The University of Iowa requires its faculty, staff, and students to route external funding requests and related documents through departmental, collegiate, and institutional channels for review and approval prior to submission to an external funding source, reaching the Division of Sponsored Programs for review and handling at least five working days in advance of the sponsor's submission deadline. The Division of Sponsored Programs offers no exceptions to this internal routing deadline. The Principal Investigator or Departmental Administrator should monitor any routing-in-progress to ensure compliance with the deadline.
The routing requirement applies to:
- Preliminary applications that include a budget or require an institutional signature.
- Full applications that represent new, revised, competitive renewal, or supplemental funding requests.
- Non-competitive renewal applications/progress reports that include a budget, require an institutional signature, or involve a significant project change that has not yet been reported to UI – i.e., a change in key personnel or corresponding salary, effort, or credit; a change in institutional resources, such as space or cost-sharing; or a change in relation to any compliance issue, including human subjects, vertebrate animals, rDNA, select agents/toxins, human pathogens, export controls, and/or conflicts of interest.
- New and renewal contracts, including subawards and non-monetary agreements.
- Incremental-funding contract amendments reflecting a change in the original estimated total cost or a change in the statement of work.
- Budget revisions, personnel changes, and all other pre- and post-award adjustments involving a financial issue, a salary/effort/credit concern, the commitment of university resources, or any compliance issue.
The University applies this policy universally: to all types of funding requests, whether a grant, fellowship, or contract; to all types of application systems, whether paper or electronic; and to all external funding sources, whether governmental, nonprofit, or commercial. Likewise, the routing requirement is in force whether the document requires an institutional signature or not.
The University allows limited exemptions from the requirement to route, including the following:
- Requests to carry forward funding from one budget period to another.
- Requests for no-cost extensions of the established project period.
- Incremental-funding contract amendments where the amendment does not reflect a change in the original estimated total cost or a change in the statement of work.
- Requests to rebudget once the project has been funded, provided the request does not involve personnel issues or institutional commitments.
The University of Iowa Routing Procedure channels applications, proposals, and related submissions through departmental, collegiate, and institutional pathways. This ensures the University is aware of the request; is able to commit the resources required by the project; considers the project in keeping with the University mission; and can administer the project in compliance with University, state, and federal policies and procedures. The process is also intended to promote quality applications, increasing the accuracy of administrative and budgetary information and overall completeness. Start a routing form now (requires UIRIS access to log in, then under Forms find Routing Form.)
To assist the routing process, UI faculty, staff, and students must complete a UI Routing Form to accompany their applications and related submissions through UI channels. The Routing Form captures basic, critical information about the proposed project, with the principal investigator's signature attesting to the veracity and accuracy of the information.
Types of Routing Forms
The University of Iowa has adopted two basic routing forms to accommodate the range of external funding submissions that must pass through University channels for review and approval:
- The UI Proposal Routing Form is the main form and is used in relation to all types of grant applications, including research, equipment, institutional training, and curriculum development applications; contract and subaward proposals and agreements; individual fellowship applications; revised budgets; and a change in principal investigator.
- The MTA & Non-Monetary Agreements Routing Form is an abbreviated form for use with various types of non-financial agreements, including Material Transfer Agreements that allow the University to receive materials from another party as well as Confidential Disclosure Agreements, Data Use Agreements, and other research-related agreements where no money is exchanged.
Applicants should complete the appropriate Routing Form through the online system, then either (a) print a copy of the form to accompany the hard-copy application and associated documents as they are hand-carried through UI channels for inked approval; or (b) submit the form and associated attachments through UI Workflow channels for electronic approval. The Principal Investigator and Department are responsible for monitoring the form's progress along the routing chain, whether paper or electronic. As the Routing Form and corresponding documents progress through UI channels, the departmental executive and collegiate dean will review the documents, generally with the following considerations in mind.
- Would the proposed project interfere with the total effort expected of the faculty or staff member and/or the responsibilities for which that person is paid?
- Would the proposed project require an adjustment in the participant's teaching load?
- Would the proposed project involve human subjects, vertebrate animals, hazardous materials, or other issues requiring compliance with federal guidelines?
- Would there be sufficient facilities and equipment available to support the proposed project?
- Would the proposed project involve a cost-sharing commitment at the departmental level?
- Would the proposed project fit within the department's overall objectives?
Following favorable consideration, the department will add its authorizing signature to the Routing Form and the routing will move forward, seeking approval through the collegiate dean's office.
- Have the above judgments been made at the departmental level?
- Would a commitment of University funds, if required in support of the project, be consistent with collegiate objectives?
- Would the proposed project be considered worthy in terms of collegiate objectives?
- Does the proposed budget fully and appropriately document the project costs?
- Following favorable consideration, the college will add its authorizing signature to the Routing Form and the routing will move forward to the final step, reaching the Division of Sponsored Programs for review and authorization.
Division of Sponsored Programs Responsibilities
The DSP provides the final review and authorizes the application for submission on the institution's behalf. Specifically, the DSP:
- Reviews the Routing Form and application/documentation in relation to institutional concerns and administrative issues, with particular attention to budgetary matters, effort commitments, cost-sharing requirements, institutional information, institutional resources, conflicts of interest, export control issues, and other assurance/compliance issues, and ensures the required signatures are in place for principal investigator(s), department(s), and college(s).
- Reviews the application/documentation in relation to sponsor requirements, with the goal of forwarding complete, compliant, competitive applications/documentation that merit full consideration.
- Forwards special requests for cost-sharing funds not available at the departmental or collegiate level – e.g., matching funds for equipment, funds for research assistants, funds for building renovation – to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, the Executive Vice President and Provost, and/or the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations for review, as appropriate.
- Authorizes the application/agreement on the University's behalf, providing an institutional signature when required.
- Completes the submission when required by the sponsor or requested by the principal investigator.
- Establishes and maintains application- and agreement-specific records in a computerized tracking system and paper filing system, providing various campus offices and the State Board of Regents with a monthly report of applications submitted/awards received.
The University of Iowa routing procedure is essential and mandatory, so that external funding requests and related documents are considered unauthorized until and unless the routing procedure has been followed and fully completed. For additional information on the routing process, please visit the eRouting portion of our website.