Pre-Award Services

The Sponsored Programs Unit, through the Vice President for Research and Economic Development offers the following services in support of Jackson State University researchers, faculty and staff who are pursuing external funding opportunities or other sponsored projects funded by federal, state, or private agencies and organizations. Pre-award services encompass preliminary review and approval of projects with potential for external sponsorship, funding source identification, cost sharing analysis, compliance review, proposal processing and approval.



The OSP:

  • Assists in identifying funding sources for research, instruction, or public service projects, including federal and non-federal sources;
  • Offers consultation about all aspects of proposal preparation;
  • Coordinates research and sponsored programs activities in the development of interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research projects;
  • Disseminates information on funding sources, federal budgets, funding priorities and agency guidelines – electronically and hard copy;
  • Prepares and negotiates Memorandum of Understandings (MOU), teaming agreements, contracts, confidentiality agreements, and other types of contractual arrangements (These agreements must be vetted by the Tech Transfer Unit);
  • Contacts potential sponsors, as needed, to obtain forms not already on file in OSP or for guidance and clarification regarding the submission of a proposal;
  • Acts as negotiator and liaison between the PI/PD and the funding agency on issues that arise prior to funding;
  • Maintains a library on potential funding resources and programs;
  • Monitors the program to ensure the proficient execution of all projects;
  • Offers grant/contract related workshops, seminars and meetings;
  • Coordinates agency and congressional visits with agency and congressional representatives to the University;
  • Coordinates the internal transmittal process for all grants and contracts in securing official institutional authorization; and,
  • Offers follow-up consultation when a proposal is denied funding by helping to secure the comments made by the reviewers and assisting in the re-submission of the proposal.


Funding Mechanisms

Grants are used when the sponsor is not seeking immediate benefit for itself, but is simply providing support for work initiated by the researcher as outlined in the proposal. A grant is used whenever the sponsor anticipates NO substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance of activities. Contracts are used by the sponsor to secure specific products or services in return for pre-arranged compensation.

Contracts specify deliverables (tangible items and/or services) within a specified project period. Contracts can be for a specified fixed price or can provide for payment on the basis of reimbursement of expenses or a combination thereof.

Cooperative Agreement is a legal instrument which transfers money, property, or services to a recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose of support where substantial involvement is expected between the agency and the recipient. The cooperative agreement usually involves more detail than a grant, though perhaps less than a contract.

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Types of Proposals

The common types of proposals are: • Solicited Proposal- a response to a specific solicitation issued by a sponsor. The solicitation is usually called RFP (Request For Proposal), RFQ (Request For
Quotations), or RFA (Request For Application). Such requests are typically specific in their requirements regarding format and technical content, and may stipulate certain award terms and conditions.

  • Unsolicited Proposal – submitted to a sponsor that has not issued a specific solicitation, but is believed by the investigator to have an interest in the subject.
  • Continuation or Non-Competing Proposal – confirms the original proposal and funding requirements of a multi-year project for which the sponsor has already provided funding for an initial period. Continued support is usually contingent on satisfactory work progress and the availability of funds.
  • Renewal or Competing Proposal – is a request for continued support for an existing project that is near termination.

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Proposal Preparation

A proposal is a request for support of a research, instruction or service project. It usually consists of a cover page, a brief summary, a technical or narrative section, biographical sketches of key personnel, and a detailed budget.

Proposal Tips:

Preparation of the technical proposal is the responsibility of the PI/PD and/or proposal writer(s). Outlined below is a proposal checklist for the PI/PD and/or proposal writer(s) to follow to ensure the proposal meets the requirements of the funding agency.

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Proposal Checklist


Are the objectives clearly stated in the appropriate place in the proposal?
Are the objectives consistent with the problem or research area as stated in the proposal?
Are the objectives measurable?

Problem Statement/Hypothesis:

Is the specific problem or hypothesis clearly stated and sound?
Is the problem or hypothesis stated in the appropriate place in the proposal, and stated within the paragraph or page limitations established in the instructions?
Is a clear understanding of the nature and extent of the problem or research area presented in the proposal?
Are the project’s strengths well articulated and positioned in the appropriate place in the proposal?



