Proposal Development

Proposal Development

All proposals, preliminary proposals, applications, Letters of Intent (LOI), white-papers, supplemental funding requests, and grant award revisions must be processed through the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP).

Merrimack College has a dedicated Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR). The AOR is responsible for obtaining institutional approval, reviewing, and submitting all proposals on behalf of Merrimack College.

OSP is responsible for reviewing sponsor guidelines and submission requirements, reviewing budgets and budget justifications to ensure the proposal submission is following College policy and best practice, ensuring accuracy and adherence to sponsor and university policies, reviewing format and basic content, confirming that all internal approvals are in place prior to submission, and submitting proposals.

First Steps

  • Find a funding opportunity you are interested in submitting a proposal, application, or “white paper” for. 
  • Download the sponsor/funder funding guidelines, solicitation, or Request for Proposal (RFP). 
  • Read the complete funding opportunity announcement (FOA), request for proposal (RFP), or solicitation to determine if you and Merrimack are eligible to apply and what documentation is required for submission. 
  • Forward a copy of the FOA, RFP, or solicitation to and set up a meeting to discuss your project.

Additional Steps

  • Prior to submission of a proposal, each PI, Co-PI, and senior personnel named in the proposal are required to review Merrimack College’s Conflict of Interest (COI) and Research Misconduct policies, and complete the COI and Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) modules in the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) certification.
  • All College and externally sponsored projects involving research with human subjects are within the jurisdiction of Merrimack College’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). It is the responsibility of all members of the Merrimack community to seek support from the IRB with their research. Proposals involving human-subject research may be required to file their IRB application prior to proposal submission. Any exceptions to this requirement should be discussed with OSP on a case-by-case basis.  IRB approval is not required for proposal submission.

  • You will be required to submit a completed OSP Proposal Routing Form, included in the forms and documents section below, with all supporting documents included, to your department chair and dean for approval. Their signatures are required on the proposal routing form. 
  • Submit the signed copy of the form, proposal documents, budget, and budget justification to

OSP requires a minimum of 14 business days prior to the submission due date to review and edit any proposal documentation required by the sponsor/funder, and to attain the required Provost and CFO approvals.  

Once the OSP Proposal Routing Form (with all of the respective signatures) is completed, the proposal may be submitted. The signatures on the OSP Proposal Routing Form constitute the institutional approval needed for all proposals.

Proposals submitted without going through the above process and are awarded, may be declined.

Please contact OSP if you have any questions or concerns about getting the proposal process started:

OSP Grant Lifecycle – October 2019

Forms and Documents

The documents below will provide you with information and resources that are helpful when putting together proposals for external funding.

Grant Writing -vs- Academic Writing Workshop Presentation Slides; Hanover Research, February 2020