You are here

Proposal Preparation Guidelines

Important Notice: As of September 1, 2018, the Internal Clearance Process was modified with the upgrade to Cayuse SP.  Step-by-step instructions on using Cayuse SP are provided on the Cayuse: Internal Clearance and Electronic Proposal Submission page.

Proposal Preparation Guidelines

Principal Investigators (PI) must notify the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) before submitting an external grant application or proposal in order to obtain permission to do so via the Pre-Award Clearance Routing Process. PIs will work with their assigned Pre-Award Specialist to obtain permission. Pre-award Specialists are assigned to specific colleges and administrative units within the university.

To access forms, please go to Forms and Templates.

If a PI would like to access the faculty grant writing manual, entitled “New Faculty Guide to Competing for Research Funding,” please look for it on the Grant Development BeachBoard. The manual is available only to employees of the university. Contact ORSP at ORSP@csulb.edu for access to the Grant Development BeachBoard.

  • Step 1Identify your college’s assigned Pre-Award Specialist
  • Step 2: Cayuse SP Proposal:
    • Create and complete a Cayuse SP Proposal at a min of 14 Days prior to proposal Deadline
    • Upload internal documents: in the “Proposal Attachments” section of Cayuse SP, upload the following documents: Budget Spreadsheet, Budget Justification, FCOI (Key personnel), Internal Approvals (Cost Match/F&A), Subaward documents (if applicable), and any other misc., documents requested by ORSP.
  • Step 3: Contact Pre-Award:
    • Once the Cayuse proposal is completed, email the assigned PreAward Specialist to inform them that the Cayuse SP proposal is ready for review. In the Subject section of the email, provide the assigned Cayuse SP proposal number.  
  • Step 4: Pre-Award Review:
    • Pre-Award Specialist will work with Lead PI/PD to finalize all the required internal clearance documents.
    • Once all internal documents are finalized, the Pre-Award Specialist, with the approval of the lead PI/PD, will initiate the Routing. 
  • Step 5Proposal Submission:
    • Upon completion of the Routing, the Pre-Award Specialist will work with the lead PI/PD to prepare and submit the proposal to the funding agency. Note: on a case by case bases, the Pre-Award Specialist may at times simultaneously work on the proposal submission process while working on the internal clearance process, however, per ORSP procedure, a proposal cannot be submitted to the funding agency until the internal Clearance process (Routing) has been completed.

Budget Preparation

Budget Requirements

To access forms, please go to Forms and Templates.

  • PIs must access the latest version of the budget-related documents from the ORSP website; do not use templates from previous grant submissions since they will not include the latest revisions. This will reduce the time spent on updating budgets to adhere to current requirements.
  • There are two versions of the budget spreadsheet available. A majority of grant submissions will not include cost/share match; therefore, only use the budget spreadsheet with cost/share match when it is required.
  • The budget spreadsheet and budget justification form must conform to the sponsor’s guidelines and correspond to each other.
  • PI's shall observe the guidelines when developing budgets for Fixed Priced Contracts.
  • Budgets shall be sufficiently accurate so revisions can be avoided after Clearance Routing is completed; however, when necessary, changes can be made before a grant application is submitted. A secondary Clearance Routing is only required when there is a change of at least 20% more or less of the total budget AND there is no change to the scope of work.

More information about developing NIH Modular Budgets

Modular grant applications are not to exceed $250,000 in total direct costs per year. Unsolicited, investigator-initiated applications requesting more than $250,000 in any year and applications for grant activities not specified above will be required to follow traditional application instructions and applicable NIH policies.

