All proposals should begin with a Notice of Intent Form. This form assists the Pre-Award team in assigning a Pre-Award Grant and Contract Specialist (GCS) to your proposal. The Principal Investigator (PI) then works with that Pre-Award GCS on the development of all proposal components including the budget.

There are many elements to a proposal, so allow time to collect and prepare all the information needed. Proposals must go through a review and approval process before they are submitted to the funding agency. Please allow sufficient time for this process, and provide all final documents to the GCS no later than five business days before the proposal due date. Please refer to the PI Handbook for a detailed description of the Proposal, Award, and Post-Award process at the IUP Research Institute (RI).

Funding agencies generally have guidelines for proposal preparation. These guidelines can be very detailed with specific forms required to accompany the proposal. Many times, there are limitations for page length, type size, title length, or supporting documents. Page numbers are essential, and a table of contents is helpful to the reviewers. An abstract accompanying the proposal should be both concise and complete.

The proposal text should include a clear statement of the project goals and objectives as well as a description of the proposed work. Care should be taken in the text to explain the need for unusual or large expenses such as equipment, special travel, or use of facilities. References should be included and, when necessary, a full bibliography.

The budget is often reviewed separately from the proposal. See Budget Preparation for detailed information.  

Things to Consider When Developing Your Proposal: 

Conflict of Interest

This may include hiring a relative on the project, subcontracting to a family member, or purchasing items from a business owned by a family member or where you have a financial interest. Please discuss these matters with your Pre-Award GCS, and they will assist you in identifying if there is a conflict, and if needed, work with your university to develop a mitigation plan.


A subcontractor is a business that provides specified services in support of the research project. They provide their services to many customers and do not have any input into the design or decision making of the research. Depending on the dollar amount, a quote and/or scope of work may be needed for the proposal.

A subrecipient is a non-federal entity that receives a subaward to carry out a portion of the research project. They participate in designing and conducting the research. They retain some programmatic control over how the work is carried out. A principal investigator may be identified. A scope of work for the subrecipient, as well as a detailed budget, will be needed for the proposal. Other information about the entity, qualifications, and identifiers, including contact information, will be needed, and your Pre-Award GCS can provide you with the specifics that are needed.

IRB – Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects

Research projects that involve human subjects may need to be reviewed by the IRB.

Before submitting an IRB application, you may want to review the Does My Research Require IRB Review flow chart. IRB approval should be initiated at proposal stage.  

IACUC – Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

All research involving the use of vertebrate animals must be reviewed and approved by  university Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). This should be done at proposal stage.

International Proposals

For proposals with international components there are additional compliance requirements and budget considerations. These include: Exchange rate, translator/language services, export controls, Fly-America Act, travel restrictions, insurances, and visa requirements.

Intellectual Property  

Online Research Ethics Training

Export Control

Public Resources

NSF Biosketch

NSF Current and Pending

Center for Rural PA data  

US Chamber of Commerce

Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce

US Census Bureau

Campus Resources


Campus Data


IUP Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment

IUP Applied Research Lab 

Proposal Review

The primary purpose of Proposal Review is to assure that all proposals have been reviewed by relevant university departments. This includes deans, department chairs, Grants Accounting, Procurement, Facilities, Human Resources, and IT. Together, this group checks for any potential implementation issues with your proposal and budget. Your assigned Pre-Award GCS will initiate the Proposal Review through Kuali, our grants management system, and be the point of contact for all questions and communications to and from PIs and university administration.

All proposals must go through the proposal review process before submission, and the review process may take one or two days, depending on the availability of the review committee. It is imperative that your assigned Pre-Award GCS have all final documents for proposal submission a minimum of five business days before the proposal is due. The Proposal Review Committee only reviews final documents to avoid any confusion on which documents are being submitted. 

Proposal Submission

Proposals are written by principal investigators (PI) and are submitted by their university or the IUP Research Institute on behalf of the PI. Awards are typically made to the applicant organization for the project.

There are selected authorized organizational representatives at each university and at the IUP RI who are authorized to submit proposals and/or accept awards. Faculty and staff are not authorized to submit proposals.