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Proposal Review

What Sponsored Programs will Review

When reviewing proposals the following issues must be considered by an OR-Sponsored Programs analyst prior to submission. Some of these items are required to be submitted to Sponsored Programs prior to a proposal being submitted to a sponsor. These are indicated with and asterisk (*). The other items on this list are recommended at the time of proposal submission, but become mandatory when an award is received.

  1. Final Scope of Work*
  2. Principal Investigator (PI) Eligibility*
  3. Institutional Eligibility*
  4. Lead PI and Chair/Director Certification; Dean and other department approval, if applicable*
  5. Subcontractor information, if applicable *
  6. Limited Submission Selectee documentation, if applicable*
  7. Cost-sharing certification, if applicable*
  8. Budget and Budget Justification*, including the following:
    1. PI minimum effort*
    2. Appropriate indirect cost rate*
    3. Accurate calculations*
    4. Graduate student fees and nonresident tuition*
    5. Subcontractor costs, if applicable*
    6. Allowable and allocable costs*
  9. Sponsor- and program-specific administrative requirements
  10. IRB Approval, if applicable
  11. IACUC approval, if applicable
  12. BUA approval, if rDNA or pathogenic agents
  13. Stem Cell Use approval, if applicable
  14. Human Anatomical Specimen approval, if applicable
  15. Form 700-U, if applicable
  16. Form 800, if applicable
  17. Informed Participation, if applicable

    Use our Proposal Submission Checklist to ensure that you include all of the items needed for your proposal package.

    Links to related UC and UC Davis policies and forms are provided for your convenience.

    What Sponsored Programs will not Review

    The following items are not reviewed in any proposals prior to submission to the sponsor:

    • Project Summary
    • Table of contents
    • Project description
    • Current and pending support
    • References cited
    • Biographical sketches
    • Appendix information
    • Pages margins, font/pitch, line spacing, characters per inch, page limitations

     

    Principal Investigators are responsible for reviewing these items prior to submitting their proposal package to Sponsored Programs.

    Final Scope of Work*

    When a proposal package is submitted to Sponsored Programs for review, PIs may choose to include a draft scope of work. This will enable the assigned analyst to review the proposal while the PI finalizes their scope of work. However, the PI must ensure that Sponsored Programs receives a final scope of work prior to submission of the proposal to the Sponsor.

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    PI Eligibility*

    UC policy states that only qualified members of the Academic Senate and appointees in other eligible title groups listed in the UC Academic Senate policy may submit proposals without the need for an exception. The assigned analyst will be checking to verify that the individual submitting this proposal is an eligible PI according to UC Davis policy. If they are not, the analyst will request a completed PI Exception form (Form 105A).

    In addition, a Sponsor may have PI eligibility requirements which need to be met, such as requiring the PI to be a Young Investigator. Sponsor-specific PI eligibility requirements can typically be found in the funding announcement.

    Institutional Eligibility*

    In some cases, sponsors place restrictions on what types of institutions are eligible to apply for funding. When reviewing the proposal package, the assigned analyst will verify that UC Davis is eligible per the sponsor and call-specific guidelines.

    Lead PI and Chair/Director Certification; Dean and other department approval, if necessary*

    Prior to submitting a proposal to a sponsor, SPO must verify that the department or ORU has guaranteed that they have the appropriate facilities, infrastructure, and space to conduct this project. Note that infrastructure includes items ordinarily included in Facilities and Administrative (F&A, or indirect) costs, such as computers and office supplies, even if overhead costs are not allowed on that specific project. The signature of the appropriate department chair or director on the Data Sheet (PDF) is required to verify that proposed needs are approved. In some schools and colleges, the Dean requires all proposals to be submitted for review and signature by the Dean prior to submission to SPO. In addition, if the resources of a unit or department other than the PI's will be involved in this project, a signature from that department/units Chair/Director (whomever has the authority to commit those resources) will be required on the Data Sheet.

    Subcontractors/Subawardees

    If a proposal includes collaboration with an entity outside UC Davis, the potential subawardee must provide a concurrence letter from the institution, an institutionally endorsed proposal, complete with scope of work, budget, and in some cases, a subrecipient monitoring form.

    Limited Submissions Selectee*

    A limited submission is a funding opportunity where the sponsor has restricted the number of proposals or applications an institution such as UC Davis may submit to the agency/organization. When this happens, UC Davis must choose a specified number of applications to be submitted to the sponsor on behalf of the University. If the opportunity is a limited submission, the assigned analyst will look for the approval document from the Limited Submissions Committee.

    Cost Sharing certification, if necessary*

    When a proposal involves cost sharing with university funds or resources, the person authorized to commit the funds or resources must provide a letter verifying that the cost sharing can be honored. In most cases, signatures on the Sponsored Programs Data Sheet can meet this authorization requirement.

    When a proposal includes a commitment from a third party to cost share, a letter of concurrence from the third party is required.

    Budget and Budget Justification, including the following:

    1. PI minimum effort
      1. Must meet minimum effort requirements; see Directive 06-049
    2. Appropriate indirect cost rate
      1. Awards which are funded must use the Federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement. Some sponsoring agencies do not reimburse indirect costs at the federally negotiated rate. The University may honor these exceptions when the organization has written policy guidelines stating agency policy on payment of indirect costs.This does not apply to for-profit entities.

