submitting a proposal

Proposal Development and Approval

Every UM-Flint external grant proposal is a request for funding on behalf of the Regents of the University of Michigan, and requires a final stage of review at the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects in Ann Arbor. The UM-Flint Office of Research is here to work with UM-Flint principal investigators (project leaders), to assist in preparing the necessary supporting materials, building a budget, and improving the project narrative, and then routing the proposal in the web-based eResearch system for unit-level approval on the Flint campus, before approving it, and routing the proposal for review in Ann Arbor. The U-M Office of Research (UMOR) recently established an internal deadline policy of 4 business days prior to the sponsor’s due date to guarantee full review prior to submission.  Principal investigators on the Flint campus are asked to finalize their proposal 2 days prior to the UMOR deadline, to allow for internal approvals from UM-Flint chairs and deans.  Timely submission of a proposal will assure it receives full review prior to submission to a sponsor.  Submissions that arrive at ORSP within the 4 business day window risk minimal review and possible non-submission.

What is a Proposal Approval Form?
The Proposal Approval Form (PAF) is an electronic summary of information about funding applications used for internal review and approval. It contains all the pre-award funding information gathered to document the commitment of effort by project personnel and university resources to a proposed project.  A PAF creates an individual project record within the U-M eResearch Proposal Management system and is used to track the approval process by university officials. After the principal investigator finalizes a proposal by signing it, the PAF is routed for approval at the unit level, typically first to the home academic department chair, then the Dean’s Office, and the UM-Flint Office of Research.  Once it is approved on the Flint campus, it is routed to ORSP in Ann Arbor, where it receives an administrative review, and a detailed content review by ORSP project representatives (private or government).  Project representatives cover specific units across the tri-campus system, and are content specialists familiar with the requirements of key government agencies and private sponsors.  They review the PAF and its supporting documents for completeness, sponsor formatting requirements, project personnel, humans subjects, animals, DNA, restrictions, conflict of interest disclosures, subcontracts, or other sub-agreements, intellectual property disclosures, material transfer approvals, nondisclosure agreements, space, budget, cost sharing, performance period and signatures.  If changes are recommended, the project representative will notify the project team and the primary research administrator.  Once any recommended revisions are completed, the project representative will submit to the sponsor.   

Why is a PAF needed?
PAFs are required for all external grant funding across U-M.  Before sending any grant or contract funding request to an external sponsor (see Section 3.06 of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents) proposals must document commitment of effort and university resources, and meet the approval of the home department, the home unit (school, college or institute), campus Office of Research (Flint, Dearborn, Medical School), and the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (which reviews all external proposal on behalf of all principal investigators across U-M for the U-M Office of Research).

Planning to Submit a New Proposal?
Let the UM-Flint Office of Research know about your proposal writing and submission plans as early as possible. Use the New Proposal Request form as soon as you start planning to submit a proposal–the earlier you contact us, the better (preferably no less than 15 business days before the due date). A research administrator will be assigned to your project and help you to review the sponsor requirements from the funding announcement, develop a budget, create supporting documents, and establish timelines. The earlier we learn about your plans the more we can offer additional feedback on proposal content and directly support the proposal writing process. Need help finding funding, team building or ideation, don’t hesitate to reach out to the director. The earlier we are aware of your plans the more proposal writing support we can offer.