Proposal and Award Processing Path


1. Principal Investigator or Project Director (PI/PD)

  • develops project idea consistent with mission of department or unit
  • locates potential sponsor or responds to request for proposals or program announcement
  • obtains required proposal materials (guidelines/forms) and UM Transmittal Sheet
  • consults with ORSP on proposal and budget development, proposal forms, and other materials and requirements
  • drafts proposal narrative and budget, and sends drafts to ORSP for review

2. Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP)

  • if requested, comments on draft narrative
  • reviews draft budget for compliance with federal, state, sponsor, and university policies, identifies any changes needed

3. PI/PD

  • prepares final proposal narrative and budget, as well as forms and other materials
  • prepares UM Transmittal Sheet for proposal, and routes it with proposal and budget for all required signatures
  • delivers proposal package to ORSP with signed transmittal sheet at least five working days before mailing deadline or electronic submission deadline


  • notes deadline date and confirms required signatures and approvals are in place on transmittal sheet
  • reviews transmittal sheet for complete and correct information
  • notes any applicable compliance areas and confirms information with Research Integrity and Compliance office
  • reviews project budget and cost-sharing commitments for accuracy and compliance with federal, state, sponsor, and university policies; when all is correct, ORSP Accountant signs transmittal sheet
  • reviews proposal narrative for compliance with federal, state, sponsor, and university policies, as well as university mission and priorities
  • resolves any questions or issues arising during review process
  • when all is correct, obtains Vice Chancellor/ORSP approval signature on transmittal sheet and on all proposal forms and assurances
  • returns signed proposal to PI/PD (or, if requested, sends proposal to sponsor)
  • enters proposal data into ORSP database and files proposal copy

5. PI/PD

  • submits proposal to sponsor
  • sends copy of final proposal (as transmitted to sponsor) to ORSP for official file

When Funding is Awarded

6. PI/PD

  • reviews award documents and confirms budget, as well as any terms and conditions
  • if acceptable, signs and returns award acceptance memo to ORSP


  • reviews award and negotiates any necessary changes with sponsor
  • obtains Vice Chancellor/ORSP approval signature on all award documents and assurances, as required
  • when fully-executed award document is received, transmits all award information to UM Accounting Office for account setup
  • enters award data into ORSP database and files award documents
  • assists investigators with post-award administration

8. UM Accounting Office

  • assigns university grant/contract account number and notifies PI/PD and ORSP
  • receives grant/contract funds and processes expenditures
  • assists investigators with fiscal post-award administration
  • prepares and submits fiscal reports and closes out accounts when project ends

Please note this is a simplified and abbreviated version of the proposal/award process. PI/PD is responsible for knowing and adhering to applicable federal, state, sponsor, and university policies and regulations. ORSP staff are available to assist PIs/PDs at any stage of project development or administration.