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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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!
- 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.
Now that February 6 has come and gone, most everyone has had experience with what we’re looking for at the brand-spankin’-new School of Medicine level of approval. One of our major review points is cost share, and whether an index has been identified if it exists. Not sure how to record that on the SP side of Evisions? Don’t fret; you’re not alone. Here is a step-by-step guide to recording your index for approval (click on images to see full mark-up):
1. Go to proposal budget:
2. Find “Cost Sharing” heading; choose “Yes”
3. When the cost sharing options box appears, choose “Voluntary”
4. Choose “Salary Cap.” Enter the amount of cost share. Refer to calculations in the comments line. Don’t forget to actually upload the cost share calculations document to “Proposal Attachments.” (Note: SoM is not requiring signatures for over-the-cap cost sharing at this time.)
5. Click the “Add Unit” link to assign your department to cost share and record the index. Use the search icon to find your department. Note: you can add more than one unit of account if you are splitting the amount between departments or accounts.
6. Choose “Add Unit” once the appropriate information has been entered.
7. Congratulations! You’ve added your cost share record to your proposal.
(Don’t forget to insert the number into the budget line by scrolling all the way down to the bottom of your page, so you don’t get the nasty error message.)
Let us know if you have any problems; we can walk you through it 🙂
While it is your prerogative to choose your index when cost sharing is a necessity, you need verification from several sources that your chosen account will support your intention. Whether your salary is over the cap or sharing is mandated by your announcement, your cost share form (available here, if you need it) needs to pass through a few hands during the preaward phase before it is valid. If you are in the School of Medicine, here are the approvals you need before it goes to SPA:
- Your department chair. This is the signature that goes on the “Unit Head” line. This ensures that your department is aware of the intent to cost share, should the funds get awarded, and is committed to your plan to do so.
- Fiscal Affairs. Though no line is present for the Fiscal Affairs signature, it has been made clear that they need to see and approve your cost share plan at both the pre- and post- stage. This generally goes through the Grants & Contracts Officer in Fiscal Affairs (see their contacts page to make sure you are sending it to the right person).
- Vice Dean for Research. One your cost share form has been returned to you from Fiscal Affairs, you’ll need to send it to the Vice Dean of Research through the Director of Research Administrative Services (that’s us!). Once the intent to cost share has been recorded here, you’ll get it back with a signature (again, no line on the form for this but it IS necessary) and you can then upload into your eProp.
Please keep in mind that if/when your proposal is awarded, you will need approval from Fiscal Affairs a second time; they need to verify that the funds you intended to use for your cost share are still available. We know this can be a confusing and lengthy process, so please feel free to contact us if you have any problems discerning where to go or projecting accurate figures for your form. We’re always happy to help!
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:
- 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!)
- 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!