Our Mission and Structure

As a determined force for doing good in the world, University of Notre Dame faculty are recognized for delivering cutting-edge, globally significant research, scholarship and creative endeavor. A well-positioned, well-executed proposal is a first step toward the opportunity to make a significant contribution; we are committed to providing faculty with unsurpassed support with all of their proposal and application needs.

Pre-award services, within Notre Dame Research Administration and Compliance (NDRAC), is committed to promoting a dynamic, flexible, and ever-adapting system for the procurement and administration of extramural funds. Our responsibility is to assist, facilitate, mitigate risk, and empower.

The primary objective of pre-award services is to advance the extramural support programs of the University by providing administrative, informational and logistical assistance to investigators and staff, while ensuring compliance with pertinent policies and regulations of the University, extramural sponsors, other internal and external stakeholders and federal oversight agencies.

Processing Timeline

Our pledge for priority proposal processing

To take full advantage of pre‐award services and qualify for priority proposal processing, a principal investigator (PI) must follow the timelines listed in the table below.

Calculate Your Proposal Timeline

Processing Timeline - Due in Advance of Sponsor Deadline

Initial notification/initial budget request

15 business days in advance

Final budget, justification, and draft proposal/SOW

5 business days in advance

Final documents for submission (excluding final SOW)

2 business days in advance

Final SOW/project description/research strategy

1 business day (and > 8 hours) in advance

In the cases where proposals are due outside normal business hours (8:00 a.m. ‐ 5:00 p.m.), 5:00 p.m. EST of the day of the deadline should be considered the official submission deadline.

If a PI is unable to meet the processing timeline, every effort will be made by Pre‐Award to submit a PI’s proposal to the sponsor by the stated deadline. However, Pre‐Award may not be able to perform all of the services listed under our Service‐Level Agreement in the shortened timeframe. Proposals processed within the expected timeline will take precedence over those that fall outside of the expected timeline and will be handled on a first‐come first‐served basis.

NDRAC Pre-Award Service Level Agreement

Pre-award administrators provide the following services in support of PIs:

  • Review sponsor guidelines for proposal preparation requirements, including submission date and required documents.

  • Determine if a principal investigator (PI) and the proposed research is eligible for the funding mechanism selected.

  • Facilitate meetings for proposal development and coordination.

  • Develop a timeline for all input and approvals.

  • Draft and secure institutional support letters.

  • Prepare the budget and assist with the development of the budget justification.

  • Secure subrecipient information and provide guidance.

  • Complete sponsor-required institutional representations and certifications.

  • Review provided biosketches and current and pending support documents, as well as assist in the preparation and review of other non-technical documents.

  • Assist with the development of a cost share budget and document cost share commitments.

  • Identify and facilitate the management of any compliance concerns (e.g. Conflict of Interest, Export Control, etc.).

  • Create a Cayuse record and attach required documents.

  • Facilitate internal routing and obtaining appropriate University approval signatures.

  • Assure the proposal meets all sponsor guidelines and is in final form.

  • Complete the final submission package, upload final documents and forms, and submit the application to the sponsor.

  • Assist faculty with establishing profiles and conducting funding searches in Pivot.

  • Assist faculty with accessing, navigating, and using sponsor electronic submission systems.

Principal Investigator’s Proposal Responsibilities

To take full advantage of pre-award priority processing services, a PI's proposal responsibilities include the following:

  1. Initial notification/initial budget request
  2. Submit to the pre-award manager a final budget, final budget justification, and draft statement ofwWork (SOW)
  3. Submit to the pre-award manager final documents for submission
  4. Submit to the pre-award manager final SOW/project description/research strategy

Initial Notification/Initial Budget Request

A completed proposal worksheet is required for each submission and should be submitted at least fifteen (15) business days prior to the proposal deadline along with the initial budget request.

Submit Proposal Intake Form

The proposal intake form serves as a notification of the intent to submit the proposal and communicates key information related to the submission. Earlier submission is highly encouraged, where possible. If the proposal requires mandatory cost sharing, the PI must contact their assigned pre-award administrator who will assist with development of the cost share budget and work with the associate vice president for research to obtain NDR approval. For voluntary cost share, the PI must get in touch with the appropriate department head/associate dean for research to initiate discussions.

