Grants Development Office

Division of Research

Post-Award Administration

About GDO

Welcome! We look forward to working with you.

Here are some important grant proposal submission policies for you to be aware of:

In the spirit of being able to maximize the number of proposals our pre-award offices can support, we have implemented a structure of proposal development milestone dates, which extended the routing deadline by two additional working days. This was implemented in order to provide the pre-award staff with sufficient lead time to be best able to provide effective support and services for the development and submission of proposals.  

This milestone structure is a team effort. Our staff members will provide the appropriate milestone schedule for each proposal; meeting the milestones will be the responsibility of the PI.



1.       Milestone #1 – As soon as the opportunity is identified – Submission of Proposal Initiation Form (found on the website)

2.       Milestone #2 – 8 am  20 working days in advance of the submission deadline date or target submission date – Confirmation of proposal details

3.       Milestone #3 – 8 am 15 working days in advance of the submission deadline date or target submission date – Budget wishlist/framework

4.       Milestone #4 – 8 am 10 working days in advance of the submission deadline date or target submission date – Complete budget draft, budget justification draft (if required)

5.       Milestone #5 - ROUTING DEADLINE8 am 7 working days in advance of the submission deadline date or target submission date – Final ready-to-route budget, budget justification (if required), proposal summary, facilities use and other campus commitments statement

6.       Milestone #6 – FINAL DEADLINE 8 am 2 working days in advance of the submission deadline date or target submission date – Final ready-to-submit documents

Proposals will be prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the receipt of the Proposal Initiation Form available on the pre-award website. Proposals without deadlines will be assigned a target submission date that aligns with the milestones above and availability in the pre-award queue at the time of receipt of the Proposal Initiation Form.  The target date will be discussed with the PI during the initial intake process to confirm readiness to meet the milestones and the target deadline.

If milestones are not met, a deadline-driven proposal will fall off the list and not be submitted. 

For proposals without formal deadlines, missing a milestone will cause the proposal to be placed at the end of the queue with the target dates reset once it has been confirmed that the PI commits to submitting under the new timeline.

Even though this change in framework for proposal submission was triggered by severe staffing limitations, we are genuinely excited by the positive impact that earlier planning will have on our ability to produce high-quality, competitive proposals.  Thank you in advance for your support.


To start a new proposal, click here and complete the Proposal Initiation Form. It will be sent automatically to the appropriate Pre-Award Office for review, and an Analyst will contact you thereafter.

Please click here for our contact information.

GDO's Mission

In support of Cal Poly's mission to foster teaching, scholarship, and service, the Grants Development Office (GDO) provides leadership and guidance to faculty and staff interested in obtaining external funding support for research, creative activities, professional development, curriculum development, public service projects, and other special University initiatives.  External project funding helps to ensure that Cal Poly has the resources available to support the research and professional development goals of the faculty as well as provide opportunities for hands-on learning experiences for students.   

GDO Services and Resources

GDO provides assistance during the planning stage and preparation process through proposal submission.  We can help you identify appropriate funding opportunities, assist with project and budget development, manage the campus approval process, and submit the final proposal documents to the sponsor.  We work closely with the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) staff to help ensure a smooth transition to post-award management once projects are funded.  This includes follow-up communications with the sponsor, contract review and negotiation, and ensuring compliance with relevant University and federal approval requirements.

To ensure that you have quick access to the information and resources you'll need throughout the proposal development and submission process, we provide several development tools here on our website. 

The GDO website provides a wealth of information on potential sponsors, funding opportunities, proposal development forms, and relevant University policies.  We maintain information on the latest agency and federal updates to guidelines and policies that directly impact proposal development.  Our goal is to help you submit the most competitive and compliant proposal possible so you have the greatest chance of funding.

GDO Staff
As funding priorities shift and federal spending regulations become more strict, knowledge of this changing landscape becomes an important tool in securing and maintaining external funding. The GDO staff keeps up to date with the latest agency updates, CSU policies, and federal regulations that provide the framework for how we may budget and expend sponsored project funding.  We're experienced in interpreting the acquisition regulations that impact many federal contracts, as well as the intellectual property issues and confidentiality responsibilities relevant to industry contracts.




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