Pre-proposal policy and procedures

Definition: The term “Pre-proposals” encompasses anything officially submitted to a sponsor prior to submission of a full proposal. This includes white papers, notices of intent, concept papers, and preliminary proposals. Pre-proposals for projects in which UM will be a subaward or collaborator, and pre-proposals for a limited competition are also covered by this policy.

Policy:  All pre-proposals that require institutional endorsement prior to submission must be submitted to ORA for review through the Notice of Intent (NOI) function in PARS five (5) business days* prior to submission.  Institutional endorsement means any proposals submitted through a federal agency portal or any proposal requiring signature by a University of Maine authorized official.

* Exception:  If a pre-proposal includes a budget which cannot be changed after submission, it must be routed through PARS and must follow the ORA Proposal Submission Timeline of 15 business days.

Reason for Policy: Prior notification of pre-proposals is required for the following reasons:

  • To ensure compliance with the sponsor guidance
  • To ensure adequate staffing is available to review and submit pre-proposals that require institutional endorsement or submission through an on-line portal

 Pre-Proposal Guidance and Best Practices

Common Sponsors that Require Institutional Endorsement: National Science Foundation, United States Department of Agriculture, and National Aeronautics & Space Administration

Institutional Contact Information:  All Pre-proposals must include the correct campus organizational information located at the Office of Research Administration’s Common Proposal Reference Information webpage.  The PI is responsible for incorporating the correct campus contact information in pre-proposals that do not require institutional endorsement.  Failure to include the correct campus contact information may delay the submission of or preclude the PI from submitting a full proposal.

Pre-Proposals that require a detailed budget:  Certain sponsors may require the submission of a detailed budget along with the pre-proposal.  If a detailed budget is required, the PI is responsible for following all University and sponsor guidelines and policies when developing the budget, including the correct application of fringe, F&A and other standard University rates.  The Office of Research Administration is available to review pre-proposal budgets provided that adequate time is allowed for the review (typically 5-15 business days).  Failure to include an accurate budget may result in significant changes in the proposed pre-proposal budget and full proposal budget.

* Exception: 15 business days will be required when a detailed budget is required AND cannot be changed when submitting the full proposal.


Rev. 4/12/2019