Office of Research, UC Riverside


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Policy#: 527-4

Title: Proposal Review, Approval and Submission

Effective: 7/16/2010


Research Policy

Proposal Review, Approval and Submission

University of California, Riverside


Background and Purpose

The University of California, Riverside is an institution of higher education with an expansive and diverse research enterprise that is predominately funded through sponsored awards provided by external sponsors.

The purpose of this policy is to implement University of California policy requiring the review and institutional approval of extramural proposals by the local campus contract and grant office.  It also articulates campus policy regarding the use of UCR’s electronic Campus Approval Form (eCAF) system and lead times for submitting proposals to the Office of Research.

Applicability and Effective Date

This policy is effective July 16, 2010 and updates the prior version issued November 26, 2008, to clarify proposal submission lead times to the Office of Research (OR).


eCAF or electronic Campus Approval Form is UCR’s enterprise system for proposal routing, review and approval.

Principal Investigator means a UCR employee who is eligible to submit extramural proposals and who has primary responsibility for the design, conduct, management and reporting of a research, training or public service project, and who will be/is involved in the project in a significant manner.

Sponsor Due Date means the date the proposal is due at the sponsor, or if electronic submission, the time on the date that the proposal is to be electronically submitted.

Office of Research Due Date
means the date the proposal is due in the Office of Research to guarantee submission by Sponsor Due Date.

Policy Statement

UCR employees who receive any part of their salary through the University of California, or whose activities use any University of California resources or facilities are required to submit all proposals requesting extramural support to the Office of Research for institutional review and approval prior to proposals being submitted to an extramural sponsor.  

Submission of proposals to the Office of Research is accomplished by using eCAF.  Submitting proposals to the Office of Research by other means requires the prior approval of the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research or the Vice Chancellor for Research.  

All proposals submitted to the Office of Research in a timely manner will be expeditiously reviewed to ensure proposal submission by the sponsor’s established deadline.  To provide this guarantee to all investigators, it is essential that proposals be received by the Office of Research for review and institutional approval in accordance with the following lead times:

Standard Proposal Lead Time – three (3) full business days prior to the Sponsor Due Date.

Non-standard Proposal Lead Time – a minimum of seven (7) full business days prior to the Sponsor Due Date.  Principal Investigators are strongly encouraged to start working with their unit administrator and the Office of Research at least one month prior to the Sponsor Due Date for non-standard proposals.  This will ensure that there is sufficient time to review and resolve any issues, secure special approvals, coordinate with the UC Office of the President, etc. prior to the Sponsor Due Date.

All Proposals (Standard and Non Standard). 
Notwithstanding the required lead times to guarantee a timely submission, the final proposal ready for submission must be received in the Office of Research no less than eight (8) business hours before the submission deadline.  For example:
Sponsor Due Date/Time                                  Office of Research Due Date/Time
Friday, September 1 at 5 p.m. (PST)              Friday, September 1 at 9 a.m. (PST)
Friday, September 1 at 1 p.m. (PST)              Thursday, August 31 at 2 p.m. (PST)

If the Office of Research receives a proposal without being afforded the appropriate lead time noted above, it will complete its review and approval and submit the proposal to the sponsor.  However, the Office of Research cannot guarantee that such proposals will be submitted in time to meet a sponsor’s deadline.

Criteria for Standard and Non-Standard Proposals

Standard proposals – New, continuing or renewal proposals to:

1.    U.S. federal government departments, agencies and entities; State of California departments
       and agencies; University of California entities, including UC-managed DOE labs; U.S.
       institutions of higher education, or U.S. non-profit sponsors (e.g., foundations, charitable
       trusts, etc.); and

2.    Where the resulting award will be a grant, cooperative agreement or subaward; and

3.    Do not involve any of the elements of a non-standard proposal.

Non-Standard proposals – New, continuing or renewal proposals that involve any of the following:

1.    The PI or a Co-PI has an appointment that requires approval of the VCR to submit proposals
       as PI and/or will not hold a UCR appointment for the full period of the proposed work.

2.    The sponsor’s solicitation states that the resulting award may be, or will be, a contract.

3.    Submission of a proposal indicates acceptance of award terms and conditions contained in
       the sponsor’s solicitation.

4.    A sponsor’s requirement to submit an intellectual property management plan; laboratory        
       safety plan; or any other set of plans that requires coordination with other UCR
       administrative offices.

5.    One or more subawards to entities outside of UCR.

6.    Construction, alterations/renovations of existing space, special space requirements (e.g.,
        renting or leasing space off-campus, approval to access non-UCR facilities).

7.    Any institutional commitment, including cost sharing, which requires or necessitates the
       approval of a Dean, Vice Chancellor, the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, or the

8.     Use of a non-standard Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost rate not previously
        approved by the Office of the President or where a request for an F&A rate waiver must be
        coordinated with the Office of the President.

9.     Total direct costs of more than $5 million per year requested from the sponsor.

10.   Proposals to establish a new center or institute on the campus.

11.    Programs/projects involving a consortium of participants (e.g., other universities and/or
         for-profit entities).

Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Standard Operating Policies and Procedures – coming soon