You are here

Definitions relating to the Proposal Submission Deadline Policy

ORSP's Proposal Submission Deadline Policy will take effect on January 6, 2020.

Download Printable Definition List

Term

Definition

At-Risk

A proposal is “At-Risk” when the approved Proposal Approval Form (PAF) and Final Proposal are routed through eRPM to ORSP with fewer than 15 business hours prior to the Submission Deadline. There is no guarantee that an At-Risk proposal will be submitted by the sponsor's deadline. Nor will an At-Risk proposal be submitted at the expense of more timely proposals.

 

While ORSP will make reasonable efforts to submit an At-Risk proposal, the proposal must first receive a Limited (Institution Only) Review before it may be submitted.

 

ORSP is not responsible for the potential negative outcomes of an At-Risk proposal, such as: (1) missing the sponsor's deadline; (2) submitting with fatal errors that prevent receipt by the sponsor; (3) failing to comply with the sponsor’s requirements; (4) receiving an “administrative turndown” from the sponsor on technical grounds; and (5) receiving a resulting award that U-M cannot accept because it contains non-negotiable terms and conditions that are inconsistent with the University’s requirements.

Final Proposal

A proposal that is ready for ORSP or the PI/Project Team (when applicable) to submit at any time (e.g., within 2 minutes or 2+ days of routing to ORSP). The PI/Project Team considers the proposal to be finished and will not make any further changes. ORSP may need to provide additional documentation or signatures to submit the proposal, but everything else is in final form and is “submission-ready.”

Full Review

The level of service that ORSP provides when the Final Proposal and approved PAF are received 32 or more business hours prior to the Submission Deadline. The Final Proposal and approved PAF are checked to ensure compliance with both U-M’s and the sponsor’s requirements. Any known terms and conditions of the sponsor that would be binding upon the issuance of a resulting award will also be reviewed for acceptability under U-M policy.

 

ORSP may request Required and/or Recommended Changes. Provided that any such changes are returned by the PI/Project Team to ORSP in a timely fashion, ORSP will ensure the Final Proposal is submitted by the Submission Deadline and successfully received by the sponsor. In addition, the proposal will neither be administratively returned by the sponsor without review nor declined for funding on the basis that an item on ORSP’s “PAF/Proposal Review Checklist” is non-compliant.

Incomplete

An Incomplete proposal is one that is not Final or “submission-ready” in some significant way. Examples of an Incomplete proposal include proposals where (1) a required component is missing; and (2) there is a temporary placeholder in lieu of a final document.  

 

The PAF for an Incomplete proposal will be returned to the PI/Project Team, an action that removes the review assignment (Full, Limited, At-Risk) and "resets the clock" – meaning the level of review will be recalculated when the proposal is “re-finalized.”

 

Proposals will also be returned as Incomplete if (1) the PI/Project Team requests that ORSP return it for further editing (the proposal was then, by definition not Final), or (2) ORSP is responsible for submitting the proposal and has not been granted access to the sponsor's on-line submission system.

Limited (Institutional Only) Review

The level of service that ORSP provides when the Final Proposal and approved PAF are received with a lead time of fewer than 32 business hours but at least 15 business hours prior to the Submission Deadline. The approved PAF and Final Proposal are checked to ensure compliance with U-M's requirements only.

 

Proposals that qualify for a Limited (Institutional Only) Review will be submitted by the Submission Deadline, provided that any changes identified by ORSP are returned by the PI/Project Team to ORSP in a timely fashion and ORSP staff have prior experience with the sponsor’s electronic proposal submission system (if applicable). ORSP cannot guarantee that submission of the proposal will be successful (e.g., submitted via Grants.gov without fatal errors) or that the proposal will comply with the sponsor’s requirements.

 

ORSP is not responsible for the potential negative outcomes of a proposal that only receives a Limited (Institutional Only) Review, such as: (1) submitting with fatal errors that prevent receipt by the sponsor; (2) failing to comply with the sponsor’s requirements; (3) receiving an “administrative turndown” from the sponsor on technical grounds; and (4) receiving a resulting award that U-M cannot accept because it contains non-negotiable terms and conditions that are inconsistent with the University’s requirements.

ORSP Review - Project Team Making Changes

The state of a PAF any time it is returned by ORSP to the PI/Project team to make changes, regardless of whether the changes are Required or Recommended or because the proposal is Incomplete.

Recommended Change

One of two types of changes that ORSP may identify. They are offered whenever ORSP’s review of the Final Proposal reveals certain edits that would improve compliance with the sponsor’s guidelines. They are optional and made at PI/Project Team’s discretion.

Required Change

One of two types of change that ORSP may identify. A “Required Change” indicates when something on either the PAF or the Final Proposal must be fixed in order to be compliant with U-M policies or requirements. Required changes must be made prior to proposal submission.

