Proposal Development for AdministratorsProposal Development for Faculty

Tips and Reminders for Pre-Award

General Reminders:

  • E-mails: please include the PI Name, PDS Doc # or fund number (if applicable) on any preaward e-mails, including JITs, to expedite the process.
  • Timeline: we recommend you send your PDS docs at least 7 business days prior to the due date. OSRS reviews multiple applications daily, so additional time in advance helps us help you and the PIs. Hard copies should be sent to OSRS as soon as possible after the PDS doc has been approved. Multi-project applications or detailed applications with several outgoing subawards require additional time.
    • Last minute applications: please inform your OSRS Contact ASAP! Last-minute applications delay our ability to review your other PDS docs early. Also, an Incomplete Review Memo will be sent at OSRS’s discretion if insufficient time is provided.
  • Guidelines:
    • Make sure your OSRS Contact HAS the guidelines BY THE TIME the PDS doc is routed to OSRS. You can include the link to the actual guidelines (not the generic website) in the PDS Comments; or e-mail us the link or actual guideline document (PDF etc.).
    • Limited Submission: if you receive guidelines for an application which say a limited number of applications may be submitted by our University, please check with your PI that he/she has made sure to get the necessary permission to be one of the submitters. Information on this can be found at

PDS Document:

  • PDS doc comments:
    • Any information you can provide will help OSRS save time (example: current fund #, grant #, grant mechanism, PI on continuous submission etc.)
    • Do not forget to list effort, salary, and cost-sharing verification – see the Effort, Salary, and Cost-Sharing Documentation.
    • Please make sure to respond to OSRS in the PDS doc comments. Also, any additional changes need to be noted in the PDS doc comment after OSRS review.
    • When changes are made always note the changes that have been made.
  • FOA (RFA Number field in PDS): please make sure to enter the FOA # in the General Info A tab of the PDS document. For reporting purposes, please enter the FOA in the following format:
    • Remove the letters PA, PAR, RFA, do not use spaces or hyphens
      • Example: PA-10-067: enter 10067 in PDS
      • Example: RFA-AI-10-123:enter AI10123 in PDS
      • Example: NSF 12-513: enter 12513 in PDS
    • Follow this format for NIH, AHRQ, SAMHSA, NSF, whether direct pay to WU or whether WU is a sub.
  • WUSM PI Eligibility: see the WUSM PI Eligibility Matrix [DOC] for guidance. Any questions should go to OSRS.
  • Senior Key section and Other Significant Contributors:
    • The “other role” of Other Significant Contributor (OSC) and the OSC checkbox can only be used on NIH applications or agencies that would follow NIH guidance on OSC. Do NOT use the OSC role or box for other submissions. PIs have to pick Key or NOT Key.
  • School of Medicine F&A rates:
    • Please contact OSRS for WUSM default F&A rates.
    • OSRS can only deviate from the WU default F&A rates if:
      • The agency is NOT for profit / NOT Industry
      • The agency has clear published guidance. If unclear, OSRS will review the guidelines to confirm the F&A rate to be used at pre-award.
      • If flow-through, guidance is from the funding agency itself, not the prime agency (ex: Harvard, SLU etc.)
      • If the PI wishes or believes the F&A rate should be lower than the WUSM default or published rate, he/she can submit a waiver to the Dean. In those cases, it should be clarified in the PDS comments why the F&A rate is lower, that the PI intends to submit a waiver to the Dean and if not approved, your department will cost-share F&A or rebudget if allowed.
  • Danforth Campus Schools/Departments F&A rates:
    • Dean signature is required on PC form if cost share, other than NIH salary cap, is included in budget to agency or if F&A rate has been reduced/waived (note: Dean email approval is acceptable in lieu of signature on PC form)
    • Agencies that do not have published guidance on F&A will be setup at the current Federal Negotiated Rate – Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC)
  • Submitting an S2S (System to System) Application:
    • S2S is available for most of your “R” (Research) and “K” (Career) mechanisms. S2S CANNOT be used for Detailed budgets with subcontracts, NRSA Fellowships, and Institutional Training Grant applications, multi-project applications (e.g.: PPGs), or Army applications.
    • R&R Key Person:
      • Please remember to enter the Ggov Role in Senior Key Detail for all personnel listed in this tab
      • Please also remember to enter the PI Credentials (=eRA Login) for the PD/PI (and all PD/PIs if multiple PI submission)
      • If you want to list Other Significant Contributors, they cannot have effort or be paid on the grant, their Ggov role should be “Other Significant Contributor” and the OSC box should be checked.
    • Modular Grants
      • Dollar off issue! If you are detailing personnel costs, remember to check the “dollar off” issue in the Ggov budget summary tab to make sure that your Direct Costs are still in modules of $25,000 increments.
        • When you are over by $1, subtract $1 from the modular direct costs. Save. Go into the IDC Summary Tab and override the base amount to what it was before.
        • When you are under by $1, add $1 to the modular direct costs. Save. Go into the IDC Summary Tab and override the base amount to what it was before.
      • If you have Consortium Costs, remember that the line “Direct Costs minus Consortium F&A” needs to be in modular format (not the “Total Direct Costs” line). When in the Direct Cost Summary Tab, click on “Consortium FA” to view the line “Direct Costs minus Consortium F&A”
    • Detailed Budgets:
      • Use Projections for personnel costs and other Direct Costs whenever possible for the out year(s).
      • Dollar off Issue! This issue is still applicable for detailed budgets if you are trying to reach a specific dollar amount. Please verify dollars in the Ggov budget summary tab for all years.
      • Please remember to enter Equipment Groups! (to avoid an eRA error)
      • f you have Other Significant Contributors (no effort), do not list them in the personnel category but list them directly in the Senior Key Detail tab (to avoid an eRA error).
      • BuOb: For the Other Expenses to show on a different line than “Materials and Supplies”, the BuOb for Other Expenses should be changed from 35 to XX01. Then the “other 1” line can be renamed in the Ggov Budget Summary tab, all years, and in the Cumulative Budget tab. In the same manner if you want to use the “Other 2” line, BuOb XX02 should be used. If you want to use the “Other 3” line, BuOb XX03 should be used.
      • NIH applications: Unless specified in the guidelines if the amount of Direct Costs exceeds $500K per year prior approval HAS to be obtained before the application can be submitted.

