Contracts and Grants Policy 1 – General Proposal Guidelines


The basic guidelines for the administration of grants and contracts within the University of North Carolina are set forth in The University of North Carolina Policy Manual, Chapter 500.4 {R}, Regulations on Administering Sponsored Programs. The University of North Carolina Policy Manual, Chapter 500.4 {R}, Regulations on Administering Sponsored Programs states “All sponsored programs which are carried out by constituent institutions or other agencies of the University or on University-controlled premises or under the direction of faculty or staff members of constituent institutions or other agencies of the University, shall be subject to review and approval with respect to funding arrangements by the President of the University of North Carolina or by the Chancellor or other persons who have been specifically designated by the President. All formal applications to donors and sponsors for support of sponsored programs shall be submitted to donors and sponsors through the President and reviewed under such instructions and guidelines as the President may deem necessary.”

In actual practice, “Applications for grants and contracts may be submitted by the Chancellor or her designated representative as approved in advance by the President directly to a funding authority, without prior approval by the President, with the following exceptions:

  • Those under which the University assumes an express or implied responsibility to continue the program or activity beyond the life of the grant or to retain personnel initially employed under the grant or contract.
  • Those involving the creation of a new organizational unit (a department, center, institute, school, etc.) within the University or a constituent institution.
  • Those involving the planning or establishment of a new degree program or program track.
  • Those requiring matching funds or contributions that cannot be provided from current institutional resource levels.

Initiation of Proposals

Contracts or grants are normally awarded only after submission of a proposal to a funding source. The proposal describes a task to be performed or a project to be undertaken by the University or an agent of the University. It includes a budget statement clearly defining the total costs of the proposed project and the amount of funds requested from the funding source or agency. Proposals are prepared by the person who directs or is responsible for the proposed project within the University. This person is referred to as the principal investigator. Before beginning the proposal writing process, a principal investigator should contact the Office of Sponsored Programs to obtain access to RAMSeS, and review the guidelines for proposal preparation at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A potential principal investigator should check with the appropriate Department Head or Dean to determine the appropriateness of the project or program to be proposed before the proposal writing process begins.

Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

The University of North Carolina Policy Manual, Chapter 500.4 {R}, Regulations on Administering Sponsored Programs requires that certain procedures be followed throughout the University of North Carolina and specifies a standard internal processing form for all 16 campuses. The Office of Sponsored Programs is charged with administering the proposal submission procedures outlined in that Memorandum and refined regularly by General Administration. All proposals are to be processed through the Office of Sponsored Programs. OSP reviews each proposal to see that the proposed activity is in line with the programmatic goals of the University. In addition, the proposal is also reviewed for compliance with guidelines established by the funding source to which the proposal is to be submitted and with the appropriate University and State guidelines.

Preliminary Discussions with Funding Sources

Preliminary discussions of program objectives or project scope with a potential funding source are not discouraged. Pre-proposals need not be processed formally through the University. Unauthorized commitments must not be made by pre-proposals or informal communication of any kind. Valid commitments of grant or contract supported projects or programs can be made only through the established proposal submission process.

Office of Contracts and Grants

The Office of Contracts and Grants is responsible for the fiscal review of proposed projects and programs being treated as a contract or grant. You are encouraged to seek guidance early in the budget proposal development process. Your needs can be as varied as discussing methodology on how to develop a budget, reviewing the draft budget and budget narrative, to the final review of your budget and budget narrative. However, as all proposals are routed by the Office of Sponsored Programs to the Office of Contracts and Grants for budget approval as an automatic step in the proposal processing procedure, it is important to discuss your budget with us. Last minute requests for budget proposal review and approval may not be possible. Thus, please plan ahead and allow us the opportunity to help meet your specific budget proposal needs.