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STEP Proposal Process

STEP Deadlines are July 15 for the Fall cycle and January 15 for the Spring cycle at 5:00 PM.  If either deadline falls on a holiday or weekend, proposals will be due the next business day by 5:00 PM. No late submissions will be accepted. All proposals should be emailed in electronic format (Adobe Acrobat) or (Microsoft Word) to  Due to the current requirement that each proposal include the Dean's signature, the primary investigator's (PI) Dean or Division Head should be copied on the email.

STEP Council
The STEP Council consists of the University Chief Information Officer, SGA Vice President, all SGA College Presidents, the University Provost or his/her designee, the University Vice President of Student Affairs or his/her designee, and the Director of Disability Services or his/her designee. In the absence of a college president, that president may send a senator from his/her college for that college’s representation.  The composition of the STEP Council was changed in April, 2010 by the SGA to insure that all students were represented fairly and equally and that there would be more stability and continuity in proposal prioritization and project selection over time.

Dean/Division Head Review
Each Dean and/or Division Head should send a proposal priority list to indicating the college/division ranked priorities associated with the submitted proposals faculty/staff from that college/division.  In addition to the priority list, Deans/Division Heads can also indicate if any of the proposals submitted by their faculty/staff should be removed from the proposal list.

Proposal Grading
Each STEP Council member will read and then grade ALL proposals using an eight-point grading scale (1-8) where 8 is the highest rank/grade and 1 the lowest rank/grade.  Grades will be recorded in a spreadsheet provided by the STEP manager.  STEP manager will compile and build an overall composite grade/rank sheet (based on submitted grades) and indicate which proposals will be funded (based on ranked order/grade and available budget).  When grading and evaluating proposals, members of the STEP Council use the STEP Plan goals and objectives, the University Strategic goals and objectives, proposal impact on students, and proposal total cost of ownership to prioritize and weight the relative merits and contributions of each proposal.

Award Letters
Award letters for all funded proposals are sent to each PI at the conclusion of the process.  This letter will include the proposal name, total amount of the award, award budget by object, account number, and conditions upon which the award was made.  Beginning in Spring 2011, all award letters will be sent via email.  In addition, all awarded projects and associated proposals will be posted on this site.

Tentative STEP Timelines

Description Fall Cycle Spring Cycle
Proposal due July 15 January 15
Dean's priorities due August 15 January 30
Proposal's compiled for STEP Council evaluation and grading end of August mid-January
STEP Council convenes and are advised of STEP priorities based on the current STEP Plan first week of September end of February
STEP budget determined Fall enrollment census date Spring enrollment census date
STEP Council Grades and Comments Due mid-October end of March
STEP Council final recommendations end of October mid-April
TAC review and recommendations first week of November third week of April
PI notification of recommended changes and/or conditions of award second week of November last week of April
Recommended proposals sent to President for approval end of November first week of May
Award letters sent to PI's and funded awards are posted on website first week of December second week of May


Questions concerning the STEP process can be sent to  In addition, faculty and staff can discuss proposal ideas and obtain grant advice from the STEP Manager.  Students are welcome to make suggestions and interact directly with the STEP Manager concerning sustainable resources.