Submitting Your Proposal

How do I actually submit my proposal?

Proposals must be submitted in the format and by the means dictated by the funding agency.   More and more, state and federal agencies are moving towards electronic submission of proposals as a way of cutting back on the voluminous amounts of paper that flood into their offices each month. 

It is important to remember that your grant proposal is submitted by the University of St. Thomas on your behalf, the Principal Investigator.  When a sponsoring agency awards a grant, the grant is awarded directly to the University of St. Thomas (not to the Principal Investigator), and you assume responsibility for carrying out the project described in the original application.

The Sponsored Programs Office will help you determine exactly how your proposal must be sent in to the funding agency, but some of the most common means include: was established as a governmental resource named the E-Grants Initiative, part of the President's 2002 Fiscal Year Management Agenda to improve government services to the public.

The concept has its origins in the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999, also known as Public Law 106-107.   Public Law 106-107 has since sunset and is now known as the Grants Policy Committee (GPC).

Today, is a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs and provides access to approximately $400 billion in annual awards.

See detailed instructions for getting started in

In most cases (except for individual fellowships), the Sponosred Programs Office submits proposals to


FastLane is the National Science Foundation (NSF) online website through which the Foundation conducts its relationship to researchers and potential researchers, reviewers, and research administrators and their organizations. 

In collaboration with NSF, more than 250,000 people use FastLane each year.

See detailed instructions for getting started in Fastlane.

In all cases, proposals using FastLane are submitted by the Sponosred Programs Office (individual investigators do not have authority to do so).

Other Electronic Systems

Many federal (NASA, DoE, NIH, etc.) and non-federal agencies have electronic systems unique to their programs.  Each is different, but most require an institutional registration for proposal submission.  Even for those that do not require an institutional registration and submission, institutional review and approval of your proposal is still required by University of St. Thomas policy before your proposal can be submitted.  Please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs with any questions.

Mailing or Hand Delivering Your Proposal

In increasingly rare cases, some agencies (often state agencies) ask that you send your proposal through the U.S. Postal Service or even hand-deliver it to their offices.  In cases where the U.S. Mail is recommended, the Sponsored Programs Office can handle the postage and mailing of your proposal.  In cases where hand delivery is preferred, that is usually carried out by the Principal Investigator.