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Proposal Preparation and Submission

Office of Sponsored Programs Pre-Award Services

The Pre-Award Services team in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) looks forward to working with you to prepare and submit your proposal for external funding.  Whether you are new to proposal writing or a seasoned Principal Investigator (PI), we encourage you to contact us at for information and support at any point in the award-seeking and proposal development process.

PIs should contact Pre-Award Services as soon as possible but no later than five (5) full business days prior to a proposal submission deadline. In accordance with Section 4.1 of Boise State University Policy Number 5030, complete, final documents are due to Pre-Award Services at least five (5) full business days prior to the submission deadline. Narrative documents may be submitted to the Pre-Award Research Administrator (RA) three (3) full business days prior to the deadline. More information is available in the Proposal Document Submission Deadline Guide. Further, per Boise State University Policy Number 6080, PIs must submit Facilities and Administration (F&A) waivers and accompanying documentation, including but not limited to the internal budget, to Pre-Award Services no later than ten (10) full business days prior to the submission deadline.

Among other services, we provide:

  • Proposal development support (budget development, forms, compliance review);
  • Assistance with interpreting and applying funding agency guidelines;
  • Electronic proposal submission; and
  • Internal institutional review and endorsement of your proposal.

Quick Links

Institutional Information Fact Sheet

I want to learn about funding opportunities.  See the Funding Blast.

I want to know about Limited Proposal Submissions.  See the Limited Submission Opportunities.

Is it a gift or a sponsored project? See the Gift or Sponsored Project guide.

I want to submit a proposal to the Idaho National Laboratory.  See the updated procedure.

Budget Development Guide

Submit Proposal

Preparing and submitting your proposal.

Accept Award

Drafting, negotiating and accepting awards.

Manage Award

Compliantly and efficiently managing your award.

Closeout Award

Closing out your award.

Proposal Preparation Information

Proposal Submission Guide

10 Steps to Submit a Proposal:

Step 1. As soon as the PI decides to submit a proposal, the PI sends an email to OSP Pre-Award Services at  with the following information:

  • PI Name:
  • Co-PI:
  • Subrecipients/Collaborators:
  • Department/Administrative Unit for Routing in Frevvo:
  • College/Administrative Unit:
  • Period of Performance (Start and End Dates):
  • Project Title:
  • Sponsor:
  • Hyperlink to or Copy of the Funding Opportunity (e.g., RFP, FOA):
  • Submission Deadline:
  • OSP Document Deadline (5 business days per OSP Policy 5030.4.1):
  • Draft Statement of Work
  • Draft Internal Budget
  • Do you need Project Management support from the Division of Research and Economic Development (Yes or No)?
  • Have you been working with Research Development (RD) on this proposal? If yes, who is your RD contact?
  • Who do you want to lead the submission? (Note: Some proposals require OSP to submit)
  • Do you anticipate anyone who is related to you or in a consensual relationship with you will work on this project (whether paid or unpaid)? If yes, please explain. (Note: if you have confidentiality or privacy concerns, please answer yes, and we will follow-up with you separately to maintain confidentiality or privacy.)

Step 2. The Pre-Award Services Assistant Director and/or Coordinator assigns an OSP Research Administrator (RA) to the proposal.

Step 3. The RA contacts the PI to establish the proposal submission timeline, review the proposal guidelines, and develop the budget with input from the PI.

Step 4. The RA completes a Proposal Data Sheet and routes the draft budget and scope of work (or project narrative) for internal approvals using the Frevvo system prior to submitting the proposal. Any additional forms that require approval are attached to the Proposal Data Sheet.

Step 5. The RA initiates the Proposal Data Sheet then routes it to the Department Administrator (DA), PI and College Business Manager (BM) to complete the remaining fields and approve the proposal.  Detailed instructions for using this system are found here.

Step 6. After the BM completes and signs the Proposal Data Sheet, it (with the attachments) is automatically routed to the PI’s Department Chair (DC) and then to the Dean for approval. Once the Dean approves the Proposal Data Sheet, the routing is complete.

Step 7. The PI and the RA finalize the proposal documents (see the Roles and Responsibilities for proposal development below).

Step 8. The RA reviews the budget and proposal to ensure accuracy and compliance with proposal guidelines.

