Pre Award Guidelines for Submission of Grant Proposals

The following CHHD guidelines for submitting grant proposals are designed to ensure that they are processed in a timely and appropriate fashion with respect to University and funding agency procedures.


Investigators are encouraged to consult with the CHHD pre-award team (814-865-9203) regarding the creation of a budget at the earliest possible point in the process of developing the grant proposal. Indeed, experience has demonstrated that our office's early involvement in the process (3-4 weeks prior to submission) can be very beneficial to investigators. In instances where there are complexities to the grant structure, such as in multiple site grants with subcontracts, it is wise to begin the budget process even earlier. To make the budget development meeting between the faculty member and the Research Office efficient, it is essential that investigators plan in advance the budget components of the grant together with estimates (to the extent possible) of their dollar value. This will help reduce the time of each budget meeting and make the grant development process more efficient.

Investigators are encouraged to finalize the budget well in advance of five working days before the deadline for the grant proposal to be submitted. Significant changes after that time may result in the grant proposal not being submitted on time. Early formation of the proposal budget also facilitates the orderly signing of the proposal's Internal Approval Forms (IAF) by the Department and Center Administrators (see below).

If for any reason an investigator decides not to submit a grant having initiated a budget process for a given agency deadline that investigator should inform our office of this change of intent to submit so that the Research Office can plan its activities accordingly.

Matching Funds

There are central campus opportunities in certain circumstances for matching funds on equipment and graduate assistantships for Trainee Grants (see outline of guidelines and procedures - RAG02 & RAG03). The matching fund request should be initiated as early as possible in the grant preparation process and no later that 4 weeks prior to the submission of the grant. A complete copy of the budget, abstract and matching request must be sent to Central Administration 10 days before the proposal is due.

Completeness of Proposal Text

The investigator is responsible for providing to the Research Office a complete final copy of the grant proposal to be submitted. This excludes the grant proposal process and budgetary front and/or back pages specified by the funding agency. The Research Office is not responsible for typing any of the text of grant proposals, including abstracts, references, and biosketches. The Research Office will paginate the complete grant proposal that is submitted. Where the grant submission is electronic the investigator should provide a file with the complete grant together with files of each section separately as designated in the respective agency guidelines.


The investigator is responsible for providing the appropriate number of paper copies of all the appendices that are to be submitted with the grant proposal. These appendices should be available at the time that the final version of the grant proposal is submitted to the College Research Office.

Time Deadline for Submission of Grant Proposal

To guarantee that the grant proposal is submitted on time, the complete final copy of the grant proposal should be with the Research Office no less than five days (i.e., 5 p.m. 5 working days prior to) the final deadline for posting to meet the submission arrival deadline.

Internal Approval Forms (IAF)

Principal investigators need to sign the Internal Approval Forms (IAF) at the time of the submission of the final version of the grant proposal to the College Research Office. The complete Internal Approval Form (IAF) signature process must be completed by the day that the grant proposal is submitted to the agency.


The principal investigator is responsible for the integrity and coherence of the final copy of the grant proposal submitted to the agency.

Other Questions

Questions or suggestions on the Pre Award Grant submission process may be submitted to Niki Page (814-865-9203) or Kathy Drager (814-863-2426).

General information re the university grant proposal process may be found on the Penn State Grants and Contracts Web site.