“Oh, What a Complicated Web We Weave” for Proposal Submissions

Be aware there has been several changes when it comes to the proposal submission processes. See below:

If you have any questions regarding which proposal submission to use, you can contact RAS@med.wayne.edu

What Do You Want From Me? A Field Guide to SoM-Level Review

School of Medicine-level review in the proposal queue has been around for a while now, but long cycles of funding can prevent even the most well-funded among us from subjection to our scrutiny.  And, as in all protocols sponsor-related, new compliance elements are being added all the time.  Here’s a quick-reference guide on what we’re looking for, and why:


  1. The full proposal. We have to see what is going to the agency, even if internal budgets are provided.  This way, we can say “yes, we knew that this is what Dr. X communicated to the sponsor, and we can support that with necessary School of Medicine resources.”  If you are using the system-to-system submission feature through Evisions, your full proposal is already included!  If your proposal needs to be submitted by other means (such a sponsor website), use the “Print to PDF” or similar feature to save a copy of the proposal, and upload the PDF to the “Attachments” section of the Evisions record.
  • For subcontracts: if WSU is the subcontractor, we don’t need the prime proposal, but we do need the letter of intent to subcontract, and the supporting documents that are being submitted to the prime recipient institution.


  1. Your internal budget. If you are doing a detailed budget on a system-to-system submission, you’re probably covered.  If, however, you are submitting a budget overview or a modular proposal, we need to verify that the funds requested are commensurate with planned funding.  This also helps us check for cost share.


  1. Cost share commitment forms. Speaking of cost share, any cost share commitment forms must be uploaded to the “Attachments” section of the Evisions record.  If there is a cash match commitment in the proposal, there must be evidence of the agreement of the match source uploaded.  In addition to the uploaded forms, choose “YES” on the Evisions “Proposal Budget” page as the answer to “Cost Sharing.”  This will reveal the ability to enter cost share information, such as department and index, so that the cost sharing department can verify their commitment to the cost share.
  • For over-the-cap:  In pre-award, we do not require a fully-executed cost share commitment form for the amounts over-the-cap (no Dean signature, no Fiscal Affairs signature) but we do require a department signature for awareness documentation.  Please also provide the index that will fund the cost share.  Note: over-the-cap cost share is considered “Voluntary.”


  1. OnCore accountability, or waiver: If you have human subjects, you have to either include OnCore fees in your budget, show how you will be cost sharing the fees, or upload a waiver to “Proposal Attachments.” Waivers are obtained from the Clinical Research Service Center, whether your project is clinical or not.  Unfamiliar with the policy?  Check out the handbook!


  1. Correct coding. Evisions coding is super important!  The data that is input at this phase is the basis for a whole host of reporting that affects such things as department rankings and investigator credit.  To be sure that you are getting full and accurate credit for the submission, be sure the “General Information” is input correctly; take a look at our coding table for guidance, or ask us if you’re not sure.
  • Investigator credit: This is done on the “Personnel Roster” page of the Evisions record.  If your investigator has a retreat to more than one department, s/he will have to be listed twice (or as many times as s/he has appointments) and the credit split proportionally between departments.  Confused?  Give us a shout.


Most of what we need to see is what your GCO also needs, with a few additions and for different reasons.  We’re not here to duplicate SPA review; we’re here to ensure the School of Medicine can support your project in a compliant way.  Remember: it’s extremely important to route your proposal before submission!  This way, every source of manpower and resources on your project is aware and on board.  The result?  Fewer headaches at award time, and more credit where credit is due.

Transitional Style: Postdoc to Faculty Fellowship Program

** Note: as of 03/22/17, the program has been updated to also actively seek mentors.**


The Graduate School recently announced a new initiative for post-doctoral students with a stated goal “to build a strong applicant pool of early-career, urban disparity scholars who will contribute to diversity and bolster academic excellence on our campus.”  Applications will be accepted starting April 1, 2017 for a September 1, 2017 start date; questions regarding application and further information are to be directed to Dr. Ambika Mathur (ambika.mathur@wayne.edu), Associate Provost for Scientific Training, Workforce Development and Diversity, and Dean of the Graduate School.  No deadline has been attached.


According to the announcement, fellows will receive stipends 20 percent above National Research Service Award levels, plus benefits. They will work with faculty mentors, participate in learning communities and receive funding for two national conferences for every appointment year. Fellows who obtain external grants during their postdocs will be eligible for tenure-track appointments at WSU with competitive compensation and startup packages.  Further application details will be released by targeted email shortly.


To read the announcement in its entirety, please follow this link: http://i.wayne.edu/view/58b5a041821e6 



Please Remember: It’s December

How are those January applications coming?  Fabulous?  Great! Send ’em our way nice and early!

As the holiday closures approach, keep in mind that our office closes with the rest of the University, so we won’t be around to assist between December 23-January 2.  We’ll be back at it on January 3, but if you are planning to work on your applications over the holidays, that only leaves one day in the new year before January 9 deadlines. (Remember: the SPA deadline is three business days before the agency deadline; you’ll need to have your application finalized by January 4.)  Consider working with us (or your administrator) to get all of the administrative elements together well before the closure (ideally by Tuesday, December 20).  This way, you’ll have your holiday break to work on the science if necessary, and we can pick back up  where we left off in the new year.  And to those of you who are planning to submit in January, will need our help, and haven’t yet reached out: what are you waiting for?!?  Please contact us right away so we can accommodate you as best we can!

