Grant Application Guide
A preapplication is an optional vehicle that constitutes a potential applicant's intent to submit a formal grant application. A preapplication allows the potential applicant to receive a response from the cognizant program office regarding the suitability of his/her proposed research project to SC's interests.
Office of Science policy encourages a potential applicant to first discuss his/her proposed research project with Office of Science program staff to clarify areas of research interests prior to submitting applications. Such communications are particularly useful. Any written information submitted in connection with such informal discussions will not be considered to be a preapplication unless so specified in writing by the potential applicant.
The preapplication process is most likely used when the Office of Science publishes a Funding Opportunity Announcement/Notice of Availability that specifies a deadline date, and particularly when the Announcement/Notice is expected to generate a large number of applications. An individual Funding Opportunity Announcement/Notice of Availability may contain more specific instructions regarding the grant preapplications requested by the solicitation.
Discussions with program staff and/or the preapplication process do not obviate the normal merit review process for formal applications, and shall not preclude the submission of a formal grant application. Only formal applications will receive merit review in accordance with the Office of Science Merit Review System (March 11, 1991, Federal Register, Vol. 56, No. 47), whereby a subsequent funding decision will be made by the program office.
Contents of Preapplications
Unless otherwise stated in a Funding Opportunity Announcement/Notice of Availability, a preapplication should include cover-page information and a brief (3 to 5 page) project description and be submitted to the cognizant program office specified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement/Notice of Availability or in the Office of Science Annual Solicitation (a broad, general solicitation issued near the beginning of each government fiscal year, October 1). Preapplications may be submitted using electronic mail, the U.S. Postal Service, other carrier or fax.
Confidential or proprietary information is discouraged, but any such information must be clearly marked. Attachments or enclosures submitted with the preapplication will not be reviewed.
Where To Submit
If your preapplication is being submitted as a result of a discussion with an Office of Science program staff member (not in response to a published Funding Opportunity Announcement), then you may forward the preapplication directly to the program staff member. During your discussion, ask for the address.
If your preapplication is being submitted as a result of a published Funding Opportunity Announcement, follow the submission instructions contained in the Announcement.
Review of Preapplications
Response by the Program Office