Final Budget, Justification, and Draft SOW

The following elements of the proposal must be submitted at least five (5) business days in advance of the submission deadline. Meeting this criterion ensures that the proposal is ready for academic approvals through Cayuse prior to submission:

  • Final budget, including any cost share commitments — a pre‐award specialist will assist in developing the budget and documenting the cost share commitments
  • Final budget justification
  • Draft SoW (project description, research strategy, etc.)

Final Documents for Submission

All final proposal documents for submission must be received at least two (2) business days in advance of the submission deadline. This includes, but is not limited to, the project summary, references, bio‐sketches, any required supplementary documents, and the most recent version of the project description/research strategy/SoW, including any regulatory requirements (i.e., use of human or animal subjects). Additionally, all regulatory compliance, export control, intellectual property, and conflict of interest disclosures must be completed and the proposal certified by the lead PI within the Cayuse record established for the proposal prior to the proposal being submitted to the sponsor.

Final SOW/Project Description/Research Strategy

One (1) business day [more than eight (8) hours] prior to deadline, all materials for submission must be submitted. It is the responsibility of the PI to send final materials in enough time to allow for review, upload, and successful submission prior to the deadline. Any document received fewer than eight (8) hours in advance of the deadline may not receive a full review  and could be at risk, as sponsor systems often do not allow submissions after the stated deadline.

In the cases where proposals are due outside normal business hours (8:00 a.m. ‐ 5 :00 p.m. EST), 5:00 p.m. EST of the day of the deadline should be considered the official submission deadline.

Early notification and extended processing times

NDRAC may communicate specific proposal processing deadlines for certain large, multi‐institutional, complex agency RFPs. Revised timelines will be developed on a case‐by‐case basis and issued by the head of the pre‐award team to the PI and associate dean(s) for research. Early notification and processes are required for a proposal or funding application that involves any of the following uncommon circumstances:

  • The sponsor or prime sponsor is a foreign entity.

  • Project involves collaborators and institutions that have processing or approval deadline requirements which might be greater than Notre Dame’s.

  • The proposal is for a U.S. federal government contract — not a grant or cooperative agreement.

  • The sponsor requires the submission of a small business subcontracting plan, an intellectual property management plan, a laboratory safety plan, or any other plan or document that must be developed or coordinated outside of NDRAC.

  • The proposal requests funding in excess of $5 million of direct costs per budget year.

  • A purpose of the proposal is to establish a new University-level center or institute or involves a large number of faculty PIs or senior personnel requiring biosketches and current and pending support documents.

  • The proposal involves construction or renovation.

Funding Searches

The pre-award team can assist with searching for and identifying funding opportunities through the ProQuest Pivot database.

Post-Submission Activities

The pre-award team is available to support post-submission requests from the sponsor, such as requests for revised budgets and Just in Time (JIT) requests.

Meet the Team

  1. Ed Ackerley

    Senior Pre-Award Program Manager

  2. Rachel Crites

    Pre-Award Program Specialist

  3. Allison M. DeBlock

    Pre-Award Program Manager

  4. Mark DeVore

    Senior Pre-Award Program Manager

  5. Mary Greene

    Senior Pre-Award Program Manager

  6. Maria Harding

    Grants Program Manager

  7. Lori Loftis

    Senior Pre-Award Program Manager

  8. Nathalou Mejorada

    Pre-Award Program Manager

  9. Kristin G. Michel

    Senior Pre-Award Program Manager

  10. Eva Nabuufu

    Pre-Award Program Manager

  11. Liz Rulli

    Associate Vice President for Research

  12. Kaitlyn Thrasher

    Pre-Award Program Manager

Need More Information?

For more information on any of the proposal preparation services, including reviewing requirements, proposal development and submission, or post-submission activities, please contact your designated Pre-Award Program Manager or email researchadmin@nd.edu.

Please also review Frequently Asked Questions about Proposal Preparation.

For relevant forms, codes, and policies, please visit the Resource Library