Research Proposal Development

Contact for CAL Proposal Processing Assistance

Staff assistance is available for the following:

  • Budget and budget justification preparation
  • Preparation of internal paperwork (such as the eTransmittal) and sponsor forms
  • Funding searches


Timeline for Proposal Preparation and Submission

Proposal preparation takes considerable time and effort. This timeline has been developed to allow sufficient lead time to produce a quality proposal, and to receive required internal approvals.

At least 12 business days before sponsor's deadline - 2-3 months recommended:

  • RFP/PROPOSAL GUIDELINES - Send to CAL's research administrator.  CAL's research administrator will send it to OSP by 10 full business days before the sponsor's deadline, to meet OSP's requirement.
  • Complete CAL's Proposal Processing form and submit to CAL's research administrator.
  • BUDGET - Start drafting with assistance of CAL's research administrator.
  • ETRANSMITTAL - CAL's research administrator will create an eTransmittal, MSU's internal proposal approval form.
  • COST SHARING - The PI should submit requests to their department Chair, who will then submit to CAL's Senior Associate Dean for Research.  May require considerable lead time. CAL's Cost Sharing Policy 
  • SPACE NEEDS - The PI should submit requests for unmet space needs to their department Chair, who will then submit to CAL.  May require considerable lead time.

8 business days before sponsor's deadline:

  • Budget must be finalized with CAL's research administrator.
  • CAL's research administrator will submit the final budget to OSP for approval at least 6 business days before the sponsor's deadline, to meet OSP's requirement.
  • CAL’s research administrator will finalize the eTransmittal and administrative portions of sponsor forms.
  • After OSP approves the budget, CAL's research administrator will route the eTransmittal for approval.

4 business days before sponsor's deadline:

  • The PI must submit the finalized proposal to CAL's research administrator.
  • CAL's research administrator will send it to OSP for submission by 7:59 am 3 full business days before the sponsor's deadline, to meet OSP's requirement.
  • The eTransmittal must be fully approved 3 full business days before the sponsor's deadline.

Late Submissions:

  • Must be approved by CAL’s Associate Dean for Research.


CAL Budget Preparation Resources

CAL Budget templateSimple budget template

CAL Budget Justification template

CAL Graduate Student Assistant rates: GA rates 2017-2018Projected GA rates 2018-2019

Sponsored Programs website for MSU's proposal processing guidelines.


Grant Writing Resources

A Useful Heuristic for Grant Proposal Writing - Prof. Bill Hart-Davidson

MSU Writing Center - A Guide to Grant Writing in the Arts