Is the methodology consistent with the specific objectives stated in the proposal, and the budget request and justification?
Does the methodology clearly indicate what will be done and how to accomplish the objectives and goals of the proposed project?
Is the time frame for hiring project personnel and acquiring equipment, supplies, or services logical and in correspondence with the time of need?


Are the requested budget items consistent with project needs and current costs?
Are the requested budget items consistent with project needs and current costs?
Are resources (human, material and technical) and facilities adequate for the performance of the proposed project?
Is there sufficient justification for equipment, supplies, etc.?
Is the source of cost-sharing/matching funds clearly identified?
Does the budget include the correct rate for reimbursement of indirect costs for the type of project involved?
Do all components of the budget add up to the total amount requested.

General Information:

Are the necessary forms correct and complete?
Is the proposal in the correct format, including letters of support and appendices?
Are all points in the outline of instructions covered?
Is the wording of the proposal grammatically correct?
Is the mailing address correct?
Does the proposal meet the format and content outlined in the funding announcement?
Does the proposal conform to page limitations?


It is always helpful to the PI/PD or proposal writer(s) to have the draft proposal reviewed by a person knowledgeable in the field to assure clarity and completeness. The reviewer should take into account factors considered to be of primary importance to the agency and foundation officers, including:

  • The significance of the problems being addressed;
  • The quality of the proposed solution; and
  • The past performance of key personnel.


The OSP staff will provide whatever assistance is feasible in the review process prior to the initiation of formal routing and approval by University officials.

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Proposal Processing Responsibilities

The Principal Investigator (PI):

  • Discusses project idea with department chair, dean, colleagues, other experts and/or potential collaborators;
  • Conducts literature search;
  • Consults the OSP for assistance and, if applicable, potential funding sources;
  • Studies requirements of potential funding sources;
  • Checks the following items to ensure compliance with both sponsor and university requirements:
  1. format and content comply with guidelines;
  2. resources are adequate and available to meet the projects needs (space, cost-sharing commitment);
  3. requirements for the use of animals, human subjects, DNA, biohazards, and/ oradiation safety have been met;
  4. supporting documentation is included if a subcontract is proposed; and,
  5. internal routing forms are completed and signed (signatures from department chair, school dean, and the investigator).
  • Informs OSP that a cover letter or a letter of support is required;
  • Writes the technical proposal and completes all required application forms and certification forms;
  • If applicable, have proposal reviewed by appropriate committees (Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), etc.);
  • Delivers proposal and signed Transmittal Sheet to the OSP FIVE WORKING DAYS


Prior To Submission Deadline

  • Picks up reviewed and signed (University authorizing official) proposal from the OSP;
  • Leaves a complete copy of the proposal in the OSP as it will be submitted to the funding source;
  • Mails original proposal and required number of copies to external funding source;
  • Consults the OSP for detailed review of award, any required contractual or budgetary negotiations, and subcontract development related to award if proposal is funded; and
  • Studies reviewer comments if proposal is NOT funded, and revises and resubmits proposal if appropriate.

Department Chairperson/Unit Director:

  • Edits and reviews for PI/PD or proposal writer(s) eligibility and academic relevance to department/unit/school and proposal completeness;
  • Reviews budget, salaries and release time;
  • Identifies accounts for matching or cost-sharing contributions; and
  • Confirms space and other needed resources.

College/School Dean:

