Research proposals submitted outside CALS/UW channels pose a liability for all involved

Since August, 2006, more than 23 proposals have been submitted to research sponsors by CALS PIs without routing those proposals through CALS and the UW. This is an extraordinarily large number of proposals not captured by the campus system and presents significant liability for PIs, their departments, and the campus. It is also a major complication and a potential liability for CALS and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs /Graduate School when individuals do not follow standard operating procedures.

First, it should be mentioned that the UW requires all proposals to be routed and approved by the College and University prior to being submitted to all sponsors or funding agencies. We place our College and University at significant risk if we do not comply with standard operating procedures.

When a PI submits an application for funding to a sponsor or agency without institutional approval, they do so outside of the scope of their employment. A submission of this type implies to the sponsor or funding agency that institutional approval has been granted ? misrepresentation of this type can be very problematic for an individual and may invalidate the application. This can be a particularly difficult situation for research agreements, where sponsors intend to hold a person to the terms and conditions proposed within the application.

Another element that should be a cause for concern for PIs is that budgets, terms, and conditions proposed by a PI have not been approved by the University and may be unacceptable under state, federal, or campus rules/regulations. This can create great frustration for PIs whose awards cannot be accepted. To prevent such a situation, it is absolutely crucial that PIs submit letters of intent, proposals (pre and full), agreements, revisions, renewals, continuations, supplements, subcontracting proposals, and the like through normal department, college, and campus channels for review and approval with a transmittal form prior to submission.

Please be aware that effective immediately, applications that are submitted outside the campus system will not be accepted. If you have already submitted any extramural support applications without College/Institutional approval, please route them with a campus transmittal form to CALS Research Division as soon as possible but no later than December 31, 2006. We will no longer accept awards for applications which have not been routed and approved by the College and Institution at time of submission.

Thanks for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please contact Irwin Goldman at

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