This section contains the steps and processes involved in preparing and submitting a proposal through OSP.
If you are looking for funding opportunities, please visit the Research Development website.
To begin the process, simply complete the online request form and we will partner you with a Grants Administrator to guide you through the proposal submission.
Mason has adopted an internal deadline of four business days for all proposal submissions. PIs must provide OSP with all final documents at least four business days prior to the sponsor’s deadline: Internal Deadline Policy for Proposal Submission
OSP and the Principal Investigator (PI) need to work together to meet this goal. We recommend you contact OSP as soon as you begin considering developing a proposal for external funding.
Sponsors may request Letters of Intent (LOIs) to allow them to assess whether or not there is a good match between the proposed project and their interests: Letters of Intent Procedures
The PI is a faculty member who submitted a proposal that was accepted and funded by an external sponsor, also referred to as the project director. The PI has the primary responsibility for technical compliance, completion of programmatic work, and fiscal stewardship of sponsor funds.
- Principal Investigators University Policy No. 4012
- PI Reports
- Guidelines for Charging Faculty Salary to Sponsored Projects
On October 5, 2020, NSF will require PIs to use SciENcv for preparation of Biosketches, and Current and Pending forms. OSP has compiled resources into Roadmap to Getting Started with SciENcv and the recorded Webex Session for PIs held on May 8, 2020.
Each investigator is required to disclose situations where “significant financial interests” are present through submitting an online Conflict of Interest Certification. Proposals cannot be submitted until all named personnel submit their disclosures.
Cost Share is the portion of project expenditures related to a sponsored project that is contributed by parties other than the sponsor, and not directly charged to the sponsored fund. See University Policy Number 4016.
Types of Cost Share include:
- Mandatory Committed (tracked and reported to the sponsor) – required by the sponsor and is therefore referenced in the proposal by dollar amount and type.
- Voluntary Committed (tracked and reported to the sponsor) – not required by the sponsor, but is still referenced in the proposal by dollar amount and type. Becomes mandatory if project is awarded.
- Voluntary Uncommitted (tracked internally, but not reported to the sponsor) – not required by the sponsor, not mentioned or referenced anywhere in the proposal.
Cost Sharing must be proposed, approved, administered, and accounted for in a consistent and prudent manner. This includes understanding workload implications of the cost share commitment, determining when cost sharing is appropriate, and accurately recording and reporting cost share expenditures.
If a sponsored project includes cost share, use the appropriate non-sponsored organization number, with the cost share activity code provided in the project’s OSP award letter, to charge and track cost shared expenditures for the life of the award.
Cost sharing Represents Real Costs to Mason
- Cost sharing represents a redirection of University resources from instruction or other activities to support a sponsored project. The PI, department chair, college dean or director, and other administrators should carefully weigh the cost-effectiveness and the expected benefits of cost sharing prior to making the commitment in a proposal. Effort committed may not exceed that allowed by the faculty or staff member’s appointment.
Some projects allow for pre-award expenses. However, any costs incurred prior to the award are incurred at the PI’s risk and may not be reimbursed if the sponsor does not allow pre-award spending.
- NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components
- George Mason University Eligibility Summary of NIH R15 – Research Enhancement Awards