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Office of Sponsored Awards Management

Proposal Submission

The SAM Office is the only office vested with the authority to sign and submit research proposals and required certifications on behalf of the University of South Carolina. All requests for funding should be submitted for approvals in USCeRA, USC’s electronic proposal and award system. There are three levels of approval – Chair, Dean and the SAM Office.  In instances where multiple departments are involved, the Chair and Dean of all departments also must review and approve the proposal.

A completed proposal consists of:

  • Statement of work, if applicable
  • Complete internal budget
  • Subcontractor documentation, if applicable (at a minimum):
      • Statement of work
      • Budget and budget justification
      • Complete and signed Subrecipient Commitment Form
  • Internal forms in USCeRA, as applicable
  • Complete and final agency/institutional required documents

To ensure that SAM has ample time to review the proposal, you must submit the proposal to SAM at least three business days before the sponsor’s submission deadline [pdf].

After a proposal has received all the necessary departmental/college approvals in USCeRA, it will route to SAM for final “Institution Approval.” SAM must verify that a proposal is current, complete, and accurate. SAM will review the sponsor guidelines, proposal instructions and the proposal documents to ensure university and agency requirements are met. The budgets are checked for accuracy and completeness.

If the proposal is to be submitted to the sponsor electronically by an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) or Sponsored Programs Official (SPO), (FastLane,, Proposal Central, etc.), SAM will coordinate with the PI to ensure that the proposal is submitted prior to the sponsor deadline.  If the sponsor doesn’t require electronic submission of the  proposal, SAM will create a transmittal or commitment letter to  accompany the proposal.

In instances where the PI is required to create a proposal in an external proposal preparation system, SAM will review the proposal documents for approval and notify the PI that the proposal is approved so that the PI can submit it. The PI provides SAM a final version of the proposal to be attached in USCeRA.


Proposal Submission Systems

This section provides detailed information on submitting fully approved proposals through many of the most common submission systems, and provides guidance for using other submission systems. If you are planning to submit a proposal through NSF Fastlane, NIH Assist, or Proposal Central, please refer to the corresponding page in this section. If you are planning to submit a proposal through another system not listed above, visit the other submission systems page for general guidelines and information.

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