Proposal Review Checklists

We have created two printable/interactive checklists as useful tools to assist departments/units in reviewing proposals prior to routing to the Medical School for approval. This is not intended to be a replacement of sponsor directions or specific sponsor requirements for sections of the application.

NIH FORMS-F Research Proposal Review Checklist (updated April, 2020) -This new checklist is creatd for all NIH applications due on or after May 25, 2020.

NIH FORMS-E Research Proposal Review Checklist (updated September, 2019)- This new checklist is created for all NIH applications due on and after January 25, 2018.

 

Other helpful checklists:

The following "quick" list can be used to verify the completeness of the documents required in a grant application. If all of these items have been addressed, there should not be any questions at the Medical School before approval.

Proposal Approval Form (PAF) in eRPM

  • All sections of the PAF have been completed and are correct.
  • A copy of the final proposal or administrative shell has been attached for review.
  • Long title on the PAF matches the proposal documents.
  • If this PAF is related to a previously awarded project, enter the Project/Grant number from the existing project under question 1.5 "If Renewal/Continuation or Supplemental Request, enter Parent Project/Grant Number."
  • If the application is in response to a specific Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) the number is listed.
  • Sponsor and school deadlines have been included.
  • Class code is appropriate for the activity being proposed.
  • Abstract/Statement of Work field is complete on the PAF (required on Medical School proposals).
  • All faculty/research track individuals with effort on the project are listed as ‘Project Personnel’ on the PAF.
  • For those sponsors that follow FCOI guidelines, all persons listed in the proposal as “investigator” or as key personnel are listed on the PAF as ‘Project Personnel’ (faculty or non-faculty), and have completed their Financial Conflict of Interest disclosures prior to submission of the proposal.
  • The Associate Chief of Staff for Research of Veterans Administration Hospital (VAH) has approved if VAH is currently supporting salaries applicable to effort on the project.  You must obtain sign off outside the eRPM system and attach the approval.
  • PAF includes all years of support requested or contracted.
  • PAF includes budget figures for the total project period and the amounts agree with the amounts in the application itself (required on Medical School proposals).
  • PAF includes budget figures for the initial budget period and the amounts agree with the amounts in the application itself.
  • All resource commitments (quantified) included anywhere in the application materials (including cover letters) which will not be supported by grant/contract funds, are itemized on the PAF.
  • All financial resource commitments are entered as cost sharing on the PAF.  Commitments could take various forms (quantified and non-quantified) and be located anywhere in the proposal: justification, resources, letters, etc.  Anything shown as a resource commitment from the institution must be captured on the PAF.
    • Mandatory Cost Sharing consists of those commitments that have been quantified, either in dollars or effort.  When entering the details of the cost sharing under “Line Item” include a specific name of item, or person and effort percent. For each item listed, the dollar amount, project/grant number or source (type) of funds, and DeptID should be included. Also ensure that the project/grant number or source (type) of funds listed for cost sharing is appropriate.
    • Voluntary Cost Sharing consists of all non-explicit commitments (not quantified) which will not be paid by grant/contract funds. These items should be noted on the PAF as ‘Other UM Commitments.’  It is appropriate to mirror the language in the text describing the commitment.  Identify the DeptID responsible for providing. 
    • Third Party Commitments or ‘Non-UM Cost Sharing’ should also be added to the PAF when an outside entity agrees to provide resources for the proposed project.
  • Indirect costs have been calculated at the rate appropriate for the funding agency.
  • Budget Notes: Special circumstances or procedures have been noted. If completing a modular application for NIH, all exclusions have been listed by item, by year.
  • Human Subjects Committee (IRB) and Animal Use Committee (IACUC) approvals are current sponsor requires it at the time of proposal submission or PAF execution will lead to an immediate award.
  • All the space required in order to conduct the project, as stated in the facilities section of the application, has been included on the PAF.
    • Clinical space has been approved by the Chief Department Administrator (CDA). This may be accomplished by the CDA signing the PAF or attaching a document indicating approval.
  • The Project Director has signed the PAF for both responsibility and for Conflict of Interest assurance.
  • Specific directions for ORSP handling have been included.

