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Proposal Guide: Processing Requirements

OCG Lead Time Requirements

Lead time required for review of a proposal varies with the project’s size, complexity, completeness, accuracy, and care taken in its preparation and prior review. It also depends upon the amount of work already in the Office of Contracts and Grants and the availability of staff when the proposal is received. To allow for necessary corrections and revisions, and for greater assurance that sponsor deadlines will be met, allow at least three full working days for the Office of Contracts and Grants to review and submit the proposal.

The 3-day lead time requirement is intended to allow adequate time for final review, modification (if necessary), and the securing of final University signature or endorsements in order to make the proposal as competitive as possible. OCG's ability to process last-minute proposals is becoming increasingly strained, given the increased volume of proposals submitted. Thus, in order to ensure timely submission of a proposal, Principal Investigators must plan ahead and allow reasonable time for OCG approval and processing. Proposals that contain irregular or unique features, including matching commitments, may require more time for preparation, review, and approval.

OCG has several offices within the academic colleges that also submit proposals. Currently, the Colleges of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Cullen College of Engineering and TLC2 are trained and authorized to submit proposals on behalf of the University.

The most important step for a faculty member is to discuss the project with the applicable department chair(s) and dean(s) early in the process. This will ensure a smoother approval process before the actual due date.

Submission of the Proposal

The Office of Contracts and Grants will submit the proposal in accordance with the sponsor's requirements and prepare electronic file copies for uploading to the grants management database (RD2K). The PI or his/her department will be able to access the full submission version through RD2K. If the sponsor does not have an electronic submission location, the proposal may be sent via e-mail or regular mail. In the case of email, the PI and/or his department will be copied.

If OCG has to mail the proposal to the sponsor, UPS or an equivalent delivery company guaranteeing next day delivery will be used. Either a departmental Airborne Express account number or a non-sponsored project cost center must be provided at the time the proposal is submitted to OCG, to cover the mailing cost of the proposal.

Signature Requirements (Endorsements)

The Proposal Transmittal Form must be completed for any new, renewal, and supplemental proposals and provides OCG with necessary data concerning the proposal and ensures that internal UH approvals and compliance requirements have been met. The PI must provide all required information on the transmittal form prior to requesting submission of the proposal to the sponsor. OCG will not process or submit proposals that do not have a properly completed and electronically signed transmittal form.

Electronic sign-off on the institutional transmittal form (by the PI and the PI’s Department Chairperson, Institute or Center Director, and the Dean) indicates, at the time the proposal is submitted, the commitment of each to the proposal. In the case of a proposal that involves faculty members from different departments and/or colleges, it is necessary to secure signatures from each area represented. In the case of proposals from Institutes or Centers, the PI’s academic department and college will also sign the proposal prior to submission.

What the Signatures Signify

The PI’s signature on the Proposal Transmittal Form certifies as to the authorship of the proposal, to proper arrangement of workload so that the project can be conducted as proposed, and that the requested time, facilities, equipment, and funding are sufficient to accomplish the proposed task. In addition, the PI’s signature specifically certifies that the PI:

  • Is not delinquent on any federal debt.
  • Is not debarred or suspended by any federal department or agency, and is not proposed for debarment, declared ineligible or voluntarily excluded from current transactions by any federal department or agency.
  • Has not and will not lobby any federal agency on behalf of the proposed project.
  • Is aware and agrees to abide by the UH Drug Free Workplace policy.
  • Agrees to abide by the UH Conflict of Interest policy, and to update the required certification as required.
  • Agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions of the grant or contract that supports the proposed project.
  • Agrees to assign copyright and patent rights to the University of Houston as outlined in the Faculty Handbook.

The signature of the Department Chairperson or Center Director (if applicable) certifies the review and endorsement of the proposal and concurrence with the representations of the Principal Investigator. Specifically, the Department Chair’s signature certifies that the PI’s teaching load will be compatible with the time requirements of the project; that adequate space, equipment and facilities are either already available or that required modifications or additions have been approved and funding sources identified; that any required payment of tuition and fees by the University has been approved and funding source identified; and that, to the best of their knowledge, there will be no other resource requirements generated by the award that are not accounted for in the proposal; and that the proposed project complies with all other departmental objectives.

The signature(s) of the Dean and Division Head (if applicable) certifies that they have reviewed and approved the proposed project, and are committed to providing the requirements of the proposed research. This endorsement also certifies that the proposed activity is in keeping with the Division/College/Department educational objectives and is beneficial to the University.

Grant funds requested to support release time, which would reduce a faculty member’s teaching load, must be reviewed as a part of the pre-submission process. All such arrangements must be approved by the appropriate department chair, college dean, and the Provost.

UH Resource/Cost-Share Commitment Requests

Any cost sharing proposed in a grant application must receive prior approval from the source(s) of the cost share. Typical sources are the PI, department, college, institute/center, and the Division of Research. Normally, the University does not provide cost sharing unless it is formally required by the sponsor. There are exceptions to this standard. Cost sharing (or matching funds) include any project-related cost for which the PI is not requesting reimbursement from the sponsor. This can include matching equipment funds, time and effort committed to the project at no cost to the sponsor, or any other institutional contribution for which a cost can be appropriately assigned. Contact the Office of Contracts and Grants for questions on what can be included as cost sharing to meet a sponsor’s requirement.

Who approves and what this signifies

Any proposed cost sharing must be designated in the transmittal. The fiscal year, cost share type, source and amount must be provided. Approval of the transmittal by any named source also serves as approval of the cost share proposed. This includes time and effort devoted to the project at no cost to the sponsor, matching equipment funds, or any other cost that is being committed to the project. If the commitment is being made by a department or college other than that that of the PI(s), the persons responsible for the commitment must also approve the transmittal. It is the Principal Investigator's responsibility to obtain prior permission of the Department Chairperson, Center Director (if applicable), Dean, and Vice President for Research for any proposed cost sharing. The evidence of approval should be uploaded into the Cost Share tab in the transmittal document page.

If resources of outside organizations are involved, signatures must also be obtained from their responsible Department Chairpersons, Deans, and/or Directors, or the equivalent thereof. This can be done in the form of letters of commitment, which can then be uploaded to the transmittal.

The Vice President for Research must approve the transmittal if the Division of Research is providing matching equipment funds. This must be approved before the proposal is submitted to the sponsor.