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Researchers & Sponsored Projects

Image depicting the project lifecycle of sponsored projects at SDSU. The lifecycle includes 1) a project idea and finding funding; 2) building a proposal; 3) submitting the application; 4) merit review; 5) notice of award and review terms and conditions, project set up; 6) initiate and proceed with project; and 7) complete the project and submit final reports.
How do I find funding? 

Use the SPIN funding database. Log in with your SDSU credentials (using SSO). 

Search for federal grants at or on the agency website, such as NSF USDA NIFA | NIH.

Subscribe to announcements through Or, sign up with the sponsor or agencies, such as  NSF USDA NIH.  

Search awards databases using keywords about your research to learn how the agency funds work like yours, such as NSF | USDA NIFA NIH RePORTER (Tips on using) | DoD.

View weekly grant announcements at SD EPSCoR.

Review internal funding and limited submission opportunities on SDSU's InfoReady platform. 

Visit with your college's Associate Dean of Research and grant specialist or coordinator.

Network with colleagues for information on opportunities to collaborate.

Talk with sponsors! We recommend talking to program officers to learn about their funding priorities and approach. 

How do I prepare a grant application?

Review the sponsor's guidelines for instructions on application formatting, content and components. Common application components include the project description, budget and budget justification, and personnel documents. Remember to create a timeline that ensures adequate time for technical and compliance reviews. 

Develop your budget using the SDSU budget worksheet and budget justification template (InsideState). The page also includes other resources you may need for grant applications. 

Contact your grant specialist or coordinator (InsideState), Associate Dean of Research, or the Office of Research Assurance & Sponsored Programs for additional support.

What is a routing form?

A routing form is shorthand for our online form you submit for administrative approval of sponsored projects. If you are applying for grant funding or are working with a sponsor for a funded project, you are required to submit a routing form. 

Submit project details via the SDSU routing form (InsideState). Submit this form at least 10 days before the submission deadline. Find instructions on the Office of Research page (InsideState).

The routing is reviewed by your department head or director, your college's associate dean of research, the Grants & Contracts Administration, and the Office of Research. Depending on certain details, the form may also be reviewed by Facilities & Services (construction & remodeling), Office of Information Technology (software or computing needs), or the vice president for research (research & scholarship incentive plan). 

The routing form also provides specific details about the project that Grants & Contracts Administration will use to set up your project once awarded.

For a routing form, you need to include these key items: 

  • Your project's completed budget and budget justification
  • The grant guidelines (e.g. RFA, RFP, solicitation, funding opportunity announcement, etc)
  • Subaward budget and justification (if your project includes one or more subawards)
  • Contractor vs Subaward form (linked in the routing form; if the project has a contractor or subaward)
How do I submit my grant application? 

For submission details, refer to the sponsor guidelines. This will direct where to submit and who submits the application. 

You may need credentials for the agency platform to create your online application. For NSF and, you can register for an ID, which you will then affiliate with SDSU. To create an eRA Commons ID with NIH, contact the Office of Research grant development specialist. If you have an existing ID, edit your profile to use your SDSU email and then affiliate your current ID with SDSU. 

Federal grant applications are typically submitted on behalf of SDSU by the university's Authorized Organization Representation (AOR). The grant development specialist and assistant vice president of research can submit applications for SDSU researchers. 

What happens when my project is selected for funding? 

The project investigator (PI) and/or the Office of Research or Grants & Contracts Administration will receive a notice of award. If negotiation is needed, the PI and the central offices work with the sponsor for any adjustments.

If a signature is required, contact the Office of Research. The assistant vice president of research is a signatory official who reviews and signs contracts and agreements on behalf of the university.  

Sometimes, a sponsor requests a revised budget or documents during the merit review process. If they request a budget revision, contact your grant specialist and Grants & Contracts Administration (InsideState) for budget review. 

After notice of award and all terms & conditions are approved, Grants & Contracts Administration will set up the fund in Banner (the university's financial system). The PI and their department personnel will receive details of the new project/fund.