Salary Information Resources

Percent of Time and Effort to Person Months Conversion Chart (PDF)

CSULB Requirement: PI must dedicate at least 1% or .01 months to the project budget otherwise proposal will bear voluntary committed cost sharing which is not allowed under CSULB policy unless approved by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Fringe Benefit Information

Budgeting for Fringe Benefits (PDF)

Facilities & Administrative Costs (F&A)

Federal F&A Rate Agreement

University F&A Practices and Procedures

Indirect Cost on Agreements from the State of California – Effective January 1, 2016

The CSU and UC have established a base rate of 25% beginning January 1, 2016 – increasing over a 5½ year period to 40% of the Modified Total Direct Costs (as defined in our federally-negotiated rate agreements) for the recovery of facilities and administrative (F&A) costs for State of California funded agreements. However, if a campus is a sub-recipient of federal funds and the State agency is a pass-through entity, as defined in 2 CFR 200.93 and 2 CFR 200.74, respectively, then the campus should budget and receive their federally negotiated rate for the project as specified by 2 CFR 200.331(a)(4). If the federal program has a capped F&A rate in compliance with 2 CFR 200, then the campus may accept the capped rate in compliance with their own campus policies.

In the first 2½ years, the base rate has a core component of 25% of the MTDC for administrative costs and no facilities cost. Beginning on July 1, 2018 through July 1, 2020, facilities costs will be added in increments of 5% until the F&A rate reaches 40% MTDC for on-campus projects. Projects that are performed off-campus will only use the 25% MTDC rate for administrative costs. The administrative component of the rate will not escalate. 

Rate Schedule for F&A Recovery for State of California Agreements

Faculty Administration Total Rate Base Effective Date
0% 25% 25% MTDC (F&A Rate Agreement) January 1, 2016
5% 25% 30% MTDC (F&A Rate Agreement) July 1, 2018
10% 25% 35% MTDC (F&A Rate Agreement) July 1, 2019
15% 25% 40% MTDC (F&A Rate Agreement) July 1, 2020

The rate in effect for the first year of a multi-year project will be the rate used for the entire project period in proposed and awarded budgets. If additional funds (not previously appropriated or budgeted) are awarded by a State agency; the proposed budget for these additional funds would use the rate in effect at the time the new budget request is submitted.

Acceptance of a rate lower than 25% requires system office approval. The Chancellor’s Office SPO will coordinate with the UCOP Research Policy Analysis and Coordination (RPAC) office on any IDC rates accepted at lower than 25% to ensure that both systems are in agreement when or if a lower rate would be appropriate.

Cost Share/Match

Many funding agencies require cost sharing by the recipient institution. Cost sharing refers to the portion of the project or program cost that is not reimbursed by the sponsor. It may be required by the sponsor as a condition of the award (mandatory) or it may be offered by the California State University, Long Beach (University) in excess of mandatory cost sharing requirements (voluntary). Whether cost sharing is required by the sponsor or is offered by the University or Project Director voluntarily, once an award is made all cost sharing commitments are considered to be mandatory, and as such represent binding obligations of the University and California State University, Long Beach Research Foundation (Foundation).

Cost Sharing is defined as costs that are incurred to support a sponsored project that are not reimbursed by the sponsor. There are two types of cost sharing mandatory and voluntary.

Mandatory: Cost sharing refers to cost sharing that is required by a sponsored grant or contract in writing.

Voluntary: Cost sharing that is not explicitly required by such an agreement. Voluntary cost sharing is further divided into two categories committed and uncommitted.

  • Voluntary committed cost sharing: refers to cost sharing that is not explicitly required by the sponsor, but is committed to the sponsor by the recipient in the proposal and/or budget.
  • Voluntary uncommitted cost sharing: is defined as effort that is over and above that which is committed and budgeted for in a sponsored agreement.

Important: Cost Share/Match is not allowed unless stated as a requirement on the solicitation (proof from Sponsor is required) and approved by corresponding college and the AVP for Research. Please see Cost Share/Match Policy.

CSULB Requirement: PI must dedicate at least 1% or .01 months to the project budget otherwise proposal will bear voluntary committed cost sharing which is not allowed under CSULB policy unless approved by the AVP for Research.