Obtaining approval to submit a grant proposal

September 22, 2014 by Claudia Scholz

Before submitting a proposal to an external funder, project directors must obtain institutional clearance.  To do so, you must go to the Dashboard or “home” page in LotusNotes.  Note that this form is not available in the browser-based version of LotusNotes, only on the desktop app.

To access the form, select “Academic Affairs” from the left-hand menu.

Then select “Sponsored Programs” on the right and click the “Open” button.

Screenshot 2014-09-22 10.29.34


This will bring you to the OSP database page.

Here, please select “New Proposal” on the left.

You can also see past saved proposals by selecting “My Proposals.”

Screenshot 2014-09-22 10.33.05

Once the form is open, enter your data and attach any proposal-related documents.

You can save it to finish later or begin routing by clicking “Submit for Clearance”.

Dashboard 1


The form will be sent first to your department chair.  Once approved, Faculty HR will be asked for clearance.  This stage is to certify that the project director is eligible to apply for grants.  Only faculty who are on multi-year contracts and who have completed Conflict-of-Interest training and disclosure are eligible.

Once pre-clearance is obtained, the form comes back to the project director.  At this point you must add the budget and any other proposal-related documents, if you haven’t already.

At this stage, you will release it for institutional approval.  It will go to your department chair again.

Department chairs are asked to review the proposal for disciplinary content and to make sure it matches departmental priorities.  once approved, it is forwarded to the Director of OSP.

In OSP we review the proposal for completeness and against funder guidelines.  If the proposal involves computer or software purchases, we route it to MIT.  If not, the form travels to Budgets & Contracts.

B&C will review your budget to make sure that it complies with all Spelman policies and rates.  Once approves, it will travel to the VP for Research for final sign-off


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