UFCD Guidelines for Proposal Submissions

As an administrative unit within the UFCD Dean’s office, the Office of Research reviews and approves all proposal submissions on behalf of the Associate Dean for Research and/or the Dean. In addition, the office offers guidance and resources for UFCD faculty submitting proposal applications to both external and internal sources. In order to provide the most effective service to the college, the following guidelines establish roles and responsibilities, review requirements and submission timelines for all stakeholders.

Roles and Responsibilities

Principal Investigator (PI):

  • Prepares the proposal to accurately reflect the resources required to successfully conduct the project; i.e., funding, facilities, equipment, time, personnel effort, etc.
  • Ensures the proposal application is complete and adheres to sponsor’s guidelines
  • Prepares the application in accordance with sponsor(s) and University requirements
  • Complies with sponsor’s format specifications
  • Confirms the budget and budget justification are consistent, accurate, aligned with project goals, and consistent with sponsor(s) guidelines for limits and allowances
  • Adheres to University policy regarding cost sharing, federal cost accounting standards, and effort commitments
  • Ensures the application receives required approvals and verifies final submission to the sponsor

Department Chair (DC):

  • Supports the proposed scope of work and confirms it is consistent with the department’s mission and overall objectives
  • Approves the proposed personnel effort
  • Aware of the effort required to perform the work and determines that faculty commitments are consistent with faculty member’s professional effort, responsibilities and capabilities
  • Reviews the proposal to ensure the PI has proposed reasonable and available resources
  • Approves and guarantees funding for proposed cost sharing

Department Administration (DA):

  • Assists the PI with preparing the proposal and developing an appropriate budget that includes salary and fringe benefit calculations, with applicable indirect costs
  • Assists with the completion of all required administrative documents
  • Corresponds with collaborators to collect biosketches and other supporting documents
  • Creates an electronic record in the UFIRST proposal system
  • Ensures proper approvals are obtained for cost sharing
  • Ensures all required compliance documentation is accurately completed and attached in UFIRST, and that all compliance questions are answered correctly in UFIRST; e.g., FCOI, IRB, IACUC, CANCER, CLSVC
  • Corresponds with sponsors as needed
  • Facilitates the proposal submission process
  • Follows-up to ensure all approvals are received and submission to the sponsor is successful
  • Maintains records of proposal activity and funding status
  • Keeps electronic records of proposal submissions may be stored in the UFIRST system

UFCD Office of Research:

  • Conducts final review of proposal submission*
  • Approves the proposal on behalf of the Dean and College
  • Collects data for reporting and maintains a proposal activity log

UFCD Office of Research College Review Criteria

The primary intent of the college level review is to ensure compliance with Dentistry, University of Florida, Health Science Center and sponsor agency rules and regulations.

The College level review verifies:

  • The proposal and/or agreement is accurately entered into UFIRST
  • The proposal is verified by the PI and approved by the Department Chair
  • All required compliance documentation is accurately completed and attached in UFIRST
  • Documents containing administrative data are complete and accurate; i.e., institutional information

Confirms that all budget elements meet the following requirements:

  • UFIRST budget, sponsor budget, and sponsor budget justification are aligned
  • Budget justification is clear, concise and accurately reports effort commitments
  • Salary and fringe benefits calculated properly utilizing UFIRST
  • Appropriate indirect cost rate and base
  • Proposed cost sharing is documented and approved by the Department Chair and Dean
  • Approval must be obtained prior to final submission to the Office of Research
  • Approved exceptions to UF/UFCD or sponsor policies are documented
  • The sponsor proposal contains no potential submission errors

Submission Deadlines and Review Guidelines

The UFCD Office of Research requests that proposals be submitted for College-level approval 5 days prior to the deadline to receive comprehensive College-level review. Proposals submitted three business days before the sponsor’s deadline receive as complete a review as possible depending upon Office of Research proposal workload. Proposals submitted inside the 3-day window may receive little or no review. Faculty should be aware that submitting a proposal too close to the deadline significantly increases the risk of the proposal not being successfully transmitted through electronic systems. In cases where it was not possible for the proposal to receive full College-level review because of a late submission, the PI and their department will be responsible for any financial commitments or short falls in the award. The Office of Research may perform a follow-up review and advise the PI of any important budgetary issues

PIs are encouraged to notify the Office of Research and the department administration as early as possible prior to proposal submission deadlines. Departments are free to set internal deadlines that are more stringent than the College. It is expected that PIs will discuss effort commitments with their Department chair prior to preparing a proposal or agreeing to participate on a proposal initiated by another investigator. Department Chairs are authorized to review and approve effort commitments.

Office of Research Review Levels

Full review – Proposals should be submitted a minimum of 5 business days prior to sponsor deadline for this level of review. The proposal will be reviewed for items which will prevent processing through Grants.gov, items which may cause submission errors or warnings in the NIH Commons system, and basic content to ensure application meets sponsor guidelines (font requirements, page limits, etc.). Recommendations for adhering to sponsor guidelines and/or enhancing the proposal will be provided to the PI.

Limited review – Proposals should be submitted a minimum of 3 business days prior to sponsor deadline for this level of review. The proposal will be checked for items which would prevent processing through Grants.gov, items which may cause submission errors or warnings in the NIH Commons system. The sponsor budget and budget justification are reviewed for accuracy and match the UFIRST proposal record.

Cursory review – The proposal will be checked only for items which would prevent processing through Grants.gov or for certain items that may deviate substantively from critical UF policies; e.g., cost sharing, IDC adjustments.

No review – The PI or departmental staff submits the completed proposal, ensuring all sponsor and institutional requirements are met, to the Office of Research via UFIRST work flow for signature.

Preparation Assistance and the Office of Research Proposal “Queue”

The UFCD Office of Research Grant’s Specialist works with the PI to develop a timeline for proposal preparation. Usually, a minimum 6 to 8 weeks is necessary for the average proposal. The timeline can vary depending on how many faculty/colleges are involved, whether a modular versus detailed budget is required, and if a portion of the work is being performed outside UF.  Due to the number of faculty served, the Office of Research establishes a proposal “Queue” and will assist on a first-come first-served basis. Proposals are added to the Queue upon receiving notification from the PI of a planned submission.

Suggested Timeline

Activity Person(s) responsible Target Date
Line up research team members, define roles on project and effort proposed PI 6-8 weeks out
Provide Grants Specialist with names, roles on project and proposed effort and contact information for all individuals in research team (investigators, consultants, and other personnel) PI 4 weeks out
Request support letters (if necessary) PI 3-4 weeks out
Email research team requesting conflict of interest, biosketch and any other information necessary for completion of performance site or key personnel sections of applications and any administrative documents for consortiums Grants Specialist 2-3 weeks out
Prepare DRAFT budget Grants Specialist 2-3 weeks out
Check biosketches for proper format and communicate with research team member if content or formatting is incorrect. Grants Specialist 2 weeks out
Complete non-science aspects of application in UFIRST. Grants Specialist 2 weeks out
Provide abstract, project narrative, resources, equipment, budget justification, and other required documents (with the exception of research strategy and bibliography) to Grants Specialist for uploading in application. PI 2 weeks out
Review and finalize budget PI & Grants Specialist 2 weeks out
Submit to UFIRST workflow to obtain necessary approvals Grants Specialist 1-2 week(s) out
Review final application & submit to DSP PI & Grants Specialist 5 days out