Sponsored Research Proposal Process

Proposal Development

Georgetown University Medical Center proposal development is approached collaboratively by the Principal Investigator and the Office of Research Development Services (RDS), which provides assistance to faculty and staff in the submission of all sponsored research grant, contract and cooperative agreement applications. RDS staff members also help investigators prepare and route the required proposal documents necessary for institutional review and approval in GU PASS. Staff members:

  • Assist faculty with identifying funding opportunities
  • Submit and route proposal packages in GU PASS on behalf of the PI for institutional review and approval
  • Review all funding opportunity announcements (e.g., RFA, PA, RFP) and other solicitation mechanisms to ensure applications are complete and respond fully to sponsor requests
  • Work with Principal Investigators on all sponsored research applications and proposals for timely and effective submission, including competing and non-competing applications
  • Assure that all applications comply with University and sponsor policies
  • Maintain a shared directory of files included in standard text, as well as application forms and agency guidelines
  • Track and report on pending proposals for Georgetown University Medical Center researchers
  • Work with the Office of Sponsored Research to set up outgoing subcontracts and consulting agreements
  • Collaborate with other University and Medical Center administrative offices to support the submission of applications and management of sponsored awards
  • Provide administrative support for multi-investigator awards as needed

Important elements of the medical center sponsored research proposal review and submission process are summarized below. Faculty are encouraged to use these resources, and to contact RDS’s Deputy Director, Melissa Layman (202-687-1664,, with specific questions related to proposal and budget preparation. The RDS website explains roles and responsibilities, timelines and services.

Proposal Review

The Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) is the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) for Georgetown University Medical Center.

GUMC proposal packages for institutional review are submitted for the PI by RDS staff using GU PASS and received by OSR for review and approval no later than ten (10) days prior to the submission deadline. GU PASS routes an electronic transmittal package for PI review and assurance, Chair approval and review and approval by OSR and other relevant administrative offices.  

Medical center personnel and other Georgetown University collaborators meeting the definition of “investigator” are listed in a table in the TRACS transmittal form, which triggers an email notification instructing them to login to GU PASS to complete their general and study specific financial conflict of interest (FCOI) disclosures.  

Upon receiving the transmittal package via GU PASS, the OSR Pre-award Manager (John Bustillos, 202-687-0020, reviews GUMC applications for compliance with sponsor and University policies. GUMC investigators must submit a proposal and obtain OSR approval for any potential award that involves reporting requirements (progress reports, milestones, etc.) and a budget or estimate of expenses.

A completed GU PASS transmittal package is required for all sponsored research proposals and applications (including paper applications.)  If a completed transmittal package (including all required signatures and assurances) is not received ten (10) or more days prior to the submission deadline, it may be rejected or will be subject to conditional approval.


  • Principal Investigators (PIs) are responsible for technical and financial quality and accuracy of their grant and contract applications.
  • Department Chairs are responsible for ensuring that applications meet the objectives of the department, are realistic in terms of their budgets and reflect high professional standards.

Proposal Submission

Federal proposals that have been approved by OSR are submitted by the OSR Propoasl Manager to the funding agency using the appropriate US Government proposal submission portal. 

Changes to an application or budget following OSR review are strictly prohibited! Final application packages must be received by OSR no later than five working days prior to the sponsor submission deadline. The University reserves the right to withdraw a proposal after submission to the sponsor if material errors or omissions are discovered.

Once submitted, OSR will monitor the application as it moves through and eRA Commons or other portal error checking and certifications.  OSR will work with RDS staff and the applicant to correct any errors and/or warnings until the application package has been successfully submitted.

NOTE: NIH and other federal sponsors adhere strictly to submission deadlines.  An application is not considered submitted until it is certified error-free. The response time from and eRA Commons can vary greatly depending on submission volume and NIH system status. Thus, it is imperative that applications be submitted well ahead of the submission deadline and that principal investigators make themselves available to OSR to correct application errors or warnings. 

Applicants should confirm that they have an eRA Commons account at least six weeks before the submission deadline. Contact Research Development Services for assistance.