Skip to main content
Northwestern University

Faculty Proposal Guide

The following internal deadlines apply to all submissions:

5 working days prior to submission deadline: Budget and administrative materials

2 working days prior to submission deadline: Complete proposal

Step 1. Find Funding opportunity

It is up to the individual faculty member to identify funding opportunities. We have provided a resource list to help you get started. You may also want to reach out to fellow faculty members.

Step 2. Identify your department’s research administrator (RA)

Use our website to identify your department's RA. Notify your RA as soon as you identify a funding opportunity you plan on submitting to, ideally at least 30 days before the deadline.

Your RA will guide you through the entire grant development and submission process.  The role of the RA is to take care of the administrative aspects of proposal preparation (such as budget preparation) so you can focus on the research plan.

Step 3. Read the Solicitation

The first step towards a successful proposal is a thorough reading of the solicitation or funding announcement. There are many different kinds of sponsors and funding programs, not only with their own proposal requirements, but also their own specific review criteria.

Step 4. Initial Development Stage

With this information, your RA will set up a proposal record in InfoEd, which is Northwestern’s internal proposal tracking & development system. These items go through an initial internal approval for compliance to Northwestern’s policies. You will get an email from the InfoEd system with a link and explanation on how to approve the record.

Step 5. Develop the Administrative Shell - 5 Days before Deadline

This consists of the remaining of administrative items—basically, anything other than the research sections. While specific items will vary with the funding agency, you will generally need to provide the following:

Refer to the solicitation to identify the specific items needed.

Also, you will need to update your Conflict of Interest disclosure in FASIS.

Once these items are completed, the Office for Sponsored Research (OSR) can do their initial review for compliance to the funding agencies guidelines.  Your RA will let you know if any of the documents need revision.

Step 6. Final Proposal Documents – 2 Days before deadline

Once the submission package is complete, the proposal will be routed to OSR for final review to ensure that the proposal is compliant with solicitation guidelines and Northwestern policies.

Step 7. Submit Proposal

Once you and OSR approve the submission package, OSR will submit the proposal to the sponsor.

Certain foundation proposals will require you to work with your OSR Grants Officer to determine how the proposal will be submitted.

Back to top