Proposal Review and Internal Deadlines

Submission Process

OSP serves to support faculty and staff by facilitating applications for external funding. Acting as VUMC's designated authorized institutional official, OSP staff review and approve all sponsored research proposals on behalf of the principal investigator and VUMC. OSP staff also serve as a resource for faculty and staff with questions regarding sponsor proposal requirements. OSP staff members are committed to helping faculty prepare their best and most competitive sponsored research proposals. 

The review process itself represents a collaboration between the principal investigator, the department administrator, and OSP. OSP provides a comprehensive administrative review to ensure a complete and accurate proposal and compliance with sponsor and insitutional policies. OSP may request changes to the proposal to enhance funding success. Once the proposal is complete, OSP provides institutional endorsement of the proposal. 

Please note that OSP frequently reviews and submits many different proposals for the same deadline, all while allocating sufficient time to each. OSP can provide the highest level of service to faculty when adequate leave time is given to review the proposal. Please refer and adhere to the submission deadlines detailed below. An excessively heavy proposal volume may preclude on-time submission of any proposal that arrives late in the queue and right before the sponsor deadline. 

Why are applications returned?

A proposal may be returned during the course of the OSP review process for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to the following updates and corrections: 

  • Incorrect funding opportunity number
  • Incorrect start and/or end dates
  • Incorrect congressional district for performance site(s)
  • Budget issues
  • Missing narrative holders 
  • Noncompliance with sponsor guidelines that cannot be changed without internal rejection
  • PI/Department request for return 

Bypass Request Process

A bypass request may be made by the lead department of a given proposal via PEER in order to expedite a proposal that has been routed for review and approval for OSP. Bypass requests are exceptions to the rule and require specific justification for approval. A bypass should only be requested for special and unforeseen situations. OSP has discretion for whether or not a bypass for a given proposal will be approved. 

The following scenarios will result in a bypass request being denied: 

  • The proposal has not yet been approved/reviewed by all departments on the routing map (i.e. this is the first time the proposal is being routed for review)
  • The change in the proposal involved a change in the scope-of-work, budget, human subjects, vertebrate animals, or personnel. Any department affected by changes must approve the revised proposal. 

OSP Internal Submission Deadline

Grant applications are due to OSP for review and approval five (5) business days prior to the stated agency/sponsor submission deadline. The requested deadline for actual submission to the funding agency is two (2) business days prior to the stated agency deadline, allowing OSP three (3) business days to complete a review. 

This five-business-day rule allows for total review and institutional approval of all proposals prior to submission and provides ample time for investigators to review the submitted application online for accuracy and/or submit changed/corrected applications prior to the actual agency deadline. Please be advised that applications are review in the order received. We cannot guarantee that an application received outside of the stipulated review window will be submitted

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the five-day rule refer to calendar days or business days? 

Business days

Do holidays count as business days?
No, holidays are considered the same as weekends and are not included in the business-day count. 

Does the five-day count start once my department administrative staff routes the approval?
No, the five days begin once OSP receives the proposal for the first time. 

What if OSP has to return my proposal? How does that affect the five days?
The five days begin when OSP receives the proposal for the first time. This review window allows time for corrections. 

What is VUMC's two-day submission rule for agency deadlines?
The five-day policy accounts for the fact that VUMC requires investigators to submit proposals to the agency two days before the deadline in order to ensure that the proposal is received without any issues and that any corrections can be made if necessary. 

Does the submission mechanism matter?
No, all proposals, whether new applications, continuations, resubmissions, or revisions, must be entered into Coeus and received by OSP five business days prior to the agency deadline. 

Are paper submissions exempt from this policy? 
No, all proposals need to be received by OSP prior to the five business days before the agency deadline.

Do non-federal proposals need to be submitted to OSP five days before the agency deadline?
Yes, all proposals should be received by OSP five business days before the agency deadline.

Why do we have the five-business-day policy?
This five-business-day total review/submission window ensures full institutional review and approval of all proposals prior to submission, as well as provides ample time for investigators to review the submitted application online for accuracy. It also allows for time to submit changed/corrected applications prior to the actual deadline. Please be advised that applications are reviewed by OSP in the order in which they are received. We cannot guarantee than an application submitted outside of these deadlines will be submitted.