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. Information about additional assistance with grant writing and editing is here: 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 online; 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. The standard NIH grant application packages, with UTHSC information pre-filled are available on the ORA web page:
  3. If a sponsor has not been identified, please see For assistance in locating funding from private sources, you may wish to contact Denise Rivers in the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (901 448-2089 or
  4. The completed grant application should be uploaded for electronic routing via UTHSC’s Proposal and Award Management System (PAMS) .  Please refer to Review and Approvals:  Who is Responsible for What? for information on signatures.
  5. The proposal should arrive in ORA five (5) working days prior to the sponsor deadline.
  6. 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, if applicable
    • the budget, if required, is correct, including fringe benefits, indirect costs, etc.
    • 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).

  1. The ORA will notify the department when the application is signed and/or submitted, if electronically via
  2. For paper originals, the department picks up the original application, makes the necessary copies, and submits the application to the sponsor so that it arrives by the deadline date.
  3. When the sponsor notifies the PI of an assignment number, award, or rejection, the PI should notify the ORA of that status so that the PAMS record can be updated.
  4. Once a proposal has been reviewed and funding seems likely, 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 NOTE: Most agencies will not issue awards until compliance approvals are complete, so the protocols should be submitted as soon as you think you have a good chance at funding.
  5. 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 PAMS.