Proposal Preparation and Submission: Roles and Responsibilities

The University of Iowa proposal preparation and submission process requires significant contributions from the principal investigator, department/college, and Division of Sponsored Programs. Each party assumes essential roles and responsibilities to facilitate the individual application process and protect the overall, institutional interests.

Principal Investigator: Proposal Preparation and Routing

  1. Ensure the proposal packet is fully completed and adheres to sponsor guidelines, confirming that:
  • All components of the application are completed in accordance with sponsor specifications, including all required content; adhering to sponsor-imposed page limitations; and complying with all font, margin, and other format specifications.
  • The budget is accurate; reflects and meets project needs; follows sponsor guidelines for limits/allowances; and requests facilities and administrative cost reimbursement at the maximum level allowed by the sponsor.
  1. Ensure the application is properly routed for review and authorization prior to submission, confirming that:
  • The UI Proposal Routing Form is fully completed and accurately reflects the proposed project. The PI’s approval of the Routing Form – through an inked signature or electronic authorization, as the case may be – certifies the information therein is correct; the application has been prepared in accordance with University policy; and the application is complete, final, and released for submission.
  • The Routing Form and corresponding application are channeled – on paper or electronically, as the case may be – for departmental and collegiate review and authorization, meeting any internal deadlines established by the department and/or college.
  • The approved Routing Form and authorized application reach the Division of Sponsored Programs – on paper or electronically, as the case may be – for final review and authorization at least five business days in advance of the sponsor submission deadline.

Department: Review and Authorization

  1. Review the Routing Form and corresponding application in accordance with departmental concerns, considering whether:
  • The budget is accurate and adequate, conforming to sponsor guidelines and University policy.
  • The project would involve cost-sharing, requiring the department to cover salaries or other project costs.
  • The proposed project could be reasonably and appropriately accomplished within the project director’s total professional effort and responsibilities.
  • The faculty member’s teaching load would need to be adjusted to accommodate his or her work on the project.
  • There would be sufficient facilities and equipment to support the project.
  • There would be human or animal subjects involved in research.
  • Biohazards have been identified.
  • The project would be in keeping with the department’s overall objectives.
  1. Authorize the application by providing the Departmental Executive approval on the Routing Form – through an inked signature or electronic authorization, as the case may be – certifying the application has been reviewed at the departmental level and is authorized for submission to the sponsor.

College: Review and Authorization

  1. Review the Routing Form and corresponding application in accordance with collegiate concerns, confirming that:
  • The department has made judgments and addressed all department-level concerns.
  • The budgeted costs are fully and appropriately documented.
  • The project would be in keeping with collegiate objectives, and any project-related commitment of University funds and other resources would be consistent with collegiate objectives.
  1. Authorize the application by providing the Collegiate Dean approval on the Routing Form – through an inked signature or electronic authorization, as the case may be – certifying the application has been reviewed at the collegiate level and is authorized for submission to the sponsor.

Division of Sponsored Programs: Review, Authorization, Submission

  1. Review the Routing Form and corresponding application in accordance with investigator and institutional interests, ensuring that:
  • All required approvals have been affixed, indicating that the principal investigator has certified the information and the department and college have authorized the application.
  • The principal investigator, department, and/or college has documented and addressed issues of effort, compliance, space allocation, publication rights, intellectual property, cost-sharing, and other institutional concerns.
  • The application has been completed in accordance with sponsor guidelines.
  • The institutional information within the application is correct, including the appropriate institutional officers and contacts along with accurate assurance references, tax identification, congressional designation, etc.
  • The budget calculation is accurate and includes full and appropriately documented costs, including facilities and administrative (indirect) costs as allowed by the sponsor.
  • Proposals requiring University funds not available at the collegiate level (e.g., funds to continue the employment of personnel upon the termination of the grant, funds for renovation, matching funds for equipment, etc.) have been noted and will be directed to the Vice President for Research for review.
  • Any concerns identified in the review have been documented and the principal investigator and research administrator have been instructed to address the concerns prior to submission if possible, or at the time of award if need be.
  1. Authorize the application by providing the institutional approval on behalf of the Vice President for Research – through an inked signature, electronic approval, and/or verbal confirmation, as the case may be – certifying the application has been reviewed at the departmental, collegiate, and institutional levels and is authorized for submission to the sponsor.
  2. Follow investigator instructions to channel the application in one or more of the following directions:
  • Return the application to the principal investigator or department for corrections, photocopying, and electronic and/or paper submission to the agency.
  • Complete required corrections within the DSP office.
  • Offer photocopying service, provided the deadline for such service has been observed.
  • Prepare the application for UPS mailing, provided the deadline for such service has been observed.
  • Electronically submit the application – through the sponsor’s online system or by e-mail, as the case may be – providing institutional verification and additional follow-up as required. 

Summary

As outlined above, a successful application submission involves collaboration between investigator and institution, depending upon each party’s timely and cooperative contribution. The Division of Sponsored Programs is available to advise and otherwise assist investigators, departments, and colleges in the process. Please direct any questions to the DSP at dsp@uiowa.edu or 335-2123.