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Pre-Award Information

Pre-Award Information

All grant proposals and contracts must be submitted through the Office of Research Services and Sponsored Programs (RSSP). RSSP is responsible for obtaining authorized signatures and certifications for submissions on behalf of McNeese State University.

Proposal Concept Phase

During the proposal preparation phase, you identify a funding agency that supports the proposed work. Most funding agencies work on annual or semi-annual cycles. In other words, they accept proposals once or twice per year. You can find information about upcoming proposals using any of the following methods:

  • The Office of Research Services and Sponsored Programs (RSSP) monthly newsletter. The The Vice President for Academic Affairs sends out this newsletter via email once a month. If you do not receive the newsletter, please contact the RSSP Office
  • Search the web page http://www.grants.gov.
  • Search the Grants Resource Center (GRC) website. You will need a password to access this web site. Please contact the office by email at researchservices@mcneese.edu or call 337-475-5121 for this information.
  • Contact the RSSP Office.

Basic Elements of a Proposal

Most funding agencies specify proposal forms or formats and provide guidance about content, page limitations, and the number of copies to be submitted. Contact the agency or refer to the Request for Proposals document (RFP) for specifics. In most instances, however, proposals contain most or all of the following elements:
  • Cover Page
  • Abstract or Project Summary
  • Table of Contents
  • Project Description (Narrative)
  • Budget and Budget Justification
  • Biographical Sketches- for key personnel
  • Current and Pending Support- for key personnel
  • Resources (Equipment and Facilities)
  • References
  • Appendices
  • Certifications and other forms required by agency

Timeline for Proposal Preparation


The following timeline is based on the proposal due date. For example, assume that the due date of a proposal is "DD". Then, "DD-15" means 15 days before the Due Date. It is our goal to help you increase the competitiveness of your proposal. In order to achieve this to the best of our ability, it is very important that you follow the suggested timeline outlined below:

  • Establish a Due Date for the proposal you want to write.
  • If it is a solicited proposal, read the RFP. If it is a non-solicited proposal, contact the program director for information and guidelines.
  • Complete the Proposal Notification Form (PNF) and submit it to the Office of Research Services (DD-45).
  • Call or e-mail the program director at the funding agency as soon as you decide to submit a proposal, and keep in constant communication with him/her, seeking advice and asking questions (DD-45).
  • Meet with your Department Chair and Dean. Make sure they approve of your work. This is very critical if the proposed work includes release time and institutional match (DD-40). Start preparing the proposal, a budget and a budget justification.
  • At DD-30 email a rough draft to Ms. Jeannie Robertson.
  • Make an appointment by phone, email, or in person with Ms. Jeannie Robertson to review and approve your budget (DD-25). During that meeting you will get feedback on the proposal content and the budget. Pick up a BLUE folder and a Proposal Routing Sheet.
  • At (DD-15) submit to Ms. Jeannie Robertson a second draft of your proposal and budget.
  • At (DD-10) the final draft and the Proposal Routing Sheet are due at Office of Research Services with the BLUE folder signed by the PI, department chair and the dean. If the proposal is to be submitted electronically, give the Office of Research Services permission to submit your proposal electronically. If you have done so, submit a paper copy of the electronically submitted proposal to the the Office of Research Services.
  • The Office of Research Services will review the final draft, obtain the appropriate signatures from the administration and submit the proposal to the funding agency either electronically, or by mail.
  • For additional information on how to write successful proposals, check the following links:

Other Important Information on Proposal Applications


  • In-kind institutional matches must be justified and approved by the department head, dean, vice president for academic affairs, and Office of Research Services. Cash matches must have approved institutional budget lines identified by the department, dean, and vice president for academic affairs to cover costs prior to submitting the grant proposal to the granting agency.
  • Requests for release time must be justified by the dean and must receive prior approval by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Release time may be limited to one-quarter regular load for an active external grant as deemed appropriate.
  • Salaries paid by grants may be limited as follows:
    • Maximum two ninths (2/9) of the ninth month salary for work performed during the summer.
    • Depending upon agency requirements, employees who earn salaries from grants during sabbatical leave may receive a reduced sabbatical salary. All salary payments to faculty must be approved by the Office of Research Services, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Vice President for Business Affairs.
    • Graduate students, undergraduate researchers, and other non-McNeese faculty paid from grants may be paid at a rate that is competitive with MSU rates and those in the industry. Salaries paid to other such non-McNeese faculty as matching funds may also be competitive with standard rates. All salary rates must have prior approval from the Office of Research Services, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Vice President for Business Affairs.
  • Any special co-submission, (such as letters of support, required documentation from the University, etc.,) shall be obtained by the Principal Investigator with assistance from the grants coordinator as appropriate.
  • Grant proposals must adhere to all granting agency guidelines, as well as state and federal guidelines and laws. Once execution of the grant has begun, it is the joint responsibility of the PI and the Office of Research Services to ensure that all guidelines are met.