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Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation

Proposal

A proposal is an application for funding to a sponsor that includes all information that is necessary to describe the project aims and objectives, staff capabilities, environment and funding requirements.

Sponsored project proposals requiring review, signature and/or submission by the Division of Sponsored Programs should be forwarded to the Division of Sponsored Programs with ample lead time for review and action.

As of May 1, 2015, all new proposals and task orders are prepared and routed to the Division of Sponsored Programs using the VCUeRA RAMS-SPOT database. A PI or his/her study staff team member is responsible for initiating a new proposal or task order in RAMS-SPOT and then routing it for School Review and approval. Approval should be sought from all schools with faculty, staff or resources proposed to be involved on the project. Once school review and approval is completed, the proposal will route electronically to the Division of Sponsored Programs for review and approval. If applicable, the Division of Sponsored Programs will submit the proposal to the sponsor; this includes all SF424 Grants.gov applications and any sponsor systems requiring Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) submission. If the PI is responsible for proposal submission, the Division of Sponsored Programs will notify the PI once the university review is complete and the submission is authorized to go forward. This process is summarized in the attached diagram.

Proposal submission in RAMS-SPOT

VCU serving in role of PTE with subrecipients

See the subrecipient(s) section of this navigator for guidance on including an external collaborator in your funding proposal.

VCU serving in role of subrecipient

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is an institutional member of the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP), an initiative with 10 federal agencies and over 150 institutions working to identify and demonstrate best practices in research administration. In an effort to reduce the administrative burden associated with the proliferation of what have come to be called “subrecipient commitment forms,” VCU has joined the Federal Demonstration Partnership Expanded Clearinghouse (FDP EC) project, effective July 5, 2017.

As a participant in the FDP EC project, VCU has provided extensive institutional information that is posted in our online profile here.

Guidance documentation

VCU Division of Sponsored Programs process when VCU serving as subrecipient

VCU serving as subrecipient decision tree

All occasion letter to PTE when VCU is subrecipient

Other activities

Financial interest report (FIR)

VCU has a PHS-compliant Conflict of Interest Policy. Every VCU PI and those determined to be “COI Investigators” must report financial interests in accordance with the VCU policy.

Associated document/formFinancial interest report (FIR), located in RAMS-AIRS.
VCU policy or compliance noticeConflicts of Interest in Research
Related VCU systemsRAMS-AIRS; Research Integrity and Ethics website
Responsible VCU unit(s)Principal Investigator; Research Integrity and Ethics Program. Division of Sponsored Programs verifies up-to-date FIR at time of proposal submission and award processing.

Minimum effort for key personnel

In most instances the VCU PI must include minimum measurable effort for every sponsored project. Exceptions are noted in the VCU policy.

VCU policy or compliance noticeMinimum Effort for Principal Investigators and Key Personnel on Sponsored Programs
Related VCU systemsRAMS-SPOT
Responsible VCU unit(s)PI/SS; Division of Sponsored Programs verifies at time of proposal submission.

Funding proposal vs. continuation proposal

Deciding whether to create a new funding proposal (FP) or a continuation proposal (CP) in RAMS-SPOT will depend largely on the form the award from the sponsor takes. If a sponsor intends to make a "standalone award" each year, then a new FP will be needed for each year. If a sponsor will be issuing a modification to an existing award agreement, a CP will likely be needed unless all the years of the project were encompassed in the original funding proposal. These two diagrams can help make the correct determination.

RAMS-SPOT funding proposal and continuation proposal workflow
RAMS-SPOT format of award affects proposal

Contact us

Blue team1
ospblue@vcu.edu

Gold team1
ospgold@vcu.edu

Green team1
ospgreen@vcu.edu

Red team2
ospred@vcu.edu

Gray team3
mtadua@vcu.edu

Post award team4
ospaward@vcu.edu 

1 Government and nonprofit-sponsored proposals, administrative actions and agreements;
Team assignments by school/college can be found here

Industry-sponsored and non-federal clinical trial proposals, administrative actions and agreements

3 Material transfer agreements, data use agreements and confidentiality nondisclosure agreements

4 Award review, processing and distribution (all funding sources), subaward agreements and modifications (when VCU is PTE) and non-financial closeout

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