Application Preparation

The HS SPPO has created guides and tools to assist departments in preparing internal documents, application packages, and proposal routing. Please be sure to view the Submission Timelines, Minimum Requirements, and Review Priorities to ensure you prepare a complete application and submit it to HS SPPO in a timely manner.

For additional guidance not available on our website, please contact your assigned HS SPPO analyst.

The HS SPPO needs the following documentation for a proposal to be considered complete, receive a review, and get submitted to the Sponsoring Agency.

If the application submission is directly to the NIH and is being submitted via SF424, Grants.gov, or ASSIST, the HS SPPO requires the following documentation to consider a proposal complete:

  • Internal forms (RES, PI Assurance, if applicable)
  • Supporting Budget Documents
  • SF424 application package or application completed in ASSIST

If the application submission is to another institution or organization, resulting in UCSD receiving a subaward, the HS SPPO requires the following documentation to consider a proposal complete:

  • Internal forms (RES, PI Assurance, if applicable, & Supporting Budget Documents)
  • Face Page
  • Detailed Statement of Work
  • Budget
  • Budget Justification
  • Checklist

The HS SPPO requires the same documentation for internal proposals where nothing is sent to the Prime Agency.


If your department has been onboarded to electronic Proposal Development (ePD), the ePD record replaces the internal forms of the required documents needed to consider a proposal complete

Review Priorities

In an effort to provide departments with consistent proposal review practices, the HS SPPO has developed documentation outlining the department's responsibilities in proposal preparation and HS SPPO's review responsibilities. Principal Investigators, Fund Managers, and Assistants should review the documentation to ensure that all required forms have been completed and reviewed by the appropriate party.

These Review Priorities documents (also known as Critical Points of Review) can be found on each individual page of the Application Preparation section with the corresponding application type.

Multi-Project Grants

The NIH and Grants.gov joined together to deliver ASSIST (Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking) to its users for submitting Multi-Project grants and cooperative agreements (P Series and U series). The system is now used for submission of all new, renewal, resubmission, and revision multi-project grants and cooperative agreements in the P and U series.

To initiate your application in ASSIST for a multi-project submission (P and/or U Series), please contact hssppo@ucsd.edu with the following information:

  • Funding Opportunity Announcement
  • Lead Unit/Department
  • Title of Application (can be TBD)
  • Fund Manager's eRA Commons Credential
  • PI's eRA Commons Credential and what type of access they should have

As multi-project multi-budget submissions tend to be large programs with specific guidelines and instructions, the HS SPPO requests as much notification of a submission as possible.

To allow sufficient time for review, the HS SPPO requests a draft application, along with internal forms and internal budgets, approximately 20 days prior to the posted due date to provide a full application review in ASSIST. For those departments who have not yet onboarded to ePD, the HS SPPO asks that internal forms (RES, PI Assurance) and internal budgets be uploaded to EPRS. For the departments that are using ePD, internal budgets and off-line approval forms for the multi-project multi-budget grants should be uploaded in the ePD record

Gift vs. Grant

A gift is contribution that is donative in intent, given voluntarily, and without the exception for consideration. Moreover, a gift is irrevocable and the funder does not have any right to reclaim funds for any reason. Whereas a grant is an externally funded activity that requires consideration where there is an agreement representing transfer of money or property in exchange for specific services, often including deliverables and specific reporting requirements. Typically, a grant will have a period of performance and termination rights; may include the right to audit how the funds were spent; and may also require return of unexpended funds at the end of a performance period. Both may be requested via a written proposal, however, gifts are typically less technically and financially detailed than grant proposals.

Since, the decision as to whether a particular application/award should be considered a gift or a grant cannot be made based upon the presence or absence of a single characteristic or criterion. The HS SPPO Analyst must look at the award as a whole in order to make a judgment as to its proper classification. The particular application/award will be subject to the research review process as well as to the administrative rules and procedures which apply to all University funds.

At UC San Diego, no campus gift fee is assessed and it is processed through Gift Processing, whereas a grant is subject to indirect (F&A) costs and is either processed through HS SPPO or OCGA.

References, Resources, and Policies: