Policy on Late Submission of Proposals

From: Vice President for Research

September 2014

It is MIT policy that complete and final proposals must be submitted to the Research Administration Services (RAS) five working days in advance of the sponsor's deadline. In April 2007 the Office of the VPR and Deans adopted a policy which is described in this document: Important Information on Electronic Proposal Submission [PDF]


Given the growing complexity of the proposal submission process, it is critical that principal investigators adhere to these internal deadlines in order that staff members in the Departments, Labs and Centers and RAS have time to work through the many issues that arise before submitting a proposal by the sponsor's deadline. Because often a large number of proposals are submitted at once and because there are difficulties with grants.gov, late proposals create great stress for the staff involved in the DLCI’s, RAS, and VPR office.

VPR Policy

The VPR policy for late submission of proposals to RAS [PDF] (Claude R. Canizares memo, May 2008) is as follows:

  • Any proposal that is not completed and submitted to RAS by the internal five working day submission deadline will require the approval of both the Department/Lab Head of the submitting unit and the Vice President for Research before it will be processed by RAS. RAS will not grant extensions on its own to principal investigators to submit proposals after the five-day deadline. Proposals that have been granted a waiver will be submitted by RAS using best efforts.
  • All extensions must be approved by the VPR or the designee. (Designees include the Assistant Provost for Research, the Assistant Provost for Research Administration and the Director of Research Administration and Compliance.)
  • This policy applies to submissions of new, competing renewal, continuation and re-submission proposals regardless of sponsor, if the sponsor specifies a deadline. If no deadline is specified, RAS will expect to have five working days to process the proposal from the time of submission.
  • Sponsor requests for annual progress reports, revised budgets and other requests such as this are not subject to this policy. However, we ask that you give RAS as much time as possible when submitting these actions.

VPR Process

To obtain approval to submit a proposal after the RAS deadline, the following process should be used:

  • The Principal Investigator must send a request via e-mail to the appropriate Department/Lab Head and Administrative Officer explaining why the proposal is late and describing the reasons why it could not or cannot be submitted on time.
  • If the Department/Lab Head approves, the Head, Administrative Officer or other designee should write to the VPR by e-mail to vprrequests@mit.edu requesting a waiver of the five-day deadline.  (vprrequests@mit.edu is an e-mail list that goes to the VPR and key staff members to insure the request is received and responded to.) The justification will need to be reasonable, appropriate and compelling for it to be considered by the VPR. The VPR or a designee will try to respond to the DLCI, the Principal Investigator and RAS within one working day, setting a new submission date for the proposal within the five-day window. PI's will be expected to submit by the new deadline e.g. two days before the proposal is due to the sponsor. Proposals that are received in RAS close to the sponsor deadline, may receive light or no review.
  • If the request is approved, the proposal will be processed by RAS using best efforts.