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Proposal Submission Deadline Policy

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

DeadlineThe University of Michigan will roll out a clear and flexible external proposal submission deadline policy on January 6, 2020.

Research administrators consulted with faculty, deans, and other U-M leaders to develop the policy over the course of the last three years, and your schools and colleges are working through their own internal policies to ensure alignment. Expect to hear directly from your school or college regarding local implementation of the policy.

Under the new policy, one of two levels of review will be provided depending on when the final version of the proposal and its accompanying finalized Proposal Approval Form (PAF) are received in the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP):  

Full Review

For proposals submitted to ORSP with a lead time of 32 business hours  (the equivalent of four business days) prior to the Submission Deadline entered on the Proposal Approval Form (PAF), ORSP staff will provide a full review to ensure they are compliant 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.

Provided that any (and only) ORSP-identified changes are made in a timely fashion by the PI or his/her Project Team, final proposals and PAFs received in ORSP by the 32 business hour internal deadline will be submitted by the Submission Deadline entered on the PAF and successfully received by the sponsor.  In addition, ORSP guarantees that the proposal will not be administratively returned by the sponsor without review or declined for funding on the basis that an item on ORSP’s Full Review Checklist (see page 2) is non-compliant.

Limited Review 

For proposals submitted to ORSP with a lead time of 15 business hours prior to the Submission Deadline (e.g., in the case of electronic submissions, no later than 9:00 a.m. one business day before the sponsor’s deadline), ORSP will guarantee that the proposal will be submitted by the Submission Deadline entered on the PAF, provided any ORSP-identified changes are completed in a timely fashion by the PI’s team and ORSP staff have prior experience with the sponsor’s electronic proposal submission system (if applicable). However, with this shorter lead time, ORSP will give the proposal a Limited Review for compliance with U-M’s requirements; it will not provide a review for compliance with the sponsor’s guidelines. As a result, ORSP cannot guarantee that a proposal receiving a limited review will be complete or correct when submitted.

​Summary of Service Levels

ORSP Service Benefits

Business Hours Prior to Submission Deadline that Final Proposal and Finalized PAF are Received in ORSP

Review Levels

At Risk

 

<15 Business hours

 

Full Review*

≥ 32 Business hours
 

Limited Review**

< 32 to 15 Business hours

Proposal Checked for Compliance with U-M Requirements

Proposal Submitted by Submission Deadline

 

Proposal Checked for Compliance with Sponsor Guidelines

 

 

Terms & Conditions Binding Upon Award Reviewed for Acceptability

 

 

Proposal Successfully Received by Sponsor

   

*  Full Review: ≥ 4 business days

** Limited Review: < 32 to 15 Business hours (i.e., no later than 9:00 a.m. one business day before the submission deadline)



Quote Mark

In today’s highly competitive and regulated funding environment, it has never been more important to find ways to optimize our opportunities for success while maintaining institutional compliance. U-M submits more than 7,700 proposals each year on behalf of our outstanding faculty. Since a significant number of these proposals are in the queue for processing at any given time, our faculty deserve a policy that establishes explicit, fair and uniformly applied levels of service for processing. The policy must also be flexible enough to accommodate the fact that our faculty have different needs for administrative support, and that U-M's three campuses and its various schools, colleges, institutes, and centers are all unique in terms of the level of support they provide. U-M's new policy succeeds on all these counts.

Proposals that arrive at ORSP fewer than 15 business hours prior to the Submission Deadline will be assigned “at risk” status. ORSP will give first priority to the proposals in the queue that have met U-M’s internal deadline for the two service levels described above. ORSP will endeavor to submit an “at risk” proposal by the Submission Deadline entered on the PAF provided no timely proposals are in the queue ahead of it, and there is sufficient time for ORSP to conduct a limited review. Ultimately, ORSP cannot guarantee “at risk” proposals will be submitted by the Submission Deadline or will be complete or correct upon submission.

Once the policy has been implemented on January 6, 2020, the U-M Office of Research will review data on the impact of the policy in order to assess whether any changes are needed. As part of the assessment, the U-M Office of Research will determine whether a formal waiver should also be required to send a proposal to ORSP with fewer than 15 business hours lead time.  

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we transition our systems and business processes toward this January 6, 2020 implementation, and help us sustain U-M’s position as the nation’s leading public research university. If you have questions that are not related to your school’s or college’s implementation of this policy, please submit them here.

FAQs

The schools, colleges, institutes, and centers must meet the U-M deadline. Your schools and colleges are working through their own internal policies to ensure alignment with the new proposal submission deadline policy. Expect to hear their additional requirements and deadlines soon.

 

Yes, we will accept it, but it might not be submitted to the sponsor in time. And it won’t be reviewed for completeness or correctness.  In addition, to fairly support our U-M faculty, ORSP gives first priority to the proposals in the queue that have met U-M’s internal deadline.

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.

