Proposal Development for AdministratorsProposal Development for Faculty

Tips and Reminders for Pre-Award

These tips and reminders were developed by the Office of Sponsored Research Service. For additional question you can reach OSRS at

All applications being submitted to external funding agencies need to come through OSRS.

  • This includes applications that do not need institutional signature.
  • This is a requirement of the schools.

Read the guidelines carefully

  • Be cognizant of related policies and updates.
  • Highlight key items.
  • Take notes.
  • Make a list.

Deadline date and time

  • Use deadline date per Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)
    • Don’t change date to accommodate weekends and holidays
    • Ex. if June 5 is on a Sunday, deadline date in RMS should be June 5 even it can be submitted on June 6
  • If WashU is incoming subaward, use date due to send to Pass Through Entity (PTE) (e.g. Harvard)
  • In RMS Setup Questions, Deadline Time defaults to 5:00:00 CST. Update to deadline time per FOA/PTE/Agency
  • Submit early!

What to Submit to OSRS

View the What to Submit to OSRS (pdf) tables with details on what information should be submitted for different funding agencies and systems.

Use RMS WU Comments

  • Tell OSRS important information before we ask.
  • Look for OSRS comments, questions and changes.
  • Address all OSRS comments, questions and changes.
  • Comments are retained in the record and can be viewed by others in the future.
  • For complicated situations make a phone call or Zoom meeting, then document decisions into the comments.

Emailing OSRS

  • Include the PI Name and RMS Doc # on any preaward e-mails, including JITs, to expedite the process.

Everything Should Match

  • Guidelines should match the RMS.
  • RMS tabs, budget, etc. should match what is being submitted to the agency.
  • Compliance should match across the Setup Questions, WU Setup Questions and Compliance tabs.
  • Purpose Code on the WU Setup Questions in RMS should match the guidelines.
    • Research, Training, Career, OSA

PI Effort

  • PIs of research grants should have effort.
  • PI effort should be listed in RMS and the application submitted to the agency.
  • PIs are responsible for the research, managing the project & lab, supervising staff, publications, etc. It take effort to accomplish these things.
  • If a research project is being proposed without effort, RMS WU Comments should explain how the PI can be responsible for the research, managing a project & lab, supervising staff, publications, etc. without effort. OSRS will consider reasonableness on a case by case basis.

F&A Issues

  • OSRS can accept F&A rate in published guidelines.
    • Exception: Industry sponsored for School of Medicine which must be 50% TDC. Anything less must be approved by the Dean.
  • If agency allows F&A, we must request it.
  • Don’t exclude items from the F&A Base unless federal, or the guidelines require it.
  • Double check RMS…
    • F&A tab, tables at the bottom should match…
  • Manual F&A
    • Used for F&A Exclusions. For example:
      • Continuation records to remove Subaward dollars over $25k.
      • Specific Sponsor Guidelines where standard Base of MTDC or TDC don’t work.
    • Not used to adjust or correct F&A dollars.
      • If F&A is incorrect, there is a reason why and it needs to be identified/corrected and/or reported to InfoEd. Elevate it!
    • Anytime manual F&A is used, you should address this in RMS WU Comments Tab.

Contact Info

PDF Issues

  • Follow the agency guidelines.
  • PDFs usually (always?) need to be flattened.
  • Follow required naming conventions.


PC Forms

  • OSRS accepts:
  • OSRS does not accept:
    • Names typed directly into Word Doc or PDF

NIH Other Support

Partnership between Departments and OSRS

  • Teamwork
  • OSRS is here to help you support our talented PIs
  • Second, third, forth…set of eyes
  • Make sure proposals are the best they can be