Submitting a Proposal

Ready to go? Here’s how to submit your proposal to the funding organization.

For all proposals, ensure your GoldSheet or Cardinal Sheet has been approved before being submitted to the sponsor or funder.

Routing a GoldSheet

Iowa State uses an electronic routing process called GoldSheet to route proposals from the PI to the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (OSPA) for all proposals that will be funded by a sponsored award. A sponsored award is funding from an external source for an activity with a defined scope and purpose and with the expectation of specific deliverables.

Proposal information submitted via the GoldSheet must be reviewed and approved by the PI and all co-PIs, as well as by the departments/units and colleges of the PI and co-PIs. The GoldSheet is then routed to OSPA. It typically takes several days for the GoldSheet to arrive in OSPA, especially when there are multiple co-PIs.

The OSPA Pre-Award Team helps interpret sponsor requirements, reviews proposals and budgets, and submits proposals to federal agencies. If you need assistance with submitting your proposal, email the OSPA Pre-Award Team at

Routing a Cardinal Sheet

The Cardinal Sheet is the internal routing approval form required for all projects that will be funded by a gift. A gift is given to Iowa State without expectation of a specific research activity or outcome. Routing of a Cardinal Sheet typically takes several days before it arrives at the ISU Foundation.

If you have questions about the Cardinal Sheet process, contact