Submission of proposals
Office of Grant and Contract Services (OGCS) is the central administrative
office responsible for authorizing and submitting proposals for extramural
funding. This authorization assures that what is proposed is consistent with
Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) policies, state, and federal laws, and that
commitments made in proposals have been authorized by the appropriate administrators.
After a proposal has been submitted, OGCS also negotiates and accepts the award
as well as provides administrative oversight the funded project.
proposals for extramural funding must be reviewed and approved by the principal
investigator (PI) or Project Director (PD), co-PIs/PDs, participating
department or unit chairs, and academic deans and/or directors prior to
submission to the sponsor.
Office of Grant and Contract Services is responsible for submitting proposals
on behalf of the university. All proposals for extramural funding must be
authorized for submission by an individual who is authorized to sign documents
on behalf of the Arizona Board of Regents.
proposals are now routed through Cayuse 424 for
institutional approval. Proposals must be submitted to OGCS at least five
working days prior to the sponsor’s deadline, or with prior review, three days
in advance of the deadline. More time is needed for:
- large proposals
- proposals submitted through Grants.Gov
- major deadlines
proposals may not be forwarded to the agency due to lack of time to review or,
if forwarded, may be withdrawn if a problem is discovered after submission.
for preparing and routing proposals through Northern Arizona University
OGCS that you are preparing a proposal by completing the Early Proposal Notification.
form provides information we need to review and submit the proposal, including
- name of the sponsor
- website to review the program/solicitation
- mailing deadline
You will receive an e-mail acknowledgment from OGCS containing the name of the responsible
Grant and Contract Administrator (GCA), the OGCS tracking number assigned to
the proposal, and the web address for all required internal forms and
solicitations that restrict the number of proposals the university may submit,
the form is essential in assessing whether an internal selection committee will
how the proposal will be submitted, including through:
- another electronic portal
that are submitted through Grants.Gov require two to three days additional time
for preparation, review, and submission to the sponsor.
Contact for questions/concerns
OGCS to discuss your proposal and any particular concerns you may have, such
- Grants.gov proposal submission. If your proposal will
be submitted through Grants.Gov, the proposal “form set” must be downloaded and
completed, including uploading all required forms, prior to submission.
Multiple instruction packages, including Grants.Gov, the Sponsor’s general
submission guidelines, and the specific RFP guidelines, will need to be
- Institutional and/or PI eligibility. Northern Arizona
University is not eligible to submit proposals for some opportunities (for
example, those restricted to 501(c)(3) entities). Other constraints may include
a limit on the number of proposals that may be submitted by the university, or criteria
restricting who may serve as the principal investigator.
- Budget preparation and review (salaries, ERE rates/requirements,
F&A rate, etc.).
- Requirements for requesting cost share and/or matching
contributions (required and/or voluntary cost share, committed cost share,
- Procedures for requesting a waiver or reduction of the
indirect cost rate.
- Personal, institutional, and/or agency deadlines or
other scheduling constraints. Large or complex proposals or a heavy proposal
volume for a particular date may require additional review time.
- Use of the OGCS number to track the proposal and to
identify all electronic data files associated with the proposal special
needs/requirements for electronic or multi-institution submissions. We may need
to register Northern Arizona University and the participating faculty on the
agency’s website, or submit or secure authorizations from partner institutions,
- Regulatory/compliance requirements, if applicable.
clearance from the Office of University Advancement for Proposals to private foundations,
or to request a corporate donation. The principal investigator is responsible
for requesting prospect clearance from the Office of University Advancement for
proposals to private foundations or seeking corporate donations. Prospect clearance
assures that the foundation is aware of all potential submissions, so that
proposals can be managed to maximize gift funding. In limited cases, faculty
may be requested to delay submission so as not to conflict with a planned or
Follow proposal guidelines
the proposal according to sponsor guidelines. The principal investigator has
primary responsibility for the technical content of the proposal, including the
budget, and all required sponsor and internal forms. The GCA will work with the
investigator to review the proposal and assist with budget preparation and
review, and may be able to assist with sponsor forms and proofreading/ editing
the proposal if requested and if time allows. A few caveats include:
- Statistical data presented about the university, our
programs, faculty and students, enrollment and graduation rates, etc. must be
verifiable. The best source for this data is the Office of Planning, Budget, and
Institutional Research (928-523-5804, www.nau.edu/pair). We
strongly advise that you review your source material with your GCA prior to
submitting the final proposal.
- Requests for cost share and/or indirect waivers or
reduction must be submitted to the Vice President for Research at least two
weeks prior to the proposal deadline.