Hard Copy Reminders:

What to Submit to OSRS-Grant Team

After the PDS is approved – please see What to Submit to the OSRS guidance.

How to Submit to OSRS-Grant Team

  • Make sure OSRS receives one email containing all documents (PC form, approvals, application), or combine as many documents as possible into 1 attachment so that it is less time consuming for OSRS. PDF files are strongly encouraged and save the GA time to compile the application for review.
  • For Adobe packages, please print to Adobe and send the actual forms that OSRS reviews vs sending the actual package that we would use for submission.
  • When sending corrected pages to OSRS, ONLY submitting the corrected page(s) will expedite the process. Please label your attachments appropriately.


Please refer to Forms, Letters & Templates section on the Proposal Development website for templates:

PC Form Reminders

  • Please do not print the PC form before the PDS doc is approved. If you need to print the PC form ahead of time, please make sure that the data (dollars etc.) is still correct prior to obtaining the signatures and forwarding to OSRS.
  • Multiple PI and signatures: for a multiple PI proposal, the signature of all PIs should be obtained on the PC form, whether or not the PI(s) are at WU. For the PC form to print signature lines for all PIs, check the “PI Flag” box in the Senior Key Detail tab, whether your application is S2S or not.
  • Make Sure ALL sections of your PC Form are completed and accurate before obtaining signatures, including:
    • Item 8: Are outgoing subagreements proposed on this project?
    • Item 9: Is off-campus space used in this project?
    • Item 10: Data Sharing Plan: does any individual budget year equal or exceed $500k in direct costs?
    • Human Subjects section: answer YES or NO in Question 1.
    • Export Controls section: answer all questions.

Application Reminders

Budget Pages

Make sure budget pages match the PDS doc. For non-federal applications, make sure the F&A rate and total costs are stated.

Budget Justification

  • Admin/Clerical salaries on Federal applications, please use the following blurb:
    “We consider [List position title here] an administrative cost allowed under 2 CRF 200.413. In the event this proposal is awarded, we will consider the award document sufficient agency approval for this administrative cost”.
  • Do not forget the salary cap blurb if applicable:
    “The current NIH salary cap was used in calculating Dr. salary in order to prevent inflation of the overall budget. We have not provided the actual institutional base salaries at this time as permitted in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Institutional base salaries will be supplied prior to award with the understanding that at the time of funding, NIH staff will assess salaries and apply the salary cap effective at that time.”
  • Per the SF424 guide, salaries and fringes for Graduate Students and Postdoc Research Associates should be detailed in the budget justification.

How will I receive my document(s) back from OSRS?

  • If an e-signature is sufficient, OSRS will e-mail the document(s) to the Department Administrator.
  • If the sponsor requires an original signature on the application, please work with your assigned OSRS Contact to retrieve the original application. You may then scan as needed.

Download the Tips and Reminders for Preaward [PDF].