Office of Sponsored Programs

Procedures  |  Proposal Approvals

There have been instances where proposals have been sent to potential funding agencies without appropriate University approvals. For example, proposals have been sent designated "preliminary" (i.e., without appropriate University approvals) but have contained a complete narrative as well as a fully structured budget. Some of these proposals have been returned with contracts. When this has occurred, if changes were needed in the narrative and/or budget in order to comply with University policies, it was both awkward and difficult to make such changes. In other instances, proposals have been sent to Research & Economic Development for approval on the day they were to be mailed to the funding agency. Without time for adequate review, proposals not in compliance with University and/or agency policies, and/or not of appropriate quality, have left the University. A negative impression of the University has sometimes resulted.


Proposals submitted for extramural funding and processed through Research & Economic Development that are not identified as "preliminary" must have the required approvals of the University. If a proposal is marked "preliminary," it must contain a statement on the cover sheet that it has not been approved by the University. In a timely manner, an information copy is required to be sent to the appropriate departmental chairperson (and, when applicable, center director), dean, and Research & Economic Development.

Official proposals processed through Research & Economic Development for transmittal to the funding agency will have a cover sheet with a minimum of two signatures, i.e., the principal investigator/project director and the Associate Vice President for Research. If the funding agency, such as the National Science Foundation, has its own cover sheet, it is to be used in place of the University's cover sheet. 

Proposals sent to Research & Economic Development for University approval must be accompanied by a fully executed Proposal Endorsement Form. Proposals should be sent to the office at least one full day before having to be mailed to the funding agency. The internal review of proposals will be initially conducted by the Contract Compliance Assistant before being signed for transmittal to the funding agency. The Associate Vice President for Research has the signature authority for all proposals leaving the University which are processed through Research & Economic Development. 


The department Chair and Dean are responsible for ensuring that approvals for proposals within their respective college contain the appropriate signatures and cover sheets and for encouraging faculty to provide adequate time for departmental and college reviews so that Research & Economic Development will also have adequate time for review. Further, faculty are required to let their departmental chairpersons (and, when applicable, center director) know, in a timely manner, when preliminary proposals are sent off-campus and to provide information copies to their chairperson (and center director), dean, and Research & Economic Development. 

Updated 3/27/2018

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