Search Search

Ch. 7 - Proposal Review, Approval, and Submission

7.1 Required Institutional Signature
7.2 Internal Review of Research Proposals
7.3 Internal Review of Proposals for Projects other than Research
7.4 Sponsor Limitation of Proposals from Institution
7.5 Procedures for the Submission of Proposals
7.6 Pre-Award Audit/Request for Additional Information

 

return to Table of Contents


 

7.1 Required Institutional Signature

Background

Because Caltech certifies compliance with sponsor requirements and accepts certain responsibilities at the time a proposal is submitted, sponsors typically require a real or electronic signature from the applicant institution in addition to one from the PI. The signature of an institutional or authorized official indicates the organization complies with sponsor and governmental regulations, has adequate facilities and infrastructure to complete the project, and offers to perform the described work within the requested budget and any listed cost sharing commitment.

The Caltech Way

All proposals to sponsors for grants, contracts and cooperative agreements must be reviewed and approved by the Division Chair and submitted by the Office of Sponsored Research.

The Office of Sponsored Research is the Institute contact point for sponsored activities when a formal agreement (e.g., a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement) with the Institute is contemplated that includes terms and conditions, i.e., the funds will not be classified as a gift.

Caltech Faculty Handbook Chapter 7

8/31/2017


7.2 Internal Review of Research Proposals

Background

A formal proposal review process ensures key issues are reviewed by all stakeholders within an institution. Areas of review include: facilities and space commitments, conflict of interest, involvement of human subjects and/or vertebrate animals, and cost sharing commitments.

The Caltech Way

All institutional reviews must be completed prior to the submission of a proposal to a sponsor. The Division Approval Form for Sponsored Projects must be completed to document internal reviews and approvals of proposals prior to submission.

All applications for new, noncompeting continuation, renewal or supplemental awards or revisions to proposals or program budgets requested by the sponsor must be accompanied by a completed and signed Division Approval Form (DAF).

The Administrative Committee on Sponsored Research is appointed by the President and reports to the Vice Provost for Research. The Committee is responsible for reviewing certain types of research proposals before an award can be accepted by the Institute. These include:

  • Proposals submitted to for-profit sponsors (excluding federal flow-through funds) 
  • Proposals submitted to foreign entities
  • Proposals requesting annual funding in excess of $5 million or total funding that exceeds $10 million
  • Proposals referred to the Committee by the Vice Provost for Research or the Office of Sponsored Research

Caltech Faculty Handbook Chapter 7 (pg. 7/28)

Caltech Institute Research & Compliance Committees website

9/20/10


7.3 Internal Review of Proposals for Projects other than Research

Background

The Institute seeks funding from government and private agencies for activities that are research-related, but not in themselves research. Examples include: instrumentation programs, training programs, student support, building renovations.

Research-related proposals follow the same procedures as research proposals, i.e., completion of a Divisional Approval Form, submission to the Office of Sponsored Research through the Division Chair. (see Section 7.2)

The Caltech Way

Proposals for testing programs require DAF approval from the Division Chair and/or other official responsible for the involved laboratory or facility, and the Office of Sponsored Research.

Proposals for graduate student fellowships, individual graduate student financial support and institutional training grants require approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies on the DAF.

Proposals for educational programs, summer institutes, equipment and renovation of facilities require a completed DAF.

Caltech Faculty Handbook Chapter 7

9/20/10


7.4 Sponsor Limitation of Proposals from Institution

Background

Public and private sponsors may limit the number of proposals that can be submitted by each institution for certain funding programs. These programs are referred to as "limited submissions." Information regarding such a restriction is usually found in the sponsor's program guidelines or announcement of availability of funding. Attention is required by the institution and PI in order to avoid disqualification or delays that could result from submissions exceeding the limitation.

The Caltech Way

The Provost's Office coordinates the selection of proposals in "limited submission" cases. When a limited submission announcement is received, the Provost's Office forwards the announcement to the Division Chairs and outlines the internal review process.

The Provost, in consultation with the Division Chairs and/or the Vice Provosts, determines which of the interested PIs may apply. The list of approved PIs is forwarded to the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) with instructions to submit only these proposals for the limited submission deadline.

Proposals received by OSR without having been subject to the internal review process will be forwarded to the Provost's office for guidance. Investigators who were unaware of the Provost's review requirement will also be referred to the Provost's office.

