Routing refers to the formal university approval process. When the proposal and budget have been finalized, OSP attaches a routing form to the package and it is signed by required signatories after review. The signatures indicate agreement to the proposal and concurrence that the proposal can be sent to the sponsor. All signatures must be obtained before the proposal can be released.
Signatures required vary with the type of project being proposed. When the Principal Investigator signs the approval form, he or she is approving the entire proposal and assuming responsibility for:
- the scope of scientific and technical effort
- preparation of required technical reports
- management of the project within the budget and time constraints of the proposal in compliance with sponsor regulations and University policies
The Principal Investigator may not delegate his or her authority to approve proposals.
Teaching unit heads and college Deans certify the academic soundness of the project, facility and space availability, cost sharing (other than any indirect cost waiver that is a documented sponsor policy), course release arrangements, and the compatibility of the project's goals with the teaching unit's objectives.
Proposals are routed through the teaching unit, School/College Deans, and the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Research/Director of OSP. Depending on the type of proposal, other signatures may be required. A project involving faculty or staff from more than one unit must be routed through all units involved. Your OSP staff member can provide information about specific signatures needed for your project.
The first step should be to discuss the proposal with your Dean or Department Chair to see what they will require to review your proposal. Private sponsors and grant requests over $250,000. have pre-approval procedures that may take additional time. OSP will do everything possible to accommodate compressed time frames for proposal submission but cannot guarantee that all University decision makers will be available for approval and signature.
It is best to submit the proposal at least 48 hours before it is due in order to allow for unexpected delays. Given a reasonable amount of time between proposal development and submission, you can expect that OSP will:
- Assemble the final proposal package for routing and approval
- Complete the routing form and any required sponsored forms
- Obtain signatures and coordinate the answers to any questions that the institutional signatories may have
- Package the final approved proposal and budget
- Deliver the proposal to the sponsor or arrange to have the proposal submitted electronically depending on sponsor requirements
- Retain proof of delivery
OSP maintains the university registry for several electronic proposal submission and grants administration platforms including NSF Fastlane, the NIH Commons , the GMS System for the Department of Justice, and Grants.Gov. OSP also maintains upgraded computer equipment and staff resources to assist Principal Investigators with electronic submission. Let your OSP staff member know if you plan to submit a proposal that requires electronic submission so that OSP can make sure that AU is properly registered.
If I submit electronically, can I work on the proposal until right before it is due since OSP only has to push a button?
Due to the difficulties inherent in the electronic submission process, OSP cannot guarantee the timely submission of proposals that are submitted less than 48 hours before the due date. Sometimes sponsor systems have difficulties or the platforms will not accept the documents as they are formatted. Proposals that do not meet the advance submission requirement of 48 hours will be accepted and OSP will attempt to send the proposal. Missing the advance submission requirement will mean that, should the sponsor system be having difficulty, OSP may not be able to make alternative arrangements with the sponsor in time for the legal due date.
I submitted a proposal myself that I now realize should have been coordinated with OSP. What do I do?
Notify your assigned OSP staff member as soon as possible. Your proposal will be retroactively routed through the university approval process. All signatories will review your proposal to see if they agree with parameters, conditions, budget, and commitments that were made. In the most extreme cases, you may be asked to withdraw the proposal. The university always reserves the right to request modification of or reject an award received when there is no approved proposal on file with OSP.
I will be joining AU soon and would like to bring a grant from my previous institution with me. What should I do?
Discuss the grant with your Dean or department chair and ask for their approval to begin transfer discussions with your former institution. Once you have received this approval, contact your assigned OSP staff member to arrange transfer logistics. The OSP staff will need to work closely with the staff at your previous institution so be prepared with their names and contact information. Once all the details have been agreed upon between the two institutions, the proposal, budget, and letters agreeing to accept the transferred grant will go through the University proposal routing approval process.