To help investigators and administrators with the review process, the Electronic Internal Proposal Routing System (EIPRS) is used to create the External Support Form (ESF). This form is for internal use, review, and signature approvals, and is not submitted to the sponsor. Access to this electronic system, and other useful tools, is available on the OSP home page or at www.sites.uidaho.edu/osp.
EIPRS provides a convenient way to upload attachments related to the development of a proposal in such a way that everyone involved has access and can contribute to proposal development. This system also makes it possible to confirm that certain special issues relating to proposal submission have been anticipated and addressed. These separate approvals are listed below:
1. Administrative/clerical staff
Direct charging of administrative staff is allowed under certain circumstances, as discussed in detail in the Budget Preparation: Personnel section. If administrative salaries are to be charged to a federal award, sufficient explanation must be included in the budget and budget justification of the proposal, and a major program form must be approved by the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.
2. Subcontracts or subawards
Subcontracts to other institutions may be included in proposals for prime awards to the University of Idaho. Additional components of the subcontract proposal are detailed in the Budget Preparation: Subawards and Subcontracts section.
3. Human subjects
The term “human subjects” includes not only individuals who participate in laboratory studies, but also other living persons from or about whom information is collected and whom the researcher can identify individually. Most research involving the use of human subjects requires advance review and approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB - previously the Human Assurances Committee), one of three federally-mandated Research Assurance Committees/Boards at the University. This mandatory committee review is required whether or not the work is funded by outside sources, and regardless of the investigator's academic discipline.
Tragic events involving the death or injury of individuals participating in clinical trials at other institutions over the past few years have focused national attention on the use of human subjects in research and the procedures that universities follow for review and approval of all such research, not just clinical trials. As a result, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and investigators are under increasing pressure to adhere strictly to institutional and federal guidelines.
If a sponsored project requires the use of human subjects, or tissue or other human material that may be identifiable, the PI should check “Yes” to the question regarding Human Subjects on the “Review Boards” tab in EIPRS. Most agencies now allow proposals to be submitted with review “pending” but some will not make a funding decision until approval is granted, and neither the sponsor nor the University will allow research involving human subjects to proceed without either approval or certification of exemption.
4. Use of animals
The humane and responsible use of animals in research is a matter of considerable public interest. The University of Idaho’s animal facilities and its policies and procedures for care and use of laboratory animals are reviewed regularly by an independent outside accrediting agency and are also subject to review by the federal Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, the USDA, and other agencies. If a project requires the use of vertebrate animals, whether in the laboratory or in the wild, approval must be obtained from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Most funding agencies will accept evidence that review is pending. However, research that involves animals may not proceed (and animals may not be ordered from a supplier) until IACUC approval has been received. Per diem charges for animals that will be housed on campus or otherwise supported should ordinarily be included in the project budget.
5. Biohazardous materials
If proposed research involves the use of biohazardous materials (including recombinant DNA, microbiological agents, or infectious materials), documentation of approval from the Institutional Bio-safety Committee (IBC) must be obtained. The IBC office will review the proposed procedures to confirm that proper safety measures are in place. Certain extremely toxic or hazardous biological materials, classified by the DHHS as “select agents,” require additional safety and security precautions that may be difficult to arrange in UI laboratories. Staff from Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) can advise investigators on proper safety procedures and the rules regarding the use of select agents.
6. Financial conflict of interest
Investigators applying for funding to NSF or NIH must declare any potential financial conflicts of interest to the appropriate University officials prior to submission of a proposal to the agency. This is accomplished via the PI Financial Disclosure Form which must be submitted along with each NSF or NIH proposal to certify that the PI and all other investigators have disclosed any potential financial conflicts of interest as required. When checking “Yes” to the question “Does the sponsor require financial disclosure (e.g. NSF, NIH)?” on the “Review Boards” tab of EIPRS, a blank Financial Disclosure form is available by clicking on the blue “View Info” link.
7. Cost sharing
Because cost sharing has significant consequences (See Budget Preparation: Cost Sharing section), all forms of cost sharing are subject to review and approval by the Department Chair or Department Chair designee at the time of proposal submission.
8. Multiple departments/colleges
When a project involves investigators, staff, facilities, or resources from multiple departments, institutes or colleges at the University of Idaho, appropriate approval from each department, institute and college must be obtained. The electronic ESF will automatically be routed to the proper individuals for signature, but additional time prior to the submission deadline should be allowed for approvals.
9. Specialized or incremental space
If a project will involve construction or renovation of space, or a significant change in the way University space is currently used, the appropriate box must be checked on the “Review Boards” tab in EIPRS.