In order to avoid conflicts of interest and duplication of effort, it is essential that individuals coordinate their grant-seeking efforts with the Grants and Contracts Office. Faculty and staff members interested in pursuing external funding should consult with the Grants and Contracts Office when the project is in the preliminary planning stage.
Proposals falling into certain categories are subject to an internal, presubmission review and must receive written approval from the department chair, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the controller and the director of Grants and Contracts. Proposals may need additional administrative review depending on the nature of the project.
Proposals that must receive presubmission institutional review and approval are those which require any of the following:
- the signature of an institutional representative
- matching funds
- institutional cost-sharing
- federal and/or state assurances of compliance
- institutional nominations
OR which involve any of the following:
- indirect costs
- collaborative efforts with other institutions
- animal or human subjects research
- contracts or subcontracts
- foundation or corporate support
The Grants and Contracts Office initiates the review process by completing an organizational prior approval sheet (OPAS) for review and signature. The OPAS contains documentation of presubmission reviews, capital projects projections, the budget request, indirect cost allowability, matching fund and/or cost-sharing obligations or other institutional commitments to the project.
Proposals to foundations or corporations are reviewed with the appropriate person in the Development Office in order to avoid duplication of effort.
In signing the OPAS, the principal investigator or project director confirms the accuracy of the information contained in the proposal and budget and assures the institution of his/her eligibility to participate in the project. The signature of the department chair provides departmental endorsement and confirms any departmental obligations or commitments to the project. The signature of the Vice President for Academic Affairs provides institutional endorsement of the proposed project and confirms matching fund or cost-sharing commitments, leaves of absence or other special circumstances affecting the project and/or the academic program. The controller’s signature provides evidence of a formal budget review including indirect cost recovery, approval of institutional financial commitments and agreement that the institution’s fiscal management standards are being upheld. The signature of the director of Grants and Contracts signifies the review is complete and that the proposal is ready for submission. When the same proposal is submitted to more than one sponsor a separate OPAS is issued for each proposal
Problems that arise during the internal review must be resolved prior to proposal submission. Ensuing revisions or changes must be acceptable to all signees of the OPAS since an individual’s signature indicates approval of the project as presented on the date of signature.
Funding agencies frequently require original signatures on preprinted forms. The controller provides signatures for financial certification; the director of Grants and Contracts provides the authorized institutional signature. Faculty members are not authorized to sign on behalf of the institution for any grant or contract proposal submission.