Ultimately, ORSP cannot guarantee “at risk” proposals will be submitted by the sponsor’s deadline or will be complete or correct upon submission.

If handling such a significant proposal, it is critical that your team mitigate risk at every level, and this includes building in time to adhere to internal and external deadlines.

The University of Michigan business day ends at 5:00 p.m. ET. Therefore proposals must be received by ORSP in time to submit the proposal by 5:00 p.m. ET of the Submission Deadline entered on the PAF if the sponsor deadline is later than ours.

If the sponsor deadline is earlier than 5:00 p.m. ET (i.e., local time), the earlier time must be noted on the PAF.

Note that many sponsors often consider the local applicant institution time as the deadline, even if they are in a different time zone.

The PAF will remain in the state of "Sponsor Deadline Missed" for 30 days, during which time the Project Team may update the Submission Deadline field to enable further processing. After 30 days have passed, the PAF state will change to "Cancelled."

The Executive Director of ORSP and the Associate Deans for Research of the various schools and colleges will inform the faculty who submit "outside the system" that such practices are against U-M policy.  Additional corrective measures are at the discretion of the faculty member's school/college/institute.

The Submission Deadline may be updated as needed until such time as the PAF is finalized.  Alternatively, a Target Date may be provided in lieu of a Submission Deadline.

There will be no communication when the internal deadline has passed. The PAF will remain in the state of Awaiting Final Proposal until such time as the sponsor's deadline has passed, after which the state of the PAF will change to "Sponsor Deadline Missed" and a system-generated notification email will be automatically sent to the Principal Investigator and Project Team.

No. ORSP may still submit your proposal, but recognize that there might not be enough time for "at risk" proposals to be submitted by the Submission Deadline.

Yes, provided the project team is timely in making the changes identified by ORSP. Note that if the project team submits changes too close to the sponsor's deadline, then ORSP cannot guarantee the proposal will be submitted.

Your school or college may allow you to submit an administrative shell for their review. However, ORSP will not review a proposal until it has been "finalized" in eRPM.

No, but ORSP will endeavor to submit your proposal if it is "at risk." There is simply not enough time, though, to guarantee that "at risk" proposals will be submitted by the Submission Deadline.

ORSP will endeavor to submit the proposal, as long as there are no timely proposals already in the queue and there is sufficient time to conduct a limited review. However, as the proposal will be considered "at risk" there is no 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.

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

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.

Required changes correspond to the items that ORSP checks on its Limited PAF/Proposal Review Checklist, and reflect U-M's interest in maintaining institutional and regulatory compliance. These changes must be made before returning the PAF back to ORSP.

Suggested changes correspond to any additional items that appear on ORSP's Full PAF/Proposal Review Checklist; they represent your ORSP Project Representative's best advice for complying with the sponsor's proposal submission guidelines. These changes are optional.

When a PAF is returned for completion, that means ORSP has determined the proposal is missing some significant component (e.g., the project description) and is returning the PAF for the Project Team to complete its work. This action will "reset the clock" for determining which level of service the proposal will receive.

When a PAF is returned for correction, that means all components of the proposal are complete, but ORSP has identified some aspect of the proposal that must or ought to be changed (i.e., a required or suggested change, respectively) and is returning the PAF for the Project Team to make the changes. This action does not "reset the clock" for determining which level of service the proposal will receive.

During a limited review, ORSP uses its Limited PAF/Proposal Review Checklist, which only has items that U-M would require to be corrected before submission. 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 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 mission-critical work.

No. If you leave the Submission Deadline field blank, the policy will not apply.

The Target Date is the date by which you would like ORSP to submit a proposal or negotiate an agreement when that date is different from the Submission Deadline or when there is no published sponsor deadline. 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 example for the 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.

ORSP will attempt to honor requests related to a Target Date but can make no guarantees that it will be able to do so.

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

The “Submission Deadline” (AKA 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 the day before the sponsor's deadline.

In the case of a hardcopy proposal submission to a sponsor where courier service may take several days, the Submission Deadline is at least several days (or more) prior to the sponsor's deadline.

 

No, if you haven't given ORSP access to submit your proposal in the sponsor's system, your proposal is not complete. Your PAF will be returned for completion and 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.

If your PAF is in the state of “ORSP Review -- Project Team Making Changes” it may have been returned for either a Required Change or a Recommended Change.

A Required Change is requested whenever an item on either the Proposal Approval Form or the Final Proposal must be corrected in order to be compliant with U-M policies or other requirements. For the most part, Required Changes correspond to the items that appear on ORSP’s Limited Review Checklist. Required Changes must be made before a proposal may be submitted.

A Recommended Change, on the other hand, is offered for consideration whenever a review of the Final Proposal reveals that it would benefit from certain edits to improve compliance with the sponsor’s guidelines. For the most part, Recommended Changes correlate with the items that appear on ORSP’s Full Review Checklist. Recommended Changes are optional and made at the discretion of the Project Team.

References and Resources

ORSP Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

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.