Internal Review of Your Proposal

How do I know if my proposal has to be institutionally reviewed?

All grant and contract proposals developed for review by an external sponsor must be institutionally reviewed prior to their submission, if one or more of the following is true:

  • The University of St. Thomas will serve as the fiscal agent of the award (the University will manage the funds);
  • The sponsored project will necessitate a change in a faculty or staff member's appointment;
  • The sponsored project will involve the use of any resources of the University of St. Thomas, including office space, computer, supplies, and other.

If none of these conditions applies to your proposal, then you are free to submit your proposal without institutional review.  Please consult with the Sponsored Programs Office or the standing policy on institutional review if you have any questions.

How does the institutional review process actually work?

The Sponsored Programs Office works with you to make this process as smooth as possible.  In most cases, we can complete the institutional review in less than a week.  Having worked with you throughout the development of your proposal, the Sponsored Programs Office determines when your proposal is ready for institutional review and approval.  Using the appropriate forms, the process consists of the following steps:

  1. Principal Investigator.  As the principal investigator, you are required to discuss all aspects of your project with your chair, with special focus on any course releases, extended leaves, summer commitments of time, the appointment of research assistants, the need for office and/or lab space, and special needs relating to equipment and/or computer resources.  You will sign a Proposal Routing Form (PRF) prepared by the Sponsored Programs Office.  Once signed, this form should be forwarded to your chair for her/his approval and signature.
  2. Dean.  Once you and your chair have signed the Proposal Routing Form, the form will go to your dean for her/his review and approval of your project.  In most cases, this is a routine matter, but if your project involves excessive leaves or other unusual demands on the University's resources, you and your chair should be sure to discuss your proposed project with your dean well in advance of asking for their signature.  Once the dean has signed, the PRF should come to the Sponsored Programs Office.
  3. Controller's Office.  Your grant proposal is subjected to a financial review by the Controller's Office to make sure that your budget and any commitment of institutional resources are correct, accurate, documented, and appropriate.  The Controller's Office also reviews your application for any issues relating to legal liability.
  4. Sponsored Programs Office.  Upon completion of the financial review of your proposal, the Sponsored Programs Office signs off on it on behalf of the University, indicating that all the required reviews are complete and the proposal is ready for submission.

While this process may seem very daunting, it is actually quite routine, and all of the offices mentioned above are there to support your efforts and to make sure that your grant proposal is as strong as possible and compliant with all relevant policies.  Once your proposal has been approved by the Sponsored Programs Office, it is ready for submission to the funding agency!