Follow budget guidelines
the budget according to sponsor guidelines.
- The proposal budget is generally divided into two
- direct costs
- facilities and administrative costs
- Direct costs are those costs that can be identified
specifically with a particular project, or that can be directly assigned to
such activities easily with a high degree of accuracy. OMB Circular A-21, Cost
Principles for Educational Institutions, establishes the principles for determining
costs applicable to grants, contracts and other agreements between educational
institutions and the federal government. Section J. contains an extensive list
of allowable and unallowable expenditures on federal awards. To be eligible as
a direct cost, a cost must be:
- allocable to the project
- allowable under the cost principles
- charged consistently
For non-federal sponsors, follow the policies established by the sponsor.
- Facilities and administrative costs are general
operating costs incurred by the university in support of research, instruction,
and other sponsored activities. Typically, these costs cannot be readily
attributed to, or directly charged to, specific individual projects; for
- administrative/clerical salaries
- office supplies
- basic telephone service
- routine postage as well as building maintenance,
heating, lights, etc. (OMB Circular A-21, Section E.1).
- The university’s policy is to request our federally
approved rates for all sponsored projects, unless a different rate has been
specified by the funding agency. Effective 7/1/2005, the base for calculating
indirect costs shifted from a salaries and wages base to a modified total
direct cost base. The MTDC base consists of all salaries and wages, ERE,
materials and supplies, operating costs, travel, and the first $25,000 of each
sub-recipient award. The base excludes capital expenditures, tuition, rental
costs of off-site facilities, scholarships and fellowships, and the amount
above $25,000 for each sub-recipient award. Copies of the rate agreement and
Northern Arizona University’s facilities and administration policy are
available at http://www.nau.edu/grants. The new rates are as follows:
Other Sponsored activity
Other Sponsored activity
Use the same rates and conditions as those cited for the fiscal year
ending June 30, 2008
- The off-campus rate is applicable to those projects
conducted in facilities not owned or leased by the university. However, if the
project is conducted in leased space and lease costs are directly charged to
the project, then the off-campus rate must be used. A project is considered
off-campus if more than 50 percent of its salaries and wages are incurred at an
off-campus facility. If a project is determined to be off campus, it shall be
considered wholly off-campus. Separate on and off-campus rates will not be used
for a single project.
- Northern Arizona University requires sponsored project
costs to be funded, to the greatest extent possible, by the sponsors. The
university’s decision to authorize the use of internal resources to supplement
funding of a sponsored project is based on the availability of funds and the relative
importance of the project in furthering the mission of Northern Arizona
University. Requests for cost share, either in the form of a waiver or
reduction of facilities and administration, or cash match, must be approved prior
to routing the proposal for final approvals by the chair/director/dean and the
authorized institutional representative.
Document commitments and approvals
the Northern Arizona University Proposal Approval Form (PAF) to document institutional commitments and approvals by the PI/PD,
Co-PIs/PDs, and chairs/directors and/or deans to submit the proposal. The lead
investigator is responsible for assuring that the completed proposal and PAF
with all required signatures are submitted to OGCS by the Northern Arizona
University internal deadline.
Approval for waivers
approvals for a waiver or reduction of the university’s facilities and administrative
(indirect cost) rate.
- A facilities and administration waiver or reduction request
must be approved by the cognizant chairs, directors, and deans prior to
consideration by the Vice President for Research. The written request must
justify the reduced rate, explaining the benefit to the university for accepting
the project at the reduced rate. Waiver or reduction requests should be submitted
at least two weeks prior to the proposal deadline.
- Only indirect costs recovered at the fully allowable
rate (i.e., the rate established by the sponsor as the fully allowable rate)
are available for distribution. Indirect costs recovered at less than the fully
allowable rate are retained by the Vice President for Research.
Approval for funds
approvals for cost share and/or matching funds. Northern Arizona University
requires sponsored project costs to be funded, to the greatest extent possible,
by the sponsors. The university’s decision to authorize the use of internal
resources to supplement funding of a sponsored project is based on the
availability of funds and the relative importance of the project in furthering
the mission of Northern Arizona University.
- There are two types of cost share:
- mandatory cost share, which is required by the sponsor
as a condition for submitting proposal quantified in the proposal budget and
- voluntary committed cost share which is not required
by the sponsor but is quantified in the proposal budget and/or the budget
- Inclusion of cost share in proposal budgets requires
prior approval and documentation of all cost share and/or matching funds. Cost
share requests from the Vice President for Research should be submitted at
least two weeks prior to the proposal deadline.
