Defining your Opportunity

Opportunities Come in Different Forms

We recognize that Principal Investigators have opportunities that become available through two primary ways: Solicited and Unsolicited. Therefore, OSP has modified the processing of each of these types of opportunities to minimize unnecessary steps.

All opportunities submitted to OSP start with the following steps:

Step 1. The department creates a Cayuse SP record. More information on creating a Cayuse account can be found on the OSP website, by clicking here.  *Note: Once the record is created, a Cayuse ID is generated and will need to be used as the reference for communication with OSP. 

Step 2.  The Cayuse SP record should serve as the central repository for all documents and correspondences related to the given action. At minimum, the following documents must be uploaded: scope of work, budget worksheet, budget justification, other sponsor-specified or UNM required forms as applicable, and either a solicitation or correspondence related to Unsolicited Opportunities (this may be a proposed agreement).   


To ensure consistency in how these opportunities are defined, the following are definitions, characteristics, and specific processing that should be noted for these two types:

Solicited Opportunities: requests from sponsors for submission of a proposal according to the requirements outlined in the sponsor-issued solicitation.

  • A proposal is being developed in response to public funding announcements, solicitations, or formal requests for proposal.
  • Typically, the sponsor clearly states the expectations of the proposal offeror in the solicitation. It may also include a deadline for proposals and other specific requirements that must be met.
  • Depending on the sponsor, a proposal consists, at minimum, of a statement of work, a budget, a written budget narrative and a letter of commitment endorsed by an Authorized Organizational Representative (OSP Proposal Specialists hold this delegated authority).
  • Exception-Task orders are usually issued as a request from a sponsor with whom the University has a current Master Agreement. Task orders can be identified as email correspondences that cite a Master Agreement reference on the request for a response. For the purpose of these categorizations, task orders will fall under Solicited Opportunities.
  • If you have a Solicited Opportunity, follow the steps listed above and a Proposal Review appointment must be scheduled. To schedule a Proposal Review appointment, click here.

Please note: OSP Proposal Review appointments must be considered in your proposal planning and development process (advance planning) in order to schedule a Comprehensive Proposal Review.

Unsolicited Opportunities: non-competitive prospects that might result from a sponsor engaging a PI or vice versa for completion of a specific scope of work, but where no formal solicitation has been published for the request of proposals.  

  • An opportunity that is made available to the University without a formal solicitation from a sponsor which may result in a new award via a contract or cooperative agreement.
  • If a contract or cooperative agreement is being discussed and there was no solicitation issued for the opportunity, the instrument serves as the indication of an Unsolicited Opportunity, but must not be negotiated or signed by the PI or department.

Funded Unsolicited Opportunities that do not have a solicitation will still be required to consist of at minimum a scope of work, budget and budget justification, and other sponsor-specified or UNM required forms as applicable for internal processing and in some cases to be submitted to the sponsor.

  • If you have an Unsolicited Opportunity, route the Cayuse record and complete the Unsolicited Opportunities Intake Form. Confirmation will be sent via email once the form has been reviewed. Please allow up to 48 hours to receive a response. If an award has been made in the form of a contract, the Contract Review and Negotiation Process and the agreement will be assigned to a Contract Specialist. No proposal appointment is necessary for Non-Competitive Opportunities.