Step 9. The RA submits the proposal to the sponsor using an electronic proposal submission platform.

Step 10. The OSP Pre-Award Services office records the proposal information in the InfoEd system and keeps copies of the submitted proposal records pending an award.


This is a generic timeline. More complex proposals or proposals with internal or external collaborators or cost sharing requirements necessitate more time to develop and to route for review and approval.  Individual colleges and departments may have longer timeline requirements.

Notify OSP Pre-Award Services of intent to submit a proposal.As early as possible prior to the deadline.
Develop a draft Scope of Work and Budget.At least two weeks prior to the proposal deadline.
Route for internal review and approval.At least one week prior to the proposal deadline.
Send final proposal documents to OSP Pre-Award Services.Final documents are due at least five (5) full business days prior to the proposal due date. Narrative documents may be updated, but the Final Narrative documents are due at least three (3) full business days prior to the proposal due date.

In accordance with Section 4.1 of Boise State University Policy Number 5030, a proposal is considered late when the final proposal is submitted to the RA less than five (5) full business days prior to the submission deadline. Narrative documents may be submitted to the RA three (3) full business days prior to the deadline. Please review the Proposal Document Submission Deadline Guide for more information.

NSF and NIH Proposals - Special Considerations


Major Research Instrumentation Program

Boise State is classified as a “Ph.D.-granting institution” as defined by NSF’s Major Research Instrumentation Program.   Consistent with the America COMPETES Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-69), cost sharing of precisely 30% of the total project cost is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education. Please contact if you intend to submit a proposal to the MRI program. The program limits the number of proposals submitted each year.

The Pre-Award team facilitates an internal proposal vetting process in the fall of each year for the MRI program. To receive a notification of this and other limited submission programs, as well as other funding opportunity announcements, please subscribe to the Funding Blast, Limited Submission Opportunities, and PI News services.


NIH Salary Cap

Certain Boise State employees’ institutional base salaries exceed the legislatively mandated salary cap on contracts, grants and cooperative agreements funded by NIH.  Therefore, when submitting proposals to NIH, Boise State must adhere to the following requirements from NIH’s Guidance on salary limitations for grants and cooperative agreements FY2019 (the NIH Notice):

The Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019, restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale.  The Office of Personnel Management has recently released new salary levels for the Executive Pay Scale.  Effective January 6, 2019, the salary limitation for Executive Level II is $192,300.

For the purposes of the salary limitation, the terms “direct salary,” “salary,” and “institutional base salary” have the same meaning and are exclusive of fringe benefits and facilities and administrative (F&A) expenses, also referred to as indirect costs. An individual’s institutional base salary is the annual compensation that the applicant organization pays for an individual’s appointment, whether that individual’s time is spent on research, teaching, patient care or other activities. Base salary excludes any income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of the duties to the applicant organization.

NIH grant/contract awards for applications/proposals that request direct salaries of individuals in excess of the applicable RATE per year will be adjusted in accordance with the legislative salary limitation and will include a notification such as the following: None of the funds in this award shall be used to pay the salary of an individual at a rate in excess of the applicable salary cap. Please see the salary cap summary and the time frames associated with salary caps  at

An individual’s base salary is NOT per se constrained by the legislative provision for a limitation of salary. The rate limitation simply limits the amount that may be awarded and charged to NIH grants and contracts.  An institution may pay an individual’s salary amount in excess of the salary cap with non-federal funds.

The salary limitation does NOT apply to payments made to consultants under an NIH grant although, as with all costs, those payments must meet the test of reasonableness and be consistent with institutional policy.

The salary limitation provision DOES apply to subawards/subcontracts for substantive work under an NIH grant or contract.

Competing grant applications and contract proposals that include a categorical breakdown in the budget figures/business proposal should continue to reflect the actual institutional base salary of all individuals for whom reimbursement is requested.  In lieu of actual base salary, however, applicants/offerors may elect to provide an explanation indicating that actual institutional base salary exceeds the current salary limitation. When this information is provided, NIH staff will make necessary adjustments to requested salaries prior to award.

If you have additional questions, please review the entire NIH Notice and contact OSP Pre-Award Services at

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