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Notes on Timelines

The short answer to the question "How far ahead of the deadline do I need to have my proposal ready for review?" is 10 business days for the internal forms and draft proposal and 5 business days for the near-final draft (on sponsored forms, but with the narrative still being revised). The problem with short answers, of course, is that they oversimplify. Proposals vary widely in complexity and structure. A single person proposal that gets reviewed by one chair and one dean can reasonably be expected to route more quickly than a proposal involving three different colleges at ECU and two consortium partners in other states! One size really does not fit all.

As a more sophisticated guide, there are three different approaches outlined below aimed at getting different types of proposals fully reviewed and approved in time to be submitted comfortably ahead of the deadline. Please adopt the one that most closely resembles your project.

One bitterly earned piece of advice - if at all possible, do not submit on the last day! In years past, deadline day meant giving a paper copy of the proposal to FedEx. That process is solidly under local control, small technical errors like pagination did not cause the FedEx van to break down, and every applicant is not trying to give their proposal to the same person at FedEx. Electronic submissions systems, however, fail outside of local control, computer systems do refuse proposals with very minor mistakes, and all the applicants are trying to log into the same submission website at the same time. Proposals submitted on the day before the deadline dodge the crowd and leave plenty of time for finding and correcting trivial defects (like having an extra space in the title of an attachment). Keep your fate in your own hands! Do not submit electronically on deadline day!

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Single College Proposals

Proposals involving only units within a single college at ECU have the most straightforward and expeditious routing process. The timeline below anticipates generally short approval and review times.

3-6 Weeks prior to proposal deadline

The PI should notify their departmental research administrator (DRA) and/or their Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) liaison of their interest in a funding opportunity as soon as a proposal submission appears likely. This notice should include:

  • Anticipated submission date
  • Link to sponsor guideline or instructions
  • Names of potential collaborators
7-10 working days prior to proposal deadline

The PI (working with their DRA and/or OSP liaison) should prepare and route a RAMSeS proposal within their department and college. This package should include:

  • Completed RAMSeS Screens - http://www.ecu.edu/osp/ipfhelp.cfm
  • Final budget and budget justification uploaded into RAMSeS
  • Draft project narrative uploaded into RAMSeS (check with your College leadership for any unit level requirements)

*BSOM requires the RAMSeS routing to be at the Brody Grant Office - signed off by department heads - 15 BUSINESS DAYS before the proposal
deadline*

3-5 working days prior to proposal deadline

Proposal review in OSP takes place during this period, generally of a near-final draft of the proposal (on sponsor forms). Investigators are welcome to continue to revise the narrative portions of the proposal during this review (though budget changes may require additional routing). OSP personnel will coordinate with investigators to ensure the proper revision of the proposal is submitted to the sponsor.

  • The process of routing the RAMSeS proposal should have concluded.
  • The PI should upload a near final copy of the proposal into RAMSeS for review by OSP.
  • If any changes are made to the budget after departmental approval in RAMSeS, the PI should notify their DRA and/or OSP of these changes and upload the revised documents into RAMSeS. Depending on the significance of the revisions, it may be necessary to reroute the RAMSeS proposal.

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Multiple College Proposals (Inside ECU)

Proposals involving units in multiple colleges with ECU generally require more routing time. Not only do more people need to review and approve, but such proposals are generally more complex and may require greater coordination. The PI’s college is considered the lead college responsible for managing the proposal process and coordinating with collaborating colleges.

3-6 Weeks prior to proposal deadline

The PI should notify their Departmental Research Administrator (DRA) and/or their OSP liaison of their interest in a funding opportunity as soon as a proposal submission appears likely. This notice should include:

  • Anticipated submission date
  • Link to sponsor guideline or instructions
  • Names of potential collaborators
10-12 working days prior to proposal deadline

The PI (working with their DRA and/or OSP liaison) should prepare and route a RAMSeS proposal within their department and college. Thisp ackage should include:

  • Complete RAMSeS Screens - http://www.ecu.edu/osp/ipfhelp.cfm
  • Final budget and budget justification uploaded into RAMSeS
  • Draft project narrative uploaded into RAMSeS (check with your College leadership for any unit level requirements – have collaborators check with their leadership for unit level requirements in collaborating colleges)

*BSOM requires the RAMSeS routing to be at the Brody Grant Office - signed off by department heads - 15 BUSINESS DAYS before the proposal
deadline*

5 working days prior to proposal deadline

Proposal review in OSP takes place during this period, generally of a near-final draft of the proposal (on sponsor forms). Investigators are welcome to continue to revise the narrative portions of the proposal during this review (though budget changes may require additional routing). OSP personnel will coordinate with investigators to ensure the proper revision of the proposal is submitted to the sponsor.

  • The process of routing the RAMSeS proposal should have concluded.
  • The PI should upload a near final copy of the proposal into RAMSeS for review by OSP.
  • If any changes are made to the budget after departmental approval in RAMSeS, the PI should notify their DRA and/or OSP of these changes ASAP and upload the revised documents into RAMSeS. Depending on the significance of the revisions, it may be necessary to reroute the RAMSeS proposal.

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Multiple Institution Proposals (Outside ECU)

Proposals that involve personnel and/or facilities both within ECU and at institutions or organizations outside of ECU should follow the same timeline as the Multiple College Proposals. PI’s should recognize, however, that establishing formal collaborations with non-ECU institutions requires additional coordination by the Office of Sponsored Programs. Other institutions will have their own internal procedures that ECU personnel will be powerless to expedite. Because of this, PI’s should make every effort to provide as much advanced notice as possible. Please start letting people know of your plans as soon as you believe a proposal submission is likely.

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