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Proposal Submission Rates-Pre/Post pandemic

  • 1.  Proposal Submission Rates-Pre/Post pandemic

    Posted 6 days ago
    Dear Colleagues,

    In 2020, we surprisingly saw an increase in proposal submissions, however our volume seems to be trending back toward the pre-pandemic rate.  I'm curious:

    1) Have your proposal submissions increased, decreased, or stayed the same during 2020? 
    2) What about now as we enter mid 2021-any changes?
    3) What does your crystal ball tell you for what to expect in the coming 12 months?  


    Kris A. Monahan, Ph.D.
    Director Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance
    Providence College
    Providence, RI

  • 2.  RE: Proposal Submission Rates-Pre/Post pandemic

    Posted 6 days ago
    Tagging @Jonathan Lew here, since he was just asking the same question!​

    Simon Helton
    Community Manager
    Portland OR

  • 3.  RE: Proposal Submission Rates-Pre/Post pandemic

    Posted 6 days ago
    Hi Kris, 

    Proposals have stayed about the same this year as last year. Our fiscal year ends June 30 so mid-2021 is included in that.
    My "crystal ball" tells me that submissions will be about the same next year as well given past history. There are new faculty coming in and submitting, plus those whose projects are ending will also be submitting new project ideas. 
    But who knows?  :-)

    Terri Hall
    Director, Research Business Intelligence
    University of Notre Dame
    South Bend IN

  • 4.  RE: Proposal Submission Rates-Pre/Post pandemic

    Posted 5 days ago
    To that point, Mike Lauer just released a retrospective look at various types of NIH submissions over the last six years (from January through April, so not a full-year look, but more of a year-to-date look). In every category, there was a slight dip (on the order of 700 proposals) in FY2020, but it wasn't out of line with the fluctuations seen in earlier years. And FY2021 numbers have rebounded to, or in some cases, beyond, pre-pandemic levels.

    Here at OU, we're just about at the end of our fiscal year, so it's too early to tell what our FY2021 final numbers will look like. But we did see a fairly substantial rise in the number of proposals going in that started around a month after the stay-at-home order took effect last March that carried through to the end of FY2020. We saw a dip over the summer (which isn't unusual), and then another surge at the start of the fall semester. Since then, the month-by-month trendline has been somewhat saw-toothy, but it hasn't dipped below the level we were at just pre-pandemic.

    Some of that may be related to heightened pandemic productivity, but it may also have to do with the fact that we've been recruiting and hiring a lot of research-active faculty over the last four-plus years, and we've been working intensively (particularly, though not exclusively) with these new hires to jump-start a culture change to a bigger research focus. Part of our strategic plan involves increasing the number of faculty serving as PI (or co-PI) on active grants, and also on increasing the number of students we support. So I think we should reasonably expect to see proposals at, or above, where we're at now, just as a result of ordinary business developments. There will be some cyclicity to the numbers, as we aren't yet in a culture of multiple grants per PI - though we want to move in that direction.

    Michael Spires
    Research Development Officer
    Oakland University
    Rochester, MI

  • 5.  RE: Proposal Submission Rates-Pre/Post pandemic

    Posted 4 days ago
    Our proposal levels have remained steady for the last year, though there was a steep uptick last summer in June & July. It also *felt* like a lot of things were happening, but that may have just been the overwhelming feeling that the pandemic brought. 

    Like Terri, I think FY22 will be similar in activity from the proposal side.

    Augusta Isley
    Senior Proposal Manager
    Ball State University