Proposal Review

The OSP Proposal Review Team works with schools and departments to submit Initial and competing renewal submissions for the Cambridge and Wyss campuses.

All proposals are reviewed and submitted by the Office for Sponsored Programs. Proposals may not be submitted to a sponsor without internal review, approval and signature by OSP, the Principal Investigator, the PI’s department Chair, Dean, or other designated proxy, as appropriate. Only those proposals have been signed by an OSP Authorized Official for Harvard University legally bind the University to the funding proposal.

Proposals must be Locked and Routed in GMAS no later than five days prior to the sponsor due date.

If departments have questions while developing proposals or would like to have a proposal reviewer assigned prior to locking and routing in GMAS, please email the Proposal Review team at the proposal assistance inbox:

The Awards Management Team is portfolio based, with assigned OSP contacts for each department. The team works with departments to submit any requests beyond the submission of the initial or competing renewals. The team advises and supports as needed, setting up awards, subawards, and accounts, while resolving any issue that arises throughout the lifecycle of the award.

Before you lock and route

  • If a proposal is in response to an RFP, please upload the RFP to the request document repository or enter the URL for the RFP in the mailing instructions section of your GMAS request.
  • Enter the URL for the applicable submission portal to the “mailing instructions” of your GMAS request. 
  • On occasion, an RFP may include terms and conditions that conflict with Harvard's research policies. Your pre-award representative may need some additional time to secure special approval or strategize on how to proceed. Be sure to reach out to OSP as soon as possible.
  • If the project involves Investigators from different schools or departments, the secondary Investigators must be entered into the interfaculty involvement section of your GMAS request.
  • Enter your proposal ASSIST or Workspace ID’s in the mailing instructions section of your GMAS request.
  • Subaward proposals must include the contact and email address of the prime sponsor in the mailing instructions of the GMAS request, so OSP knows to whom they should submit the proposal.
  • If a proposal contains a subaward be sure to enter the institution name in the Subaward module of the GMAS request.

GMAS Retraction Criteria

Once a proposal is locked and routed, there are some instances in which a record is retracted by the OSP Pre-Award team. These instances should be very few. If any of the following criteria are met, the OSP Pre-Award team member reviewing the proposal will formally retract the proposal and the record will need to be resubmitted with new approvals:

  • Research team members listed are incorrect and require additional personnel to be added
  • Cost sharing was not originally included in the proposal, but should have been, or was incorrectly completed
  • International Collaboration Activities section was not completed or was completed incorrectly
  • Subcontract Module was not completed (for a proposal that includes a sub)
  • Addition of interfaculty involvement that was not part of the original record
  • Substantial edits to Proposed Budget Module are required. Substantial edits include changing multiple budget years within GMAS + adding/revising IDC.

New/Competing Business Process and Checklist

All proposals will be reviewed in alignment with the New and Competing Proposal Review Checklist. Please review prior to proposal submission to ensure an efficient review. Please also review the full business process for new and competing requests.