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Grant Support Services


Policy on Timeline Required for Proposal Processing


The purpose of this administrative policy is to:

  1. define the timeline for successful proposal submission through Grant Support Services (GSS) and
  2. ensure that principal investigators submit proposals to GSS with the highest chance of processing before the submission deadline.


Preparing a strong, competitive grant proposal takes a great deal of time and effort from both the principal investigator (Pl) and the GSS staff. When planning proposal submissions, appropriate time must be allocated for proposal processing. GSS review is mandated by the Office of Sponsored Programs, which has delegated authority to GSS for proposal submissions originating in CAFLS and PSA. For each proposal submitted, GSS must complete a comprehensive review to assure compliance with funding agency guidelines, coordinate the receipt of documentation and information from sub-awardees, and authorize the proposal for submission. Time required to review a proposal varies according to the complexity of the sponsor's requirements and the condition of the proposal. When proposals are submitted with inadequate time for review, overall proposal quality suffers, chances of audit findings are increased, and chances of an award being received are diminished. This policy has been developed to ensure submission of high-quality proposals in a timely manner, to the satisfaction of all parties involved.


Proposal submissions through GSS will be processed as follows:

  1. Draft proposals and budgets, including all required components, must be submitted to GSS a minimum of five (5) business days before the sponsor's published deadline. GSS will work with the Pl during this time to make final edits in the proposal narrative and appropriate budget adjustments. Some circumstances require additional processing time, as described in Attachment 1.
  2. To be considered ready for processing, a proposal must contain at minimum:
    • a processing form
    • a project narrative or scope of work
    • a budget and budget narrative
    • sub-award documentation, if applicable
    • sponsor guidelines for submission, if applicable

GSS will not begin processing a proposal until all of the above components are present, regardless of when we are notified that a proposal is being developed.

  1. All proposal editing by the Pl must be completed two (2) business days prior to the sponsor's deadline. No budget changes or edits to the proposal will be permitted on the deadline day.
  2. Proposal processing is prioritized according to the concept of first-in, first-out. Proposals submitted less than five (5) business days before the sponsor deadline are at risk of missing the deadline, depending on the number of proposals already in process.

Variance to Policy: We recognize that there may be extenuating circumstances from time to time, which require Rush processing. Rush processing is defined as GSS processing of a proposal in less than three (3) business days.

Rush submissions will only be accepted with written approval from the Associate Dean for Research or the Vice President of PSA.

Pl's requesting Rush submission must include with their proposal a written justification of the need for Rush processing. Written justification can be in the form of an email or memo explaining the special circumstances, and must be copied to the Pl's department chair. GSS does not guarantee submission of Rush proposal requests (see #4 above).

All requests for Rush processing are reported on a monthly basis to the Dean, Associate Dean for Research, and the Vice President for PSA.

Effective: July 1, 2016

Approved by:
George Askew, VP for PSA
Joseph Culin, ADR for CAFLS

review PDF with signatures

Proposal Processing Time Matrix

Condition Add 1 Additional Business Day Add 2 Additional Business Days 3 or more Additional Days Reason
Sponsor requires hard copy submission via Fed Ex or UPS X Proposals submitted via Fed Ex or UPS must be shipped the day before the published deadline in order to arrive on time.
Proposal budget includes Cost share or Match X Cost-share or match requires additional processing time for complex calculations and additional required approvals.
Proposal has more than 3 key personnel X Additional forms and formatting of documents is required.
Proposal includes a F&A Waiver Request X Waiver requests must be approved personally by the Dept. Chair, ADR, VP for PSA and/or the VPR.  Additionally, if all parties do not approve, additional processing time is needed to adjust the budget.
Clemson is a sub-awardee to another lead institution X Most lead institutions require final sub-award documentation at least 3 full business days before the sponsor’s published deadline.
Proposal includes sub-awardee institutions (with CU as lead institution) X Additional time is needed by GSS staff to incorporate sub-award information into the proposal, and for communication with sub-awardees in the event that all necessary documentation is not present.

* Due to many factors, any given proposal may require more time

Grant Support Services
Grant Support Services | 108 Barre Hall, Clemson, SC 29634