        To request an exception from the negotiated rates, a request must be sent by the Office of Research, Sponsored Programs to UC Office of the President for review.

    3. Accurate calculations
    4. Graduate student fees and nonresident tuition
      1. Does the project employ graduate students who are employed at least 25% time on sponsored projects? If so, then remission of fees and tuition, whether resident or non-resident, applies.

    5. Subcontractor costs, if applicable
    6. Allowable and allocable costs
      1. Are the costs on the budget allowable and allocable? OMB Circulars A-110 and A-21 act as guides for both allowability and allocability on grants. UC Davis uses these standards for all extramurally funded projects, regardless of sponsor, not only Federally funded projects.
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    Sponsor- and program-specific administrative requirements

    There may be specific proposal package and/or submission requirements that need to be met in order for a proposal to be eligible for review by the sponsor. Proposal analysts will review the Sponsor and Program guidelines, as well as the funding announcement, to determine whether all eligibility and documentation requirements have been met. Please note that the review of these administrative requirements DOES NOT include items such as page formatting, font size, or spelling and grammar.

     

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    IRB Approval

    Research involving human subjects, which as defined by federal regulations includes any systematic investigation that is designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge, and which uses living humans or identifiable private information about humans, must have the approval of IRB Administration (IRB Admin). If you believe your proposal is exempt from IRB review, you must still obtain that exemption approval from the IRB. While providing the IRB Protocol # at time of proposal is recommended, it is not mandatory until a project has received funding. Before Sponsored Programs can release any awarded funds, the PI will need to provide the assigned award analyst with an approved IRB protocol number. Submit requests for protocols to the IRB Administration.

    IACUC Approval

    Research involving vertebrate animal subjects must have the approval of the UC Davis Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). While providing the IACUC Protocol # at time of proposal is recommended, it is not mandatory until a project has received funding. Before Sponsored Programs can release any awarded funds, the PI will need to provide the assigned award analyst with an approved IACUC protocol number. Submit requests for protocols to IACUC.

    Biological Use Authorization (BUA), if rDNA or pathogenic agents

    If a project involves rDNA, infectious or potentially infections materials, bloodborne pathogens, or storage of biohazardous materials, the PI must receive a Biological Use Authorization (BUA). While providing the approval at time of proposal is recommended, it is not mandatory until a project has received funding. Before Sponsored Programs can release any awarded funds, the PI will need to provide the assigned award analyst with an approved BUA number. Submit requests for a BUA to the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).

    Stem Cell use protocol, if applicable

    The UC Davis policy on human stem cell research states that all UC Davis activities involving human stem cell research, regardless of the type of stem cells or whether the stem cells are adult or embryonic, shall be conducted in compliance with the applicable university, state, and federal regulations governing such research, including any restrictions on the use of federal funds for such research. While providing the Stem Cell Use Protocol # at time of proposal is recommended, it is not mandatory until a project has received funding. Before Sponsored Programs can release any awarded funds, the PI will need to provide the assigned award analyst with an approved Stem Cell Use protocol number. Submit applications for protocols to the UC Davis Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (SCRO).

    Human Anatomical Specimens and Tissue approval, if applicable

    The UC Davis policy on anatomical specimens establishes standards and procedures for the procurement, inventory, use, management, transfer, transportation and disposition of human anatomical specimens to support the appropriate educational and research use of human anatomical materials by faculty, staff, students and residents. UC Davis researchers who wish to use human anatomical specimens for education or research must submit an application to the UC Davis Anatomical Materials Review Committee (AMRC) and receive approval from the AMRC before commencing the research or education efforts. While providing Human Anatomical Specimens and Tissue approval at time of proposal is recommended, it is not mandatory until a project has received funding. Before Sponsored Programs can release any awarded funds, the PI will need to provide the assigned award analyst with Human Anatomical Specimens and Tissue approval.

    Form 700U, if applicable

    State of California law requires disclosure of financial interest in the sponsor of a research project; the donor of a research gift; and, under certain circumstances, the provider of materials under a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) when that sponsor, donor, or provider is a non-governmental entity.This form is recommended at time of proposal, particularly if there is a known financial conflict of interest which will need to be addressed by the Conflict of Interest Committee. However, the form is not mandatory until the time of award.

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    Form 800, if applicable*

    Applicants to the National Science Foundation and Public Health Service agencies (including the National Institutes of Health) must disclose project-related financial interests for themselves and all other project investigators at the proposal submission stage.

    This requirement also applies to subawards from PHS/NIH or NSF or to other agencies that have adopted the federal requirements (the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the International Vaccine Institute, UC Discovery Grants, and UCOP Special Research Programs).

    In addition, this form is required for any project involving human subjects.

    Informed Participation, if applicable

    If any terms of a proposal or resulting award that would result in a deviation from the employment agreement that the PI has signed with UC Davis, Sponsored Programs will request that the PI and Chair confirm they are aware of and accept the deviations, for example, royalty sharing, or intellectual property requirements.

    In addition, if there is any unfunded liability the PI may incur as a result of an award, Sponsored Programs will request that the PI and Chair confirm that they are aware of and accept the liability, for example, UC Discovery.