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Pre-Award Services

Policy and Procedures Guide for Pre-Award Services

To facilitate the effective development, writing, and timely submission of the highest quality proposals to the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs (OSR&P) for review and/or Pre- Award assistance, you are requested to take the necessary steps below.

1. Identify a potential funding opportunity by:

A. Searching Online:

OSR&P lists some current funding agencies and programs.
The one-stop portal to all Federal grants. is not so much a place to find opportunities of interest as it is to find the opportunities you already know about and to enable one to apply to them. One way to apply to an opportunity is to download the Adobe Forms application and instructions to your personal computer. The applications are viewed and completed using the free Adobe Reader program. Other programs useful for your application can be downloaded here.  Currently, VSU uses a web-based service, Cayuse424, found at, for filling out the electronic applications and submitting to If a federal opportunity is supported by Cayuse424, and most are, then this method of electronic submission is the mandatory method of submission not the Adobe Forms method. Please contact our office for further details.
The Community of Science (COS) Pivot website. This allows one to search for funding opportunities and find collaborators. Virginia State University is an institutional member of COS Pivot.
The Grants Resource Center website. This site offers a searchable funding program database to employees of member institutions such as Virginia State University only. Contact OSR&P to obtain the login idand password.

B. Requesting the OSR&P to search for you:

Communicate your interests, needs, and areas of expertise to the Pre-Award Services either by a meeting or an email.The Community of Science website at mentioned above is one valuable and highly recommended way to publicize your research capabilities. We strongly encourage you to register and set up your personal and detailed research and/or scholarly profile on the website.

C. Using any other method that allows you to match your interests and expertise with the goals of the granting agency. For example,your colleague who knows your abilities might know of a potential sponsor.

2. Submit a Grant Notice of Intent (GNoI). Go to the Forms section of the VSU Research web page. There you will find a hyperlink to a PDF file called “Grant Notice of Intent”. The downloaded form can be completed using the Adobe Reader application and saved to your harddrive. Because the form is savable it does not have to be completed all at once. Upon completion, pleade email the form to OSR&P. We request that this be submitted to OSR&P at least fourteen (14) business days before the agency deadline.

3. Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to the funding agency, if it requires or requests one. The National Science Foundation's (NSF’s) LOI must be submitted electronically via NSF FastLane therefore you must establish a FastLane account through OSR&P in order to create and edit your LOI. Please note that a FastLane account should be obtained, in any case, if you are submitting a proposal to NSF. The actual submission of the LOI to NSF is done either by OSR&P or the Principal Investigator (PI) depending upon the rules set by the specific solicitation. See the NSF’s Grant Proposal Guide for further information.

4. Establish an eRA Commons account through OSR&P as soon as possible in the event that the funding agency is the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Go to the Forms section of the OSR&P site and download the eRA Commons Request New Account form.

5. Write your proposal including the budget while keeping in mind the agency’s and OSR&P’s guidelines and deadlines along with items 6-8 below. See the Grant Proposal Development/ Pre-Award Handbook for some assistance concerning this process.

6.  In parallel with the external application to the funding agency, complete and submit to OSR&P:

A. The Request For Institutional Support (Cost Sharing) form which is required if the funding agency requests cost sharing or matching. The form requires the signature of your Chairperson and Dean. This form is in Excel format and might also be useful in planning and analyzing your budget without cost sharing. 
B. The IRB Human Subjects Submission Form in the event that human beings will be used as subjects for the study.
C. The IACUC Form. The PI is required to obtain written approval from the Institutional Animal Care and UseCommittee (IACUC) of VSU if animals will be used in the achievement of the project’s goals.Visit for information about IACUCs.
D. Evidence of approval from the appropriate official(s) of the participating entity if proposals, contracts,or grants require collaborations or partnerships with external institutions and/or agencies. This approved agreement must include the full extent of the partnership/collaboration - example - name of participating faculty/staff and level of effort, use of equipment, supplies, communications, travel, indirect costs, cost sharing (cash or in-kind), and the period of time. This documentation must be a part of the proposal submitted to the OSR&P for review and reaction. Non-inclusion of this information can cause the  principal or co-investigator valuable time in meeting the funding agency deadline for submission.

7. Finally, complete and submit your proposal and the OSR&P Proposal Processing and Approval Form (PPAF) located in the Forms section as well as all other completed-and-signed internal forms to the OSR&P for review at least 7 working days before the agency deadline date. The PPAF requires the signatures of your chairperson and Dean. Proposals requiring external partnerships will need longer processing time, e.g. 14 working days before the agency deadline. You may still submit a proposal to OSR&P during the last working week before the deadline but successful submission can not be guaranteed.

8. Consult the Manager for Pre-Award Services about any concerns, questions, and/or problems you might have at anytime during the above process. If we do not know the answer, we will try and find one for you as quickly as possible. We can either meet face to face or you can submit your concerns by email, phone, or fax. Please schedule a mutually agreeable time for a meeting. 

9. The Manager for Pre-Award Services contact information is:

Daniel T. Stoelting, Ph.D.
Manager for Pre-Award Services
Office of Sponsored Programs and Research
Virginia State University
P.O. Box 9407
Petersburg, VA 23806
Telephone: (804) 524-6987
FAX: (804) 524-6518

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