312.02.05 Review and Approval Procedures for Sponsored Grants and Contracts

A formal proposal to conduct a research, public service, or training project with support from a external agency represents an offer by the Georgia State University acting as an agency of the State of Georgia. It is necessary, therefore, that any such proposal have the endorsement of those individuals responsible for carrying out the project as well as those individuals authorized to commit the University to a legal offer. A review and routing procedure has been established in order to ensure that each proposal or application for sponsored research or training has been reviewed and endorsed by the various responsible persons and that there is compliance with both sponsor, University, and State policies. All proposals must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Programs.

A. Internal Routing and Review

Each proposal must be accompanied by a Routing Form (available at the Office of Sponsored Programs). The Routing Form will bear appropriate endorsement signatures before submission to the Office of Sponsored Programs. In the case of a proposal which involves faculty members from different departments and/or colleges, it is necessary to secure signatures from each area. Proposals are routed from the principal investigator to the department chair, the dean, and finally to the Office of Sponsored Programs. Most sponsors require a specific number of copies of the formal proposal to be submitted along with one or more signed copies. If more than one original signed copy is required, please notify the Office of Sponsored Programs staff at the time the proposal is submitted. The Office of Sponsored Programs must receive all copies of the proposal that are required by the agency to contain original signatures and two additional copies for the Office of Sponsored Programs' files.

The individuals and/or offices involved in the internal review and processing are as follows:

  1. Principal Investigator/Project Director is responsible for the budget, technical content, quality, and preparation of the proposal presenting his or her ideas for a project.
  2. Department Chair is responsible for certifying to the academic validity of the project, the compatibility of the project with the principal investigator's other commitments, the availability of space and facilities, cost-sharing commitment, and assuring that the project adheres to department objectives.
  3. Dean is responsible for determining the appropriateness of the project within the Division or College programs and that resources will be available.
  4. The Office of Sponsored Programs is responsible for ensuring that there is compliance with applicable laws and regulations, University administrative rules, cost-sharing, prior acceptance of contractual terms, and routing the proposal to the Office of Grants and Contracts for budget review. In addition, human subjects, animal welfare, and other compliance issues are also reviewed by this office.
  5. B. Lead Time Requirement

    Lead time required for review of a proposal varies with its size, complexity, completeness, accuracy and care taken in its preparation and prior review. It also depends upon the amount of work already in the Office of Sponsored Programs and the staff available when it is received. To allow for necessary corrections and revisions and for greater assurance that sponsor deadline will be met, allow at least five working days for the Office of Sponsored Programs to review the proposal. Proposals which contain unconventional or unique features including cost sharing commitments, conditions that necessitate legal review, etc., may require additional lead time.

    C. Project Personnel

    All appropriate University guidelines and procedures must be followed in the development of percent effort and time commitments of personnel listed in grant and contract proposals. Particular attention should be given to restrictions related to affirmative action regulations, job titles, and wage and salary ranges. Detailed information is available from the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Grants and Contracts and the Office of Sponsored Programs.

    D. Budgets

    The budget serves to identify the cost of the project to the sponsor and it is an indicator of the magnitude of the project. The budget also serves as a further measure of the project director's capabilities since there must be a reasonable correlation between the project as described and the principal investigator's assessment of the various cost elements. The budget must always include a listing of all the direct costs and indirect costs. Examples of budgets and appropriate forms may be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Programs.

    E. Direct Cost, Fringe Benefit Rates and Indirect Costs

    Direct costs are costs that can be distinctly identified as benefitting the project, such as salaries and fringe benefits, equipment, supplies, travel, and computer time. Fringe benefits require a separate category in the budget and should not be combined with salaries. The rate includes the University's contribution to Social Security, retirement programs and health insurance. Allowable indirect costs and fringe benefits are established yearly.

    Indirect costs or overhead costs are those expenses that are incurred by the University through the cost of facilities maintenance and operation, and research administration expenses. The rates vary and are subject to change. Additional Information is available from the Office of Grants and Contracts and/or the Office of Sponsored Programs.
    (Source: Vice President for Research, August 6, 1996)

    Indirect costs recovered from external grants or contracts at the fixed or maximum rate allowed by the sponsor will be evenly divided by the University and the Department/Institute generating the funds. Required cost sharing will not be deducted from the indirect.

    If a department/institute negotiates a lower rate with a sponsor, for other than required cost sharing purposes, the University's share will remain 50% of the maximum rate allowed by the sponsor.

    There will be a minimum of $1000 annually in the indirect cost recovery to the department/institute for the unit to receive its share. [Approved by the University Senate: 12/5/02]