Proposal Preparation & Submission

Proposal Preparation

For assistance with identifying funding, proposal review and editing, collaborator identification, facility and resource description, or other proposal development needs, contact the Proposal Development Office

The OSPA Proposal Preparation Checklist are general guidelines to assist you in proposal development, in terms of required forms and processes. Individual sponsors may have additional requirements.

Many grant proposals require a letter of support from an institutional signing official, typically provided by the Vice President for Research (VPR). For letters of institutional support towards grant applications that (1) require an official signature from the VPR, or (2) commit the Office of Research financially to an award, follow the Procedure for Obtaining Institutional Support Letters. This streamlined process ensures that leadership within Colleges and Centers are aware of the request, and that these relevant university offices have been involved in decisions of financial support towards the application.

Budget Preparation

Budget Review: Prior review of the budget and justification must be conducted by your College Grants Officer or other college pre-award resource. 

The information provided here should be used as a general guide in all instances. When an agency provides specific budgetary directions those directions should be followed or when UK Costing Guidelines for Sponsored Project provides more specific guidance than outlined here that guidance should be followed. For determining assignment of item as a direct cost or indirect cost pool item see the expenditure object codes in the UK Business Procedures Manual E-17-8 and the FRS Handbook.

Frequently Needed Information

Applicant Organization: 

  • University of Kentucky Research Foundation
  • Federal proposal Address:
    500 South limestone
    109 Kinkead Hall
    Lexington, KY 40526-0001
  • Non-federal proposals, USPS, or Courier:
    109 Kinkead Hall
    Lexington, KY 40506-0057
  • Email, Fax and Phone:
    Ph: 859-257-9420
    Fax: 859-323-1060

For packages, use the Federal Address in the Applicant Organization and Authorized Official sections. For NSF, use the Federal Address in the Place of Performance section.

For additional information, including Official Authorized to Sign, payment/remittance address, Sponsored Projects Account/Fiscal contact, and ACH remittance information, see the full Frequently Needed Information page



  • Electronic IAF (Internal Approval Form) must be completed and certified by all parties at lease 3 business days prior to the sponsor's deadline. See instructions for completing the eIAF under Tools and Resources.
  • Online Financial Disclosure statement must be up to date.
  • Sponsor Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Guidelines, if F&A costs are less than the UK full rate, are attached. 

Protocol Review: When applicable, regulatory approval has been sought and is indicated on the IAF: Human Subjects, Animal Subjects, Hazardous Materials, and/or Radiation Safety

Cayuse 424 Proposal Preparation & Submission System now allows for easier proposal preparation and submission. See the Cayuse 424 section under Electronic Resources for more information about the system. 

Other Proposal Submissions

Proposals that cannot be submitted through Cayuse 424 should be submitted to OSPA as directed by the Research Administrator and Sponsor requirements. 

Tools & Resources

Internal Deadlines

To support the success of UK’s research enterprise, Office of Sponsored Projects Administration (OSPA) staff work collaboratively with you, as a Principal Investigator, and others across campus to provide client-centered professional support and administrative expertise in sponsor requirements, budget development and proposal submission. OSPA is committed to the timely submission of complete, accurate and fully compliant proposals.

Over the last several months with input from Associate Deans for Research, OSPA has been exploring how to ensure the best delivery of services and facilitate submission of the highest quality proposals with the highest probability of success.  We recognize you spend a great deal of time and effort preparing proposals and are committed to helping lessen the risk of a missed deadline or rejected proposal. To that end, OSPA is putting into effect a new submission deadline for sponsored project proposals to external funders. Starting on October 8, 2019, a complete and final proposal, accompanied by a fully approved Internal Approval Form (IAF), must be received by the Research Administrator (RA) in OSPA at least three (3) business days prior to the sponsor’s deadline. The new 3-day deadline supports the timely submission of error-free, compliant proposals and facilitates discussions with your RA and others after review of the proposal so any necessary revisions or corrections can be made prior to the sponsor’s deadline.  

The new proposal deadline goes into effect after the NIH October 5th deadline to allow sufficient time for you and your department to make any corresponding internal adjustments to proposals, instructions or deadlines.  Please note that colleges may impose additional deadlines or other requirements for review and approval of proposals. 

OSPA is committed to assisting you and providing the maximum level of customer service to ensure proposal review and submission go smoothly and, at its core, this new proposal deadline policy is intended to ensure both.

NIH Diversity Supplements

In an effort to promote diverse teams of scientists and capitalize on the innovative ideas developed from researchers with varied backgrounds, the National Institutes of Health issued notice NOT-OD-20-031 to clarify the Underrepresented Populations encouraged to apply for Diversity Supplements.

NIH encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences, such as:

  1. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.  In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in NIH programs to enhance diversity. For more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see the OMB Revisions to the Standards for Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity.
  2. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.  See NSF data at,
  3. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:
    1. Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Definition:;
    2. Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families (Definition:;
    3. Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years (Definition:;
    4. Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree (see;
    5. Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants (Definition:;
    6. Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child (Definition:
    7. Grew up in one of the following areas: a) a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzeror b) a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas  (qualifying zipcodes are included in the file). Only one of the two possibilities in #7 can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition.

      Students from low socioeconomic (SES) status backgrounds have been shown to obtain bachelor’s and advanced degrees at significantly lower rates than students from middle and high SES groups (see, and are subsequently less likely to be represented in biomedical research. For background see Department of Education data at,
  4. Literature shows that women from the above backgrounds (categories A, B, and C) face particular challenges at the graduate level and beyond in scientific fields. (See, e.g., From the NIH: A Systems Approach to Increasing the Diversity of Biomedical Research Workforce).

Women have been shown to be underrepresented in doctorate-granting research institutions at senior faculty levels in most biomedical-relevant disciplines, and may also be underrepresented at other faculty levels in some scientific disciplines (See data from the National Science Foundation National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, special report available at, especially Table 9-23, describing science, engineering, and health doctorate holders employed in universities and 4-year colleges, by broad occupation, sex, years since doctorate, and faculty rank).

Upon review of NSF data, and scientific discipline or field related data, NIH encourages institutions to consider women for faculty-level, diversity-targeted programs to address faculty recruitment, appointment, retention or advancement.