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Waiting for and Responding to the Decision

Congratulations on getting a proposal submitted. No matter the length of the proposal narrative or the size of the budget, submitting a proposal for funding is a considerable amount of work. However, your work is not done! The time between the submission of your proposal and the decision by the awarding agency is a great time to not only relax but also to get many things in order in preparation for the award. It takes any where from three months to a year for an award to be made (the average time is about 7 months). Usually about three-months into the process you can check to see if your award is 'on the road' to award or not. At this stage, it is a good idea to do the following.

  • If you have not completed the required training for Principal Investigators offered by the Office of Grants and Contracts this is the time to finish it. If you do not have this completed by the time of award, it will hold up your project.
  • Update your Financial Conflict of Interest information. Due to new Public Health Service Agency guidelines, it is important that you keep this updated. Please see the Office of Grants and Contracts Conflict of Interest site for more information.
  • If you will have Human Subjects, Animal Subjects or Biosafety issues it is a great time to start the necessary paperwork for those approvals. See the tab below for information about who to contact, if there is training to be completed, and how to get these approvals started.
  • If you have collaborators on the project (either internal to CU Denver or external) this is a good time to review the project with them.
    • Discuss the needs for the project should it be funded.
      • Does the budget that was submitted reflect current salaries?
      • Has the work on this project been on-going and does the timetable of activities need to be updated?
    • For NSF and NIH, it is a good idea to start everyone on updating their current and pending projects list.
    • Do we have good contact information so we can either receive or issue a subcontract if necessary?
    • If your collaborator has committed resources to the project – are those resources still available?
  • If you requested to be able to purchase equipment, it is a good idea to obtain an updated quote.
  • If you needed an Indirect Cost Waiver (or will need), please contact the CLAS Grants Development Coordinator (CLAS GDC) as soon as possible so this can be completed prior to your award being finalized.

The tabs below provide further information on responding to requests for further information, regulatory compliance assurance approvals, preparing for the award to arrive, and resubmission.

Requests for Further Information

Often in the process of reviewing and awarding projects, Program Officers have the need to clarify some parts of your proposed work, obtain more details or request changes. Some of these requests will come to you directly, some will come through the Office of Grants and Contracts (and they will forward this to you and the CLAS GDC), and some will come through a combination of the two. Regardless of how the request arrives, there are situations where the requested changes need to be approved by your Chair, the College and/or OGC. Below is a list of common requests and how they are handled. Please note that if you have been requested to change your budget in any way, you must work with your Chair, the College and OGC on this. If you have questions or have received a request from a Program Officer, please contact the CLAS GDC.

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Just in Time Process (JIT)
    • This is a request for information about
      • Current and pending research support for all key personnel on a project (those who submitted biosketches),
      • Regulatory compliance information (as appropriate), and
      • Budget clarification or change (occasionally)
    • Please refer to the quick links for the Other Support form that is used here. It is the only section of the JIT process that uses a specific form.
    • This notification will come to you as the PI and to OGC. Be sure to work with the CLAS GDC to process this as OGC must ultimately handle the submission.
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
    • NSF requests current and pending research support at the time of your proposal submission, so they do not have as formal of a process as NIH. Typically, you will receive either a phone call or an e-mail requesting further information.
    • Please contact the CLAS GDC as soon as you receive that information so she can work with you to get it submitted.
      • Most NSF requests have to go through FastLane so OGC will have to be involved to get this completed.
      • Some requests are simply an e-mail to the Program Officer. Again, please work with the CLAS GDC on this so that you department and the College are aware of any changes to your proposal.
  • Other Agencies
    • As you might suspect, each agency has their own way of requesting additional information or budget changes.
    • Just be sure to communicate well with your Department Chair and the CLAS GDC as well as your collaborators about these requests.
    • If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Regulatory Compliance (IRB, IACUC, BioSafety, Technology Transfer, etc.)

Below are links to the appropriate divisions of the University assigned to help you comply with most regulatory rules that may apply to your project.

Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (Human Subjects)

Environmental Health and Safety

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Export Control

Technology Transfer (patents, material transfer agreements, etc.)

