WISPER Submission Process


Electronic Entry & RoutingBack to Top

All proposals for extramural support must be entered and routed electronically via WISPER (Wisconsin Proposal Electronic Routing).

WISPER is a web-based system maintained by Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP), and is used throughout UW-Madison for creating, routing, approving, and monitoring proposal applications and agreements.

For information on using WISPER, see:

Review/ApprovalBack to Top

Approvals Required for All Proposals

Before submission to the sponsor, all proposals must be reviewed and approved by:

  • Your department chair or his/her delegate
  • CALS Research Division
  • UW-Madison Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP)

Additional Approvals Required for Some Proposals

Before submission to RSP, some proposals require additional approvals:

  • If the PI is an academic staff member (not tenure-track faculty), PI status must be approved. See instructions for requesting Limited, Blanket or Permanent PI Status on the Principal Investigator Status page.
  • If a proposal involves resources from multiple departments, schools, or colleges (including cost sharing) the proposal must be approved by the appropriate officials of each unit, via an Approval Request in WISPER

Final Approval/Submission to Sponsor

RSP is the institutional signatory; CALS will work with the PI and RSP to coordinate institutional approvals and timely submission to the sponsor.

Deadlines/Lead TimesBack to Top

A summary of the CALS proposal lead time requirements is below; see the full CALS Proposal Lead Time Requirements document for additional information:

CALS Proposal Lead Time Requirements

For most proposals, relevant documents and information must be submitted to the CALS Research Division via WISPER at least 5 business days before the sponsor’s deadline.

The proposal’s WISPER record must include:

  • PI Signature
  • Department approval
  • Sponsor submission instructions
  • Call for proposals (RFP), as an attachment
  • Proposal documents, as attachments, including:
    • Detailed budget
    • Budget Narrative
    • Scope of Work (brief abstract – a draft is acceptable)
    • Subagreement documents (if applicable)
    • Matching commitments (if applicable)

Additional Lead Time Considerations

It is extremely helpful to provide funding opportunity information to your CALS Research Division preaward contact as soon as you decide that you will submit a proposal.

Complex proposals (those that include subagreements, mandatory cost share, or large/complicated budgets) require additional lead time. In these cases, coordinate with your CALS Research Division preward contact and plan to allow an extra 2-4 weeks.

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