For departments with internal administration: we’re pretty sure your staff would also appreciate a well-formulated submission plan accounting for the the holiday closure, as well 😉  Happy writing!

There’s No Such Thing As A Bad Review

…especially when it’s FREE!


Don’t forget that Office of Vice President of Research (OVPR) has funds put aside to pay for review or your proposal.  That’s right, YOU get to choose whom you would like to review your proposal, and OVPR has money for that.  You don’t have to cross your fingers and sweat it out; get an expert to review your science!  Here’s what OVPR has allotted for various types of review:

  • $300 for internal review (transferred directly into the reviewer’s indirect cost account)
  • $600 for an external review
  • $500 for mock study sections reviews (transferred directly into the indirect account of the college/department/division doing the mock)


All review fund requests are made using the eProp system. Hoping you (or your PI)  qualify for one of these reviews?  Check out the details on the Pre-Submission Review Program. Take a look at the editing seminar stipends too!  If you’re not sure where to take your proposal for review, drop us a note; we’ll help you get connected!

Internal Affair

Many submissions have been initiated for the internal funding competitions sponsored by OVPR (Office of the Vice President for Research).  If you haven’t already, take a look at the existing funding programs and see if they align with your needs!


When you’re applying, keep these two important points in mind:


  1. Look carefully at the instructions.  It doesn’t jump out at you, but they do require that all applications be submitted as a single PDF file (uploaded into eProp, of course!)
  2. Your eProp completion date is NOT your submission date.  When reviewing applications, OVPR considers the date of submission the day that the eProp has cleared the queue and made it to the OVPR approver.  This means that all of your departmental approvals have to be obtained before the posted due date to be considered on time and eligible for consideration.


Most of the confusion experienced so far has stemmed from these procedural issues.  Let us know if we can help with further clarification!

The Quick and the Deadlines

Grant submission is a team effort, and each member of the team has a stake in the outcome.  When an award comes in, the PI gets resources for important research, but there are also accountants who manage the flow of funds, managers who handle purchasing, specialists who ensure compliance, and the list goes on.  Lots of people put forth a lot of effort to ensure effective award management, and lots of people work at the front end as well to ensure the highest likelihood that the proposal for funds receives every consideration.  This is why there are internal deadlines for submission that predate the deadline for application imposed by the sponsor.  Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) at WSU is responsible for submitting all external requests for funding on behalf of the University, and therefore need time to review and make sure that outgoing proposals are compliant.  SPA requires that all outgoing proposals be submitted three (3) full business days before the agency deadline for proper review (SPA’s policy can be found here).  The WSU School of Medicine also enforces this policy, and requires that all proposals submitted from any School of Medicine department after this deadline be acknowledged by the department chair and recorded in the School of Medicine Office of Research.  For the School of Medicine Late Submission Form and Policy, please follow this link.

An internal deadline is not meant to be a cruel imposition on already time-constrained researchers.  Rather, applications submitted on or before internal deadlines are given earlier and more thorough administrative reviews.  When a GCO or administrator is not in a time crunch, their reviews will be more valuable rather than just glancing through the application to verify the compulsory elements. When time is available
to give meticulous component review (such as  human subjects statements, budget justifications, conflict of interest, etc) it increases the likelihood of a smooth review of the application by the sponsor’s scientific review
panel. Extra consideration beyond the departmental office only improves the quality of the proposal, and ensures the elimination of errors that can be chalked up to haste.

A cursory survey finds that most major research universities impose a standard five-day internal deadline; as stated above, for now, WSU requires three.  To read more about other university standards and how they promote deadlines, check out NCURA’s article in the December 2010 issue of their magazine (p 18).

Good Fellowship

The Fellowship Eligibility Form recently underwent a revision, with the goal of becoming more “user-friendly.”1  You may notice that the text of the form is now more concise, and eliminates both confusing repetition and the requirement of choosing from a pre-set department list.  When submitting your eligibility determination, you will need to also submit a signed Offer and Acceptance Letter, citizen’s declaration form, and a W-8BEN for Nonresident Alien (NRA) if applicable.


When deciding whether or not to submit for a fellowship, keep in mind that the Graduate School at WSU offers incentives at $1,000 to applicants!  The School of Medicine recently had two applicants for F awards receive this helpful sum.  To qualify for the incentive:

  • the external fellowship must be offered from a national or international agency or institution, with awards being determined through a competitive (i.e. peer-reviewed) process, and
  • the competitive award must be equal to or greater than the general-fund minimum stipend of a WSU graduate assistantship in the same discipline during the award year. Current year stipend minima are available at http:/gradschool.wayne.edu/assistantships/compensation.php
  • the applicant must not have already received the $1,000 incentive for a previous external fellowship application

For more information on the externally-funded fellowship application incentive, visit the Graduate School site.


Finally, when a fellowship is awarded, the award should be tagged in eProp to the MENTOR (and, therefore, the mentor’s department).  The administrator in the mentor’s department will be able to help facilitate correct tagging.


1 Incidentally, the Honoraria Form was also recently updated.  If you have speakers or guests visiting your department or event that will require compensation, be sure to use the new form!