9/20/10

 


 

 

7.5 Procedures for the Submission of Proposals

Background

Once a proposal has been reviewed internally by various stakeholders, it is submitted to the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR), the Caltech office responsible for submitting it to the sponsor. This office is also the "office of record," the office assigned responsibility for retaining copies of proposals (and any resulting awards) as official records of the institution.

The Caltech Way

All proposals to sponsors for grants, contracts and cooperative agreements must be submitted along with the signed Division Approval Form (DAF) to the Office of Sponsored Research at least three (3) business days prior to the agency due date.

Caltech Faculty Handbook Chapter 7

If the proposal is being submitted to a foreign entity, or to a commercial sponsor (other than for Federal flow through funds), OSR requires an electronic copy of the full proposal for review by the Administrative Committee on Sponsored Research. This review generally takes place following the submission of the proposal.

Sponsored Research, Frequently Asked Questions

The Office of Sponsored Research is often reviewing many proposals simultaneously for the same deadline, in addition to processing awards and miscellaneous award transactions, and assisting divisional staff. In order to provide a clearer idea to faculty and divisional staff regarding what OSR can do, we have prepared the following guideline:

With at least 3 days' lead time prior to submission, OSR will perform a complete review, including: 

  • Comparison of proposal to sponsors' guidelines (e.g. forms and formatting)
  • Review ofbudget (calculation, rates, relevance to project description, cost-sharing)
  • Division Approval Form
  • Compliance issues (e.g., human/animal subjects, health and safety, conflict of interest)
  • PI Eligibility to Submit

With1 to 2days' lead time prior to submission, OSR will review at least the following: 

  • Review of budget for correct rates and cost sharing
  • Divisional Approval Form
  • Compliance issues (e.g., human/animal subjects, health and safety, conflict of interest)
  • PI Eligibility to Submit

With less than 1 day's time prior to submission,OSR may only be able to verify that the PI and Division Chair have signed the Divisional Approval Form (the minimum requirement for any proposal to be submitted).

This is not intended to represent the most OSR can do, but the minimum OSR will do. If possible, OSR will provide a more thorough review than these minima, time permitting. The OSR team will let PIs know when a proposal will receive less than a complete review due to time constraints.

The following are some tips to facilitate the proposal approval process: 

  1. E-mail or fax a copy of the Division Approval Form, cover page, budget, and budget explanation to OSR for pre-approval. The budget is usually the most time consuming portion of a proposal to check, and advance copies allow OSR to help correct possible errors while the text is still in its draft stage.
  2. E-mail or call the Office of Sponsored Research if the proposal is being submitted in response to a specific Broad Agency Announcement, Request for Proposals, Research Announcement, etc. so that OSR can review the proposal along with the solicitation guidelines.
  3. E-mail or fax information regarding the submission of the proposal. This enables OSR to begin preparing the cover letter for the proposal.
  4. The end of the month is usually the busiest time for proposal submission.
  5. Allow time for corrections and make sure a contact is available. In many cases, proposals sent to OSR are ready to be signed and submitted without further correction or revision. However, there are times when corrections need to be made, particularly if a budget has not been sent in advance or if a PI is applying to an agency with which he/she is unfamiliar. Allowing time for corrections helps to ensure the proposal is at its best when it is sent out. The PI and or a divisional contact should be available to make corrections until the proposal is ready to submit to the agency.

Deadlines vary widely among sponsors and sponsor programs. Proposal deadlines can be based upon a postmark by the U.S. Postal Service or receipt in the sponsor's mail room. With electronic systems, an accepted proposal may mean the electronic proposal file has been transferred and processed by one or two systems. In most cases, sponsors will not consider proposals that miss a deadline.

9/20/10


7.6 Pre-Award Audit/Request for Additional Information

Background

Some sponsors perform pre-award audits or request additional information concerning the project as part of the proposal review process. For this reason, it is advisable for PI's to maintain a complete copy of each proposal, along with all supporting documents used in the development of the proposal budget.

During a proposal review, a sponsor may indicate a willingness to support a project at a reduced level of funding. If requested by the sponsor, a revised budget should be submitted through the Office of Sponsored Research. It is important for investigators to be aware that a discussion should occur related to how the scope of work will be reduced to accommodate the revised budget.

The Caltech Way

Documents related to unfunded proposals should be retained while pending a funding decision and for 18 months after a proposal has been denied.

Once funded, the proposal record becomes part of the award file and falls under the disposition schedule related to the award. Documents related to funded proposals should be retained for one year after the expiration or termination of the award.

Record Retention and Disposition Policy (8/2008)

Records Retention Schedule (9/2011)

12/1/11


Click to go to Chapter 8