Office of Sponsored Programs and Research

How to Submit Grants

Mon - Fri: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Miles Connor Administration Building Room 231

Grant Writing

  1. Informal and early discussions and sharing of the grant notice with faculty, staff and collaboration team. Use Team Planning Document for project management strategies.
    1. Development of an abstract (whitepaper)—1/2 page to share with colleagues
    2. Review 10 strategic tips for proposal development
    3. Review the proposal writing guidelines
  2. Complete Proposal Review Form, instructions for completing the Proposal Review Form are found here.
  3. Contact with chair, dean, and provost to determine their support. Discuss teaching assignments/course releases/priority to tenure process.
  4. Contact with OSPR to learn prior institutional history with the agency and discuss budget and deadlines.
  5. Discussions with Agency Program Manager to answer any proposal writing questions.
  6. Contact with OSPR for detailed budget development with Contracts and Grants office, submit Proposal Review Form 10 business days before agency submission deadline.
  7. Once Proposal Review Form is complete, OSPR/Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) submits proposal at deadline online.
  8. PI, OSPR and Contracts and Grants office follow proposal through review process and answer any Agency questions. Enlist assistance internally and submit revisions by requested deadlines. Collaborate with Controller’s office for account creates and drawdowns.
  9. Funding received, accounts are established, approvals are finalized (such as IRB and space requirements) and sponsored programs commences.
  10. Request for no-cost extensions before grant end date, if needed. After sponsored program is complete, closeout report of findings and budget expenditure report to Agency, OSPR, and Contracts and Grants.

How to work with OSPR

two students in the community garden

Developing long term, mutually beneficial relationships with a corporation or foundation can promote outcomes that advance Coppin’s mission of fostering leadership, social responsibility, civic and community engagement, cultural diversity and inclusion, and economic development. We value collaborations that foster these results, and we value the efforts of faculty to achieve successful projects, programs or donations. The most beneficial philanthropic gift result when all parties involved understand and support the administrative requirements that accompany Coppin State University Foundation (CSUDF) donations. The corporate or foundation process should look like this:

  1. Meet with proposal team—Use the Team Planning Document
  2. Complete Sponsored Programs Review Form (secure the approval of your chair, dean, vice president of institutional advancement, and provost)
  3. Develop budget and budget narrative justification with OSPR and CSUDF Comptroller
  4. Submit University Forms for any components of program or project, such as Human Subjects Institutional Review Board or Space Requirement Approvals.
  5. Letter of Interest or Proposal submission on Foundation or Corporate Philanthropy Website 10 working days before their deadline. Submissions submitted once signatures received.
  6. OSPR approves online submission and provides verification back to PI
  7. Discussions with PI, OSPR, and Foundation during Agency Review Process
  8. Award/Project begins
  9. A Charitable Letter is sent from CSUDF to the corporation or foundation and a letters of appreciation is also sent to the donor. PI may be requested to also reach out and describe impact or progress of program/project.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Timeline

Average Time from Proposal Preparation to Award

Did you know that it can take anywhere from 5-25 months from the time you plan, write and submit your proposal to the day you get an award? A strategic plan to look at what your research activities will be in the next 6 months and a long-term plan for the next two years would help your initial writing for a grant.

Initial Preparation

The average time it takes to prepare and write for a simple grant proposal can range from two to four months of dedicated research time.

Getting Feedback

You should allot at least two (2) weeks or ten (I0) business days to finalize your application; the time will vary depending on the responsiveness of your internal reviewers. Send your proposal to colleagues, mentors, and peers for an internal review and make any necessary changes resulting from that review. Possible internal editors should also include OSPR (for sponsored programs/research projects) or CSUDF (for corporate or foundation proposals).

Checks and Edits

Allow yourself at least a week to check and recheck your application to make sure nothing is missing, and all information is consistent, search for factual errors, verify your budget's accuracy by ensuring the expenditures equal the requested amount, check spelling and grammar, and proofread the application.


Prospective PI's are encouraged to submit proposals and ·supporting documents as early as possible for submission. The narrative and all supporting documents are due to OSPR a minimum of ten (10) business days before the due date for electronic submissions or before the mailing date for hard copy submissions. This allows time to review proposals for conformance (to proposal guidelines) to begin uploading supplementary documents and to complete or correct documents as necessary.

