Pre-Proposals / Letters of Intent

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What are the requirements for a pre-proposal?

A pre-proposal (commonly referred to as white paper, concept paper, letter of intent, etc.)  is a condensed description of a proposed project sometimes required by a sponsor in advance of the submission of a full proposal.

A pre-proposal is required to be routed through OSPA for institutional approval prior to submission if it includes any of the following:

  • Includes a line item budget
  • Includes a commitment of University resources (e.g. Cost-share)
  • Requires the University to agree to terms and conditions

Pre-proposals that include any of the above factors are subject to the same deadlines and required approvals as noted in the proposal overview flowchart.  This includes, but is not limited to, a signed proposal checklist. Pre-proposals that require OSPA review must be submitted through the Proposal Notification System.

Pre-proposals that require institutional endorsement/submission but none of the above factors must be submitted to OSPA three full business days in advance of the agency deadline. 

A signed OSPA checklist is not required for pre-proposals that do not include any of the above noted factors.

OSPA requests faculty to send us copies of all concept papers, letters of intent, and pre-proposals.  Having the preliminary document in our files will expedite the processing of a subsequent full proposal. 

Faculty submitting pre-proposals and concept papers via an agency’s web portal should use and the information found here for the institutional contact.  Please check with your department and/or college for internal requirements.

Pre-Proposal Decision Tree