Submitting Your Proposal

Electronic Submissions
Grants.duke submissions are done by the PI . After ORS  has reviewed and approved the proposal in SPS, your ORS  contact will change the proposal status to "Awaiting Submission." The PI  can then submit the application at their convenience, although ORS  strongly recommends submitting the proposal as early as possible to avoid the inevitable slowdowns that occur on the due date.

Many sponsors have their own online submission systems.  In many cases, the PI will need to enter and submit the entire proposal through the sponsor’s system. In other cases, final submission of an electronic proposal can only be done by an authorized official in ORS. The submission is equivalent to the University's institutional signature on the proposal. In order to be sure we do not miss a deadline, ORS  asks that the PI

  • have the proposal complete and ready for submission a day ahead of time if possible or at least several hours ahead of time in order to avoid the last minute system slowdowns and crashes that can occur;
  • remember that our business hours are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.   If a sponsor's submission deadline is after 5:00 PM, all materials must be in ORS before 5:00 PM. No proposals will be submitted after 5:00 PM.
  • stay by a telephone or be available via email until we confirm successful submission - just in case a problem arises.

A copy of the proposal documents should also be uploaded in SPS.

Hardcopy Submissions
There are two very important guidelines to check when mailing your proposal: due dates and number of copies if the submission is to be hard-copy rather than electronic.

  1. Due Dates and Delivery

    • "Target Date" means the proposal should be received by the sponsor with one to two weeks of the stated target date.
    • "Post Date" means the deadline is the day the proposal package is sent to the sponsor. That is, the postmark date on the package must be the deadline date or earlier.
    • Receipt Date means the deadline is the day proposal package is received by the sponsor.
    • For security reasons some sponsors do not allow hand delivery, call and check if you are planning to hand deliver a proposal.
  2. Number of Copies
    •   Do send the exact number of copies requested in addition to the original - no more and no less. Always be sure to send the original.
    •   Do include a cover letter unless directed otherwise. If you are submitting to a foundation, corporation or non-profit organization, ORS  will provide an endorsement cover letter. The PI  may add a second, more specific cover letter if desired.

Submitted Status in SPS
In many instances, ORS  does not know when the proposal is actually submitted. After the proposal has been routed in SPS for approvals and ORS  has marked the entry as "Awaiting Submission, remember to change the status of the proposal to "Submitted" and enter the date that the proposal was actually sent out. This will complete the SPS record and give ORS  more accurate data to report to the Dean's and Provost's Offices. The proposal will remain in the submitted state until ORS gets word from the sponsor indicating whether or not the proposal will be funded.

Checking Proposal Status
PIs and Grant Managers can check on the status of their proposals. This is especially true, when the PI   submitted the proposal electronically. Immediately after "Releasing" the proposal in grants.duke, the PI can watch the proposal as it tracks through the validation process first at Grants.Gov and then by the sponsoring agency.

At that point, the PIs will need to log onto the agency specific systems, such as FastLane at NSF or eCommons at NIH to check the proposal status. If the sponsor does not have or does not allow access to an on-line system, the PI   will have to initiate an inquiry about the status of the proposal directly with the sponsor.