45.02 - Sponsored Projects Proposal Preparation and Authorization

January 3, 2012

A. Definitions

A-1. Principal Investigator. The person taking primary responsibility and oversight of a sponsored project is known as the Principal Investigator (PI). Before submitting a proposal or accepting an award please review the Roles and Responsibilities Matrix for an understanding of the responsibilities associated with being a PI. (See APM 45.22 for University eligibility requirements for Principal Investigators.)

A-2. Grant Administrator (GA). Each unit has a person designated as a grant administrator who may also work with the PI in proposal preparation. In particular, a GA often assists PIs with the preparation of salary and fringe benefit calculations, and determining budget estimates.

B. Policy. A sponsored project proposal is a written presentation of the research, scholarly or creative activity proposed to be accomplished during a given time period and that may potentially be funded by an entity external to the University of Idaho. At a minimum, a proposal should include an outline of the scope of work to be performed or the tasks to be accomplished, and a budget breakdown explaining how the requested funding will be spent towards accomplishing the scope of work. The Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), or her/his designated representative, is the only person authorized to accept external funding on behalf of the University.

B-1. Authorized Organizational Representatives and Signatures Required.  All personnel associated with specific grants, contracts and agreements to the University of Idaho need to have an understanding of their respective roles and responsibilities. Before submitting a proposal or accepting an award, please review the Roles and Responsibilities Matrix and contact OSP if you have questions about any of the items listed. All proposals shall be reviewed and approved by the unit administrator, college dean, and Director of OSP prior to submission to the sponsoring agency.

C. Processes and Procedures.

C-1. Funding Opportunities. Web links to funding opportunities may be found at the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) website. Additional assistance may be found on the OSP website in the FAQ page links found under the “Submit a Proposal” tab. Granting agencies often have specific grant applications and/or instructions on a proposal’s structure and required information, e.g., Request for Proposal (RFP), Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), Request for Quote (RFQ), or Grant Proposal Guide (GPG).

C-2. Proposal Preparation. Once a funding source has been identified, the PI prepares a proposal (following specific sponsor guidelines, if provided). The PI develops a scope of work, a budget sufficient to accomplish the proposed work, and a budget narrative. Additional items to be considered during proposal development may include:

  • The involvement of human subjects or experimental animals (see FSH 5200 and FSH 1640.54)
  • The use of biohazards/recombinant DNA/radiation/select agents/toxins (see FSH 1640.14, APM 35.11)
  • Conflict of interest and financial disclosure (see FSH 6240, 5600, and 3170)
  • Cost share/matching (see APM 45.08)
  • Foreign researchers and consultants (see APM 45.18)
  • Export controls (see APM 45.19)
  • Intellectual property (see FSH 5300 & FSH 5400)
  • Program income (see APM 45.13)
  • Publication restrictions
  • Capital projects

Information concerning these topics and links to other useful sites may be found on the OSP Website.

C-3. Budget Development. The PI creates a list of the personnel, equipment, travel, subcontract, participant support and other direct cost needs for the entire project, including costs to be covered by mandatory cost share and any anticipated program income, e.g. conference fees. Appropriate facilities and administrative (F&A) costs (see FSH 5100 J and APM 45.10) are then added to arrive at the total project costs. OSP has developed a budget template with built-in calculations to assist the PI that can be found at OSP Forms.

C-4. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs. The federal government and the University negotiate different rates for F&A cost reimbursement based on both the type of work being done (research, instruction, public service/outreach) and where the majority of the work is being performed (at on- or off-campus facilities). Limitations imposed by the sponsoring agency to established F&A rates must be provided in writing prior to proposal submission (see FSH 5100 J-1).

If no formal sponsor policy exists, only the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (VPRED) may grant a waiver or reduction in the F&A rate charged. Information concerning F&A costs and links to other useful sites including current F&A rates can be found in the Indirect (F&A) Costs FAQ, APM 45.10, and FSH 5100.

C-5. Cost Sharing. When the University bears a portion of the cost of a sponsored project, it is considered cost sharing or matching, and must be included in the budget development process. Cost sharing may be mandatory (required by the sponsor) or voluntary (where no such requirement exists). Because cost sharing has programmatic, administrative and financial consequences for the University, it is typically not allowed unless required by the sponsor. Special circumstances may exist in which a waiver may be obtained from the VPRED. See APM 45.08 and the Proposal Considerations FAQ for more information.

C-6. Electronic Proposal. OSP has entered into an agreement for the use of Cayuse424 proposal development software, which a PI may use to download and develop most Grants.gov and NSF Fastlane proposal opportunities. This system-to-system submission portal greatly reduces the chance of Grants.gov proposals being rejected due to missing information, forms, or fields. A link to Cayuse424, as well as instructions and training, can be found off the OSP Website and/or at OSP Training Website.

C-7. Electronic Internal Proposal Routing System (EIPRS). All proposals must be reviewed and approved at a minimum by the PI’s unit administrator, college dean, and OSP prior to submission to the agency. The University’s electronic routing system for approvals, EIPRS, allows the PI to provide all of the documentation necessary for review by the appropriate University personnel. The EIPRS login link can be found on the OSP Website. An OSP Sponsored Programs Administrator (SPA) can assist with general questions, or FAQs and a link to training can be found on the OSP Website.

C-8. Proposal Submission.  If a proposal is being mailed, emailed or transmitted to the agency in a manner that does not require a secure login from an Authorized Organizational Representative, it is considered a hardcopy submission and proposal submission is the responsibility of the PI after all necessary approvals have been obtained.

For proposals submitted through an electronic system, such as NSF Fastlane or NASA NSPIRES, the PI is responsible for uploading proposal materials. The PI is also responsible for completing and uploading any attachments to Grant.gov files (including Cayuse424). Once all files have been uploaded, the information in EIPRS is complete, and all internal approvals have been completed, the PI works with a SPA for final submission to the sponsor. OSP is responsible for final submission of proposals that require an Authorized Organizational Representative login. See the Completing Proposal FAQ on the OSP website for further information.

D. Contact Information. For information and help in preparing and submitting proposals to external funding agencies please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs at 208-885-6651, or OSP Email, or OSP Webpage.