- Tuition waivers represent foregone revenues to the
institution, and are a form of cost share which must be approved by the
responsible chairs, directors, and deans prior to consideration by the Vice
President for Research.
- Requests for cost share from the Office of the Vice
President for Research must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the
deadline for submitting the proposal.
- All cost shares must be listed on the PAF, including
the amount and source of the cost share or match. Approvals for internal cost
share and match are provided by the authorizing signatures on the second page
of the routing form. For external sources, a letter of specific support should
- If the proposal is funded, the PI will be responsible
for tracking and reporting cost share amounts to Sponsored Project Services.
Fill out an approval form
the Proposal Approval Form (PAF). The PAF is an internal document used to secure
approvals from the PIs, chairs or director, and deans to submit a proposal, document
cost share, and/or indirect cost approvals, and indicate required
certifications from investigators and academic administrators. The form also is
used to collect and summarize information about the proposal. The PAF is not
submitted to the sponsor. The PI is responsible for completing and routing the
PAF and proposal for internal review and approval.
- Investigators’ signatures document their agreement to
collaborate on the project, certify the accuracy of the submission, acknowledge
their responsibility to manage the project in conformance with the terms and
conditions of the award and applicable laws and regulations, and their
concurrence with the required drug-free workplace, debt and debarment,
lobbying, and financial disclosure certifications.
- Signatures of department chairs, directors, and
academic deans document their review and approval of the proposal, as well as
their awareness of and commitment to providing the necessary resources.
- All cost share commitments must be listed on the
routing form along with authorizing signatures (for internal cost share) or
letters of commitment (for external cost share)
- Authorizations are required for proposals that include
animal use, human subjects, radiation or biosafety, or require additional
- Depending on the proposal and/or sponsor, other forms
may be required:
- Investigator Disclosure Form (NSF and NIH proposals)
- Request to Issue a Subcontract
- Justification for Direct Charging Clerical and
- For proposals involving several academic units, the
investigator may route several copies of the PAF to secure all required
Designate a person in case of your absence
If you will be unavailable prior to final submission
of the proposal, please identify a person who will be responsible for answering
questions and making any necessary modifications in your absence.
Submit the proposal
the proposal and following documents to OGCS at least five working days prior
to the sponsor’s deadline, or with prior review, three days in advance:
original proposal and an electronic copy of the proposal and budget (the
electronic files can be e-mailed directly to your GCA or to email@example.com).
- PAF with all required signatures.
- a copy of the program guidelines, including
instructions for copying and mailing the proposal to the sponsor
- unless there is no deadline, we request you hand
deliver your proposal to OGCS rather than using campus mail
Institutional review and authorization of the proposal
proposal is reviewed by an OGCS grant and contract administrator, and, once any
concerns have been addressed with the PI, is submitted to the Director of OGCS
or other Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR).
AOR’s signature documents institutional approval to submit the proposal on
behalf of the investigator and certifies the university’s commitment to provide
the stated resources to support the proposal, as well as to any certifications
and attestations required by the sponsor.
the case of electronic submission, policies and procedures are changing very
quickly and vary widely from agency to agency. Most federal sponsors require
institutional submission of the proposal and the authorization/submission
procedure typically is seamless, with review and submission by the authorized
representative after the PIs complete the uploading process. Other sponsors
place the responsibility for securing institutional approvals squarely with the
PI; in these cases, it is critical to work with your grant and contract
administrator to assure proposal review and authorization prior to submission.
will copy, package and mail the proposal to the sponsor, unless another method
is requested. If color prints or special inserts are required, we request you
provide complete sets for each copy of the proposal.
proposals are sent by overnight courier for standard or priority delivery,
depending on when the proposal is received and the sponsor’s deadline. In order
to reduce mailing costs, we mail most proposals two days prior to the deadline
using standard overnight delivery.
pickup deadline for FedEx is 3:30 p.m. and the Woodlands Boulevard location
closes at 5:15
We will do our best, but cannot promise to copy or mail proposals received
after the deadline. In this case, the signed proposal will be returned to the
PI for copying and mailing to the sponsor. Late arrival of a proposal to OGCS
may result in an incomplete review in order not to miss the sponsor’s
submission deadline. If, in consultation with the PI, it is subsequently determined
that the proposal is incomplete or does not conform to university or sponsor requirements,
the proposal may be withdrawn.
office takes great pride in providing proactive service and we look forward to
working with you on your projects.