Processing Grant Applications

Grants are funds received from outside sources to support instruction, research, public service, or other designated functions in a specific area of mutual interest (UT Fiscal Policy Statement No. 01, Section 030, part No. 01, Section 010).  Funds received from NIH, AHA, NSF, or any other funding agency that require no specific services in return (other than completing a project of mutual interest and required reporting) are considered grants.

Follow these steps to submit grant applications:

  1. The principal investigator (PI) outlines the study, writes the proposal, and prepares a budget.  Assistance with writing the grant may be available in the PI's department through his or her mentor or chair.  Assistance with understanding sponsor guidelines is available in ORA.
    Assistance with budget preparation is available in most departmental business offices.  ORA can provide information on fringe benefit rates, sponsor budget guidelines, F&A rates and calculations.
  2. The PI or departmental personnel complete application forms.  Forms for most grants are now available on line; if a sponsor does not have a specific application form, ORA will prepare a face page to accompany the grant request at the time the proposal is routed.
    Guidance in completing forms is available in ORA and in most departmental business offices.
  3. If a sponsor has not been identified, please see
  4. Once a proposal has been developed, protocols for research involving human subjects, animal research, recombinant DNA, radioactive materials, select agents, or other hazardous substances must be submitted to the appropriate compliance or safety committee for review.  See
  5. The completed grant application should be submitted to the department chair and dean of the college, both of whom must sign the routing sheet (
    ).  For applications that involve faculty and personnel from several departments or colleges, the chairs and deans of all involved areas must sign the route sheet, unless the committed time is less than 5 percent and no funds are requested. Refer to Review and Approvals:  Who is Responsible for What? for information on signatures.
  6. The proposal is submitted to ORA for review and signature five (5) working days prior to the sponsor deadline.  The proposal may be submitted in paper, or via e-mail.  For applications that are to be submitted electronically via, submit the routing sheet and one copy either via paper or electronically and submit the electronic version to or (web site).

    The ORA review ensures that:

    • all required information has been included and that all necessary signatures have been obtained
    • safety/compliance committee approvals have been obtained
    • the budget is correct, including fringe benefits, indirect costs, longevity
    • the package has been completed accurately
    • grant guidelines conform to UTHSC policy

    If problems are noted, ORA personnel will work with the PI or department personnel to make the necessary corrections prior to submission and/or signature.

    Applications are signed by an institutional official (ORA or Finance and Operations, as appropriate).  

    Proposals are entered into the ORA data base.

  7. The ORA will notify the department when the application is signed and/or submitted, if electronically via
  8. For paper originals, the department picks up the original application and the department copy of the route sheet, makes the necessary copies, and submits the application to the sponsor so that it arrives by the deadline date.
  9. When the sponsor notifies the PI or an assignment number, award, or rejection, the PI should notify the ORA of that status.
  10. Most federal award notices are sent to Finance and Operations (Sponsored Projects), which notifies the department and sets up the account and notifies ORA and the department of the account number.  SP also copies the award to ORA, which enters the information into the ORA data base.