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Proposal Guidelines

To:          DU Faculty

From:     Cathy Potter – Associate Provost for Research and Jerry Mauck – Assistant Controller-Research Administration

Date:      December 1, 2011

Subject: Proposal Review, Approval and Submission Policy

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is committed to providing the highest quality proposal submission services to our faculty. We do so in an environment of very complex regulations and institutional policies. One of the most important activities is the timely and thorough review of proposals prior to submission to the sponsor. This involves working with the Principal Investigator (PI) and reviewing closely the guidelines, along with the administrative and budgetary aspects of the proposal. We must also ensure that the proposal has been properly approved under University policy.

In many instances, ORSP has been notified of a proposal submission shortly before it is due to the sponsor. Proposals have also been submitted pending the completion of the Proposal Review and Approval (PRA) form. In addition to limiting the time that ORSP can work with the PI, it opens up both the PI and the University to risks. It is difficult to make revisions on electronic submissions (sometimes taking several attempts if not correct). Also, without proper approvals the University may be making proposed commitments that it cannot uphold.

In order to provide the highest level of service and meet regulatory/institutional requirements the proposal submission policy is updated as follows:

Effective February 1, 2012


  1. ORSP must be notified of the intent to submit a proposal at the point when work on the proposal is started. This notification must include at a minimum: Sponsor, Solicitation Number and Proposal Due Date. PI’s are encouraged to contact ORSP as soon as they consider submitting a proposal.
  2. The completed Proposal Review and Approval (PRA) form along with the administrative and budgetary components must be submitted to ORSP at least 5 business days prior to the submission deadline. The PRA form must be signed by the PI(s) and by the Chair/Dean (or their appropriate designee). The signature of the Associate Provost for Research is required for waivers of indirect costs or university provided equipment matching funds.
  3. The final proposal submission package (including the scientific narrative and final budget) must be received by ORSP at least 1 business day prior to the submission deadline. Submission of proposals received after this time can not be guaranteed and will require approval by the Associate Provost for Research. A completed PRA form (including all signatures noted above) is required for any submission. Proposals without a complete PRA will not be submitted by ORSP.

As part of this policy change, ORSP will be updating the PRA form to streamline the requirements and provide more guidance on this the form. This will be available on the ORSP website. We appreciate your cooperation in adhering to the above policy in order to provide you the highest level of service. If you have any questions, please contact your ORSP Project Administrator, Julie Cunningham, or Jerry Mauck.

For a word document version of this letter: Proposal Review (.doc)

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