Submission Deadline

The date by which a proposal must be submitted to the sponsor in order to be received by the sponsor’s deadline and avoid being disqualified for consideration of funding. (In the case of electronic proposal submissions, the Submission Deadline is the same day as the sponsor’s published deadline date.)

 

– U-M’s proposal submission deadline policy applies whenever a Submission Deadline is entered on the PAF.

 

– The amount of lead time between the Submission Deadline and ORSP’s initial receipt of both the Final Proposal and approved PAF determines the level of service ORSP will provide.

Target Date

The date by which the PI/Project Team desires ORSP to complete* its work on the PAF.

 

Entering a Target Date is optional, considered a preference, and can be provided in conjunction with a “Submission Deadline” or on its own.

 

* Complete = submit a proposal for external funding, conclude the negotiation of a contract/funding agreement, or both.

Timely Fashion/ Completion of Changes

A relative term for how far in advance of the Submission Deadline the PI/Project Team returns a PAF to ORSP with any Required or Recommended Changes. As a best practice ORSP recommends the following:

 

-- For proposals qualifying for a Full Review, ORSP should aim to complete its initial review within 16 business hours and PIs/Project Teams should aim to return any Required or Recommended Changes within 12 business hours.

 

-- For proposals qualifying for a Limited Review, ORSP should aim to complete its initial review within 8 business hours and PIs/Project Teams should aim to return any Required within 4 business hours.

 

Circumstances may dictate shorter or longer turnaround times.

 

FAQs

 “Final” means ready for ORSP submission at any time (i.e., ORSP could submit to sponsor within 2 minutes or 2 days after it’s routed to ORSP). ORSP may need to provide additional documentation or signatures, but everything else is in its final form.

 

When a PAF is returned as Incomplete, that means the proposal is not “submission-ready” or Final in some significant way. For example, it may be missing some required component or the PI/Project Team has not granted ORSP access to the proposal in the sponsor’s electronic system (when ORSP is responsible for submission). In these cases, ORSP will return the PAF for the Project Team to complete its work, an action that strips the assigned review type and "resets the clock" for determining the level of review (Full or Limited) the proposal will receive.

 

When a PAF is returned for Changes, that means the proposal is Final (e.g. all required components are complete) but ORSP has identified for the PI/Project Team some aspect of the proposal that must or should be changed (i.e., a Required or Recommended change). When a PAF is returned as needing Required or Recommended changes, the action does not "reset the clock" for determining which level of review the proposal will receive.

 

The schools, colleges, institutes, and centers must meet the U-M deadline. Your school/college/unit has most likely worked through its own internal policies to ensure alignment with the new proposal submission deadline policy. You should engage with your unit leadership to learn more about their requirements and deadlines.

 

In a Full Review, ORSP ensures compliance with U-M policies, other U-M requirements, and sponsor requirements. A Full Review may result in ORSP requesting Required and/or Recommended Changes. Required Changes must be made in order for ORSP to submit by the sponsor’s deadline. Recommended Changes are optional, though considered to be best practice. A Full Review is provided if the approved PAF and Final proposal arrive in ORSP 32 or more business hours prior to the Submission Deadline.

 

Remember that your school/college/unit may have its own internal deadline proposal submission policy.

In a Limited (Institutional Only) Review, ORSP only ensures compliance with U-M policies or other U-M requirements. This review will only result in Required Changes, if any. The proposal will not be submitted unless Required Changes are made. A Limited (Institutional Only) Review is provided if the approved PAF and Final proposal arrive in ORSP fewer than 32 business hours, but at least 15 business hours, prior to the Submission Deadline

 

Remember that your school/college/unit may have its own internal deadline proposal submission policy.

 

An approved PAF and Final proposal are deemed "At Risk" if they arrive in ORSP fewer than 15 business hours prior to the Submission Deadline. "At Risk" proposals may not be submitted to the sponsor in time, and they won’t be reviewed for completeness or correctness or compliance with any sponsor guidelines. To fairly support all U-M faculty, ORSP gives priority to the proposals in the queue that have met U-M’s internal deadline for Full and Limited Reviews.

 

ORSP will endeavor to submit an “At Risk” proposal by the sponsor’s deadline provided no timely proposals are in the queue ahead of it, and there is sufficient time for ORSP to conduct a Limited Review. ORSP cannot, however, guarantee “At Risk” proposals will be submitted by the sponsor’s deadline or will be complete or correct upon submission.

 

Yes, but that guarantee is conditioned on the PI/Project Team submitting to ORSP the changes that ORSP identified in a timely fashion. If the PI/Project Team submits changes too close to the sponsor's deadline, then ORSP cannot guarantee the proposal will be submitted.

Required Changes relate to compliance with U-M policies or other U-M requirements. A proposal will not be submitted until these Required Changes are made. Recommended Changes are offered to make the proposal compliant with a sponsor requirement. Recommended Changes are optional.

 

Proposals needing Required Changes will not be submitted.

