Preparing and Submitting a Proposal

Objective: This section outlines the key components and procedures for preparing and submitting proposals to external sponsors at MIT.

What you need to know:

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Key References


Where do I find information on sponsor requirements?

This is the critical first step in preparing a proposal. Check the sponsor’s website for solicitation guidelines and correct forms. For federal sponsors, use Be sure to confirm that the principal investigator (PI) has the current, accurate program solicitation. Refer to Funding Opportunities.

How do I find the information about MIT that the sponsor is requesting?

Check the Institutional Data information at MIT Facts and Subrecipient Profile Information.

How do I prepare a research proposal for industry consideration?

In cases where there is no pre-defined proposal format, OSP recommends you use the Common Components of a Proposal for guidance. In addition, MIT will provide the sponsor with a MIT Standard Industrial Agreement for their review. Please also review Information for Industrial Sponsors. Please contact OSP as early as possible regarding industrial agreements.

Should cost sharing be included in a proposal?

Unless the sponsor guidelines mandate cost sharing, MIT policy discourages voluntary cost sharing. Refer to cost sharing section for more details on cost sharing.

My PI is responding to an RFP. Are there special requirements for a contract proposal?

Yes, there are often additional requirements for government contracts. Read the RFP carefully and contact your OSP administrator with questions.

How do you set up Whitehead Institute and MIT Biology Department Proposals?

Whitehead Institute (WIBR) is a separate entity from MIT but the MIT/WIBR affiliation agreement allows WI Faculty to submit proposals via the Institute as they also have appointments in the MIT Biology Department. These proposals would be for awards they would not be eligible to receive if they were to submit directly through Whitehead i.e. solicitations that must be submitted by an educational institution.

MIT accepts the proposal which is budgeted with WIBR direct and indirect costs using WIBR’s current rates but with an additional line item defined as “Subaward-first $25,000 subject to F&A”. MIT enters its own current F&A rate on $25,000 on that categorical budget line and submits the proposal. (e.g. in FY 2014 MIT would enter $25,000 x .56 = $14,000 on the budget line)

When an award is received in MIT the account is set up for the WIBR PI in the Biology Department who will process a requisition to issue an award to WIBR to allow for the pass through of funds from MIT to WIBR. The Research Subaward Team then writes the subaward to the WIBR for the total funding minus the “Subaward-first $25,000 subject to F&A” line item amount.

WIBR submits regular invoices to MIT for payment, as well as whatever reports are required by the terms of the award.

If you have questions about this process please contact Michele Hudak at OSP.