Routing and Proposal Approval

Pre-submission Review

Before a proposal is submitted to an external funding agency, the application must be approved through the University’s established procedure. SmartGrant Online Routing is used to gather the approvals. By electronically approving the proposal in SmartGrant, each signatory accepts accountability for the roles and actions assigned to them by the University, as described below. 

SmartGrant gathers information required for processing a grant or contract and electronic signatures showing thRouting and Proposal Approvale University’s support. Routing is required for every grant proposal or contract submitted to the Office of Research. If circumstances prevent online routing, ask the Office of Research for a paper form to circulate for signatures.

The routing process must be completed before the proposal can be submitted.

Electronic approval is required from the PI, other committed personnel such as co-PIs or Faculty Associates, and the department chair(s) and college dean(s) of the PI and any other committed personnel. Depending on the scope of the project other approvals (see below) may be necessary. All of the required approval signatures must be obtained before the proposal will be submitted to the funding agency.

The Office of Research will enter your proposal data into Smart Grant and initiate Online Routing. Please contact your pre-award specialist to begin this process.

  • The e-signatures of the principal investigator, all co-investigators, and other committed personnel are required. "Other committed personnel" means KSU faculty or staff who are either paid from the grant or committing time to the projects as specified in the proposal. By signing electronically approving the proposal, the PI, co-PIs, and other committed personnel agree to:

    • Accept responsibility for the intellectual content of the research or scholarly activity that is proposed
    • Accept responsibility for the quality and completeness of both the fiscal and technical portions of the proposal
    • Ensure that all necessary institutional approvals (see “Other Approvals” below) are received prior to submission of the proposal to an outside funding source
    • Avoid conflict of interest
    • Adhere to the principles of responsible conduct in research or other creative work described in the KSU Faculty Handbook
    • Assure that the sponsored project is conducted safely and in accordance with university, federal, state, and local regulations
    • Meet deadlines for the completion of reports to the sponsoring agency
    • Accept responsibility for administration of the awarded activity
    • Use funds for the awarded project appropriately and ensure that all expenditures are consistent with the terms and conditions of the award
    • Report potentially patentable or other commercial results
    • Complete the work on schedule and within the project’s agreed upon budget
    • Assure compatibility with the total academic assignment determined in consultation with the department chair or director and dean
  • The department chair or center/institute director of the Principal Investigator and all Co-Principal Investigators must approve all sponsored activities prior to proposal submission to the dean(s). In certain cases, center/institute directors are delegated oversight responsibilities. The signature of the department chair or center/institute director or designee on the Proposal Routing Form indicates acknowledgment of the:

    • Research or creative activities that are being conducted in the department
    • Research or creative activity conforming to the short or long-range objectives of the department
    • Needs of the proposal in terms of space requirements, materials, staffing, or health and safety hazards associated with the conduct of the activities
    • Commitment to provide any necessary requirements if the proposal is funded
    • Approval of release time (if any) for designated faculty
    • Coverage of any over expenditure or disallowed expenditures from departmental funds
    • Adherence to all applicable department, college, and university procedures
    • Competency of the PI to conduct and manage the proposed project
  • The dean or designee assures that he/she:

    • Acknowledges the proposed project
    • Recognizes the project as compatible with the institutional goals and objectives of the college
    • Makes available staff and space necessary for conducting the project
    • Recognizes personnel descriptions as appropriate and consistent in the college
    • Is aware of the budgetary impact of the project on the college
  • Depending on the nature of the project additional approvals may be needed before the proposal is submitted to the Office of Research. Projects requiring special assistance from the offices of must be signed off by the applicable responsible official.

    • Information Technology Services,
    • Environmental Health & Safety, or
    • Plant Operations (if alterations are required to the physical plant)


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