Submitting Proposals

A proposal to an external sponsor, whether public or private, must be routed through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) and approved by the Grants and Contracts Administrator. Typically, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) serves as the legal recipient, and the Grants and Contracts Administrator endorses proposals and awards on behalf of the University. Two exceptions to this policy include grants or contracts to individuals and grants managed by the UNI Foundation (see below).

Electronic submissions (via Grants.Gov, FastLane, etc.) must be approved by the Grants and Contracts Administrator, and, in most cases, submitted from the desk of an RSP staff member who is an Authorized University Representative. See the Tip Sheet.

Grant Specialists in the RSP are available to assist in all stages of proposal development from conceptualization and grant seeking, to budgeting and proposal editing. In addition, the Grant Specialists facilitate the Required Budget Review and Electronic File Review, which must be completed prior to approval by the Grants and Contracts Administrator.

Grants or Contracts to Individuals

Proposals for external funding such as fellowships and scholarships in which the individual, rather than the university, is the legal recipient are exempt from the RSP authorization process. However, faculty and staff applying to such opportunities are welcome to utilize RSP assistance with grant writing and budget development.  If you are unsure whether UNI or an individual is the legal recipient, please call RSP for assistance.

Grants Managed by the UNI Foundation

The UNI Foundation manages proposals to the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, The R.J. McElroy Trust, John Deere Foundation & Corporation, Community Foundation of Waterloo/Cedar Falls and Northeast Iowa, The Max & Helen Guernsey Charitable Foundation (Waterloo, IA), and Mansfield Foundation (Belle Plaine, IA). Contact the UNI Foundation for assistance and submission procedures.

Approval Process if UNI is a Sub Recipient of a Grant or Contract

All proposals by outside institutions that include UNI as a sub-recipient must be routed through RSP, and endorsed by the Grants and Contracts Administrator. This ensures that the collaborative subcontract proposal has received an appropriate internal review of the scope of work and budget.

  1. Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD) submits a scope of work statement, budget, budget narrative, and a completed and signed Proposal Routing and Approval Form (PRAF or Routing Form) to RSP no less than two (2) full working days prior to the date the prime recipient has set for collection of your materials.
  2. After approval, the Grants and Contracts Administrator will prepare a standard subcontract proposal endorsement letter authorizing the lead organization to include UNI in their prime proposal.Subaward Endorsement Letter FROM UNI - Template

Special Considerations for Collaborative Proposals When UNI is the Lead Applicant

UNI PI/PD’s serving as the lead on collaborative proposals where one or more outside institutions will receive sub award funds must obtain a letter of endorsement signed by the collaborating institution’s Authorized Organizational Representative identifying key personnel and a measure of their time and effort, and the amount of any sub award funds.Subaward Endorsement Letter TO UNI - Template

Collaborative Proposals submitted electronically to certain Federal Agencies may be required to follow alternative submission processes. Please check with RSP when considering any collaborative proposal.

General Steps for Submission

Steps for Submitting a Paper Proposal via Mail

Steps for Submitting a Proposal Electronically

Timelines for Submitting a Proposal

Proposal Submission Glossary