Submit Your Proposal

With a developed idea and funding opportunity in hand it is time to start the grant writing and proposal submission process. The CHS Sponsored Programs Office (CHS-SPO) encourages faculty to notify our office of their intent to submit as early as possible! All proposals, regardless of how big or how small or whether or not they include or exclude indirect costs, must be submitted through CHS-SPO. If you are unsure whether the award qualifies as a gift or grant, please email and a staff member will provide assistance. You can also consult VCU’s sponsored agreements and gifts policy for guidance. 

Faculty must, at minimum, notify the CHS-SPO of their intent to submit three weeks or 15 business days in advance of the sponsor deadline. At the three-week mark CHS-SPO anticipates that the proposal is nearing completion. If this is not the case then careful consideration will be given to whether or not the proposal can move forward or should be delayed until the next available due date. Please review this short presentation providing an overview of the CHS-SPO proposal submission procedures [PDF].

Faculty are welcome to email the CHS-SPO at with questions or requests for assistance at any point along your development timeline. Explore the timeline below for how our office can help. We look forward to supporting you in your sponsored research and scholarship endeavors! 

Notify us of your intent to submit a proposal today!

Timeline and Milestones Prior to Deadline

6 to 12 Months

  1. Develop an idea.
  2. Find a funding opportunity.

The grant writer/developer (GWD) is available for:

  1. Initial meeting: Discuss specific topic areas of interest and associated research/scholarship activities.
  2. Funding search: Conduct a targeted search and follow up with a curated list.
  3. Follow-up meeting(s): Review the list of potential funding opportunities and assist faculty with next steps.
  • Develop an elevator speech for your research and scholarship activities that can be shared with the GWD and project officers.
  • Start drafting a concept paper or abstract to share with the GWD, project officers and colleagues.
  • Set-up a profile on Pivot and create a saved search that will alert you of any new opportunities.
  • Talk to colleagues about where they have received funding.
  • Check the acknowledgements page of publications from your field.

2 to 3 Months

  1. Draft specific aims, project summary or letter of intent (LOI).
  2. Sketch out a rough budget.
  3. Notify CHS-SPO of intent to submit a proposal.
  • Peer review: The associate dean of research (ADR) and GWD are available to review and provide faculty with feedback on their draft specific aims, project summary or LOI.
  • Email to request assistance with the following:
    • Budget development: Request to meet with a research administrator to discuss the costs associated with the project.
    • Coordination with external collaborators: Provide contact information and an overview of the collaboration so CHS-SPO can initiate the administrative processes.
    • Large-scale proposal support: Request support with coordinating the grant development, writing and submission process for complex proposals (e.g., center grants).
  • Email project officer and set-up a time to discuss your idea.
  • Circulate specific aims, project summary or LOI among colleagues (internal and external to VCU).
  • Firm up relationships with collaborators.
  • Contact/meet with CHS-SPO to obtain a complete list of all sections and documents required for your submission.
  • Aim to have a complete rough draft of the science ready to share with colleagues two months out.
  • Email collaborators and request biosketches. Offer to write the narrative portion and to help with formatting.

1 Month

  1. Submit final budget and all documents* 10 business days before deadline.
  2. Route proposal in RAMS-SPOT 7 business days before deadline.
  3. Submit any revised, final documents* 3 business days before deadline.
  • Budget development.
  • Obtain cost share authorizations.
  • Coordinate letters of support.
  • Complete sponsor forms.
  • Review and edit proposal documents.
  • Write non-technical portions of proposals.

For all requests related to these topics please email

* Examples of documents include biosketch, abstract project summary, specific aims, research strategy, project description, research plan, project narrative, human subjects, references, evaluation plan, work plan, logic model, facilities and other resources, statement of work, current and pending support, data management plan, etc.