  • Ensures that all major commitments of resources and personnel are appropriate for the project; and
  • Signs the internal routing form. Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP):
  • Identifies potential funding sources and disseminates information to faculty with similar interests;
  • Helps faculty locate funding sources for specific projects, obtains/interprets guidelines;
  • Acts as liaison with potential funding source if needed as follow-up to PI/PD and/or proposal writer(s)’ direct contact with prospective sponsor;
  • Assists with review of narrative;
  • Reviews format and compliance with sponsor guidelines;
  • Reviews budget for costing details, university and agency compliance, and correct rates;
  • Verifies cost-sharing commitments and/or matching funds;
  • Verifies documentation for subcontracts and/or consultants;
  • Secures appropriate signatures beyond the department and dean;
  • Secures signatures on standard assurances and certifications of the University compliance with federal regulations;
  • Coordinates, through the Office of the Vice President for Research and Federal Relations, the implementation of the objectivity in Research Policy regarding the disclosure, management, reduction or elimination of conflicts of interest that may or do affect sponsored projects;
  • Maintains copy of proposal as depository of official University file of grants and contracts;
  • Forwards copies of award document to PI/DI and/or proposal writer(s) if proposal is funded; notifies all signatories, reviews award terms and conditions;
  • Coordinates negotiations/review revisions if proposal is funded; obtains authorizing signature; forwards fully executed award to Contracts and Grants; and,
  • Notifies all signatories if proposal is NOT funded; obtains reviewer’s comments; assists PI/PD and/or proposal writer(s) with evaluation and/or revision.

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Special Reviews

Occasionally, internal reviews and approval procedures may be required before proposal is submitted or before an award can be accepted by the University:

Animals – The use of animals for research must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Some sponsors require that approval be obtained prior to submission, or within a specified period of time after submission. If necessary, the Vice President for Research and Federal Relations will forward animal protocol approval after a proposal has been submitted. For IACUC concerns, contact Michael Early, Research Compliance at 601-979-2859.

Human Subjects – The University committee on Human Subjects, as required by federal law, acts as the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for research involving human subjects at the University, regardless of the source of funds. All use of humans as subjects, including surveys, must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to starting the research. Dr. Sophia Leggett, is the IRB chairman. The IRB guidelines can be obtained from the IRB Administrator, Christoper Lane 979-4197.

Other – The University has other Regulatory Committees such as Hazardous Materials, Radiation Safety and Recombinant DNA Bio-Safety committees. The use of hazardous materials must be reviewed and approved by the Hazardous Materials Committee. Mr. Michael Early is the Hazardous Materials Committee contact at 601-979-2859 or Ms. LaShinda Lawson at 601-979-4315. The Department of Biology monitors the radiological safety of the campus. The department reviews and approves research protocols related to these issues before research commences.

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Some sponsored projects may require that a portion of the work be conducted by other institutions or companies (third party) not affiliated with the University. When this is the case, the third party is required to provide the necessary resources to conduct the work, including providing an investigator at the work site to oversee the project activities, and a detailed budget. All regulations and requirements of the sponsor also apply to any subcontractors and are referenced in the subcontract accordingly.

The Project Investigator:

  • Indicates in the proposal any intent to subcontract a portion of the project;
  • Monitors the subcontract which includes receiving all invoices from subcontractors and attesting that subcontractors’ performance is satisfactory and on schedule prior to payment of the involve;
  • Documents the basis for the “sole source” of any subcontractor named as a partner in a joint submission to the sponsor; and
  • Receives final invoices and final programmatic and other reports in a timely manner.

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Some programs may require that the University share the cost of the project.
Cost-sharing under a federal grant is subject to OMB Circular A-110. OMB Circular A-110 stipulates that the cost-sharing must come from non-federal sources and contribute directly to the proposed project. Moreover, cost-sharing is subject to verification. Cost-sharing commitments should be discussed with the department chairperson and/or dean and the Vice President for Research and Federal Relations WELL IN ADVANCED OF THE PROPOSAL DEADLINE.

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IRS Entity Identification No.: 64-6000507
PHS Entity Identification No.: 64-6000507
DUNS No.: 04-450-7085
Animal Welfare Assurance Identification Number: A4172-01
Institutional Review Board Registration Number: IRB00001419
Federalwide Assurance Number: FWA00002620
Institution (IORG) Identifier Number: IO260001031

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Frequently Used URLs:

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Senators: Senator Roger Wicker and Senator Thad Cochran
Senator Roger Wicker 245 E. Capitol Street Jackson, MS 39201
(601) 965-4644

Senator Thad Cochran
245 E. Capitol Street
Jackson , MS 39201
(601) 965-4459

Representative: Congressman Bennie Thompson – 2nd Congressional District
Congressman Bennie Thompson
245 E. Capitol Street
Jackson, MS 39201
(601) 948-5588

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