Office of Research Responsibilities: Investigators / Department Contract & Grant Administrators - Office of Research

Responsibilities: Investigators / Department Contract & Grant Administrators

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A key responsibility is to be responsive to the Sponsored Programs Office because we’re a partnership, all working together under the pressure of deadlines to get strong proposals submitted and awards accepted.

Principal Investigator (PI) only

The PI is the individual with primary responsibility for:

  • The scientific integrity and management of the project.
  • The financial management of project funds, including recovery of full indirect costs.
    • Full cost recovery is necessary to support the University’s physical and administrative capacity to perform extramural projects.
  • Adherence to all University policies.
  • Adherence to externally-imposed sponsor terms and conditions including reporting and record keeping requirements contained in the award document.
    • The award document is the funding agency’s official obligation of funds for a project. Many awards cover a multi-year project period made up of several shorter (usually 12-month) budget periods. Funds often are awarded in budget period installments.

Proposal Stage

  1. Confirm you are an eligible investigator according to sponsor guidelines.
    1. If eligible per the sponsor but you do not have PI eligibility at UC Davis, submit Request for Exception Form 105 to the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) with the proposal.
  2. Prepare Scope of Work. You may submit a draft via Cayuse SP, then finalize later.
  3. Prepare Budget and Budget Justification, or provide all necessary details to dept administrator
  4. Confirm that required approvals are in place or that all necessary steps to get them are complete
    1. IACUC (animal subjects)
      1. Principal Investigator’s Training Responsibilities For Animal Care and Use
      2. Scientist-in-Charge and Technician-in-Charge Roles and Responsibilities
    2. IRB (human subjects)
      1. Researcher Roles and Responsibilities
      2. Faculty Advisor Responsibilities
    3. Hazardous material (i.e., HASTOC or Biological Use Authorizations)
    4. Export Control
  5. If required, submit financial Conflict of Interest (COI) documents at
  6. Certify the Internal Processing Form (IPF) in Cayuse SP once routed.
    1. How a PI/Co-PI certifies an IPF in Cayuse SP

What does the PI certify? (37 items)

By certifying the Cayuse SP Internal Processing Form (IPF) for Contract and Grant Proposals the Principal Investigator certifies to all of the following:

  1. That the information submitted within the proposal/application is true, complete and accurate to the best of his/her knowledge;
  2. That any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or claims within the proposal/application may subject him/her personally to criminal, civil, or administrative penalties;
  3. That he/she agrees to accept responsibility for the scientific conduct of the project and to provide the required progress reports to the sponsor if a grant is awarded as a result of the proposal/application;
  4. If the sponsor follows PHS COI, the Principal Investigator/ Project Director, and all Investigators (with responsibility for the design, conduct, or reporting of research) on this project, each have completed (1) the on-line educational training requirement, as well as (2) the on-line financial interest disclosure;
  5. That he/she will comply with sponsor and University policies and regulations;
  6. That he/she has read, and he/she is, or will be in compliance with and abide by all the items included here;
  7. The reasonableness of the kinds and levels of resources proposed and overall funding for the budget included for any subawardee(s)/subcontractor(s) listed in the proposal;
  8. That he/she has examined the proposal for completeness and accuracy (including the truthfulness of the scientific claims made, biographical data, and budget estimates), and explicit acknowledgment has been given to those who substantially contributed to the preparation of this proposal.
  9. That he/she understands that willful provision of false or misleading information can subject the investigator and the University to severe monetary penalties.
  10. That if the proposal is submitted to a Federal agency either directly or indirectly (i.e., through another organization), he/she and all Key Personnel are in compliance with applicable Federal financial disclosure regulations;
  11. That if the proposal is submitted to a non-government organization that is not on the financial disclosure exemption list (see Section 7, above), he/she has completed and attached the state financial disclosure form (Form 700-U);
  12. That he/she has read and will abide by the University policy on “Integrity in Research,” dated June 19, 1990 (available at;
  13. That if the proposal is submitted to a Federal agency either directly or indirectly through another organization, neither he/she, nor any person who will receive compensation under the anticipated award, is currently debarred, suspended, nor proposed for debarment from receiving Federal support for research. Further, he/she will notify Sponsored Programs if any person who will receive or is receiving compensation under the subject award is debarred or suspended from receiving Federal funds prior to the project’s expiration date;
  14. That if the proposal is submitted to a Federal agency either directly or indirectly through another organization, and if he/she or anyone funded by the project have engaged in any lobbying efforts for this project, he/she has done so on their own time and at their own expense and have not used any federal funds for this purpose. Further, if lobbying activities related to this project have been paid from a non-federal source, he/she will complete and submit Standard Form LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities;
  15. That if this project involves human subjects, he/she has read and will abide by and will ensure that those working on this project abide by applicable University and federal policy on the protection of human subjects;
  16. That if this project will involve laboratory animals, he/she has read and will abide by and will ensure that those working on this project abide by applicable University policy on the care of laboratory animals;
  17. That all direct charges to the contract or grant directly relate to the activity supported and are reasonable and allowable; that expenditures are consistent with all special terms, conditions, or limitations that apply to expenditures under the particular contract or grant; and that expenditures do not exceed the total funds authorized for a given period under the contract or grant. (In many cases the contract or grant may also specify expenditure limits by budget category or line item);
  18. That he/she will be accountable for deficits or disallowances that occur under a contract or grant in accordance with campus procedures;
  19. That he/she will keep adequate records related to the activities on this project and is aware that all such records, including laboratory notebooks, are the property of the University;
  20. That if this proposal contains any information that needs to be kept confidential by federal or other reviewers and administrators, he/she has marked such information appropriately;
  21. That if this project will involve patient records, he/she will keep such records confidential;
  22. That if this project involves nonexempt use of recombinant DNA molecules, he/she will ensure that the research will be approved by the relevant campus biosafety committee;
  23. That if the proposed research involves the taking, importation, or use of protected marine mammals, or any endangered or threatened species, he/she will comply with the applicable federal and/or state regulations and obtain the necessary permits and authorizations;
  24. That he/she will comply with all applicable University policies for the conduct of research involving biohazards, carcinogens, hazardous or toxic wastes, or controlled substances;
  25. That he/she will comply with all applicable University policies regarding nondiscrimination;
  26. That if this is a proposal that will result in a contract under which he/she will provide technical advice to the federal government, then he/she does not believe that performance of this service will give him/her an unfair advantage in competing for other government contracts, nor does he/she believe that he/she will be unable to render impartial advice or assistance;
  27. That if this is a proposal that will result in a federal contract in excess of $100,000, he/she has not employed or retained any person or company to solicit or obtain this contract;
  28. That if this is a proposal that will result in a federal contract in excess of $100,000, he/she has not offered any gift, discussed any job offer, or solicited any proprietary information or source selection information from any federal official who is involved in awarding this contract;
  29. That he/she is eligible to be a Principal Investigator on a UC Davis project;
  30. That the salaries included in the proposal budget are in compliance with UC salary scales (see Academic Personnel Manual and Staff Salary Scales Manual);
  31. That the employee benefits budgeted in the proposal are either based on actual benefits rates or campus composite rates, exclusive of leave accrual;
  32. That either applicable federally-negotiated indirect (F&A) cost rates have been used or an approved waiver is currently on file or has been requested for the F&A rate used in calculating the budget;
  33. That graduate student fee remission and/or non-resident tuition, if allowable, has been included for eligible Graduate Students assigned, or expected to be assigned, to the project in accordance with campus policy;
  34. That the cost of living adjustments do not exceed recommended levels, or if they do they have been adequately justified;
  35. That the sponsor or an agent acting on behalf of the sponsor will have access to the facilities where the project is conducted, and be permitted to review technical and financial project records;
  36. That he/she has the technical ability to conduct the project, and that research space, including any special utilities, transportation requirements, or facilities, is available to conduct the project and necessary approvals have been authorized; and
  37. That each Co-Principal Investigator and Key Person listed on this project is aware that his/her names have been included in the proposal and that each is willing to provide support to the project.

