Proposal Process and Submission

Please read the steps below. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives (IESI) also offers workshops on this process every semester. Contact IESI to sign up at

Step 1 – IDEA

Individuals or teams with an idea that advances USD's Envisioning 2024 Strategic Plan should consider submitting a Pre-Proposal. USD students, faculty, staff, and administrators are eligible to apply. Students should have the support of a faculty member, while faculty, staff, and administrators should have the support of their Dean or Vice President.

The purpose of the fund is to jump-start, but not permanently fund, initiatives for a two-year period. The University has $500,000 to grant per award cycle (thus, $250,000/year) for all initiatives. The maximum award one initiative can receive is $200,000 (thus, $100,000/year).

The initiative should be an innovative approach of attending to a problem or opportunity that supports USD’s strategic goals and pathways. The initiative should span across multiple units on campus or extend out into the community and include particular requirements. To see what types of initiatives have been funded in the past, review prior awardees and the annual report

While open to proposals in all areas, this year we are particularly interested in proposals for initiatives that focus on countering anti-black racism specifically and racial injustice more generally while incorporating one or more of the following identified Urgent Challenges of today: homelessness, cross-border engagement, food justice, environmental justice, human trafficking, and/or educational equity.


After you have read the requirements and when you are ready to submit your pre-proposal, use the Qualtrics Pre-Proposal link below. A Strategic Goal Committee (SGC) will review the pre-proposal using a rubric and provide feedback. When a pre-proposal is accepted, it moves to the next step, otherwise the proposer will be notified of the rubric criteria that were not met and advised if a variation of the proposal should be submitted for the next cycle.

Note: Before submitting, you are welcome to contact IESI for a pre-review or consultation to ensure a higher quality pre-proposal. Email for an appointment. 


After you have been notified by a Strategic Goal Committee that your pre-proposal has been accepted, you will be directed to submit the full proposal form using a special link provided by IESI. The link to the full proposal will be unique to your proposal, as it will contain the pre-proposal information that you previously submitted. Additional information will be required; see full-proposal requirements. Please preview the PDF of the full proposal form to see the information that will be needed. For the full proposal, a budget template must also be submitted. The full-proposal will be reviewed using the rubric.


The Strategic Initiative Review Council (SIRC) reviews the full proposals and budgets using the rubric and recommends which proposals to fund to the Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC). The SPSC reviews full proposals, budgets, and rubric scorings prior to recommending to the Strategic Leadership Team which proposals to fund. The Strategic Leadership Team reviews the SPSC recommendations and prioritizes proposals for funding. The President makes the final decision on which proposals to fund.

When applicable, SIRC will contact USD’s Office of Sponsored Programs for identification of an alternate source of funding. When proposal funding is not approved, the proposer will be notified by SIRC if funds have been depleted or if rubric criteria were not met and advised if a variation of the proposal should be submitted for the next cycle.


Once funding is approved, the proposer will be granted access to Cayuse (USD’s Sponsored Projects Management System) to upload the approved proposal and budget and to establish a record of the awarded amount and how funds will be distributed. The proposer will also be directed to IESI to establish an assessment plan in TracDat software.