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Common Elements of Proposals

 

Kuali Coeus Proposal Development Document

Kuali Coeus is the electronic system is used to route for approval all proposals for new, renewal or supplemental extramural funding. The Proposal Development document in Kuali Coeus must be electronically approved by the the Principal Investigator, the appropriate Department Chair/Director and Dean/Director. It contains all institutional data related to a proposal, the proposal itself and required compliance documents.  Kuali Coeus serves as the system of record for UCI proposal data and documents.

Electronic approvals certify that the proposed work is consistent with University objectives, and that all faculty involved in the proposal have agreed to participate, to accept the obligations and commitments described in the proposal, and to perform the work in accordance with University and sponsor policies.

Most sponsors specify proposal forms or formats and provide guidance about content, page limitations and numbers of copies that are to be submitted. The sponsor guidelines should be strictly adhered to when preparing and submitting a proposal. Proposals typically contain the following basic elements:

Financial Disclosure Forms, if applicable

The appropriate Financial Disclosure form(s) must be completed and signed by the Principal Investigator and/or personnel responsible for the design, conduct and reporting of the scope of work.

Application Cover Page

The application cover page is an integral part of the proposal -- first because of the information it carries, and second because it bears the signatures that are required to make the proposal a formal, certified document. Most sponsors issue printed forms for proposal submission; these should be used whenever they are required.

The original application pages that require institutional endorsement need to be completed and submitted to Sponsored Projects. If the sponsor does not issue a printed form or require a specific format for providing institutional information, Sponsored Projects will issue and sign a cover letter to include with the application.

Abstract

The abstract describes the major objectives of the proposed research and the research strategy to meet these objectives. It serves a variety of purposes. Sponsors often use the abstract in assigning the proposal to the appropriate study section for review. Reviewers use the abstract to gain an initial perspective of the key concept of the study and its significance. After funding is secured, the abstract may be used for entry in national databases and its keywords are picked up for quotation indexes.

Statement of Work

The Statement of Work is the most important part of any proposal. This section is sometimes referred to as the Scope of Work, the Research Plan, or the Protocol.  Simply put, the Statement of Work should include sufficient information needed for evaluation of the project, independent of any other document.

The Statement of Work is a detailed program description, including an explanation of the objectives in clear and concise terms, and a description of the procedures to be followed in carrying out the objectives of the project.

In the case of a clinical trial, the "Statement of Work" would be the sponsor-authored or PI-authored protocol.

Budget and Budget Justification

A detailed budget identifying all proposed costs needed to conduct the research must be prepared in compliance with the sponsor's guidelines, applicable cost principles and UCI policies.

A budget justification is one of the most important sections of the proposal. Where once it was enough to list the items needed and their costs, now one must make a case for almost everything needed to conduct the research. The better the case, the better the chance of getting the project fully funded. A budget justification identifies the need for a particular cost and how the cost was estimated. It may seem redundant in many cases, but in fact it is usually not. The need for a particular piece of equipment, for instance, may be implied in the project description, but the implication is not necessarily apparent to a non-specialist reviewer or a contract or grant specialist. The need must be made explicit. The place to do this is in the budget justification.

Biographical Sketch

A Biographical Sketch is a brief sketch of a researcher's CV, or curriculum vitae (resume) and is typically required for all key personnel. A Biographical Sketch highlights specific research experience, related publications and other important biographical information with regard to professional personnel.

Other Support - Current and Pending

Virtually all sponsors require information on the Principal Investigator's present support and pending proposals, and inclusive of all extramural funding sources. The same type of information must be supplied both for active awards and for pending proposals and typically includes the sponsor of the project, the title of the project, the project period, the total project costs, and the percentage of effort devoted by the investigator on the project. This requirement applies not only to the Principal Investigator, but to all other key personnel formally committing effort to a proposed project.

Facilities and Resources

This section of the proposal identifies and describes the facilities and resources that will be used in the proposed research. If unique facilities exist with regard to the proposed research it is important to emphasize this in the proposal - describing capacities, relative proximity and the extent of availability to the project. Information can also be provided on university-wide facilities or support services such as the library, computer centers, or specialized centers.

If there are multiple performance sites, then resources available at each site should be described.

Additional Attachments, when applicable and/or required by the sponsor, may include:

  • Cost Sharing Commitment Letter(s)
  • Consultant Commitment Letter(s)
  • Subcontract Commitment Letter(s) and proposal, signed by an authorized institutional representative
  • Request for Exception to Principal Investigator Eligibility
  • Request for an Facilities & Administrative Costs Waiver
  • Certifications and Representations

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