Research Service Center

Checklist Steps for the Preparation and Submission of Proposals for External Funding

In an effort to clarify and simplify the process, the following steps have been developed. Please see the POLICY ON PROPOSAL SUBMISSION for more detail.

  1. Faculty/Staff member talks to their Dean/Director about a project idea or plan, in order to verify unit support and resources available.

  2. Faculty/Staff member identifies potential funding sources whose priorities match their project’s. Lynn Rollins in the Research Service Center can assist in funding searches.

  3. Faculty/Staff member selects funding source(s) and submits an INTENT TO PROPOSE FORM at least two weeks in advance of the submission deadline. (If any funders are foundations, the ITP will automatically be forwarded to Advancement for permission to proceed. To prevent duplicate requests from the USM community, this approval is necessary.)

  4. For proposals that involve research, evaluations using surveys, focus groups, work with minors and/or health information, contact USM’s Office of Research Integrity and Outreach for requirements. In addition, any USM Investigators "responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of externally funded research, including externally funded projects with primarily educational or service activities" must disclose annually any significant financial interests that reasonably relate to their research. Disclosure is also necessary when their financial status changes. The disclosure forms can be found at

  5. Faculty/Staff member meets with RSC staff for budgetary and application assistance, and presents a complete draft of the narrative and the budget to RSC at least five days in advance of the deadline. However, should a proposal require review and approval by the Provost, we can not guarantee approval within a 5 day period. See the POLICY ON PROPOSAL SUBMISSION for these review criteria.

  6. Faculty/Staff member fills out a BLUESHEET (the internal proposal approval form) with Dean/Director's sign-off, approving submission through RSC.

  7. The final version of the proposal package and the Bluesheet must be received by RSC at least two days before the submission deadline.

  8. If an award is received from a foundation, the Faculty/Staff member notifies RSC/Advancement who then determines the nature of the award (gift/grant) and its requirements so that the proper administrative management will take place.

When News Arrives...

When you hear from a funder, please let others know.

  • If you receive a declination letter or email, please forward a copy to RSC and the Dean.

  • If you receive an award letter or email, please forward a copy to RSC and the Dean. If the award letter includes a check, please forward this to RSC. 

  • If the funder contacts you and asks to make adjustments to the proposal or budget, please contact RSC for review and authorization of any changes. A copy of approved changes needs to be given to the Dean’s office.