The 15/5/2 Rule

The 15/5/2 Rule

Update: UTSA is launching an updated 15-5-2 policy starting in September 2022. We will, however, be flexible for those PIs operating on the older 10-5-2 timeline through this period of transition. Starting in January 2023 the 15-5-2 will be strictly enforced.

15 Days Prior

Please notify your assigned Pre-Award unit of your intent to submit a proposal, by completing the Notice of Intent page of a new Routing Form, a minimum of 15 business days prior to the submission deadline. If you aim to submit ahead of the sponsor’s deadline, then this would be a minimum of 10 business days prior to your target submission deadline.

5 Days Prior

Submit-ready proposal documents must be sent to your Research Service Center no later than 8:30 a.m. at least five (5) business days prior to the submission deadline date.
All of the following are required to meet this deadline:

  • Budget
  • Budget justification/narrative
  • Cost sharing request, if applicable (account number and account manager signature is required.) Voluntary cost-sharing must be approved by the Office of the Vice President for Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise prior to proposal review.
  • All supporting documentation from proposed subcontractors, if applicable (i.e., Statement of Work, Budget, F&A agreement, Sponsored Programs approval)
  • All other non-technical documents, as required, per the solicitation
  • Completed application, as appropriate
  • If submission is through NSF Fastlane or sponsor-specific electronic submission vehicles, all documents must be uploaded and access granted to the RSC. Please contact your RSC staff.
  • Draft copy of the project narrative

Your proposal will be considered late if the required documents, excluding the narrative, are not received in the office by 8:30 a.m. five (5) business days prior to the sponsor’s deadline. The technical narrative may be submitted in draft format.

2 Days Prior

The proposal in its final format must be received by the RSC no later than 8:30 a.m. two (2) business days prior to the submission deadline date. RSC staff are responsible for conducting a detailed review of your proposal and may identify revisions and/or corrections needed. This review will not occur if the final documents are received after the deadline. Be reminded: encourages applicants to submit their proposal at least 2-3 days prior to the submission deadline date. This practice allows adequate time to correct errors and resolve issues encountered through the electronic submission process.

How to Receive Priority

Proposals meeting the submission deadlines will receive priority over all other proposals. We will work diligently with those PIs/PDs to ensure that their proposals adhere to the program solicitation.

How to Petition a Late Proposal

Proposals received outside the five (5) days and two (2) business days deadlines will not be accepted without a petition. Submit a request for exception to your department chair. If approved, your department chair will submit a request to your Associate Dean for Research. If approved, your Associate Dean will submit a request for inclusion to the RSC. Your will not receive priority review (i.e., not placed ahead proposals received within approved timeline) but rather will be reviewed as time permits in the order that it is received. The PI assumes responsibility for proposals deemed non-compliant by the sponsor. There is also the possibility that your proposal will not be submitted.

More Time Needed for Complex Proposals

Multi-year proposals that incorporate: 1) multiple budgets and subcontractors, 2) cost proposals, 3) cost-sharing and/or 4) international proposals will require additional time for review. If you think your proposal will fall within this category, please contact your RSC as soon as possible.



Why does the RSC need so much time to review my proposal?  
What is the purpose of the submission checklist?  
Can the RSC staff upload my documents?  
What if I will be unavailable on the day of submission?  
Liana Ryan, MPA
Director, Research Service Center
Sciences, Engineering, & Integrated Design
Michael Wood, MRA
Director, Research Service Center
Health, Education, Business, & Arts
Silvia Cano
Sr. Director, Finance & Administration
Institute for Economic Development