University of Southern California


Department of Contracts and Grants

The Department of Contracts and Grants (DCG) supports USC’s investigators through proposal submission, award negotiation, sub-awards, account set-up and account close-out, ensuring that our grants and contracts are consistent with university standards for academic freedom, research ethics and fiscal responsibility. While DCG does not prepare proposals or budgets, DCG will assist in the review of proposals prior to their submission.

We are committed to supporting USC Investigators by assuring timely submission of complete and accurate proposals that have the best chance possible of success in the sponsor review process. To succeed in this goal, DCG announces a Service Commitment for Proposal Review and Submission, including an enhanced review for deadline and a simplified Proposal Approval Record (PAR). DCG Service Commitment

For more information, call:
Health Sciences Campus: (323) 442-2396
University Park Campus: (213) 740-7762

How to Submit a Proposal

To submit a proposal, first contact your department or center administrator, or your school representative. Also, please be sure that you have completed a course in USC grants management. Proposals routed to the Department of Contracts of Grants should be accompanied by the Proposal Approval Record (PAR) or ePAR or submitted through TARA. Please contact us if you require our assistance.

When applying to the Health and Human Services (HHS, including NIH, AHRQ and CDC), be sure that you have a current financial disclosure on file as well as current training in conflicts of interest in research. These are required prior to submitting proposals to HHS.

A Guide Through the Proposal Lifecycle

The following instructions will guide you throughout the proposal lifecycle.


Institutionally limited proposals require advance approval from the Office of Research. Please submit requests at least two months in advance of deadline.

Complete proposals, including all required approvals on PAR or TARA, should be received by DCG at least three business days prior to the proposal deadline. Proposals received in advance of this deadline will receive priority treatment. To meet this deadline, investigators are strongly encouraged to obtain all needed proposal approvals at least one week in advance of the due date.

Proposals received less than 24 hours in advance of the proposal due date/time will be submitted if possible. However, because it may be impossible to check for proposal errors, these late proposals risk rejection by the sponsor.

Responsibilities of Allied Units

DC Office of Research Advancement: assistance in proposal development for centers, program projects or other large interdisciplinary proposals.

Department of Disbursement Control & Accounts Payable is responsible for processing and distributing payments to subcontractors.

Department of Purchasing Services is responsible for processing reimbursements, Independent Consultant Agreements, and issuing Purchasing Orders for subcontracts.

Frequent Research Contacts

Clinical Trials Office(CTO): industry sponsored clinical trials.

Office of Compliance: ITAR and other export restrictions, conflict of interest disclosures, research compliance education.

Sponsored Projects Accounting: submission of financial reports and invoicing.

University Advancement: gift agreements (i.e., an agreement where an organization or individual asks for no work product, intellectual property or any other item of value in exchange for funding).

USC Stevens Center for Innovation: licensing of intellectual property, material transfer agreements, confidential disclosure agreements and assistance with start-ups.

Contact DCG