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You are here: Home / Resources / Resources for Grant Support / Frequently Asked Questions about Grants / Routing a Grant Proposal / Why does a proposal need to be routed (signed off and sent to ORAA for review) two weeks prior to the sponsor's deadline?

Why does a proposal need to be routed (signed off and sent to ORAA for review) two weeks prior to the sponsor's deadline?

Beat the system, avoid last minute stress.

A proposal to conduct a research, training, or service project with support from an external agency represents a formal  offer by the University of Maryland at College Park acting as an agency of the State of Maryland. It is necessary, therefore, that any such proposal have the endorsement of those responsible for carrying out the project, as well as those authorized to commit the University and the Campus to a legal offer. For proposals, the President has delegated the authority to officially commit the campus to ORAA. A review and routing procedure has been established in order to ensure that each proposal or application for sponsored programs has been reviewed and endorsed by the various responsible persons and that compliance exists between sponsor, University, and State policies. All proposals for external support of training, research, or service projects must be submitted to ORAA.


The people or offices involved in the internal review and processing are as follows:

  • Principal Investigator is responsible for the budget, technical content, quality, and preparation of the proposal in accordance with sponsor guidelines.
  • Department Chair is responsible for certifying to the academic soundness of the project, the compatibility of the project with the Principal Investigator's other commitments, the availability of space and facilities, any cost-sharing commitments, while assuring that the project is in keeping with department and University objectives, and concurring that the proposal should be submitted to the agency named.
  • Dean of the College is responsible for determining the appropriateness of the project within College and University programs, and that resources will be available.
  • ORAA is responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations and with University administrative rules. Concurrently, problems of institutional financing, cost sharing, acceptance of contractual terms, and budget matters will be resolved. ORAA works with the Division of Research to review matters involving human subjects, DNA research, hazardous substances, and the experimental use of animals.

Routing a proposal through the researcher’s Department and Dean can take several days, especially if the project involves more than one researcher and crosses departments and/or Colleges.  Once it reaches ORAA, 6 business days are needed to review and ensure compliance with all sponsor policies.  This advance receipt is especially important now that most proposals are submitted electronically.

Historically, the ease of submitting electronic proposals is directly related to the amount of time prior to the deadline date that ORAA has to submit the proposal, as system failures due to overload may result on the actual deadline date.