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Proposal Review & Submission

Acting in the capacity of the University’s designated authorized institutional official, Sponsored Research staff review and approve all sponsored research proposals on behalf of the Principal Investigator and the University.  Sponsored Research provides a pre-submission administrative proposal review to ensure a complete proposal and compliance with sponsor and Northwestern institutional policies. At times Sponsored Research requests changes that will bring the proposal into compliance with guidelines and policies or suggests changes to enhance funding success. When the proposal is complete, Sponsored Research provides institutional endorsement of the proposal.

Administrative Proposal Review


Administrative Proposal Review is a set of review criteria and related routing processes for Sponsored Research review, endorsement, and submission of competing grant proposals. Administrative Proposal Review streamlines and standardizes the review process for the administrative components of sponsored research proposals and enables Sponsored Research staff to focus on areas of risk/compliance.  Please note that Administrative Proposal Review criteria specifically exclude corporate / pharmaceutical funding and RPPR submissions.

Institutional Endorsement and Submission to Sponsor

InfoEd System-to-System proposals are institutionally endorsed by Sponsored Research’s Authorized Official and submitted directly to the sponsor electronically. Non-system-to-system proposals are also endorsed by Sponsored Research’s Authorized Official. The InfoEd proposal record should indicate to Sponsored Research how endorsed correspondence should be addressed and routed to the sponsor. Hard copy proposals/signature pages may be picked up at Sponsored Research after institutional endorsement for subsequent submission to the sponsor by the unit or PI.

Lead Times

The average interval between the submission of a proposal and the award of a grant from Federal agencies is from six to ten months. Principal investigators should take this delay into consideration in planning for the submission of proposals.