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Proposal Development

Working on a new grant application?

We’re here to help you through all the steps of developing, reviewing, and submitting your proposal. We can help you create your budget, find and complete all the required forms, and route the application for requisite signatures.

Development process Heading link

Here’s a look at how the proposal development process works. (If you are working with your department’s business manager or grants and contracts associate to develop the proposal, then skip to number 4.)

  1. PI sends an email to regarding proposal submission and provides a copy of the RFA or URL. Set a date with us to discuss grant specifics—this date should be 4-6 weeks prior to submission.
  2. Proposal preparation meeting: Discussion may include creation of budget, collection of biosketches, letters of support, and collaboration with other departments/units/colleges. We mutually agree on target due dates for when specific budget and grant information will be provided. Within a few days of meeting, we send a proposal-specific timeline and a preliminary draft budget for the PI’s review.
  3. Grant formatting: At least 2 weeks prior to sponsor deadline. PI provides us with final text content electronically in MS Word so we can format/spell check and convert to pdf files for uploading to sponsor.
  4. All applications for external research funding need college-level approval. If your department did not initiate the Proposal Application Form (ePAF), then we will need at least 10 business days before the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) deadline. If your department initiated the ePAF, route the ePAF to Michelle Belcher ( and Nousheen Islam ( for college approval.
    The ePAF must be accompanied by:

    • Sponsor guidelines/announcement
    • The budget
    • The budget justification
    • The abstract/project summary
    • All letters that require AHS signature and approval (e.g. cost sharing)
    • All forms that need AHS approval/signature (e.g. F&A waiver requests)
    • Sponsor’s documentation regarding Indirect Cost Rate (when not using full rate), salary cap, or other requirements
  5. Grant assembling: 7 business days prior to submission deadline. We assemble the grant and the PI checks final packet. We notify UIC OSP when the final grant application is ready for final review and submission based on sponsor announcement/guidelines.

Important numbers Heading link

  • 38.90 % Fringe benefit rate*

  • 60.33 % Indirect cost rate: on-campus research

  • 26 % Indirect cost rate: off-campus research