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Proposals Submission Preparation

Research Administration at CLASS

Research administration at the University of Houston is administered under the Division of Research (DOR), Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG).  Their responsibility and jurisdiction is separated into three broad Research Team functional areas of support:

Pre-Award,  Post-Award and Financial Reporting

The Pre-Award administrative function is your first point of interaction once you have decided to submit a proposal. It is de-centralized at UH, down to the college level, and within CLASS, it is the responsibility of the Research Liaison Officer.

Grant proposal preparation and submission is a pre-award administrative function. It is part of a broader 2-part process that occurs simultaneously including both internal transmittal development and approval, and external proposal submission. As soon as an appropriate grant funding opportunity has been determined, contact Denise McGuire, the Research Liaison Officer (RLO) in the Dean’s Office at (713) 743-9237 for support and to be added to the grant submission calendar.

The Research Liaison Officer’s support role includes:

  • provide support and guidance to investigators and to act as a facilitator for overall grantsmanship, proposal development and processing for submission
  • assist with the pre-award administration including transmittal development, sponsor user account registration, intermediary guidance for compliance concerns, document editing and management
  • budget preparation
  • proposal technical development and review for compliance with federal regulations and sponsor guidelines
  • official proposal review and submission.

Be prepared to discuss and provide the necessary background information to support your grant proposal effort in order to create the internal transmittal, as well as to review the funding opportunity to determine the specific requirements for submission.

The Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG) policy is a 3-day advance notice prior to submission of a grant proposal to obtain the appropriate approvals, programmatic review for compliance, and to deliver a competitive product that meets the highest standards of institutional excellence and extramural appropriateness. CLASS will uphold the same standard and undertake every effort to accommodate proposal development and submission within the college.


Transmittal Development

The Division of Research (DOR) utilizes the Peoplesoft Grants system to house and administer research grant proposals. Pre-award research administrators (i.e. Research Liaison Officers/RLO) initiate internal documents called transmittals that are routed electronically for approval by email.

The Research Liaison Officer is responsible for the development, monitoring and final approval of transmittals.

The notifications are hierarchical in format to the respective Principal Investigator (PI), Department Chair, College Dean and finally the research administrator. If multiple PI’s are involved in the project, their respective Chairs and Deans will also be notified and required to approve the transmittal. Transmittal approvals should be obtained prior to proposal submission. Transmittals should be created well before the full proposal is complete, and completing it early will help in efficient submission.

To initiaite the proposal development and submission process, investigators should  complete the Transmittal Request Form and submit it to the Research Liaison Officer. This tool is used to help provide the background information necessary to support your grant proposal effort, and to create the transmittal.

Once the transmittal is created, it can be accessed for PI approval by logging into AccessUH  and click on the PI WorkCenter icon.

Proposal Development and Submission

While transmittals are processing for approvals, the Principal Investigator is in the development and preparation phase of writing the grant for submission. The steps to proposal development and submission are contained in the Proposal Preparation and Submission Guide.

Budget Development

A key component of the all proposals is the budget. DOR utilizes a proposal budget template for the creation of grant proposal budgets (both internal and extramural submissions). It automatically calculates indirects costs, as well as the actual amounts for fringe and other employee benefits that are associated with personnel salary costs to be incurred and charged to sponsored projects. Contact the Research Liaison Officer for assistance in creating your budget and how to use this form.

Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing or matching is a commitment made by the institution to fund a portion of the total cost of a sponsored agreement. This commitment may be for direct and/or indirect costs and may consist of institutional funds or funds from other outside sources. Cost sharing can be classified as either mandatory or voluntary. UH does not support, approve, nor encourage cost sharing unless it is a requirement in the sponsor/agency guidelines.  Cost sharing should be disclosed, approved of and source documentation provided at the proposal preparation stage when transmittals are created. Cost sharing often requires substantial conversation/negotiation with the Department Chair(s), Dean(s), and DOR, so it is good practice to alert all parties to the requirement for cost sharing as early as possible in the process.

There are two different kinds of Cost sharing/Matching: Cash and In-kind. In kind contributions (goods or services) are those wherein a value of the contribution can be readily determined, verified and justified but where no actual cash is transacted in securing the good or service comprising the contribution.

Examples include effort devoted to sponsored projects by key personnel, equipment or facility usage, donated property from third parties, photocopy, travel, donated personal/professional services and unrecovered facilities and administrative costs.

Unrecovered indirect costs may be included as part of Cost Sharing or Matching only with the prior approval of the Federal awarding agency.

Federal regulations regarding Cost Sharing are found in the Code of Federal Regulation, 2 CFR 200, “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards” (§ 200.306 Cost sharing or matching).

Course Buyout (Release)

A Course Buyout is when grant funds “buy” a faculty member’s released time by paying for that portion of their salary so that the equivalent amount of teaching effort can be spent working on the grant.

A “Buyout” situation applies when a faculty member is granted a course release in order to accommodate a faculty member’s work on an externally funded grant.  The corresponding percentage of the faculty’s appointment is directly charged (accounted for) to the grant account (budget) during the term of the buy-out. Contact the Research Liaison Officer when course release time will be included in grant proposals to obtain additional information

Download the CLASS Course Buyout Policy


eRA Commons

DOR Pre-Award Guidance

National Institutes of Health

National Science Foundation/NSF