Proposal Preparation

Completing application forms

When developing a proposal, PIs assisted by departmental or college staff, should complete any specific forms required by the funding agency, the technical proposal or scope of work, budget and budget justification. The Fact Page provides all of the pertinent university information (DUNS #, etc.) that you will need for your proposal forms. The PI is responsible for obtaining the correct forms for their application and for completing them correctly.

Institutional and PI eligibility

Georgia State’s PI Eligibility Policy defines who can be a PI on a grant proposal from the university.

Letters of Intent

A sponsor may require a letter of intent prior to submitting a proposal to a program. The program guidelines will detail how the letter should be submitted. If a letter needs to be submitted from the institution, it must be routed like a proposal using the proposal routing process. If the letter can be submitted directly to the sponsor by the PI/PD, it does not need to go through this process.

Compliance approvals

PIs are responsible for submitting all necessary compliance protocols (IACUC, IRB, Conflict of Interest, etc.) in a timely manner. All Conflict of Interest compliance requirements (e.g. training, disclosures) must be completed prior to submission of any new proposals. Other compliance assurances may be listed as “pending” on proposals that are submitted, but must be finalized and approved before any research can begin on a sponsored award. All information about developing and submitting compliance protocols (e.g IRB, IACUC, Biosafety) can be found on the Compliance and Safety webpages.

Foreign or industry sponsors (teaming agreements)

Unique requirements and/or risks may exist with proposals to foreign or industry sponsors or for proposals that require a teaming agreement prior to submission. A teaming agreement refers to a legally binding document outlining the specifics of a partnership between Georgia State and outside entities for the purpose of conducting research on a sponsored project. The agreement includes such things as division of labor and responsibility in the preparation of the proposal and carrying out of the labor outlined in the proposal, and outlines the marking of proprietary information resulting from the project if funded. When seeking funding from foreign or industrial sponsors or before entering into a teaming agreement with an outside entity for a proposal, the applicant must contact OSPA to receive appropriate administrative, business, and/or legal counsel and guidance in preparing the proposal.

Sponsored projects vs. gifts

Sponsored projects are externally-funded, usually for research or scholarly activities that have a defined scope of work or set of objectives which provides a basis for sponsor expectations. In other words, they have restrictions and the sponsor usually requires some deliverable at the end. The two most common sponsored project funding mechanisms are grants and contracts. A contract is a legally binding document in which the parties make promises to deliver a product or service in exchange for consideration (usually money). A grant is used when one party grants funds to another party to do something, in reasonable hopes that the task can be accomplished. If the task is not accomplished there are most likely no legal ramifications (assuming you have broken no other laws) as would be the case in a contract.

All sponsored projects, whether grants or contracts, are administered through URSA with Georgia State University Research Foundation (GSURF) serving as the award recipient. Fellowships are also processed through URSA, though an individual may sometimes be listed as the award recipient.

Gifts are externally funded and, although they may be designated for something specific, they typically do not require that a defined scope of work be done or specific objectives be met. Gifts are administered through the Office of Development with the Georgia State University Foundation as the award recipient.

Inevitably, there will be situations when the classification of a sponsored project or gift will be unclear. When such situations arise, contact the Office of Sponsored Proposals and Awards (OSPA) or an Office of Development representative for clarification.

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