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Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Internal Grant Deadline - FAQ

Q: Why do we have an internal deadline?

A: In 2005, the University Research Committee (URC) recommended implementing the 3-business day internal deadline, and it was approved by MUSC’s Office of the Provost.   The rationale for an internal deadline was to allow adequate time for review and insure compliance with the all administrative requirements of the sponsor.  With the onset and expansion of electronic proposal submissions, the risk of applications being rejected for technical errors is greatly increased and requires additional time for proposal review and submission.  Please refer to the Internal Deadline for Applications policy from the ORSP web page.

Q: What is considered a “complete application”?

A: A complete proposal package is defined as ALL required sections* (e.g. budget, science, face page, etc.) of the proposal are completed and submitted to ORSP via the ePDS and/or Cayuse424. 

* ALL required sections of a “complete proposal package” include:

  • Budget and justification (final versions for submission)
  • Project Narrative (science)
  • Final proposal (if not submitted via Cayuse424)
    • NOTE: If submitting via Cayuse424, the final application can be uploaded into the ePDS after submission
  • Subaward documentation (e.g. LOI, FCOI, budget/SOW)
  • FCOI External Contributor form
  • VA MOUs (current/annual, if applicable)
  • Grant Certification forms (completed, if applicable)
  • F&A reduction request form (completed, if applicable)
  • Any other items required by the sponsor

Q: How is the internal deadline calculated?

A: The internal deadline is the business day 3 days before the sponsor’s deadline.

See examples:

  • An NIH deadline falls on a Thursday at 5:00 pm, so 3 full business days prior to the NIH’s deadline would be Monday at 5:00 pm.
  • A foundation deadline falls on a Tuesday at noon, so the internal deadline would be at noon the prior Thursday.

Note:  Please note Saturdays, Sundays and officially observed MUSC holidays do not count as business days when calculating the 3 business day internal deadline.


Q: When is my complete application due to ORSP when the deadline falls on a weekend?

A: Generally, when a deadline falls on a weekend day the deadline is adjusted to be the first business day (usually Monday unless that is also a holiday) after the weekend day.  The 3-business day deadline would then be calculated from the adjusted deadline date.

Q: When is my complete application due to ORSP when the deadline falls on a holiday?

A: ORSP is closed for all official State of South Carolina observed holidays*, so a holiday is not considered a business day.  Weekend days (Saturday and Sunday) also do not count in the 3-business day calculation.

                *State Observed Holidays

Q: How do I determine the internal deadline if there is no specified deadline by the funding agency/sponsor?

A: ORSP must have at least 3 business days to review the application prior to submitting even when a deadline is not specified, so please plan accordingly. 

Q: Can I submit a DRAFT application package to meet the 3-business day deadline, while continuing to edit and improve the scientific plan?

A: No, the FINAL version of the application package is required to meet the 3-business day deadline.  Revisions may be made to improve the application, but if any section is completely replaced after the 3-business day window has closed then the proposal would not be considered to have met the internal deadline.

Q: Are there any advantages to submitting my application early?

A: Yes. NIH applications, for example, cannot be viewed as a complete package until it is accepted into the eRA Commons system.   The PI is then allowed to review the application for errors.  If there are any typographical errors, or the electronic systems have omitted or re-ordered the attachments then this allows time to withdraw and resubmit the application prior to the deadline.  Also, electronic systems typically have a heavier user load nearer the sponsor’s deadline, and submitting earlier avoids system errors related to servers having overloaded bandwidth use. 

Q: Should each department or unit develop its own internal deadline in order to help meet the required 3 business day deadline?

A: Though it is entirely up to each individual department or unit, it is certainly advisable to establish departmental deadlines for the getting the proposal to the departmental business office or Chair’s Office.  Such a process would build-in lead time for any adjustments that may be necessary prior to submitting on to ORSP.  Areas preparing and submitting for larger grants (i.e. program projects or center grants) involving multiple departments and/or multiple colleges should plan their lead time accordingly to accommodate for the longer ePDS routing and approval processes.  The more approvals needed, the longer the process will take to complete.