James Madison University
Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

Quick Reference Guide for Proposal Development

Prepare to Apply



  Develop concept

  • Outline project in terms of duration, resources needed

  Find funding opportunities

  Notify OSP

  • Share RFP/RFA or Program Guidelines and sponsor deadline
  • Work with OSP to meet application requirements 

Develop Proposal


  Write proposal

  • Read solicitation or funding announcement and follow requirements carefully

   OSP will help PI develop a budget and assist with required forms

Obtain Approvals


  Complete Internal Approval Form

   Route Internal Approval Form for approval with project description and final     budget

   Obtain signatures on Page 2 of Internal Approval Form 

  • Co-PI’s and investigators, if applicable
  • Department Head or designee(s) AND
  • Next higher level of authority within school (ex. Dean or VP)

   All departmental units involved in proposal must have endorsements of their Dept.         Head & Dean

Route to OSP 


  Submit signed Internal Approval Form and final proposal to OSP

  • OSP accepts scanned Internal Approval forms IF all signatures are legible and on one page
  • Verify final proposal is complete, including all appendices
  • OSP should receive materials at least 5 business days before submission deadline
    (earlier for complex proposals, multiple departments/institutions, or cost sharing)

  OSP reviews and obtains final university approval and authorized signature

Submit to Sponsor 


  • Hard copy (mail) proposals: With adequate lead time, OSP may be able to submit; otherwise the PI must complete the mailing to the sponsor.
  • Electronic proposals: OSP submits all electronic proposals

Funding Decision

  • Denied: Notify OSP when you receive a denail so that our records can be updated. With the PIs permission, OSP would like to see reviewer comments to aid future proposals and resubmissions
  • Awarded: Foward all award documents, contracts, or requests for changes to OSP. OSP may need to negotiate terms with the sponsor and has the authority to legally enter an agreement.
   Do NOT SIGN anything on behalf of the university
purple-right-arrowStart proposals early!   purple-left-arrow

For assistance, contact OSP at 568-6872 or jmu_grants@jmu.edu

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