Award Stage

  1. If a Notice of Award (NOA) is received, immediately forward a copy to SPO at [email protected] along with your Cayuse SP proposal number (so they can link it to the award).
  2. Review the requirements and restrictions in the contract or grant award agreement.
    • If any terms or conditions are unclear, it is the PI’s responsibility to contact SPO for clarification and guidance.
    • Notify SPO of any problematic terms or conditions
      • Ensure the Scope of Work in the agreement is accurate
      • Ensure the deliverables are acceptable
      • If the terms of an individual award are more strict than federal guidelines and University policy, the terms of the award take precedence.
        • For example, travel expenses are allowable under federal and University policy, but may be specifically excluded or limited by your specific award.
  1. Upon receipt of the fully executed award, make note of important conditions including, but not limited to:
    • Reporting deadlines
    • Unallowable costs
    • Areas that may require prior approval such as re-budgeting or no cost time extensions
    • Publications may require sponsor’s review prior to dissemination
  1. Work with the Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA) office on the establishment of a specific account and fund number for the project.
  2. Regularly monitor the award to ensure adherence to award terms and conditions.
    • Financial Ledger Reviews should be performed at least once a month.
  1. Principal Investigators and others committing effort must certify that effort after the effort has been expended.

PI or Department Contracts & Grants (C&G) Administrator

  1. Read the sponsor’s solicitation thoroughly.
    • Confirm that UC Davis, as an academic institution, is eligible to apply.
  1. Confirm that all required forms, documents and information are included in the proposal package.
    • Some components may be required based on the project scope:
      • i.e., Human and animal subjects, use of pathogenic materials, international involvement
  1. Confirm all sponsor formatting requirements are met:
    • Table of Contents, page margins, font/pitch, line spacing, characters per inch, page limitations, spelling and grammar
  1. Confirm the F&A (Indirect) Cost Rates and Base. In general, the Federally Negotiated (NICRA) rates should be used, though there are some exceptions.
  2. Confirm the project periods (number and length) in the budget are correct. If using the OR Budget Templates (recommended), project periods will affect calculations.
  3. Before routing:
    • Review the List of Approving Units in the Cayuse SP Approving Units tab.
      • Be certain that every unit and/or campus resource involved with or used by the proposal is listed before submitting the proposal for routing. Failure to include all affected resources/units may result in having to reroute for approvals.
    • Visit the Cayuse Research Suite, select Research Contacts under System Administration Applications, enter all the Approving Units and confirm an IPF Approver is identified for each.
  1. Keep ahead of the submission deadline:
    • Route the Internal Processing Form (IPF) with attachments in Cayuse SP 10 to 14 days ahead of the sponsor deadline to ensure the certified/authorized documents arrives in SPO 5 to 7 days before deadline.
  1. Monitor routing to ensure no holdups.

SPO webpages with additional guidance and resources