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Pre-proposals, Letters of Intent, and White Paper Submissions

A pre-proposal (also called a white paper or a letter of intent) is usually a short description of the project used by the sponsor to determine who will be invited to submit a full proposal. A pre-proposal typically includes a brief summary of the scope of work and information about the research team.

If certain information or approval is required by the sponsor, the pre-proposal must be routed through the Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP) prior to submission. Use the flowchart below to choose the correct routing process. All pre-proposals that require UFIRST routing or institutional signature must follow the UF/DSP internal deadline policy. Note: The pre-proposal submission process ONLY applies to pre-proposals. Final proposals of any kind, i.e. any submission that the sponsor could respond to with an award notice, are subject to all standard proposal processing guidelines.

  • Pre-proposals that include a line-item or categorical budget (budget detail), explicit personnel effort commitments (regardless of whether compensation is requested), or cost sharing require a UFIRST proposal.
  • Institutional Signature means a signature from DSP, which can include DSP submission in sponsor electronic systems such as, NSPIRES, ProposalCentral etc.
  • If a subrecipient is included in the pre-proposal, the subrecipient’s Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must provide an email approval or a signed letter of intent confirming the details provided. Approval from the subrecipient AOR is required even if no budget information for the subrecipient is being submitted to the sponsor.
  • If the sponsor limits the number of pre-proposal submissions from an institution, the PI is required to contact UF’s Strategic Research Development team for approval.

If the flow chart indicates that the pre-proposal is to be submitted to, then once it is received at a DSP Sponsored Programs Officer (SPO) will review the submit-ready document.  The SPO will either request edits; or confirm submission with the department/PI.

You can also download this as a pdf HERE

Last updated 2/13/24