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Internal and External Processing Requirements

Internal processing

Please consult with the AAH Grants Coordinator as soon as you find a funding opportunity that you are interested in, particularly for large grant proposals.   Each proposal must be approved internally at the college and university level prior to submission.  This internal review typically takes one week at Clemson University.  This internal review requires that all documents be finalized in the package that is routed for processing. Please include this time frame when developing your timeline for submission to the funder.

Effective April 1, 2009 all individuals listed as a principal investigator, or a co-principal investigator on a proposal for external funding must complete the PI Certification Program on the Office of Sponsored Programs website prior to submitting a proposal.  The certification takes approximately one hour to complete. 

The Office of Sponsored Programs provides a processing form that is a cover document that accompanies all proposals, supplements, contracts, continuations, and budget revisions in the internal review process.  This form is filled out by the principal investigator and grants coordinator and it is routed through participating departments, colleges, and the Office of Sponsored Programs for the appropriate signatures.  

Contracts: The Office of Research Support also provides templates and routing instructions for project-related contracts. Please contact our office to receive a packet to start the contract process.  Typically, sponsors mail contracts and agreements to the Office of Sponsored Programs. The time frame for processing of contracts by OSP is as follows: 

  • Review of agreement documents with no changes, will take three to five days for processing dependent on volume of requests.
  • Review of non-standard agreements will take two or three weeks. Please note that non-standard agreements may require negotiation of terms and conditions that may add time to the processing of your documents.
  • As needed, requests received will be forwarded to the OSP attorney, and you will be updated during the process.

If you receive a contract/agreement in response to a proposal, please review the document, initial it, and send it to the Office of Research Support. PLEASE DO NOT SIGN AS "UNIVERSITY OFFICIAL."

Please refer to the Office of Sponsored Programs provides a Guide to Research that is helpful in each phase of the proposal process.

External processing

Please contact the Office of Research Support as soon as you know you are planning to submit a proposal.  At the funding agency's site, you can read an overview of the funding program and download the full application kit. Most federal agencies (and many foundations) require electronic submission of the application through standardized electronic grants management software.  This entails additional forms and templates to be completed.  This step takes time and should not be overlooked, or put off until the last minute.  The grants coordinator is available to assist in this area. A typical application notice houses the following critical information:

  • purpose of the program,
  • eligible applicants,
  • deadline for transmittal of applications (not estimates, but non-negotiable deadlines),
  • required letters of intent,
  • estimated available funds,
  • estimated range of awards,
  • estimated average size of award,
  • project Period,
  • possible priority language the proposal should use, and
  • format and templates required.

It is very important that you follow all of the guidelines on the application notice.  It is unfortunate when a proposal is returned without review because the principal investigator did not follow the agency's guidelines.   Questions on the guidelines can be directed to the agency's program officer listed on the application notice, or the college grants coordinator.