Proposal Basics

Developing a competitive research proposal requires advanced planning and collaboration across university teams. UC Santa Cruz has resources available to support your proposal, including support from the Proposal Administration team, Research Development, IBE Hub, and Foundation Relations.

The Office of Sponsored Projects is responsible for the final review, approval, and submission of all external funding requests.

In addition to reviewing the funding agency guidelines, review the links below for additional proposal resources.

Proposal development resources


Proposal Administration

The Proposal Administration team works closely with PIs to start the internal submission process and reduce administrative burden by supporting budget development, document collection and upload, reviewing sponsor guidelines and more!

Connect with the Proposal Administration team

Research Development

The Office Research Development is here to help researchers find and evaluate funding opportunities, build strategies and teams, and conduct critical content reviews to increase proposal competitiveness.

Contact your RD specialist to help you plan ahead and succeed.



Cayuse is UC Santa Cruz’s web-based electronic Research Administration (eRA) system used for contract and grant submissions and award records and IRB protocol applications and records.

Learn more about the Cayuse Research Suite.


Drafting a realistic budget that conforms with sponsor and UC policy is an important step in the proposal development process.

Budget development resources can be found on the Proposal Budget Basics page.



For guidance on biosketches, current and pending/other support, and other technical and non-technical documents required in a proposal, refer to the specific funder guidelines.

A list of common federal funder guidelines can be found on Agency Guides.

Data management plans

U.S. funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) require detailed, cost-effective plans for managing research data, called Data Management Plans. Several universities and organizations partnered to create a flexible online tool to help researchers create ready-to-use data management plans for specific funding agencies.

Go to the UC DMP website to get started.

Other requests

Just-in-Time requests

After a proposal is submitted and during the sponsor’s proposal review process, a sponsor may request additional information from the PI, via a Just-in-Time (JIT) request (typically for NIH proposals, though many federal funders are beginning to request additional information before award). Such information may include updated budgets, protocol approvals, updated disclosures, or other items upon the sponsor’s request. A PI’s response to these requests must be reviewed and submitted to the sponsor by OSP.

If a JIT request is received, reach out to the Proposal Administration team.

Transferring awards to UC Santa Cruz

Periodically, a PI will change institutions, and may have active research projects that they want to bring with them to UC Santa Cruz. Transferring sponsored projects takes coordination among the previous institution, UC Santa Cruz, the sponsor(s), and the investigator.

Learn more about transferring sponsored projects to UC Santa Cruz.

Last modified: Jul 02, 2024