Research Toolbox

NEW! Proposal Submission Timeline Calculator

With the recent changes to the University's proposal submission deadline, draft proposals must be received by OSRAA no later than 5 business days prior to the sponsor submission deadline and final proposals must be approved 24 hours prior to the submission deadline. To help PIs navigate this change, we've created this calculator to help you put together a custom timeline for developing and submitting your proposal.


Proposal Submission Templates

Budget Templates - FY 23

Note: Use Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) versions when using one of our federally negotiated indirect cost rates. Use the Total Direct Costs (TDC) versions when using a sponsor-restricted indirect cost rate.

Budget Justification Template - FY 23

Proposal Development & Management Tools

Tips From Our Newsletter

Logic Model
  • Encouraged for research-focused projects
  • Required for integrated (research/Extension projects)


USDA has many resources for the Logic model attachment, such this Logic Model Planning Process site and this generic Logic Model that helps you make sense of the necessary components.


We also have a template in the USDA section of our Toolbox above.

Management Plan
  • Encouraged for research-focused projects
  • Required for integrated (research/Extension projects)


There are no formal templates, but we do know some of the key elements of a successful Management Plan.


  • Step 1: Draft an organizational chart and an administrative timeline.

  • Step 2: Outline your plan for project governance, data sharing, and communication with team members and stakeholders. To help evaluate your plan, you should also assemble an advisory group featuring stakeholders, scientists, and federal personnel. 
    • Things to include:
      • Measurable outcomes
      • Potential project impacts
      • Plans for project sustainability following the expiration of grant funding
  • Step 3: Keep it under 3 pages.


More on the Management Plan.

Data Management Plan

Not to be confused with the Management Plan, the Data Management Plan (DMP) is required for all project types. The goal is to explain what type of data the project director (PD) and co-PDs are going to generate, their plan for long-data storage, how they plant to share their data, and other details. Your DMP is considered during the merit review process.


  • Things to consider:
    • Did you include data management in your budget?
    • Do you have a contingency plan in case a responsible party leaves the project?
    • Do you know the program-specific DMP requirements?
    • Have you considered using one of the tools provided by USDA, like the Ag Data Commons?
  • Keep it under 2 pages


More on the Data Management Plan.


Budget Justification

There is no consistent format or page limit for the budget justification, but here are some general tips that can guide you, regardless of format:


  • Itemizing Categories
    • Materials/Supplies and Travel are two categories where the sponsor will be very keen on specifics. Just listing consumables and lap supplies might not cut it. If you group your materials into one line item in your budget, use the justification to go into more specific detail.
      • Be sure to list prices and describe how you arrived at the overall estimate. Did you get a quote? Is the estimate based on a prior purchase? Provide your answer so the sponsor won’t need to ask in the event of an award.
      • For items like computers, it’s important to communicate that the device would be project-specific and not just a general office supply. The latter would be an unallowable grant expense and would pose a problem in the event of an audit.
  • Personnel
    • For all personnel, list:
      • The individual’s title
      • The base salary used for the Year 1 FTE amount
      • The amount of FTE is requested
      • One to two sentences describing what the person will be doing on the project


Don't forget to take a look at our budget justification template in the Toolbox above.

New NSF Formats
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has implemented revised NSF Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending (Other) Support formats.  Key personnel will now be required to use the SciENcv profile system. You can read more here. Be sure to:
  1.      add as one of your delegates (manage under your account settings);
  2.      link your ORCID and add your ORCID iD to your SciENcv biosketch; and
  3.     reach out to with any questions or to get some step-by-step help via Zoom.

More helpful NSF documents and tutorials are here.