The Office of Sponsored Programs & Research Administration (OSPRA) provides support for faculty and staff seeking external funding. We can help with every stage of the proposal process, from helping to arrange visits or conference calls with program officers to navigating the University proposal approval process. Additionally, the OSPRA maintains a list of mentors who have successfully applied to a wide variety of state, federal, and private organizations and who are happy to help you prepare a successful application.
In developing your proposal it is important to adhere to all sponsor guidelines and proposal submission requirements. Failure to meet submission deadlines, include required information, or use specified fonts may cause your proposal to be returned without review. Furthermore, the OSPRA is willing to work with you and with the funding agency to make sure that your application meets all content and format guidelines.
Whether you are a first-time funding seeker or an experienced principal investigator, we encourage you to contact the OSPRA well in advance of your proposal submission deadline. The following are some important tips in preparing grants for submission to state, federal or other agencies.
- Pay close attention to sponsor deadlines and submission protocols. Is the submission date a postmark date or receipt date? Must the proposal be submitted electronically, by mail?
- Prepare and justify budgets in accordance with sponsor budget instructions. Some sponsors specify the maximum amount that may be requested, require specific cost sharing commitments, or prohibit certain types of costs. Furthermore, be sure that your budget fits your project. Does your justification clearly indicate how will you spend the requested funds and how the proposed expenditures will benefit the project? If you are not confident about your budget, ask. The OSPRS can provide guidance and support.
- Leave enough time for submission. Some submission processes, particularly electronic submissions, can be difficult to navigate – servers may fail, login information may be incorrect, on-line forms may not function correctly – Allow yourself or the OSPRS enough time so that these kinds of problems can be handled without missing a deadline.
- Submit your proposal in the correct format and with correct number of copies. Are multiple copies of your proposal required? Does the sponsor require electronic copies to be submitted as well?
If you are interested in applying for a grant and need assistance with funding searches or with other aspects of grant writing, please fill out and submit the following form. This will provide us with an opportunity to understand and research your needs before calling or scheduling a meeting.
In addition to one-on-one support, the OSPRS has several guides to help navigate the MU proposal approval process as well as several guides to help you prepare successful applications. These can be downloaded by clinking on the links below.