Details are provided below to describe the process for routing SPA’s internal proposal forms along with special considerations and the recommended timeframe for working with SPA on a proposal.
All proposals submitted for extramural funding must be institutionally reviewed and approved by SPA prior to submission. The following individuals must approve of the proposal and sign NIU’s proposal approval form, the System Tracking and External Project (STEP) form:
When NIU Co-Principal Investigators are identified on a proposal, the appropriate administrators for their unit(s) will also need to approve the proposal.
Routing must begin no later than five (5) business days before the deadline. Obtaining institutional signatures from all units, especially when multiple colleges are involved, can take time. The institutional review process (i.e. internal routing and proposal review) must begin no later than five (5) business days prior to the published sponsor deadline to provide the responsible parties with adequate time to review the proposal and address any questions about the project that may arise.
SPA will assist the PI with preparing the STEP form and obtaining institutional signatures. The following documents must be in final form and ready for routing at least five (5) business days prior to the sponsor deadline.
What if there is less than five days before the deadline to route forms? PIs who notify SPA of a planned proposal submission less than five (5) business days prior to the sponsor deadline may be responsible for obtaining institutional signatures when SPA determines that the proposal may go forward for submission despite late notice to SPA.
For proposals that require electronic submission (e.g. Grants.gov, NSF Fastlane, e-Grants) SPA strongly encourages PIs to have these proposals institutionally reviewed and ready for submission at least two (2) business days prior to the published sponsor deadline as systems can become overloaded a during peak deadline periods. Sponsors are generally inflexible in accepting a late proposal due to technical errors that arise on the day of submission.
Some sponsors require significant detail, such as an itemized budget, to be provided with a pre-proposal or letter of intent. Depending on the level of detail required by the sponsor some Pre-Proposals and Letters of Intent may require institutional review prior to submission. Consult your Research Development Specialist for guidance.
If a PI fails to notify SPA of a proposal within the recommended timeframe below or as outlined in the SPA Policy on Submitting Proposals for Extramural Funding and institutional review is not possible before the sponsor deadline, the SPA Associate Director may agree to sign and submit the proposal without institutional review in order to meet the sponsor deadline. However, SPA reserves the right to withdraw it from sponsor consideration if it is found not to meet University and sponsor requirements and/or regulations or to make appropriate adjustments/corrections at the award stage.
|Request/Action||Due Prior to Sponsor Deadline|
|Notify RDS of a pending proposal submission||3 weeks (15 business days)|
|RDS submits Proposal and STEP form for institutional review||1 week (5 business days)|
|Institutional review complete||2 days|
|Tuition Waiver Requests||2-3 weeks|
|Cost Sharing Requests||2-3 weeks|
|Course-Buy Out Requests||2-3 weeks|