PI(s) are responsible for communicating to OSPR that a proposal is in final format and is "Ready To Submit" to the sponsor. Please note: OSPR or the Office of the Provost or designee is the only office authorized to submit proposals to external sponsors on behalf of Coppin State University or authorized to give permission to the College Dean to submit a proposal.

The proposal should be submitted to OSPR well ahead of the sponsor's receipt date in case you need to correct the application during submission. Coppin's internal deadline of 10 days prior to submission is your due date, not the sponsor receipt date. For example, a grant submission deadline of January 15th, the internal deadline to OSPR is January 5th.

NOTE: Proposals submitted to OSPR less than 24 hours before the deadline may be refused if the proposal review for guideline conformance shows missing or incorrect information that cannot be rectified prior to the submission deadline.

Review and Award

After the funding agency's receipt date has lapsed, it will take roughly 5 to 20 months to go through the levels of review and get an award. Do not let first-time failures discourage you. After thoughtfully reading reviewers’ comments, consider contingencies--how you could change your project to be a different timeline, budget or focused for a different funding source. If the funding agency reaches out to you with revisions, they are helping you do some of this contingency planning.

Other Best Practices

  • As soon as you submit your proposal it is also important to look at upcoming deadlines from other funding sources for other research projects or experiments. It is helpful to have a portfolio of research expertise and have active projects in several areas.
  • Consider making a strategic planning meeting with OSPR to discuss how your current research projects could attract other agency, corporate, or foundation donors.
  • While you are waiting to hear about funding, this is an excellent time to find collaborators, find research partners who are trans-disciplinary at Coppin and at other institutions.
  • Resubmission success rates are higher across nearly all federal agencies.
  • Resubmission provides an opportunity for the PI to fine tune his/her proposal, emphasizing identified strengths, addressing concerns, and fully articulating/revising the text to include more relevant detail.

12 Week Timeline for Submitting Proposals

12 Weeks out from grant submission deadline

  • Read all guidelines and Request for Proposal (RFP) from funding agency.
  • Reach out to potential collaborators
  • Reach out to Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (OSPR) include RFP and your idea
  • Seek access and registration information to portals or funding website from OSPR
  • Complete online training of portal navigation and use

11 Weeks out from grant submission deadline

  • Follow up with potential collaborators; negotiate components of partnership and send a suggested draft letter of support (LOS).
  • Seek early feedback from chair, dean, and provost on your intent to apply and indicate possible needs such as space, course release, and matching funds.

10 Weeks out from grant submission deadline

  • Begin outline and abstract
  • Begin background literature, scanning for recent published statistics and studies
  • Update your biosketch, resume or load your vita in the format of the grant guidelines
  • Ask collaborators for their LOS and for their biosketch in the format of the grant guidelines
  • Reach out to program directors with RFP inquiries
  • Study winning proposals and align to current RFP themes/directions

9 Weeks out from grant submission deadline

  • Perfect outline and abstract and send outline to collaborators, department chair and OSPR
  • Create a file of all of the sections needed for the grant
  • Seek special statistics or information required on the grant application

8 Weeks out from grant submission deadline

  • Write a draft of each section and send to OSPR and collaborators for feedback/edits

7 Weeks out from grant submission deadline

  • Prepare budget and share internally with OSPR, Contracts and Grants Office, department chair and dean

6 Weeks out from grant submission deadline

  • Perfect budget and write budget narrative

5 Weeks out from grant submission deadline

  • Complete background literature research
  • Send total package with OSPR, department chair, dean and collaborators- ask for edits

4 Weeks out from grant submission deadline

  • Finalize any permissions and accommodations from chair and dean
  • Share executive summary with Provost/VPAA or Vice President of Institutional Advancement

3 Weeks out from grant submission deadline

  • Incorporate all edits
  • Collect any outstanding documents from collaborators and internal team

10 Days out from grant submission deadline

  • Upload your documents on funding website
  • Verify certification and submission with OSPR, Contracts and Grants Office, department chair, dean, Provost/VPAA or VPIA, and your collaborators communicating when we will hear on the grant acceptance
  • Begin planning for award
  • Scan for new funding opportunities in both sponsored programs and philanthropic domains.