Proposal Preparations

Grants and Cooperative Agreements

Most government application forms and guidelines are available via the World Wide Web (www) site of the respective agency. Some forms must be downloaded, then typed; others can be filled in on the computer and then printed. Frequently, Adobe software is required for this function. Web addresses of a number of these sites are available in Appendix A. Forms are also available via software that allows these forms to be typed directly on the computer, then printed completely filled out. Additionally, the OSP (Room 119, DuBois Hall) may have hard copies of a limited number of grant application forms and instructions:

Grant Proposal Guide. NSF has moved to completely electronic submissions. Forms are available on the www. Submission via FASTLANE (proposal submitted electronically) will require a personal identification number (PIN) obtained from the Director of the OSP. Access the NSF FastLane page for instructions and feel free to contact the Director for assistance.

Form PHS 398: (Rev. 5/01) New and renewal applications for basic research grants, FIRST Awards, Research Career Awards, Institutional Training Grants (T32s), AREA grants, and other applications as directed.

Form PHS 2590: (Rev. 5/01) Continuation applications. NOTE: for ongoing projects, continuation application face pages are distributed automatically to investigators by the sponsor, usually two months (or at least one month) before the applications are due at the NIH. If you do not receive this face page, make a call to the funding agency. All above-mentioned forms are available in fillable form at

Use of the latest forms available is necessary. An application submitted on an out-dated form may be returned to the principal investigator without the benefit of a review. You may check the web pages of NIH, NSF or Fisk’s OSP to determine if the forms that you have are current and acceptable. Some federal and state agencies do not distribute their forms until applicants are ready with specific proposals. This saves money and allows them to make periodic revisions without waiting for the old forms to be used. These application packages may be available in the OSP. You are encouraged to contact the agency directly to obtain the application(s), or you may ask the OSP to place the request for you. Additionally, the OSP keeps certain forms on hand or can assist in downloading those available on the Internet.


Contracts are often solicited by government agencies in the form of Requests for Proposals (RFPs), which describe the work to be performed and the application format. Announcements of federal RFPs are publicized in the Commerce Business Daily, in the NIH Guide [NIH solicitations only, available only on the Internet], and other computerized funding networks.

Faculty or staff who intend to submit federal contract proposals (including continuation and/or renewal proposals) must notify the OSP and forward a copy of the RFP as soon as it is available. The OSP will review the RFP and assist in providing certification and other documentation that are formally required outside the technical context of the proposal. The earlier you notify the OSP of your intention to submit a proposal, more time will be saved and more help will be made available.


Collaborations with other organizations on research grants or contracts may require a subcontract proposal. Such proposals must be processed through the OSP. Information needed includes: an application Face Page pertinent to Fisk as the subcontracting institution, a budget specifying both direct and indirect costs (expressed as a dollar amount), a description of the work, Other Support page, Biographical Sketch, Resources and Environment, and a Checklist. For NIH and other PHS agencies, the Principal Investigator will need to express his willingness to collaborate on the project by also including a cover letter (signed by both the other organization's P.I. and Institutional Official, as well as Fisk’s Institutional Official).