Pre-Award Guidelines

Proposal development

Discuss your intentions to apply for any external grant — no matter what size — with your dean. This alerts them of your proposed activity, as well as ensures that you understand the impacts or implications an external grant may have in your department or school.

Completing an Intent-to-Submit form

Once you have decided to pursue a grant, complete and sign the Intent to Submit form, obtain your dean’s and chair’s digital signatures, and email the form to the OSP administrator at least three weeks before the funder’s initial deadline.

  • Your dean’s signature indicates that they understand and approve the financial, load, and curricular implications for Seattle Pacific University. This includes any expected matching or other material contributions on behalf of the University during or after the grant period.
  • If your dean is not available to sign, you may secure the signature of your associate dean, or have your dean email their approval to the director of the Center.
  • Deans pursuing grants for their schools or specific programs are also required to submit an ITS after discussing their plans with the provost.
  • Complete “Responsible Conduct in Research” and/or “Protecting Human Subjects” training, if you have not taken it within the last four years.

Letter of inquiry

Some granting agencies require submission of a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) before applying for a grant. Complete and have your dean sign an Intent form for all LOIs.

If the agency invites you to submit a full proposal, you will need to complete and have the dean sign a second ITS for the full proposal. Please make sure that OSP has copies of all correspondence with the sponsor, including declinations or invitations to submit.

Writing the proposal

While PIs write grant proposals, OSP is available to help proofread, examine a draft proposal from the grantor’s point of view, check for the required components of the grant, and analyze the strategic language used with each funder. OSP is also able to supply boilerplate language for certain sections.

Preparing the budget

Familiarize yourself with the funder’s financial requirements. Most funders provide their required budget forms on their website or embedded within the application. Your department budget manager, or the Finance Department, can help you develop a project budget. Find more information on creating budgets here.

Submitting Your Proposal

OSP approves and submits all academic grant applications, but before OSP submits your application to the funding agency, The Finance Office must first review and approve your proposed budget and budget justification.

At least seven business days prior to the submission deadline, send Finance a final draft proposal, including budget and narrative. Please include OSP on all correspondence with the Finance Office.

OSP will arrange to obtain signatures from the president, provost, or vice president of Budget and Finance, if these are required by the granting agent.

The director of FLO has University-delegated signing authority and will approve and submit your application.
OSP will email you after submitting your application and put a copy of the entire submission into your Sharepoint file.

Forward OSP your complete application by 10 a.m. the day before the funder deadline.


  • Increasing federal regulation, auditing practices, and legal developments have necessitated a number of compliance policies. The Intent to Submit form includes most necessary assurances. The form, signed by both the PI and their dean, is kept in your grant file. OSP will inform you of any additional compliance forms required for application.
  • All applications require the following assurances:
  • Additional assurances might include the following:
    • Institutional Review Board approval
    • Intellectual property rights
    • Animal Care and Use Committee approval
    • NIH/Institutional compliance requirements 
    • Import/export statement
    • Ethics training compliance

All required compliance assurances must be turned in to OSP before your application may be submitted.