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Sponsored Projects Administration can help…
We keep track of sponsor requirements so you don’t have to. See our “four-day promise” to you below.

Getting all the parts of a proposal together can be difficult. SPA provides resources to assist you with writing a strong proposal and assembling all the pieces.

A Proposal Submission Checklist, while not agency-specific, gives you a good idea of how much information and documentation is involved for most federal proposals. Check it out and direct any questions to your SPA representative.

Comprehensive resources for writing your proposal have been assembled by the Office for Proposal Enhancement. These include general grantsmanship guidance, as well as tips specific to federal agencies and foundations, and information on required proposal sections, including data management plans and broader impacts.

Developing your budget is a big part of a grant application. You want to make sure you ask for enough money to cover your costs, but you also do not want to exceed sponsor limitations or seem unreasonable in your request. Find the balance between covering costs and not exceeding sponsor limitations.

Basic budget development

Basic Budget Development is a presentation to help faculty members think though all the parts of a budget, including direct costs, indirect costs, and how to avoid unnecessary cost share. While departmental accountants and business managers are best situated to assist with the exact salaries of faculty, staff, and graduate assistants in your department, your SPA representative can answer questions clarifying the University rules, sponsor requirements, and federal guidelines. The budget worksheet is a template to assist in budget creation.

Indirect costs and fringe benefits

Indirect cost (IDC) and fringe benefits must be incorporated into your budget. UGA has a federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement. We do not have a federally negotiated fringe rate. Instead we use estimates for fringe based on salary levels during the proposal and only charge actual fringe incurred to the awards.

Travel and per diem costs

Travel and per diem costs also must be incorporated into the budget. UGA uses per diem and travel rates dictated by the U.S. Department of State. Be aware that many federal grants require you to fly on American-owned airlines.


The Subrecipient Commitment Form streamlines the subcontracting process by gathering information needed for the submission from the sub institution. It also speeds up sub processing at award time by gathering audit information up front. While the form is not required, it is strongly recommended. Contact your SPA representative with any questions.

All Public Health Services (PHS) Investigators (defined as “the Project Director or Principal Investigator and any other person, regardless of title or position, who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of PHS-funded projects, either funded or proposed”) are required to complete annual Significant Financial Interest Disclosures in the Grants Portal prior to the submission of proposals to any PHS agencies (ex: FDA, NIH, CDC, etc.) or any agencies adopting PHS Financial Conflict Of Interest (FCOI) rules (ex: American Heart Association). Failure to complete the SFI Disclosure will stop a proposal from being submitted. For questions, please contact your SPA representative.

Sponsored Projects Administration  will ensure the successful submission of all proposals that are received in complete form at least four business days prior to the due date assigned by the agency.

Sponsored Projects Administration will ensure the successful submission of all proposals that are received in complete form at least four business days prior to the due date assigned by the agency. To qualify, proposals must be in the Grants Portal in “ready to submit” form by the four-day-in-advance deadline and include the narrative, all letters of support, bios, etc. Grants officers will ensure the successful submission of all such proposals through or the electronic system specified by the relevant funding agency.

SPA confirms the submission of all proposals.

Once a proposal is submitted, a confirmation email will be sent to the PI letting them know the submission is complete and supplying any tracking information assigned by the agency. If there is ever a question regarding whether a proposal was successfully submitted or not, please contact your SPA representative or Cathy Cuppett.

The goals of the Office for Proposal Enhancement are to facilitate proposal submission and improve the quality of proposals.

The Office for Proposal Enhancement (OPE) provides technical and skilled support to faculty across campus who are seeking external research funding. Our goals are to help UGA faculty gain large grants by facilitating proposal development and improving the quality of proposals.

Specifically, OPE provides:

1) Full project management for large, complex proposals;

2) Planning services for faculty submitting to an agency for the first time;

3) Editing and proofreading for research proposals of all sizes;

4) Resubmission planning services;

5) Quarterly expert panels;

6) Peer review programs; and

7) Assistance finding research funding.

8) Proposal tools including boilerplates for UGA centers, institutes, and core facilities; templates and samples of proposal components such as the biosketch, budget justification, and data sharing plan; and timelines and checklists to facilitate timely proposal completion.

Contact OPE early to avail yourself of their services.

SPA offers assistance in working with corporate sponsors.

The Industry Contracting Officer is responsible for negotiating externally funded research agreements with corporate sponsors, including clinical trials. Contact us early and let us help you get your industry contract in place. We assist with fully loaded budgets and contract negotiations and serve as the point of contact for industry agreements. Contact the Industry Contracting Officer, Angela Steltzer, for additional information.

UGA uses the Grants Portal, an online system, to track, approve, review, and submit proposals and awards for sponsored projects.

All projects should be entered into the Grants Portal regardless of type: grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, MOUs, MOAs, etc.  An overview of the Grants Portal and its functionality provides an introduction. Training on the Grants Portal also is available each semester at Training and Development, as well as upon request for departments or small groups. Please contact your SPA representative to set something up or if you have any questions.

UGA offers training to assist researchers and research administrators.

Sponsored Projects Training

Office of Research offers training on budget development, proposal development, required compliances, and finding funding each fall. Attendees learn about the support available to assist them throughout the proposal process, as well as the steps for which they are responsible.

Coffee with the Pros

Coffee with the Pros is a quarterly series of seminars offered by the Office for Proposal Enhancement. The panel-style seminars focus on one federal agency each session and feature experts from around campus who have either recently gotten funding from that agency or who have served on a review panel for that agency in the last year. The panel of experts shares their experience and insight with attendees in an open panel discussion format with questions from the audience highly encouraged. Check the SPA training calendar for the next session of Coffee with the Pros.

Research Administration Training

The General Resources for the Administration of Sponsored Projects (GRASP) training series deals specifically with research administration from proposal development and review all the way through closeout. The GRASP series is offered every semester through Training & Development. Search for classes in the category “GRASP” to see all the classes in the series or check out the SPA training calendar for upcoming dates.