Proposal Development Timeline

This timeline provides general guidance and resources to support those preparing DRK-12 proposals for the first time. Be sure to check with your organization for specific guidance and deadlines. Work backwards from those deadlines to ensure you have enough time to carefully plan the project and develop the proposal.



3-6 Months Before Submission...

  • Read about the NSF DRK-12 program and its solicitation (a request for proposals)  and watch the most recent DRK-12 solicitation webinar
  • Notify your appropriate institutional departments and contacts (e.g., Office of Sponsored Programs) that you plan to submit a proposal, and become familiar with their internal policies, processes, requirements, and deadlines
  • Complete literature review and research about needs
  • Search NSF's site for current and completed projects which have done similar work, particularly in DRK-12
  • Discuss your idea in-depth with your project team and colleagues (including those who represent your target audience) to get their feedback
  • Hone your theoretical framework and theory of change or logic model
  • Consider mechanisms to assess success, broader impacts, dissemination, and sustainability
  • Design your project, budget, and staffing strategy with careful consideration of your partnerships, ensuring alignment and support for collaborative goals
  • Review how a budget is prepared at UC Davis as an example for early proposal planning
  • If you're unsure whether DRK-12 is a good fit for your project, you can send a 1-pager to for feedback (see more information on the DRK-12 page by clicking here)

1-3 Months Before Submission...

Within 1 Month of Submission...

Within 2 Weeks of Submission...

  • Complete the summary
  • Copy-edit all documents and make sure to follow the formatting guidelines described in the PAPPG
  • Send final documents to your administrative offices

By Deadline...

  • Submit proposal by 5pm (submitter’s local time) on the deadline date. NSF strongly recommends that you submit earlier than this to avoid any technical submission problems which may arise and for which you won't be given additional time.

Congratulations! Celebrate, relax, and wait

Expect to receive notification from NSF of your award or rejection within 6 months. Read the panel reviews and, if you
didn’t receive an award this time, consider revising and resubmitting your proposal.

If awarded, read NSF's Prospective New Awardee Guide and visit the CADRE Project Management Toolkit.