Pre-award services are invaluable services offered to WSSU faculty and staff interested in pursuing financial resources from extramural funding agencies. Pre-award activities and processes performed by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) staff are designed to help faculty facilitate the overall grant-making process as well as help principal investigators (PI) submit high-quality, competitive proposals while balancing the need for institutional and sponsor regulatory compliance. Pre-award staff members also help identify and determine eligibility for grants and other awards in addition to assisting PIs with proposal and budget development.
The pre-award staff members in OSP assist University faculty and staff with all phases of proposal preparation and submission. Pre-award responsibilities and services provided through OSP include:
- Identifying potential funding sources;
- Providing assistance with pre-submission procedures;
- Assisting with internal review, routing, and approval processes; and
- Submitting proposals in a timely manner to the sponsor agencies.
OSP provides funding search assistance for University faculty and staff. Faculty and staff requesting specific funding search assistance from OSP pre-award staff are required to complete the Funding Opportunity Request Form (FORF). OSP staff will use the information from this form to conduct specific funding searches through the Grant Resource Center and other search engines.
Individuals interested in conducting sponsored research, training, or technical assistance projects are advised to visit the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) to discuss their research interest. A Funding Opportunity Request Form should be completed and returned to OSP prior to meeting with OSP staff. The FORF provides pertinent information relative to the prospective research interest and/or expertise of WSSU faculty and staff as it relates to sponsored research projects including, but not limited to, project type, project title, and project description. OSP will use these data to identify and provide information concerning funding opportunities in requested areas of interest as they arise. All questions concerning this process should be directed to OSP staff responsible for pre-award proposal development.
After a suitable funding opportunity has been identified, an Internal Notice of Intent (INOI) form is required from all faculty and staff looking to submit proposals and/or contracts. The INOI serves as official notice to OSP of a principal investigator’s intent to submit a sponsored programs proposal on behalf of the University. The INOI is a vital part of the pre-award proposal process, because it helps expedite the review and submission process. It allows OSP staff an opportunity to locate and review the desired solicitation and its guidelines prior to the pre-award meeting with the PI.
Resource Acquisition Practices
Resource acquisition simply refers to the practices implemented in pursuit of extramural funding from external sponsors. The Office of Sponsored Programs staff cannot write proposals for faculty and staff. OSP supports the University’s resource acquisition in numerous ways. In particular, the Office of Sponsored Programs:
- Assists with pre-award activities related to processing proposal internally through RAMSeS and
uploading complete applications to funding agencies;
- Helps administrators develop institutional policies that correspond with federal, state, and private
sponsor regulatory guidelines;
- Identifies novel and innovative approaches to obtaining financial support for institutional activities;
- Helps review and proof project narratives, proposed budgets, as well as compliance and other support
documents and certifications such as Civil Rights requirements, animal use, research misconduct, and
human subjects research.
- Helps PIs revise and resubmit unapproved applications by addressing weaknesses in previously
The Roles and Responsibilities Matrix outlines the roles and responsibilities of all individuals and offices involved in the grants-making process. It highlights the integral roles of this process which includes reviewing the announcement of the funding opportunity, receiving the actual award, project management, reports and assessments, as well as closeouts. This matrix was created by WSSU's Financial Transformation Committee according to best practices provided by UNC General Administration and its 17 constituent institutions.
This matrix can be used to identify the key players required to accomplish each task responsible for the development, submission, award, initiation, management, and close out of proposals. As you will see, "O" represents the individual or office that owns the task, while "C" means the individual or office that contributes to that task by providing necessary input.