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Membership and Grants

Grants Development Office

The University of Kansas Cancer Center Grants Development Office functions under the auspices of the cancer center as a core resource.

The main role of the Grants Development Office is to facilitate the development of competitive grant applications in cancer research by assisting University of Kansas Medical Center faculty and researchers in the proposal development process.

On average, the office works with about 50 unique principal investigators, more than 120 researchers and assists on 110 to 150 proposal submissions every year.


The Grants Development Office is available to assist faculty and researchers in the development of a grant proposal from conceptualization to the final submission. The level of assistance provided during the development process varies based on the complexity of the grant proposal, the experience of the proposer(s) and the need for a team approach to develop the proposal. Most services are in the pre-award area, but assistance with nonfinancial post-award activities is also available. 


Submit a Request for Assistance to Grants Development Office

Complete the REDCap survey here

Services include:

  • Provide RFA guidelines interpretation and scrutinize for special requirements, submission details and compliance issues.
  • Serve as single point of contact for multi-investigator grants or multiple participants in proposal development.
  • Address subcontracting issues and coordinate submission with partnering university(ies).
  • Coordinate the use of cancer center cores and shared resources.
  • Development of administrative information.
  • Assist with or prepare nonscience documents (biographical sketch, face page, checklist, resources, other requests).
  • Assist with budget development.
  • Prepare final layout.
  • Print final proposal, multiple originals and ship hardcopy applications as needed.
  • Conduct ongoing research to identify and disseminate funding opportunities announcements (FOAs) of interest to cancer center members.
  • Identify and disseminate funding opportunities announcements (FOAs) of interest to cancer center members.
  • Offer individual consultation to investigators to identify FOAs suitable for their career level and scientific interest.
  • Assist with various other pre-award or post-award matters.


Proposal development process

Proposal preparation services are offered to any member of The University of Kansas Cancer Center who is preparing a cancer-related grant.
Preparation and time frame: The Grants Development Office's lead time for proposal development services is at least 4 to 6 weeks, and longer for complex applications involving collaboration with multiple institutions. The level of services offered will be determined by the principal investigator's (PI) preferences and the lead time given to the office.
Review: A draft of the proposal must be delivered to the KU Medical Center Research Institute 10 business days before the sponsor's deadline, and the final proposal is due 5 days before the deadline.
Submission: In most cases, the research institute will submit the final proposal to the sponsoring agency on behalf of the PI.
Fees: There are no direct fees associated with our services.
Typical workflow:
  • Initial meeting with the PI for proposal planning session, timeline and milestones development and assignment of tasks.
  • Weekly meetings to monitor the progress, troubleshooting, inform of any changes.
  • After a draft of the application is assembled and internal routing forms completed, the draft proposal is referred to the research institute for administrative institutional review and approval.
  • Per the research institute’s feedback, any detected issues in the proposal are addressed or corrected.
  • Final files are included in the application, and the final "ready to submit" proposal is forwarded to research institute who will complete the submission to the sponsor.
  • If the sponsor requires hard copies, the office may assemble the mailing package and send to the agency.

Start a proposal

The Grants Development Office can assist with internal procedure steps, as well as offer advice or assist with proposal development. The steps involved in the institutional routing of a proposal are described below:

Determine submission method: After identifying a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and reading the specific instructions, determine the submission method — electronic or hard copy. Most electronic submissions are online systems where the files are uploaded in an application package, which is then submitted. KU Cancer Center uses My Sponsored Projects (MSP), an online system utilized by our institution for submissions, such as NIH, DOD or NSF proposals, Proposal Central, Fast Lane, CDMRP, others or agency specific proprietary systems.

Register: Make sure you are registered in the system or create a new account. To be registered as a new user in MSP, contact the research institute.

If applicable, make sure you are registered in funding agencies’ grant platforms such as eRA Commons (for NIH proposals), e-BRAP (for DOD proposals) or other agency-specific websites.

Conflict of interest: Make sure your financial conflict of interest certification is current.

Cost-shared memo: If there is any cost-shared effort commitment (i.e., unpaid effort), complete an internal cost-shared memo and have it signed by the department chair(s). Information about cost-share may be found here.

Subcontractors: If there is any subcontracted work, contact the subcontracting institution for the inter-institutional subcontract paperwork. Subcontractors will need to complete and sign the sub-awardee commitment form before the submission date.

Fill in the institutional information on the application forms. Please note that the proposal submitting institution is in most cases the University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute, Inc. The complete institutional information can be found here.

Submit to research institute: Submit a draft of the proposal through My Sponsored Projects  (MSP) to the research institute 10 days before the sponsor's deadline.

Develop a budget

Budget restrictions: Review the grant announcement to see if there are special budget restrictions or requirements (i.e., maximum budget allowed, salary cap, salary charge limit for key personnel, allowed or unallowed costs, indirect costs treatment, etc.).

Personnel: Start listing the personnel (key and nonkey) and determine the level of effort commitment for each of them to carry out the work involved in the proposed project (as a percentage of their FTE). The salary charges as a percentage of their current base salaries should match the percent effort commitment (unless there is a requirement for effort cost-sharing). Fringe benefits are in addition to base salary.

Other expenses: List all other expenses associated with the proposed work: animal purchase, animal maintenance, lab supplies and consumables, core facilities fees, travel, publication costs, subjects’ compensation, promotional materials, tuition costs, subcontractors' costs, etc. Add everything up to determine the total direct budget.

Indirect costs: In most cases, the indirect costs (or "facilities and administration" or overhead) are calculated as a percentage of the direct costs and then added to the direct budget to determine the total budget. Be aware that sometimes the indirect costs are included in the total budget limit.

Our institutional F&A rate agreement can be found here.

Grant application resources and forms

Funding opportunities

Below are select cancer research-relevant funding opportunities.

Internal funding opportunities

The University of Kansas Cancer Center pilot projects are announced twice a year, for spring and fall rounds. Available to cancer center members only.

The application materials are submitted via Redcap, and include the following NIH forms:

  • Application page: To be signed by the principal investigator (PI). 
  • Face page: To be signed by the PI's department head
  • Budget: Initial period – $50,000 may be requested for 1-year funds, which may NOT be used for PI's salary, travel, subscriptions or indirect costs
  • Budget justification narrative
  • NIH Biosketch
  • Word documents: To be used for the research plan, abstract and references. The research plan is limited to 6 pages (excluding references) and should include: 1) Specific aims; and 2) Research strategy (significance, innovation and approach).

Summary of the NIH policies, updates, instructions and forms.

More funding opportunities can be found here


  • Frontiers
  • Jewell Summer Research Training Program


Grant resources


  • No, we do not charge any fees for services to The University of Kansas Cancer Center members.

  • Yes, the Grants Development Office will forward the proposal to the research institute for institutional review and approval, by the internal deadlines set by the research institute.

  • In general, no. If the agency requires an institutional submission of the proposal (like most of the federal agencies do), we are not able push the submit button. These proposals will be submitted by the research institute. If the agency allows investigator submission or if it's a paper submission, then we can submit it on behalf of the principal investigator, after all the institutional signatures and approvals are obtained.

  • In general, no. But if the preapplication forms require a budget or a signature from the authorized official representative, then yes, it needs to be routed to the research institute for institutional review and signature.

  • Mario Medina, PhD, Director of Sponsored Programs and Administration, at the University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute, Inc., is the authorized office representative for grant proposal applications.

NIH Policies of Interest

Interested in becoming a cancer center member? 

To apply, click here. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Contact Lisa Harlan-Williams at for more information regarding membership.

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