Proposal Development

Man at a computer

The CLA Office of Research and Graduate Programs offers many services to help faculty and graduate students develop projects and activities that receive funding and to craft and submit competitive funding proposals. Throughout the year, research-related workshops and events are available to faculty, staff, and graduate students along with a bi-weekly newsletter that shares upcoming funding opportunities.  View the newsletter archive

Event Schedule         e-Newsletter Registration       Request Support      Awarded Grants 


Roles and Responsibilities

To understand each role in developing a proposal, review the Roles and Definitions and Responsibility Matrix regarding proposal preparation, award, conducting the project, and the project end and closeout processes. 

Timelines and Deadlines

To contact the CLA Research Development team about upcoming proposal submission, complete the Intent to Submit form before the funder's deadline according to the timeline below to ensure staff are available to assist with your application. 

  • 6 weeks before funder’s deadline: Full application review, submission support, and budget development
  • 3 weeks before funder’s deadline: Fellowship, budget, or data management plan assistance only
  • 5 business days before funder’s deadline: Proposal Routing Form (PRF) creation and submission
    • It is strongly recommended to have the CLA Research Development create and submit your Proposal Routing Form (PRF).
    • You must have a final budget and budget justification available.

We will still accept intent-to-submit materials even if they are submitted after the preferred timelines; however, research development support may be limited according to staff availability and scheduling limitations (due to holidays, University breaks, etc.). 

Account Creation

When preparing an application, the PI (principal investigator) may need to register for an electronic grant application account depending on the funder. Sponsored Projects Administration (also called SPA) can help faculty and graduate students create electronic grant application accounts for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for online systems such as ASSIST, and Other funding sources will have their own online proposal applications. If you have questions about establishing an online account, visit

Proposal Development

Give yourself plenty of time to write a proposal.  The CLA Research Development team is available to provide feedback and substantive editing of proposal narratives as needed.  Subject librarians and researcher support services are available through the UMN Libraries and the Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services (LATIS) providing access to resources related to planning, conducting, analyzing and disseminating your work. 

Budget Development

Budget development is available through the CLA Research Services. To get started with developing about your budget, learn more about budgets and budget justifications. To begin the process of creating your budget, complete the Intent to Submit form with information about the competition you’re applying to and some general ideas about components of your budget.

Data Management Plan

Many grants require data management plans that describe how data will be stored, documented, shared, and archived.  CLA Research Services can assist with writing a Data Management Plan and work with you to identify resources, as well as any associated costs, for storing, computing, and sharing outputs from your project.

Proposal Submission

We strongly recommend contacting the CLA Research Development Team before submitting application materials to SPA. The team has extensive knowledge about application submission requirements, regulations, and University of Minnesota policy and can assist you with the final details and materials of your proposal before you submit it to SPA through the Proposal Routing Form (PRF).

Awards Management & Post Awards

Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) is the only institutional unit legally able to submit proposals to external entities for financial support in the form of a contract, grant, or agreement, and legally able to commit the University on behalf of the Board of Regents in the event an award is made. Once a proposal is awarded, SPA provides resources and services available related to award and account establishment, award management, and post award & close out procedures.