The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) provides control of the administrative and financial aspects of sponsored programs to maintain consistency with the University’s research mission. These sponsored programs may encompass any scholarly, professional, or creative activity conducted by University personnel using support from external funding sources through grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or other agreements. OSP is also responsible for the review, negotiation, approval, and execution of sponsored program awards to assure compliance.
In accordance with University and System policies, all sponsored program proposals must be reviewed by authorized representatives within OSP or when delegated to the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO). Consequently, all applications for externally sponsored funding must be reviewed by OSP or SPO on behalf of the University prior to submission to the funding agency. It is critical that proposals be submitted prior to internal deadlines to ensure a thorough review, which facilitates streamlined award execution and set-up processes while also confirming compliance with Federal, University, and sponsor policies and requirements.
Faculty and staff are not authorized to commit to any sponsored program activities through proposal submission, award acceptance, and post-award management. Failure to obtain all required University approvals prior to submission may result in the University’s inability to accept or support a proposal or award.
Internal Proposal Deadlines
Per OSP Operating Standard 300.03 – Deadlines for Proposal Submission to University Offices, OSP and SPO have outlined internal deadlines for receiving proposals to review prior to the sponsor submission deadline. Prior review and approvals from the department are also required to assure internal support for the proposed activities. These prior internal approvals are obtained during the routing of the RAMSeS Internal Processing Form (IPF) and should include necessary proposal components and be submitted according to the deadlines listed below.
The internal proposal deadline procedure must be followed for all proposals, including when the sponsor due date is flexible, or the department prefers to submit the application prior to the sponsor deadline. In these situations, a partial review will not be provided and any internal deadlines will be adjusted to allow for 5 business days to complete a full proposal review.
Risks of Late Submission with a Partial Review
Proposal applications completed according to process guidelines will receive a full submission review. Late or incomplete submissions will receive only a partial review of proposal components and materials and additionally, may not receive institutional signature before the sponsor deadline. OSP may also not be able to accept or approve awards on behalf of the University if the proposal was not first reviewed for compliance prior to submission to the sponsor.
Partial reviews are not an option that departments may choose; rather, they are a result of a delayed submission. A partial review will only be completed when there is an established sponsor deadline, AND when the initial submission to OSP or SPO occurs with less than 5 business days remaining until that date. For submissions on a flexible sponsor deadline, OSP and SPO will always adjust the internal deadline in the IPF to allow for 5 business days to complete a full proposal review.
It is highly discouraged for OSP and SPO to process partial reviews as it exposes the University to several risks and can lead to negative consequences at both the proposal phase and at the time of the award.
Consequences of Late Submission with a Partial Review
Rejection of Proposal Submission – If the University has not met the sponsor and agency guidelines, proposals may be administratively rejected without being peer-reviewed.
Non-Acceptance – The University may not be able to accept the award or in some cases may only be able to accept a reduced or modified award.
Delays in Award Set-up – Late submissions often result in delays in award setup as additional time is needed to review all proposal components and materials not completed with a full review.
Acceptance of Non-Standard Terms – If the University is unable to negotiate terms and conditions that were accepted as part of the proposal submission, the Principal Investigator and Department may have to agree to non-standard terms if an award is to be executed.
- UNC System Policy Manual 500.4 [R] – Regulation on Administering Sponsored Programs
- OSP Operating Standard 100.01 – Introduction
- OSP Operating Standard 200.01 – Office of Sponsored Programs Responsibilities
- OSP Operating Standard 200.02 – Signature Authority
- OSP Operating Standard 300.01 – Shared Responsibilities of Proposal Review & Institutional Approval
- OSP Operating Standard 300.03 – Deadlines for Proposal Submission to University Offices
For proposal related questions, please contact your department’s OSP Sponsored Projects Specialist or SPO Grants Analyst assigned to the RAMSeS IPF. For all award activities please contact your department’s OSP Sponsored Projects Specialist. For all other general inquiries or questions on this announcement, please email SponsoredPrograms@unc.edu.