Office of International Affairs

Risk Management

Preparing for the Award to Arrive

It is not unusual to be notified by your Program Officer that an award is pending. Remember, this is not a commitment from them, however it is usually a nice alert (who doesn't like sharing potentially good news?). At this point, it is usually a good idea to set up a PreAward account. A PreAward speed type allows you to expedite the award process at CU Denver by having a speed type set up prior to the award notice arriving. Further, most Federal awards allow you to start spending on your project up to 90 days in advance of the award notice. This is usually done so that personnel, materials/supplies and other necessary items can be in place so your project isn't slowed down from the beginning. Please use the PreAward form in the quick links and contact the CLAS GDC for assistance in getting this completed and processed.

This is also an important time to be in touch with your collaborators. If you will need to issue a subcontract to them, please review the Subrecipient Agreement Information form so you and your collaborator can get this going as soon as possible. Please note that it is not possible for the Office of Grants and Contracts to issue a subcontract until the award notice has arrived from the agency and your speed type has been fully set up. However, getting a jump on this does help expedite the subcontract process.

If you will have regulatory compliance components of your project, please remember that you may not spend any funds related to those activities until you have all the necessary approvals.

This is the perfect time to review the policies about expenditures and how indirect cost recovery applies to you. Refer to the Quick Links section for documents about direct charging to projects and the CU Denver Policy on F&A Return.

If you need to hire personnel to work on your project, please see the contact information below so you can get this process moving forward as soon as possible.

Departmental Program Assistant

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching or Research Assistants
  • Student Assistants
  • Lecturers

Megan Jorgensen, HR Manager

  • Instructors
  • Post-Doctoral Researchers
  • Professional Research Assistants
  • Department Assignments – Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, International College of Beijing, and CU Succeed

Lindsie Haggerty, HR Professional

  • Instructors
  • Post-Doctoral Researchers
  • Professional Research Assistants
  • Department Assignments – CLAS Advising, Chemistry, Communication, Economics, English/Writing Center, Ethnic Studies, Geography and Environmental Sciences, Philosophy and Religious Studies, and Sociology

Carri Williams, HR Professional

  • Instructors
  • Post-Doctoral Researchers
  • Professional Research Assistants
  • Department Assignments - CLAS Dean's Office, Anthropology, Integrative Biology, Master of Humanities/Master of Social Sciences, Modern Languages, History, Physics, Psychology and Health and Behaviorial Sciences


While it can be disappointing to not receive funding the first time you submit a proposal, that doesn't mean you should stop pursuing funding for your project. In fact, most times it means that with a little revision your project will be funded. The reality is in these tight fiscal times that having to resubmit a proposal is almost a certainty. This is due to several reasons

  • More submissions going into the major funding agencies, and
  • Smaller budgets with which to make awards.

Many people get discouraged and do not resubmit their proposals. This can be a mistake because the funding rate for resubmissions is higher than for first time submissions. Once you have your notice of non-award, follow these tips for increasing your success on your resubmission.

  • Contact your Program Officer and ask for some time to discuss the review of your proposal. Often s/he has further insight they can give you that could not be provided in the review of your proposal.
    • Make this contact after you have had time to fully review the reviewer's comments and can put any emotions about those comments aside.
    • Remember that rejection is part and parcel of the granting process.
  • As you prepare for that conversation, be sure to have several questions about the reviewer's comments. This not only shows you are paying attention to the reviews, but also can trigger your Program Officer's memory.
    • Be sure you are open to listening to your Program Officer about the review. Arguing with him/her about the critiques won't help you get the information you need for your resubmission.
    • Assume that all comments made to you are designed to help you improve your resubmission.
  • When preparing your resubmission, don't forget to use the same rigorous review process you used when you wrote your original proposal. This can help you avoid common errors.
  • The resubmission process at CU Denver is just like the submission process. We'll have to route your proposal just like we did for the original submission. Please refer to the Developing your Ideas and How to Submit Your Proposal sections for more information.
  • As always, please remember that the CLAS ORCA team is here to help you!