 

A Required Change is requested whenever an item on either the PAF or the Final Proposal must be corrected in order to be compliant with U-M policies or other U-M requirements. Required Changes must be made before a proposal may be submitted.

 

The state of the PAF will change to "Sponsor Deadline Missed" and a system-generated email notification will be automatically sent to the Principal Investigator and Project Team.

 

No. The deadline policy will apply to limited submissions as it does to all proposals. ORSP will endeavor to submit your proposal if it is "At Risk," but ORSP cannot guarantee that it will be submitted by the Submission Deadline.

No, but ORSP will endeavor to submit your proposal if it is "At Risk." The reality is that there is simply not enough time to guarantee that "At Risk" proposals will be submitted by the Submission Deadline.

Yes. The cross-campus deadline policy working group designed the eRPM workflow to have a number of trigger points in the PAF lifecycle that automatically generate a warning email.

Yes. ORSP is prepared to staff the office as needed during peak volumes to process proposals that meet the internal deadline for Full and Limited Reviews.

No exceptions will be made. That said, ORSP will endeavor to submit "At Risk" proposals. The absence of an exception mechanism is a recognition of the fact that there is simply not enough time to guarantee that late-arriving proposals will be submitted by the sponsor's deadline.

Yes. The new U-M policy is meant to create a clear, fair and level playing field for everyone who prepares a proposal for external funding.

No. The new U-M policy is meant to create a fair and level playing field for everyone who prepares a proposal for external funding. Proposals that are submitted timely to ORSP should not be penalized for doing so.

During a Limited Review, ORSP only checks certain items for compliance with institutional policy and other U-M requirements. Any corrections must be made prior to submission and thus fall in the category of Required Changes. The suggested "grantspersonship" changes that would otherwise be caught during a Full Review are not checked during a Limited Review.

No. Sixty percent (60%) or more of ORSP staff members' time is dedicated to other mission-critical activities unrelated to proposal submission (e.g., award setup, management and closeout, unfunded agreement negotiation, etc.) and they need every free moment to attend to this other work.

No. If you leave the Submission Deadline field blank, the policy will not apply, however, note that the University requires all proposals for externally-funded grants and contracts to be routed for review and approval through eRPM prior to submission to the sponsor.

The Target Date is the date by which you would like ORSP to submit a proposal or negotiate an agreement. It is optional and considered to be a non-binding request that ORSP will attempt to accommodate when reasonable time is given, but ORSP can make no guarantees that it will be able to do so.

 

A Target Date can be provided alone (i.e., there is no Submission Deadline), in combination with a Submission Deadline, or not at all.

 

For example, you may wish to enter a Target Date for when you would like a contract to be negotiated and there is no sponsor deadline. Another use of a Target Date is when you would like for your proposal to be submitted earlier than the Submission Deadline, i.e., earlier than is necessary to meet the sponsor's published deadline.

The sponsor's deadline is the date by which the sponsor has stated proposals must be received in order to be considered for funding.

 

The “Submission Deadline” (a.k.a., the "Send By" date) is the last date that a proposal can be submitted in order to be received by the sponsor’s deadline.

 

In the case of an electronic proposal submission, the Submission Deadline and the sponsor's deadline are the same. In the case of a hardcopy proposal submission to a sponsor where overnight courier service is available, the Submission Deadline is at least one day before the sponsor's deadline. In the case of a hardcopy proposal submission to a sponsor where courier service may take an extended period of time, the Submission Deadline is at least several days (or more) prior to the sponsor's deadline.

 

As described, ORSP will not begin its review because ORSP has not been granted access to submit your proposal in the sponsor's system.  Your proposal should not have been finalized since you are still working on the Project Description. Instead of being reviewed, your proposal will be returned as Incomplete and your PAF returned to the state of "Awaiting Final Proposal." You must grant ORSP access and re-finalize your PAF in order to qualify for a review.

No. Consistent with ORSP's mission to both enable and safeguard the conduct of research at U-M, ORSP will always review a proposal for institutional compliance before submitting it to the sponsor.

Yes, but not without risk. Your request will not be prioritized over other proposals that have yet to be reviewed. It’s also important to recognize that resubmitting your proposal first requires that the original proposal be withdrawn, or assessed as Incomplete. Depending on the number of unreviewed proposals ahead of your request, your resubmission may be delayed so close to the sponsor’s deadline that it would be highly inadvisable to withdraw an otherwise high quality proposal on the chance that the resubmission will be successful and on time.

 

There is no U-M wide deadline policy calculator as school/college/unit deadline requirements vary to align with U-M’s overall policy.

 

Section 6 of the PAF, tiled “Submission Information,” will display the times and dates by which the PAF and final proposal must arrive in ORSP in order to qualify for a Full or Limited Review, calculated from the Submission Deadline you enter on the PAF.

References and Resources

Questions?

  • If you have questions (that are not related to your school’s or college’s implementation of this policy), you may submit them here.