Development of the Research Proposal 

Sponsor guidelines for funding applications vary widely. AUC's office of sponsored programs can assist in insuring that the proposal guidelines are followed carefully and that submission deadlines are met. Failure to meet the sponsor's requirements can be grounds for immediate dismissal by the sponsor. 
The proposal, including any research and funding issues, should also be discussed between the researcher and the appropriate department chair and dean (for teaching faculty) or center director (for research faculty). 
AUC's office of sponsored programs can assist in developing the research proposal and putting together all the required bits and pieces. The proposal must flow smoothly and is all linked. The following are the elements of a standard grant proposal: 

  1. Executive summary
  2. Statement of need
  3. Project description: objectives, methods, staffing/administration, evaluation, and sustainability 
  4. Budget
  5. Organization information
  6. Conclusion
  7. Appendices

Circulating the Proposal for University Review and Approval 

All sponsored research proposals must be reviewed and approved by the University's administration before submission to external funding agencies. This is typically obtained and documented via the Proposal Approval Form (PAF)

Close coordination with the office of sponsored programs is necessary to insure that all needed approvals are obtained and that submission deadlines are met. The following are the steps to receiving AUC's approval on submitting the proposal:


  1. Office of Sponsored Programs will review the proposal with respect to University policies and regulations, the sponsor's application guidelines, and other regulations as applicable. They will communicate its feedback and will also advise on whether other kinds of approvals are needed for example Institutional Review Board (IRB) and  CAPMAS Policy.
  2. Once the minimum requirements are satisfied,  the office of sponsored programs will prepare and route the (PAF) for approvals using an electronic grants management system (COEUS). AUC's scope of work and budget along with any pertinent documents are also included.  The (PAF) typically summarizes the project's pertinent information including: principal investigator's contact information, the sponsor's contact information, project title, funding amount requested from the sponsor, amount cost shared by AUC, information on AUC's facilities utilized, conflict of interest, IRB approvals, involved faculty members level of effort and how it will be supported. 
  3. Once the (PAF) is generated, it will be circulated for approvals according to the following set hierarchy:
  • Principal Investigator (PI) and co-principal investigator, if applicable 
  • Department chair - for certain centers this is not applicable
  • School dean or center director
  • Office of Sponsored Program Director
  • Controller
  • Vice President for Finance
  • Provost

Please note that proceeding with sending the form to the next level is contingent on the previous one's approval. For instance, if the controller does not approve/sign off on the project, the PAF will not be sent to the Vice President for Finance. Instead, it will be sent back to the PI with the reasoning. The office of sponsored programs will work with the PI on addressing any concerns.

The consequence of not having the University's approval prior to submission is usually the rejection of the award by the University. 

Submission of the Proposal to the Sponsor

When all approvals have been secured, the office of sponsored programs will submit the proposal to the sponsor according to the sponsor's guidelines. You will be notified of the submission and any pertinent communication with the sponsor. 

Sponsor's Review of the Proposal

The proposal review process varies from one sponsor to the other. The sponsor may evaluate the proposal through peer review, internal committee, or others. The office of sponsored programs can assist in explaining the review process of a particular sponsor, and in obtaining feedback if a funding request is turned down.