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Proposal Administration

Starting the Process

Contact the Director of Research Development & Sponsored Programs (RDSP) as soon as you have identified a funding opportunity you are planning to submit to. It is never too early. Contact can also be made via our Intent to Submit form.

Intent to Submit Form

Routing for Approvals

Internal routing for approval must be completed prior to proposal submission. A typical routing path includes the approvals of department chairs or organizational heads, Provost Office, director of RDSP, and Budgets and Contracts. When department chairs are developing proposals for submission, divisional chairs must approve.

What is needed for routing:

  • Final budget
  • Final budget justification
  • Clean draft of project description
  • Items from Sub-awardees:
    • Their final budget
    • Their final budget justifications
    • Statement of work for sub-awardees’ project contribution
    • Subrecipient Profile Questionnaire form 

Building a Budget

RDSP will assist in building the project budget that will provide resources to carry out the proposed project and be compliant with the College policy, state guidelines and federal regulation. Below is a tip sheet of things to consider in the primary budget categories:

Salaries and Wages

  • PI Time (Salary & Wages): should be reflected in the budget based on the amount of time the researcher is contributing to the project. Consider the type of salary support needed to accomplish the project (summer salary, course release). Course release requests must be discussed with department chairs for initial approval.
  • Personnel time (Co-PI, Co-I’s, Named Personnel) (Salary & Wages): Should reflect all personnel named on a project.
  • Administrative Support: If project oversight requires assistance from Spelman-affiliated administrative professionals, budget should reflect supplemental pay for their time and effort.
  • New Hires (ex. technician, post-doc, program coordinator/manager): Include salary estimate for all new positions funded by project. Complete and send Request for Salary Estimate for a Position form and email to HR as soon as possible for an accurate estimation of salary for these positions.
  • Undergraduate Students: If hiring students, estimated time for students working on a project should be reflected in the budget. Note that undergraduate students can work no more than 20 hours a week.

Fringe Benefits

Fringe benefits are charged to the sponsor based on actual costs. Fringe is calculated as 29% of salaries and wages requested in budget.


The Federal definition of equipment is: tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes, or $5,000. Items costing $5,000 or more are included here and must have a current vendor quote for routing.


Travel should be budgeted based on what is needed to gather data, meet with colleagues and present information at conferences. Consider travel costs, conference registration fees, hotel costs, per diem, and ground transportation.

Other Direct Costs

Budget should reflect other costs if needed for proposed project – materials & supplies, publication costs, consultants, computer services, subawards, payments to research subjects, etc.).

Indirect Costs

Indirect costs, according to the federal Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards issued by the Office of Management and Budget (Uniform Guidance), are those costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives, and cannot be easily and specifically identified with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any institutional activity. These costs are also sometimes called “facilities and administrative costs (F&A)” or “overhead.” Spelman’s negotiated indirect cost rate with the federal government is applied to salaries and wages included in budget.

Major Pieces of a Proposal

Major pieces of a proposal varies from agency to agency.

Useful Links

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Contact Us

Research Development & Sponsored Programs Unit

Margaret Farrow
Margaret Farrow
RDSP Director, ORIC

Headshot image of Janellen Greer
Janellen Greer
Grants Specialist, ORIC