The Principle Investigator (PI) is responsible for notifying their pre-award administrator that his/her proposal to an external funder is in progress. The table below shows a general breakdown of responsibilities for the PI and pre-award administrator as they navigate the beginning stages of proposal development and submission.   

Principal Investigator (PI) Responsibility Pre-Award Responsibility

Common requirements to look for in a solicitation or request for proposal:


Virginia Tech or the PI may not be eligible to submit certain proposals.

  • Some solicitations are small business set-aside (only small businesses may apply), targeted for local government agencies, or only 501(c)(3) agencies may apply. Some also are limited to specific types of universities or colleges such as Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUI) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) for which Virginia Tech is not eligible.
  • Some solicitations are limited to researchers who are just beginning their careers.
  • Please check the request for proposal for eligibility.

Limited submission

  • Solicitations that allow a limited number of proposals from each institution must be reviewed internally.  An internal competition will be held to determine which proposal Virginia Tech will submit.

Letter of Intent

  • Some solicitations require a letter of intent to be submitted before the full proposal can be submitted.

Method of submission

  • Determine if the sponsor requires an electronic submission of the proposal or a paper copy shipped through ground mail.

Budget Requirements

  • Cost Share may be required and must be approved by PI’s and Co-PI’s department and college.
  • Some solicitations have limitations on allowable costs that can be in the budget.
  • Indirect limitations may apply.

Proposal Timeline

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) recommends that PIs create schedules and deadlines for each of the major proposal components and notify your pre-award administrator of this schedule. 

For example, set a deadline for completing the budget, OSP forms, technical proposal, etc.  OSP is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  PIs should keep this in mind when developing proposal schedules. PIs should also allow for additional administrative review time when scheduling proposal development and submission dates.  Policy OSP-10-01 requires that the PI provide his/her pre-award administrator with proposal forms (including the completed Proposal Internal Approval Form and Form A, Form B, and Form C as applicable) , budgets, and other required documentation at least two (2) business days prior to the deadline.

The technical narrative is EXCLUDED from this deadline and should be sent to the pre-award administrator, along with the completed and final proposal package, by 9am the day the proposal is due.