The Catholic University of America

Preparation and Submission of a Proposal

The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Services (OSPRS) acts as the point of academic coordination for the submission of proposals for research support, acceptance of awards, administration of internal funding of research, coordination of University research and technology development and more.

Sponsored program are those projects and/or activities which are originated and conducted by members of the faculty or, in some instances staff members. Such programs are supported wholly or in part by external funds awarded to CUA.

The OSPRS is a support structure, and seeks to assist faculty members in a variety of ways, including funding source identification, proposal development assistance, budget development, proposal processing and review. In addition, the OSPRS is an advocate for the CUA campus climate that is conductive to the research enterprise, advertising the administration on matters of regulatory compliance, internal sponsorship of scholarship of scholarly activities and other similar issues.

The OSPRS is the primary mechanism for providing direct assistance to faculty and staff in identifying appropriate sources for external funds of projects and programs of all types. Sponsored programs usually include a line item budget, which states monetary needs for the project. The proposer will prepare a budget to submit with the proposal. The budget should include all direct predicted costs such salary, travel, equipment etc and must also reflect the indirect overhead and the fringe benefits. The current rate for the indirect cost (F&A) and the fringe benefits are 26.9% and 22.5%, respectively, for research staff. For students the indirect rate is lower (7.65%) and no fringe benefits are provided. In addition to the salary for the researchers, the budget must include the cost for the technical assistance at IACS. The cost for the Technical assistance is calculated as 3% of the proposals total budgeted salary plus the estimated travel cost. An example of a budget is provided below.

Budget Example (.pdf)
Budget Excel Template (.xlsx)

The budget must be approved by IACS before the proposal can be submitted by OSPRS. Currently, Krister Nielsen, is in charge of examining and approving budgets for proposals submitted via IACS. 

The OSPRS administrators assist researchers with proposal preparation. Researchers are encouraged to consult OSPRS at any time during the proposal development. Prior to submission to the sponsor, the proposals are reviewed for conformance to CUA policy and sponsor guidelines. Proposals are aproved by the PI, the Chairperson, Dean or Director of the unit involved in the project, and signed by the CUA representative, the Provost. Additional approvals may be needed.

A number of government agencies and private foundations are requiring or moving toward electronic proposal submission. Each system has its own interface and usage rules. OSPRS manages login IDs for CUA users and provide one-on-one consulting in the use of these systems.

Please remember:

  • The OSPRS will not accept proposals that are delivered less than one full working day before submission. Please allow OSPRS at least 1 week for submission of your proposal.
  • To obtain your Chair and Deans authorization and acknowledgement for pending proposals prior to submitting to OSPRS.
  • Provide a detailed budget for specific increments and new year funding. If your proposal involves further budget negotiations with your Chair, Dean and Provost - it is imperative that these negotiations are very clearly stated.
  • Familiarize yourself with the various agencies web-sites for procedures and federal policies regarding award funding
  • Please review the reporting schedule for all your current awards and those you will close out during the academic year. OSPRS is attempting to meet all federal regulations for reporting requirements.
  • Check with OSPRS for the most up to date F&A and fringe benefit rates.

After an award has been accepted the financial administration becomes the responsibility of the Office of Grants and Contracts. For questions regarding the proposal preparation and submission process, please visit http://sponsoredprograms.cua.edu/ or contact:

Ralph Albano Associate Provost for Research albano@cua.edu 202-319-5218
Mary Kay Hayden Sponsored Programs Administrator haydenm@cua.edu 202-319-5219