Create Proposal Package

Once the project and its potential sponsor have been identified, the proposal must be drafted. At minimum, most sponsors will require a work scope, schedule, budget, and budget justification, though in the majority of cases additional information will also be required. It is essential that the proposal be written in accordance with the instructions provided by the program announcement or sponsor guidelines.

The final step in the proposal preparation process is the completion and routing of a Coeus proposal record. Routing internally within Coeus is the mechanism for securing the necessary VU approvals for the project's proposal. 

The below guidance provides information regarding what is required to successfully route and receive internal approval for grant proposals.

Coeus Proposal Development Guidance
Background:  External sponsors – federal and non-federal - require various compliance reviews and certifications on the part of all applicants.  There are many unique levels of review and approval for grant proposals submitted through Coeus.  It is essential that all individuals exercising a proposal review/approval role have adequate information upon which to evaluate grant proposals for their area of responsibility.  At every review level, the person approving a proposal in Coeus is assuring the next reviewer that all previous review requirements have been satisfied.
 
Purpose:  This guidance is intended to foster internal consistency and accuracy in the review and approval of grant proposals and subaward proposals for the support of research projects, training projects, and other sponsored projects.
  
 All Proposals
 
All proposals (both VU proposals and subaward proposals in which Vanderbilt is the prime awardee or the subrecipient, progress reports, and continuations) must be entered into Coeus and routed to receive internal review and approval. 
 
The Coeus Proposal Development shell must be completed before review and approval by OSP.  The Coeus Proposal Development shell consists of the data elements found under the following:

  • Proposal Tab
  • Organization Tab
  • Mailing Tab – deadline date should be the sponsor’s due date**
  • Investigator Tab
  • Key Person Tab, if applicable
  • Special Review Tab, if applicable
  • Science Code Tab*
  • Other Tab – only as required on NASA applications
 
A PI Assurance is required for all proposals and an application-specific COI certification is required for all PHS and NSF applications for support.  These certifications will be collected through PEER.

A complete copy of the sponsor-issued Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Application (RFA) or solicitation announcement should be attached to the Coeus proposal for non-Grants.gov proposals in a Narrative named Sponsor Guidelines.
 
*Note: at this time, Vanderbilt does not use the Science Code Tab
** Any deviation between the sponsor’s due date and a later date of submission must include an explanation in the Notepad.

Grants.gov Submissions
 
The complete Coeus Proposal Development shell must be completed prior to routing for approvals (see above).
 
In addition to the shell, Grants.gov submissions must include a detailed, line-item Coeus budget, regardless of the sponsor requirements (i.e. an NIH modular budget).
 
Narratives/Placeholders, as required by the sponsor and/or Vanderbilt University must be created within Coeus. These may include documents which may not be sent to the sponsor but are required to accomplish a complete internal review - such as collaborator Letter of Intent, negotiated indirect cost documents, budgets, etc.
 
For review and approval processes, include:
  • Summary of proposed research (containing the one-page summary required by some sponsors, such as a scope of work, specific aims, and/or abstract, as relevant)
  • A detailed budget and budget justification narrative
  • For proposals which will result in a subaward to Vanderbilt, include a Letter of Intent, detailed budget, a budget justification and a scope of work
  • For each subaward included in a Vanderbilt proposal (i.e. the result will be a subaward from Vanderbilt) include a Letter of Intent, detailed budget, a budget justification and a scope of work from the subawardee
 
Non-grants.gov Submissions
 
Narratives/Placeholders, as required by the sponsor and/or Vanderbilt University must be created within Coeus. These may include documents which may not be sent to the sponsor but are required to accomplish a complete internal review - such as collaborator Letter of Intent, negotiated indirect cost documents, budgets, etc.
 
In addition to the complete Proposal Development shell, the following items must be attached to the Coeus proposal when circulated for approval.

  • Summary of proposed research (can be the one-page summary required by some sponsors) or the entire research program narrative, if available.
  • The final budget to be submitted to the sponsor in the required sponsor format (budget may not be changed after institutional approval is given)
  • Budget justification narrative
  • All sponsor documents (letters, application packages, forms, certifications, etc) requiring an institutional signature
  • Any additional materials deemed relevant to the project
  • In addition to the sponsor final budget, a minimum Coeus budget must be included.   At a minimum, there must be separate line item for direct costs and one for indirect costs.  The Coeus budget should include the following line items, as applicable:
    • Personnel
    • Travel
    • Equipment
    • Supplies
    • Subawards
    • Other patient care and/or patient remuneration costs

For non-Federal submissions, a Narrative placeholder must be created in order to upload a document stating the sponsor requirements and guidelines for submission.  Use the Narrative entitled “Sponsor Guidelines” for this purpose.
 
In addition a Narrative placeholder in which to place the completed application package (for example, the FastLane submission package for NSF), must be included.  Use the Narrative entitled “Sponsor Documentation” for this purpose.