Research and Sponsored Programs

Competitive Grants

The development and submission of a competitive proposal involves many steps. The following information provides an overview of recommended strategies and practices and make you aware of the requirements of submitting a proposal at St. Cloud State University. 

While the information is presented in a series of consecutive steps, depending on your timeframe, it may be necessary to execute some of steps concurrently.

The earlier you engage the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP), the more help we can provide throughout the development process.

Proposal development timeline

Step 1 - Evaluate your idea or project

Obtain feedback and insights from others will assist you in developing a competitive proposal.

What is a Sponsored Program?

Principal Investigator: Roles, Eligibility, and Responsibilities

Discuss your idea with other stakeholders

Consider type of funding needed to support your idea or project

Step 2 - Identify potential funding sources

If you have an idea for a research project or program, please reach out to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) to help find the best fitting grant and funding opportunities.

Likewise, it is common for RSP to watch for opportunities that fit the University’s mission and vision as well as each department’s mission and vision. Staff and faculty may occasionally receive correspondence on grant opportunities that meet these criteria through email communication.

Find external funding opportunities

Find internal funding opportunities

Step 3 - Analyze the funding opportunity you are considering

Proposal development is time-consuming, therefore, it is critical to verify that your idea/project aligns with the intention of the funding opportunity you are considering.

Understand the request/call for proposals

Understand your qualifications

Consider contacting the program officer

Step 4 - Schedule a meeting with your contact in Research and Sponsored Programs

Individual(s) planning to submit a proposal on behalf of the University are known as Principal Investigator(s) [PIs] and are responsible for the preparation, conduct, and administration of a sponsored project.

Meeting discussion

Step 5 - Plan and develop your proposal

In the proposal development process, as the subject matter expert, the PI(s) author the proposal.

Engage additional stakeholders

Understand roles and responsibilities of proposal development

Develop your submission checklist

Understanding compliance requirements associated with your project

Recommendations for successful proposal development

Step 6 - Secure internal approvals for submission

Proposals submitted on behalf of the University require review and approval by a delegated authority with authorization PRIOR to submission. To initiate the review/approval process, please complete the following steps at least seven (7) business days prior to the funding agency's posted deadline.

Step 1. Discuss with your project and intent to apply with your department chair/director and dean/supervisor because your Proposal Approval Form will automatically be routed to them for review and approval. All approvals (signatures) are facilitated electronically in Wizehive and proposals cannot be submitted to an external funding agency for consideration without all required approvals.


Step 2. Click on "Proposal Approval Form" button to login to Wizehive using your StarID credentials.

  • For assistance using Wizehive, please click on the “How to Apply Tutorial”
  • Wizehive allows you to save your progress as you work on your Proposal Approval Form.
  • Do not click “Submit” until your application is complete, which includes:
    • Completed Proposal Approval Form application with proposal working draft and proposal budget attached.
    • If applicable, Proposal Approval Form Co-PI(s) Step, ensuring all Co-PI(s) have responded.

Step 2b. If you have one or more St. Cloud State Co-PIs, complete the Proposal Approval Form Co-PI(s) Step  to add Co-PI(s).  

  • This process will trigger a notification to your Co-PIs requiring them to acknowledged participation in the proposal.
  • You can confirm Co-PI(s) have completed in Wizehive by the green box by each person’s name within the Co-PI Step section of your application.


Step 3. If applicable, confirm your Co-PI(s) have complete their Co-PI request forms. Then “Submit” your completed Proposal Approval Form at least seven (7) business days prior to the funding agencies posted deadline.  

  • The proposal approval form will be automatically routed to obtain the necessary approvals (signatures) from your department chair/director and dean/supervisor.
  • To ensure timely reviews, it is the PI(s) responsibility to ensure department chairs/directors and deans/supervisors know their Proposal Approval Form is coming. See step 1 above.


Step 4. Once your proposal is approved for submission, Research and Sponsored Programs will be in contact to coordinate next steps to finalize and facilitate submission to the external funding agency.

Proposals requiring nomination

Step 7 - Coordinate submission plan with Research and Sponsored Program

When proposal are submitted on behalf the St. Cloud State, it is the RSP’s responsibility to review, coordinate approvals, and submit the proposal.

Proposals submitted through an online portal must be submitted through an institutional portal, not Faculty/Staff portal.

Step 8 - Await response from the funding agency

The response from a funding agency will likely take one to eight months depending on the funding agency.

Complete required supplemental processes

If your proposal is awarded

If your proposal is denied

Previous Recipients

Connect with SCSU