Preparing & Submitting Proposals
There are many steps to developing a research project and preparing a proposal for submission. The Office of Research aims to provide and identify services and resources to aid the researcher’s efforts in developing and preparing a project or proposal.
This guidance is based on UCOP’s Contract and Grant Manual, Section 10-340, (which details Deans, Department Chairs, and Directors (including ORU Directors) responsibilities and duties related to review of proposals for extramurally sponsored grants, contracts, and other agreements.
By reviewing any proposal intended to be submitted seeking extramural support for projects conducted in their units, and approving (prior to January 1, 2018, by reviewing/signing Datasheet, and since January 1, 2018, by reviewing and approving proposals in Cayuse SP) the respective Dean, Department Chair, or Director verifies/certifies the following:
- an individual’s eligibility for Principal Investigator status;
- verification of the consistency of the proposed project with the educational, research, and/or public service objectives of the organizational unit;
- determination that the appropriateness and acceptability of faculty/researcher time, space, equipment, and University financial commitments contained in proposals for sponsored projects;
- ensuring that project scope of work is consistent with internal University policies, with externally imposed sponsor terms and conditions, and with the organizational unit’s educational, training, and/or other objectives; and
- identifying appropriate funding sources to cover project costs not covered by the project sponsor’s funds or by other funds available to the Principal Investigator.
It is after verification of the above that the Chair/Director/Dean will sign the documents needed to request Sponsored Programs to move the project (proposal or award) forward. This process provides Dean/Director/Chair’s authorization for Sponsored Programs to accept, within University policies, award(s) that may result from the proposal.
These responsibilities may not be delegated to staff. If the Dean, Department Chair, or Director is unavailable to review and approve proposals, or if the Dean, Department Chair, or Director has a personal financial interest in the proposed sponsor of a project, then another academic member of the unit should be delegated to do review/approve the proposal.
The following may be helpful for the Dean, Department Chair, or Director in deciding whether they are able to endorse a proposal to proceed.
- Financial Resources
Are the resources required to carry out the project currently available? Have cost sharing or matching commitments been made? If so, are appropriate resources available for these commitments? (SPO requires documentation of all financial cost sharing commitments to be submitted with the proposal.) If two or more units are involved, are the cost sharing responsibilities of each clearly understood and documented?
Is the space needed for the project adequate and available for the full project period? If additional space or facilities will be required, have appropriate commitments been made to assure their availability for the project? Have the Deans and Chairs of other involved units been consulted?
- Faculty and Staff Time
Are the time commitments proposed by the faculty reasonable to achieve the goals of the project in light of teaching and other University responsibilities? Is release time likely to be required? If so, can it be approved? Will any faculty time be committed as cost share? This should be clearly indicated in budget for the proposal. Approval in Cayuse by the Chair or Director of the Academic Unit indicate approval of any faculty time commitments listed. Will the principal investigator/project director and other key personnel be available throughout the proposed term of the project? If the project involves staff employees, are they available and properly funded for the entire project period?
- PI Status
If the proposed principal investigator (PI) does not have “Regular Eligibility”, or “Eligibility by Special Request” to be a PI, as detailed in PPM 230-02, the Dean/Chair/Director is required to seek “Eligibility by Exception”, following the requirements of PPM 230-02, as a part of the proposal package.
Is the proposed project acceptable under the principles of University Regulation 4 regarding faculty salaries and investigations of a purely commercial nature? Is the proposed project appropriate for the principal investigator/project director(s), the administering unit, and the campus to undertake? Does it serve the University missions of expanding knowledge and educating students? Is there significant graduate student involvement? If not, why? If the project involves other units on campus, have the chairs and deans of those units been consulted?
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.
- UC Davis Policy and Procedure Manual – Section 230-01 – Private Support of Research
- UC Davis Policy and Procedure Manual – Section 230-02 – Eligibility to Undertake Sponsored Research
- Form: 105A, Request for Exception to Policy on Eligibility to Submit Proposals (PDF)