as needed. In particular, if you are new to the process, it is beneficial to send a draft budget and other draft portions to your RGC Grant Administrator well in advance of the deadline (in fact, as soon as possible) for their preliminary review and guidance. RGC Grant Administrators have significant experience in proposal preparation/submission and can offer helpful insights and time-saving tools.
- The PI completes the routing form, which is then routed to department administrators for signatures. It is best to contact your RGC Grant Administrator and verify that he/she has received this and inform him/her of any usual aspects of the submission guidelines.
- The PI sends the approved, completed proposal to the RGC Grant Administrator for a final review, approval and submission. This must occur at least five (5) business days prior to the external submission deadline to allow time for review, revision of errors and inclusion of additional material if needed. Also, there are times when the submission portal may not be available (scheduled or unscheduled downtime, overloaded with simultaneous submissions), or key personnel or experts may be unavailable to answer last-minute questions, or other technical difficulties or emergencies could arise, so the five-days-in-advance rule should be strictly adhered to.
- RGC reserves the right to inform the VP of Research if there is concern that a proposal does not meet University quality standards. The VP of Research will review and make a determination.
- RGC then submits the proposal to the funding agency. If the proposal is electronic via Grants.gov, FastLane or NIH Assist the agency will require the submission, even if it’s a pre-proposal or white paper, to be made by an authorized official in RGC. This may vary with foundations or other sponsors which sometimes will allow the PI to apply via email or the sponsor’s own proposal submission system. Please note that RGC should review and approve all proposals for sponsored projects before submission regardless of funding agency. If the submission is by paper, RGC is usually required to sign the face page or other proposal document. Once this is complete, the originals are given to the PI or designated administrator, who then submits the paper version to the sponsor. If there is any doubt about who submits the proposal and how, always contact your Grant Administrator.
- If you are resubmitting a previously reviewed proposal, RGC requires the P.I. to provide reviews upon initial contact with RGC for the purpose of ensuring a stronger proposal.