Application Form Page(s) (Especially NIH)

  • All items have been completed and are correct.
  • Any requested dollars listed match the requested amounts in the budget and carry forward to the PAF.
  • The face page reflects the department of the primary appointment of the principal investigator under "Department" and Medical School under "Division" for PHS (NIH) applications.
  • The "type of application" section has been filled in. If a renewal/resubmission, the grant number has been included (for NIH this is the 2 letter + 6 number federal identifier).
  • The appropriate assurance numbers are listed when requested:  Humans: 00004969; Animals: A3114-01.
  • When IRB or IACUC approval dates are listed they match the dates listed on the PAF.

Direct Costs - All Sponsors

  • All math is correct.
  • When figures are quoted in more than one place, they agree.
  • If a salary cap is used, ensure it is applied consistently for all personnel on the project.
  • For further help on treatment of salaries visit the Budgeting Personnel page.

Direct Costs - Subcontracts/Consortium/Contractual Agreements

  • The entire amount to be subcontracted, including indirect costs at the subcontractor's rate, is included in U-M’s direct cost amount.
  • A budget for the subcontracted amount is obtained from the subcontract site and must have their institutional approval to move forward.
  • If a PHS sponsor, or another sponsor following PHS guidelines, ensure that a Letter of Commitment form covering FCOI regulations has been obtained with signature from the subcontractor’s institutional official.  If not, the proposal will not be submitted.

Budget Justification

  • The role of all persons listed in the budget is described.
  • There are no ‘0 calendar month’ or ‘0% effort’ references for personnel in the budget.  ‘No Salary Requested’ is acceptable.
  • All amounts stated in the justification, or further breakdowns of amounts on the budget, agree with the amounts on the budget itself.
  • All increases/decreases in years subsequent to the first year are explained fully, so that a reviewer will be able to arrive at the same figures as are in the budget for each year.
  • Any statements as to University "policy" are true according to the U-M Standard Practice Guide.
  • When submitting a NIH modular application with subcontracts the subcontractor’s justification should state whether it is a domestic or foreign institution, as well as the total dollars requested per period rounded to the nearest $1,000.
  • For NIH modular applications, use an ‘Additional Narrative Justification’ to justify uneven modules, equipment or other indirect cost exclusions.  Ensure it is attached in its own field separate from the personnel justification.

​Budget Forms (Mostly NIH, but may apply to other sponsors)

  • The dates listed for each budget period are correct and that they match the overall dates listed on the cover page.
  • On federal projects, the equipment category includes only items which are equipment by definition ($5,000 per item and useful life >2 years).
  • Per the UM Patient Care Agreement, patient care includes only Hospital charges for inpatient or outpatient care that has built in overhead charges. When submitting to the NIH, if you use the MBECT tool, the costs do not go in patient care.
  • Consortium/subcontracts include only funds which we will subcontract to another institution. Indirect costs are included at that institution's federal negotiated rate. A separate budget is included for each subcontract.
  • The indirect cost type, rate % and base has been filled in for all years when requested.
  • For NIH, the Cognizant Federal Agency Official’s office, name and phone number are listed on the budget page for each individual project period.
  • The approval date for the most recent indirect cost rate agreement is included.

Indirect Costs (Facility & Administrative Costs/F&A)

  • The indirect cost figure has been calculated at the current negotiated rate.
  • Federally Sponsored Projects:
  • Only the first $25,000 of each subcontract is included when calculating indirect costs
  • Equipment items have been excluded before calculating indirect costs
  • Tuition has been excluded from indirect costs
  • Appropriate patient care has been excluded from indirect costs
  • Alterations and renovations have been excluded before calculating indirect costs
  • Foundation/Non-Profit Sponsored Projects: Indirect costs have been included at the maximum rate allowed by the sponsor. The rate has been applied to the entire direct costs amount unless sponsor regulations specifically exempt particular charges.
  • The Medical School has specific requirements on expected IDC recovery. See the Budgeting & Costs page for more information.
  • If you are unsure what the most appropriate rate to use for a particular project is check with Grant Services & Analysis (msgrants@umich.edu).

Signature Approvals

The eRPM system will automatically route and require the approval of every Department and Dean’s Office that has faculty effort listed in the proposal.

Questions?

Contact us at msgrants@umich.edu or 734-763-4272 / Fax: 734-615-9458

2800 Plymouth Road, NCRC Building 520, Room 3174, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800

A list of Grant Services & Analysis is available in the Personnel Directory.