Proposal Approval Routing Guidance


POL-U5348.05 Authorizing Agreements and Contracts | Policies & Procedures | Western Washington University ( 


This document is intended to serve as formal guidance for Western Washington University (WWU) regarding pre-award review and routing prior to the submission of a proposal to an external funding source.  


Western requires review and approval of all external proposals at departmental, collegiate, and institutional levels prior to submission. This helps ensure the University is aware of the request, agrees to commit the resources required by the project, considers the project in keeping with the mission of the University, and can administer the project in compliance with institutional, state, and federal policies and procedures. The proposal review process also helps promote quality applications and ensure the accuracy of administrative and budgetary information and overall completeness.  


All Western Washington University investigators submitting external proposals on behalf of the University must receive prior approval using a Proposal Routing Form (PRF). The PRF is an eSign form that captures basic information about the proposed project including signature approvals documenting the department and college’s commitment to support it. 

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs must receive the PRF and all application materials must be finalized at least five (5) business days in advance of the sponsor's submission deadline or the preferred submission deadline.  

The routing requirement applies to: 

  • Preliminary applications that include a budget or require an institutional signature 

  • Full applications that represent new, revised, competitive renewal, or supplemental funding requests 

  • Non-competitive agreements that include a budget or require an institutional signature 

  • New and renewal contracts, including subawards  

  • Incremental-funding contract amendments reflecting a change in the original estimated total cost or a change in the statement of work. 

Department and College-Level Considerations 

Department or program chairs/directors and Deans should review and approve the PRF with the following considerations in mind: 

  • Is the proposed commitment of effort consistent with other responsibilities and obligations of the PI and project team, including any summer teaching commitments? 

  • Would the proposed project require an adjustment in the PI’s or a project team member’s teaching load? 

  • Are the necessary facilities, equipment, staff support, and other resources available to the proposed project? 

  • Does the proposed project involve a cost-sharing commitment at the department or college level?  If so, have the resources been clearly identified? 

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs 

RSP conducts the final review of PRFs and authorizes the application for submission on the institution’s behalf. Specifically, RSP: 

  • Reviews the PRF and associated documentation with particular attention to budgetary matters, effort commitments, cost-sharing requirements, institutional information, institutional resources, conflicts of interest, export control restrictions, and other assurance/compliance issues, and ensures the required signatures are in place for principal investigator(s), department(s), and college(s). 

  • Reviews the application/documentation in relation to sponsor requirements, with the goal of forwarding complete, compliant, competitive applications/documentation that merit full consideration.                                  

  • Authorizes the application/agreement on the University's behalf, providing an institutional signature when required. 

  • Completes the submission when required by the sponsor or requested by the principal investigator. 

  • Establishes and maintains application- and agreement-specific records in a tracking system linked to the Proposal Routing Form