Peter Schiffer, Dean for Research: Reminder of the five-day rule for grant proposal submissions

April 2, 2024

Peter Schiffer, Dean for Research, distributed the below memo yesterday regarding the 5-day grant proposal submission timeline.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Grant & Contract Administrator at the Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA). 

To:              Principal Investigators who have submitted proposals within the past year and Chairs in those departments

From:        Peter Schiffer, Dean for Research

Subject: Reminder of the five-day rule for grant proposal submissions

Date:         April 1, 2024


Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to touch base with you about the proposal submission process.  As I suspect you are aware, federal agencies have significantly changed the requirements for certain components of grant proposals (e.g., biosketches and current and pending documents).  They have also substantially increased their scrutiny of compliance with administrative expectations. Management of these changes unfortunately falls on universities and principal investigators (PIs), and people and institutions around the country have seen significant consequences for non-compliance.

In this context, I want to remind you of the guidelines for the timely submission of proposals. To enable proper review and remediation of any issues, proposals should be submitted to ORPA five business days in advance of the due date. This timing allows for feedback to be exchanged and gives a buffer in case of unexpected issues, including network problems, with the final submission. While everyone at Princeton appreciates the many pressures on PIs and understands that circumstances occasionally require cutting close to a sponsor deadline, our data indicate that approximately 50% of proposals are submitted to ORPA only one day prior to the deadline, or later. This practice has created real risks that proposals will not get to the sponsors in time or will not be considered for funding due to incomplete or inaccurate information being submitted. Additionally, inadequate time for internal administrative review of disclosure information can present serious compliance risk to the PI, key/senior personnel and the University.

Research administration staff at all levels of the University are committed to assisting you, so please reach out early and often with questions and requests for help. Some departments have their own guidelines for how this process works, so I especially encourage you to consult and work closely with your staff colleagues at the departmental level.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and for everything you are doing for the Princeton research community.


Peter Schiffer
Dean for Research