In most cases, Sponsored Programs is the only office authorized to submit proposals on behalf of BU. The purpose of our proposal review is twofold: to confirm that the applicant meets all of the sponsor’s requirements and to ensure that the proposal complies with University policies and procedures for sponsored activity.

To conduct a timely and thoughtful review, Sponsored Programs requires that investigators and their departmental administrators supply a complete proposal package, including all administrative components, five business days prior to the sponsor’s deadline. All technical components are required at least three business days beforehand. These internal deadlines allow for a thorough review and adequate time to make any necessary corrections, maximizing the chances for a proposal’s success. See Proposal Submission Policy for details.

Proposal Package for Submission to Sponsored Programs

The proposal package should include the following for all proposals:

Five Business Days Prior to Sponsor Deadline:

  • A completed Boston University Proposal Summary form signed by the investigator and appropriate administrators at the department, center, and college levels.
  • A copy of the sponsor’s proposal guidelines or program solicitation number.
  • Sponsor forms/application package with all administrative information completed, biosketches (if applicable),  all subaward documents (if applicable), facility/equipment pages (if applicable), project summary, and draft technical narrative.
  • The final budget and budget justification in the format required by the sponsor.
    • Note: in certain circumstances, Sponsored Programs may ask for supporting budget documentation, if the sponsor’s format is not consistent with institutional practice.

Three Business Days Prior to Sponsor Deadline:

  • Final Technical Components: i.e. Final Narrative, Abstract, Bibliography, Specific Aims, Milestones, etc.

If applicable, the proposal package should also include:

Letter(s) of Support and Biosketch/CV. If sponsor has specific requirements for consultants, required documents should be included.
Documentation of appropriate approvals for all direct cost sharing (see policy).
If the proposal requests an F&A rate lower than the sponsor’s published rate. See guidelines
Note: A sponsor’s published rate can be, for example, posted on a website or included in an email from an appropriate institutional officer.
Memorandum of Understanding.
Approved requests for Principal Investigator (PIPrincipal Investigator View Boston University's policy on...) or Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI).
Complete documentation for all proposed subcontracts as required by the sponsor guidlines. At a minimum this includes a letter of intent signed by an institutional official, scope of work, budget/budget justification, the subcontractor’s most recent negotiated rate agreement (if applicable), Biosketch/CVs for key personnel (if applicable), information on the status of IRB and IACUCInstitutional Animal Care and Use Committee IACUC oversee... approvals (if applicable).
Disclose all potential financial conflicts of interest.

Research Administrator Proposal Review Process

Check out the Research Administrator Proposal Review Process.



When a sponsor requires electronic submission by an Authorized Organizational Representative of the university, the proposal will be submitted by the Sponsored Programs RAResearch Administrator A sponsored programs team member w... (Research Administrator).

  • For electronic submissions, the RA will complete a final check prior to submission to confirm that the proposal is complete, passes sponsor system requirements for successful transmission, and is as the investigator wants it to be.
  • After submission, the RA will verify that any proposal submitted electronically has been successfully received by the sponsor in time to meet the sponsor’s deadline.
  • Many sponsors require that investigators register and obtain a system account. Learn more about the registration process for many sponsor systems.
When a sponsor requires hard copy submission, the proposal will be returned to the PI or department administrator for submission. In the case of paper submissions, a copy of the proposal as submitted to the sponsor will be requested and checked by the RA for consistency with the proposal as approved by Sponsored Programs before it is filed in Sponsored Programs records.