Submitting Documents for Insitututional Signatures

Once the preliminary discussions have taken place, the investigator should forward the INTENT TO SUBMIT A GRANT FORM (Appendix D) to the Office of Sponsored Programs. This form allows the OSP to plan for future work and anticipate needs of proposal writers. This form does not bind the individual to writing the proposal, and therefore, it should be submitted as soon as an idea is conceived and seriously considered to be placed in writing.

Appropriate preceding clearances are obtained on the SIGN-OFF SHEET (Appendix E) which must be completed and forwarded with the proposal to the OSP. Only the completed proposal should be submitted for approval. At the time of submission, the proposal pages must be in the correct order for copying and submission. The OSP will obtain for you all necessary signatures on the Sign Off Sheet. The INFORMATION FORM (Rev. 4/98) (Appendix F) must accompany all applications for funding (other than gifts) and other correspondence to sponsor agencies. The Information Sheet must be completed, signed by the principal investigator and appropriate supporting letters should be attached to the form.

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to thoroughly answer the Yes/No questions on the Information Form. By signing the Information Form, he/she is certifying the accuracy of the question responses and the corresponding details relating to the questions.

The Information Form questions highlight relevant project issues which require compliance with other formal institutional review mechanisms, as well as University and governmental policies and regulations. Accurate responses enable the University, OSP and departmental administration to advise the Principal Investigator regarding compliance with institutional, sponsor, and government policies and regulations. Willfully false information in federal grants, cooperative agreements, and contract proposals is a criminal offense.. Signatures of the following individuals are required for integrity of the educational program and allegiance to the mission of the University. The Department Chair and Provost must be allowed two days for review of your proposal. The Vice President for Finances and Director of Sponsored Programs should be given a minimum of six work days due to revisions that may be required. Responsibilities of the individuals signing off are serious and deserve the courtesy of time to fulfill these obligations.

Review Areas

Department Review

The Departmental chair’s signature on the Sign-Off Sheet signifies that he/she has thoroughly reviewed the document, approved the project's impact on the Department, checked the budget and the forms for accuracy, and certified that the project is in compliance with the goals of the department.

It is expected that the Departmental Chair’s review will include careful evaluation with respect to salary recovery, program income under the project, cost projections, other support declarations, redistribution of effort, resources and environment commitments, and use of human subjects or vertebrate animals. The Departmental Chair’s signature on the Information Sheet signifies that these obligations have been considered. "Per" signatures or signature of an individual other than the Departmental Chair will be accepted only after written authorization by the Departmental Chair.

Computer Center Director

Proposals requesting major computer equipment and/or campus network connections must be reviewed by the Director of the Computing and Network Services for compatibility with other PC’s and computing equipment on campus. Depending upon the proposed use of the unit, writers will be given information with respect to specifications for hardware, accessories, and software. The Director’s signature is not required for all proposals.


The Provost has the overall responsibility of determining the appropriateness of the project and project changes on behalf of the University. He is interested in all matters that have an impact on the academic program, i.e., requirements for hiring new faculty, faculty workloads, additional space requirements or renovations, new courses and other changes in the curriculum.

Vice President for Financial Affairs

Budgets are reviewed for accuracy and compliance to University and government policy. The signature of the Vice President for Financial Affairs is required on the Sign Off Sheet for every proposal.

Office of Sponsored Programs

The Office of Sponsored Programs reviews documents in preparation for institutional approval, including award and post-award documents. Fisk University budget accounts will not be established until this review and approval has occurred. Grants, contracts and similar forms of funding assistance are legal agreements between the sponsor organization and the University. They are formally approved only by an institutional official. Applications for funding and correspondence requiring institutional endorsement are reviewed to verify that University and sponsor requirements have been followed; to assure that the School has the resources and facilities to carry out the project; and to assess the potential impact of the research activity on the Department, Division and University. In the interest that only quality products leave the institution, the OSP reviews proposals for conformance to guidelines and the elimination of typographical and budget errors. The signature of the Director of Sponsored Programs is required on all Sign Off Sheets.

When to Submit the Paperwork to OSP

The OSP requires that you submit your documents for review at least ten working days before the mailing deadline. OSP staff members will process your applications well in advance of the day they are due at the sponsor's office. The OSP, once all required signatures are obtained, will copy the proposal in the required number and arrange for delivery by courier (two days prior to the receipt date). You will be notified of the courier’s delivery of your proposal to the funding agency and you will be provided with a copy of your proposal for your files.

Sufficient lead time is especially critical prior to major application deadlines. The volume of work being processed just prior to these dates is extremely heavy.

Errors and omissions which are not purged before the papers reach our office slow down the approval process for everyone.

The OSP will assist you in meeting genuine emergencies, but even genuine emergencies are not appropriate cause for complete disruption of the schedules of our institutional officials. Your patience, understanding and cooperation will be appreciated.