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Proposal Submission

Proposals for external funding are submitted by the Old Dominion University Research Foundation on behalf of the University, with a few exceptions. The Foundation serves as the administrative and fiscal agent for Old Dominion University in research and sponsored program administration. In some cases, however, proposals need to be routed through the University. These may include some Commonwealth programs, requests for funding that would be considered a "gift" rather than a sponsored program (see Glossary of Research Administration Terms), or if the sponsor requires University signature and/or fiscal management of the program. If you're unsure, it is always best to start with the Research Foundation or contact the Office of Research. If your program and proposal belong elsewhere, our staff can help direct you. If your source of funding is a private foundation, it will also be important for our staff to check with the staff of the Office of Development to assure that your submission will not conflict or compete with large-scale University funding initiatives that may already be in process.

The Principal Investigator, is responsible for the preparation of the proposal to the funding agency. Frequent communication is the key to the successful submission. This chain of communication should begin with the PI to the department chair in a discussion of the need and level of faculty release time, matching funds or cost sharing requirements, graduate student allocation, as well as any other allocation of physical space or equipment that may be necessary to complete the proposed project. The chair should also be consulted regarding the academic merit of the idea and suggestions for peer review. Notification should be made to the dean at this time so that arrangements for obtaining signatures on the Proposal Transmittal Form can be made well in advance of the submission deadline. Click Here for University Policy on Self Supporting Research Professor Positions.

The PI should contact the Research Foundation as soon as s/he is reasonably certain that s/he is going to apply for funding. This will facilitate scheduling and allocation of staffing resources. The pre-award staff will need a copy and/or link to the agency solicitation, Request for Proposal (RFP), or description of the program from which funding is being sought. The pre-award staff provide assistance to the faculty with preparation of the budget, budget narrative and related forms, preparation of the Proposal Transmittal Form, and the final signature of the Authorized Institutional Official. The Research Foundation's policies and procedures, step-by-step instructions for completion and execution of the Proposal Transmittal Form, as well as a listing of who can help, will guide you through the process.

Strict adherence to the guidance provided in the program solicitation or Request for Proposals is key to a successful proposal. The Research Foundation's pre-award staff and development staff in the Office of Research can assist you in interpreting and understanding the requirements for submission.

Some programs limit the number of submissions (see Limited Submissions) that will be accepted from a single institution. When this is the case, the PI should contact Karen Eck, Office of Research at (757) 683-3707 or keck@odu.edu, to determine if there are multiple interests competing for a particular program.

At Old Dominion University, the signed Proposal Transmittal Form is the official university documentation of support and authorization for your proposed project. Chairs and deans must sign off in all cases. The vice president for research must sign when institutional cost sharing or matching is required by the project (see Matching Funds or Cost Sharing). The authorized institutional official is the person, designated by the institution, who has the authority to legally obligate the institution to a proposed project. The Manager of Sponsored Programs for the ODU Research Foundation is the primary signatory for grant, contract, and award documents.