Proposal Planning

This proposal planning overview provides factors to consider as you begin planning to develop your proposal.

Interpreting Funding Guidelines

When submitting proposals, following the sponsoring agency’s specific instructions is critical. Sponsored Programs managers are available to help interpret the sponsoring agency’s guidelines, contact sponsors for program clarifications, and to identify areas that require
pre-approval (such as cost-share, F&A below negotiated rates, or special use of facilities).

Required Proposal Information

Most funding opportunities come with specific requirements for information. Sponsored Programs managers can assist with completing the necessary forms and ensuring that all required information is included with your proposal.

Developing a Proposal Budget

Identifying project cost and developing a realistic budget is an essential part of proposal development. Reviewers will determine whether the proposed budget is in line with the project narrative. Your Sponsored Programs manager will work with you to develop a realistic budget that aligns with your project narrative and will help to ensure that your budget adequately and accurately covers project costs. Download the Proposal Budget Template to create a detailed list of items for your project budget. The template is also available on the Forms web page listed under Office of Sponsored Programs Pre-Awards Forms

Writing a Proposal Narrative

A thorough understanding of the funding guidelines will allow you to construct a narrative that is responsive to the sponsor’s request for information. If you have questions about how best to organize your narrative, please let us help. With adequate time, we can develop a specific outline for you to follow, obtain examples of successful proposals, and review and edit your narrative.

Timeliness of Submission

Proposals are due on specific dates as determined by the sponsoring agency. Sponsors will not consider late proposals. It is essential that investigators plan well in advance to allow ample time for a detailed proposal review (full review) and the required routing process, as well as time to meet the sponsoring agency’s deadlines.

CSU Sponsored Programs Administration Policy 11002.01 requires university approval prior to proposal submission. The university and its authorized signers reserve the right to stop the proposal routing and withdraw any submitted proposal that does not comply with CSU and university policies as well as state and federal regulations.

Please follow the 7-Day Rule: The final budget and narrative must be completed and delivered to the assigned Sponsored Programs manager at least seven days prior to the deadline. This allows time for routing and institutional approvals, and makes it possible for the proposal to be submitted two days before the deadline to ensure error-free submissions.

Review Boards

Research conducted by SJSU faculty, staff, or students that involves the use of human subjects or laboratory animals requires additional review and approvals by specialized institutional review boards established by the university president.

Use of Human Subjects

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews research proposals that are submitted by SJSU faculty, staff, and students that involve the use of human subjects. The committee ensures that the proposed research is in compliance with university and federal policies and regulations regarding the safety of human participants and the ethical and responsible conduct of investigators.

For requirements and detailed information about research involving the participation of human subjects, please visit the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board website.

Use of Laboratory Animals

The university complies with federal, state, university, and other regulatory requirements related to the acquisition, care, use, and treatment of animals in the performance of instruction and research. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), is responsible for the oversight and review of all issues related to animal care, facilities, and procedures.

For requirements and detailed information about research involving the use of laboratory animals, please visit the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee website.