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Proposal Development - Timelines

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ERA provides beneficial and comprehensive proposal development services to SoE faculty. To facilitate an effective process, we encourage PIs to contact their ERA research administrator as soon as a proposal is anticipated to ensure adequate time to fulfill requests.


Please note that the timelines below are in accordance with the five full business days required by the university to meet the institutional proposal deadlinesAnything submitted to ERA for development, review, and submission should be submitted well in advance of the university’s 5-day deadline.

The timelines below detail the level of service that ERA provides, depending on when the request is initiated and the complexity of the solicitation requirements. We recommend that complex proposals (e.g., those with significant requirements, complex or specialized budgets, subawards, and/or collaborators) be initiated with ERA no fewer than 15 business days prior to the sponsor’s deadline. The timelines listed below may need to be adjusted based on the complexity of sponsor requirements. 

>10 business days in advance of the university deadline (>15 business days in advance of sponsor deadline)

  • Full review of the solicitation
  • Meeting to discuss/determine roles/services needed
  • Development, completion, and routing of PDRF and all relevant documents
  • Preparation/drafting of any non-technical proposal elements
  • Up to five drafts of budget/budget justification
  • Comprehensive review of proposal documents to ensure compliance with sponsor and institutional requirements before routing to OSR
  • Follow-up/reminders of deadlines
  • Full Review of proposal documents by OSR, and flexible timelines to accommodate for final narrative edits until three business days in advance of the sponsor’s deadline and timely submission to sponsor.  A Full Review will include a review of the complete proposal relative to sponsor requirements and University policies.  Feedback provided to the PI and ERA may include any noticeable errors, elements that may not comply with sponsor requirements, etc.  Full Review by OSR is contingent upon a complete proposal package and PDRF received by OSR five business days in advance of the sponsor deadline.

 >6 business days in advance of the university deadline (>11 business days in advance of sponsor deadline)

  • Full review of the solicitation
  • Development, completion, and routing of PDRF and all relevant documents
  • Support for preparation of any non-technical proposal elements
  • Up to three drafts of budget/budget justification
  • Comprehensive review of proposal documents to ensure compliance with sponsor and institutional requirements before routing to OSR
  • Full review and timely submission by OSR. A Full Review will include a review of the complete proposal relative to sponsor requirements and University policies.  Feedback provided to the PI and ERA may include any noticeable errors, elements that may not comply with sponsor requirements, etc.  Full Review by OSR is contingent upon a complete proposal package and PDRF received by OSR five business days in advance of the sponsor deadline.

1-5 business days in advance of the university deadline (>6 business days in advance of sponsor deadline)

  • Full review of the solicitation
  • Development, completion, and routing of PDRF and all relevant documents
  • One draft of budget/budget justification
  • Cursory review of proposal documents to ensure compliance with sponsor and institutional requirements before routing to OSR
  • If the complete proposal is received in OSR five full business days before the sponsor deadline, the proposal will receive Full Review. If the complete proposal is received in OSR less than five business days before the sponsor deadline, the proposal will receive Limited Review.  

<5 business days in advance of sponsor deadline (late submission under the university’s proposal deadline policy)

  • Cursory review of solicitation to ensure eligibility and compliance
  • Development, completion, and routing of PDRF and all relevant documents
  • One draft of budget/budget justification
  • No review of proposal documents to ensure compliance with sponsor requirements before routing to OSR. Errors indicated by sponsor submission systems will be corrected by ERA if time permits.
  • Limited Review and submission by OSR, reviewed on “first-in, first-out basis” and to review for compliance with University policies only.  If the proposal meets all University requirements, then it will be submitted “as-is” upon completion of OSR review.  OSR will make efforts to submit the proposal within the time allotted, but Limited Review proposals will not be prioritized ahead of Full Review proposals.  There is no guarantee that the proposal will be submitted in time to meet the sponsor’s deadline.

 <2 business days in advance of sponsor deadline

  • Complete and final proposals received with fewer than two full business days in advance of the sponsor’s due date will not be submitted, per the university's policy Due to this limitation, ERA will not review or submit proposals received in this timeframe. We recommend the PI seek an extension from the sponsor to meet above deadlines, or defer to the next submission cycle.

Backed-in proposals

Per university policy, only designated institutional representatives are authorized to endorse proposals for sponsored projects that commit the use of Stanford resources, therefore backed-in proposals should be an exception and rare. Backed-in proposals may include non-competitive proposals that have been requested by program managers or industry sponsors, Stanford University-sponsored research awards, or the retroactive administrative process for awards that have bypassed institutional proposal review and submission. These proposals will always be subject to the university 5-day deadline, so ERA will require no fewer than six business days to develop, review, and submit to OSR.