Effective May 1, 2024, all proposals must be routed and certified by the lead PI in Cayuse SP by 10 AM five (5) business days prior to the sponsor’s submission deadline date. For example, if the sponsor’s deadline is Friday, March 25th, then the PI must submit through Cayuse by 10 AM on Monday, March 21st. The PI can continue to work on the research plan and other sections of the proposal not required in Cayuse SP up until 10 AM one (1) business day prior to the sponsor’s deadline, if the proposal is being submitted electronically. Proposals submitted via paper (courier) must be routed, approved, and completed, by 10 AM five (5) business days prior
to the sponsor’s deadline. Excluding fall and spring breaks, business days do not include University holidays or weekends.

If a proposal will be submitted outside of Cayuse 424, ORSP should be granted read/edit access to it five (5) days prior to the sponsor’s deadline. If the sponsor’s system does not allow ORSP access, a copy of the final proposal must be provided in accordance with this established deadline policy – one (1) business day prior to the sponsor’s deadline. All documents, including the final research plan, must be uploaded in final format into Cayuse 424 or the sponsor’s system by 10 AM one (1) business day before the sponsor deadline.

All required sections of a Cayuse SP proposal record, including an abstract, must be completed in order for the proposal to be submitted for routing. In addition, for the administrative review, a budget and justification must be uploaded as attachments into Cayuse SP. The sponsor’s guidelines must be provided via a link on the General Information tab or as an attachment to the proposal.

These changes were initiated due to risk concerns about the current deadline policies raised by WFU’s Legal Department and by the Office of Audit and Compliance. In addition, a recently completed study by the independent Huron Consulting Group entitled Research Operations Assessment of Wake Forest University recommended that we institute these changes to align ourselves with best practices among universities.

Why is this policy needed?

  • To allow sufficient time to review the budget to make sure that correct rates (ex. salary, fringe, indirect) are used.
  • To minimize the impact of system slowdowns or internet connectivity issues on sponsor deadline dates.
  • To make sure proposals are complete.
  • To ensure compliance with sponsor certifications.
  • Last minute proposals are more frequently rejected due to missing or non-compliant components.
  • Proposals received close to the submission deadline often “cut in line” of other proposals already received. This impacts the review and submission of proposals that were received in ORSP on a timely basis.

The following guidance should be followed for receipt of proposals by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) to allow for administrative approvals and staff review for completeness and compliance with sponsor requirements. Applications for external funding, including individual fellowships, must be reviewed and approved by the Department Chair, Center Director (if applicable), Associate Dean, Vice Provost, and ORSP prior to submission. Wake Forest University Reynolda Campus uses Cayuse SP for internal proposal routing and approvals. Cayuse 424 is used for electronic submission of proposals when the funding opportunity requires the use of Grants.gov. Some sponsors, such as NSF, have their own
electronic proposal submission systems. Proposals are rarely submitted on paper and sent via a delivery service or courier.

Due Five (5) Business Days Prior to the Deadline

Completed Cayuse record, all sections including:

  • Link to sponsor guidelines on the General Information tab or guidelines uploaded as an attachment
  • Project Abstract
  • Budget and budget justification as an attachment

Proposal submitted for routing

Cayuse SP proposal certified by the Lead PI

Subrecipient budget, scope of work, and letter of intent or Subrecipient Commitment Form

Due by 10 AM One (1) Business Day Prior to the Deadline

All other sections of the proposal including the final research plan and sponsor specific documents such as biographical sketches, facilities, other support, etc.

Proposals Involving Subawards/Subcontracts

Proposals involving collaborations or subawards/subcontracts take more time. Subrecipient budgets and other proposal materials must be received five (5) business days prior to the sponsor submission deadline. This deadline is required in order to have sufficient time to finalize WFU’s own budget and to ensure all required documentation from the subcontractor(s) is included in the proposal.

Proposals with deadlines after 5pm

When a sponsor’s stated deadline is after 5pm, for example 11:59 PM, the WFU deadline to submit is still 5 PM. Only ORSP staff can officially submit proposals to federal sponsors therefore the normal deadline policy of having all documents, including the final research plan, uploaded in final format into Cayuse 424 or the sponsor’s system by 10 AM one (1) business day before the sponsor deadline must be followed.


Proposals will be reviewed and submitted in the order in which they are received. Proposals not received by the deadline will not be submitted or submitted at the discretion of the Vice Provost for Research, Scholarly Inquiry and Creative Work.

Contact ORSP