Step 4 - Review, Negotiations, and Finance
After the funding agency receives your proposal, a comprehensive review process begins that usually includes a thorough analysis of your proposed project by a peer group. The evaluations received from the peer review process are commonly submitted with recommendations from the program office to an awards council for final action. If your project is selected for funding, the agency’s grants officer will notify the Office of Research or the Principal Investigator. Award and contract negotiations begin at that time.
Contact the Office of Research if you receive notice of an award or a rejection. Sometimes the Office of Research will receive the information first and sometimes the Principal Investigator will be notified of the decision.
Negotiations of Terms
Before an award is made, negotiations concerning the terms and conditions (e.g., scope of work, budget, intellectual property) of the contract or grant are sometimes necessary. These negotiations must be coordinated through the Office of Research.
Direct communication between the University and the sponsoring agency’s program directors on matters affecting contractual agreements must be conducted by the Office of Research. Technical communications between Principal Investigators and their counterparts in the sponsoring agencies are authorized and encouraged. The Kennesaw State University Research and Service Foundation (KSURSF) proposal number or the grant number assigned by the agency should be referenced in all written correspondence.
Because the Kennesaw State University Research and Service Foundation, not the Principal Investigator, is the legal applicant, the Office of Research legally accepts all awards. The Office of Research will obtain the signature of the authorized institutional representative to accept the award. Faculty members may not sign contracts that obligate the University.
Initial Financial Management
The Office of Research is responsible for acting as a liaison between the project directors and the agency regarding fiscal matters. This includes financial reporting and financial compliance monitoring. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Modification of project terms or amounts
- Budget revisions
- Interpretation of contract or grant language
- Events that may require formal approval of the University or sponsor.
For federal awards, approval may be granted for expenditure of funds up to 90 days prior to the expected start date of a new award. To qualify for advance funding the expenditures must be necessary for the effective and economical conduct of the project. Pre-award costs will not be approved unless a department chair or dean guarantees to reimburse the University if the grant is not received. Most federal agencies allow pre-award costs. Requests for pre-award expenditures are made with the Office of Research’s Administrative Action Request Form. Please contact the Office of Research for additional information.
Most funding programs are highly competitive and, for this reason, successful initial submissions are uncommon. Although it is impossible not to be disappointed when a proposal is declined, careful examination of the reviewers’ comments will usually indicate why the proposal was not successful and how it can be improved. Success improves with persistence.
If your application is declined, contact the sponsor and find out if reviewers’ comments are available. Forward a copy of your reviews to the Office of Research for your project folder. Schedule an appointment with the Office of Research to talk about your resubmission strategy.