FAQ - Submit a Proposal

When should I let Sponsored Programs know I am interested in submitting a grant or contract proposal?

Please contact Sponsored Programs as soon as you have plans to submit a proposal. This knowledge helps our office plan workload schedules, and we often can give you additional information or guidance about the funding opportunity that may be valuable as you prepare your proposal.

When should I give my proposal to Sponsored Programs for review?

The earlier the better. Although Sponsored Programs requests that you have the completed proposal in our office five business days before the sponsor deadline, it is helpful if it arrives earlier to aid with varying workflow.

Who can sign my grant proposal or contract?

Your proposal and resulting award document (usually a grant or contract) represent a legal promise or agreement between the University and the funding agency; therefore, only an authorized signatory for the University is allowed to sign. The Director of Sponsored Programs will sign the majority of the time; if that person is not available, the Office of Research will obtain the signature from another authorized person. This requirement protects the Principal Investigator (PI) from liability.

Who needs to approve my proposal before it is submitted to the sponsor?

After you certify your proposal in AGrants and submit it, the proposal will automatically be routed for approvals from those to whom you report. The same applies to your Co-Investigators on the project. The electronic proposal is then routed to the Director of Special Funds Accounting and the Director of Sponsored Programs for final approval.

Can I submit my proposal to the sponsor myself?

Your proposal must go through the complete AGrants approval process, which includes approvals by two signing levels above your position (usually your department chair and dean), the Director of Special Funds Accounting, and the Director of Sponsored Programs. At that point, you may be given permission by Sponsored Programs to mail or deliver the proposal yourself.

Can I submit a proposal from Appalachian if my employee contract has not yet begun?

Yes, if a contract has been issued but has not yet begun. Contact Sponsored Programs for assistance.

Do I need to register to use Grants.gov?

Most of the time, no. The only time that an individual is required to register with Grants.gov is when an award to the individual, such as a fellowship, is made. Most federal funding, however, is not to the individual, but to the institution; and Sponsored Programs must submit proposals using the University‚Äôs grants.gov account.

Do letters of inquiry or pre-proposals require internal review and approval?

Yes, if the letter of inquiry or pre-proposal requires an authorized signature or a detailed budget. Otherwise, internal routing is not required.

Why do I have to go through the Office of Research?

To complete sponsored activities, you will be using time and resources that are owned by the University and the State of North Carolina. The University must therefore agree that usage of the resources in this manner is in the best interest of the University and State. This action also provides legal and fiscal protection for you.


Office of Research
John E. Thomas Building
287 Rivers Street
Room 382
PO Box 32174
Boone, NC 28608-2174
Ph: (828) 262-7459
Fax: (828) 262-2641
Staff Contacts
Skype us at: appstate.grants1
Follow us on Twitter: @ckhowson

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