Internal Proposal Endorsement Procedure

Middlebury's internal endorsement procedure uses a online Proposal Endorsement and Tracking (PET) form (replacing what had been known as the  “blue sheet”) to collect information about proposals for external funding and to document compliance with college and sponsor policies and federal regulations.

Faculty and staff will be provided information about the online PET form and endorsement process when they notify OGSP that they are working on a grant proposal.    

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) has developed its own internal processes for reviewing and endorsing grant and contract submissions using the Middlebury online grant  Proposal Endorsement & Tracking form. The Director of Foundation Relations and Institutional Grants manages this process. For more information about endorsement procedures, contact Meghan Rasmussen at 831-647-3556 or by email.

The Principal Investigator or Project Director (PI/PD) is responsible for filling out the online grant Proposal Endorsement & Tracking  form. OGSP staff may facilitate this process.

When is an endorsement form required?
What attachments must you include?
Who must sign the endorsement form?

 

Endorsement form Procedures

Because grant proposals that require a grant Proposal Endorsement & Tracking form may not be submitted until the required approvals are secured via the online process and the grants office (OGSP or FRIG) has completed its review of the final budget and all institutional issues, plan to complete the online PET process  no less than six business days before you plan to submit the proposal. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to allow more time.

New Proposals, Renewal Proposals, Resubmissions
Revised Budgets
Continuations
Supplements

When is a grant proposal endorsement form required?

A grant proposal Proposal Endorsement & Tracking form is required for all grant proposals* that meet any of the following conditions:

  • application process requires a signature from an “Authorized Organizational Representative”
  • grant will be paid to and administered by Middlebury
  • proposal commits college employee time (other than faculty time that is within the terms of their contract)
  • proposal commits use of Middlebury equipment or space (other than faculty offices)
  • proposal commits, explicitly or implicitly, Middlebury funds (other than faculty leave salary)
  • proposal commits Middlebury to a future action (such as offering a new course developed with grant funds or a project that requires extensive LIS services)

*This includes preliminary proposals, letters of inquiry, and letters of intent.

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What attachments must you include?

The online grant Proposal Endorsement & Tracking form must be accompanied by:

  • the final budget and budget justification
  • the most recent draft of the project description (or a memo explaining the project and the PI/PD’s role)
  • any supporting email (for example, email from HR confirming a staff salary or hourly rate)
  • any certifications or assurances required by the sponsor (for example, NIH assurances)
  • all application forms that require an official signature (if any)

All documents can be uploaded into the online PET form.    The proposal draft need not be highly polished; simply include enough information to ensure that reviewers of the grant  Proposal Endorsement & Tracking form can understand what you plan to do.

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Who must electronically sign the online grant Proposal Endorsement & Tracking form?

The Proposal Endorsement & Tracking form always must be signed (electronic certification) by:

  • all faculty and staff named in the proposal
  • the supervisor or department chair for each faculty or staff member named in the proposal
  • the appropriate senior Middlebury administrator

The Principal Investigator or Project Director (PI/PD) is responsible for filling out the Proposal Endorsement & Tracking form and initiating the online process, which will collect electronic signatures from the department chair/supervisor and the responsible senior administrator. 

OGSP staff will facilitate any other required approvals, via the online process or email. 

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Other Signatures

Additional approvals are required in the case of certain personnel, equipment and facilities, and research issues, to document that you have discussed these matters with appropriate Middlebury personnel. These requirements pertain to all grants, not just those funded with federal funds. These approvals usually can be provided by email.    Forward to OGSP any email approvals you have secured for your project. 

Middlebury cost-share: Some grants require matching funds from Middlebury, and at other times a Middlebury contribution might strengthen your proposal. Discuss cost-sharing requirements with OGSP. The College maintains a matching fund for faculty grants; contact Franci Farnsworth for more information.

Course release time: Discuss all course releases with your department chair. Once you have the approval of your chair, the next step is to consult with the Director of Sciences and Dean of Curriculum. Working together, they’ll all assess the impact of a course release on department and college curriculum. Ultimately, the Dean of Curriculum must approve course releases.

New PhD-level position: Discuss any proposed new grant-funded PhD-level positions with the Vice President of Academic Affairs, who must approve. If the position is approved, contact Human Resources to verify salary and benefit details.

New staff position: Contact Human Resources to verify salary and benefit details for proposed grant funded positions (other than students).

Unusual student arrangements (housing, wages, program): Discuss any non-standard grant-funded student arrangements with the Undergraduate Research Office.

Equipment and facilities: If you plan to purchase equipment (including computers and media equipment) you must address concerns about location, installation, storage, maintenance, service contracts, etc. Discuss proposed equipment with your department chair, and the appropriate administrator (Sciences: Director of Sciences, Arts: Director of Arts, all others: Dean of Curriculum). You may also need to discuss with a person responsible for that type of equipment (e.g. LIS administrator). Estimate annual maintenance costs and provide College budget numbers (and authorizing signatures) for the accounts that will be charged, both during the grant period and after it expires.

Central technology, computers, servers, software: Discuss computer-related needs, including computer purchases, access to servers, and data management plans, with LIS staff.

Human subjects: Many sponsors withhold awards for projects that involve human subjects unless the project has been approved by the IRB. Middlebury does not require you to obtain IRB approval before you submit your grant proposal, but the IRB will be notified via the online PET process for all projects involving human subjects. Only the IRB can determine whether a proposal is exempt from review.

Animal research: Many sponsors withhold awards for projects that involve vertebrate animals unless the project has been approved by the IACUC, and some will not allow you to submit the grant proposal unless you already have applied. Middlebury does not require you to obtain IACUC approval before you submit your grant proposal, but the IACUC will be notified via the online PET process of all proposals involving animal research; it is recommended that you you discuss your project with the IACUC Chair or Research Compliance Manager so that you have adequate time to submit a protocol and get it approved before the grant begins.

rDNA or Biohazards: Discuss the use of recombinant DNA or biohazardous material with the Research Compliance Manager.

Radioactive materials: Discuss the use of radioactive materials with the Research Compliance Manager.

Responsible Conduct of Research: If you are applying for a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), please note that you will be responsible for complying with the NSF-specific requirements related to RCR training for students involved in your grant-funded research.  

Export Controls: If your project involves foreign travel, international shipments, work with overseas collaborators, or other issues as identifieds on the Middlebury Export Controls page, note this on the grant proposal Endorsement Form. No signature is required.

If a grant proposal Proposal Endorsement & Tracking (PET) form is not completed at the time the proposal is submitted (or if there was no official submission, and a check arrives to fund a project), the PI/PD must complete the PET process before a grant fund (in the accounting system) can be established. In these cases, some signature requirements may be waived by Finance, the academic administration, or OGSP.

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Procedures

New Proposals, Renewal Proposals, Resubmissions

Follow this procedure for all grant proposals including

  • first-time submissions (including preliminary proposals, letters of inquiry, and letters of intent)
  • proposals to renew grants that have been or will be terminated by the time of the new award
  • resubmissions of proposals that were not funded in a previous competition

 Start the endorsement form process as soon as your budget is final.

  1. Fill out the online grant proposal Proposal Endorsement & Tracking (PET) form completely
  2. Attach your final budget and budget justification, draft proposal,  and any other attachments. For a resubmission, you can attach a copy of the previous proposal instead of a new draft proposal. Make sure to also include any certifications or assurances required by the sponsor and any forms that require an institutional signature.
  3. Click "submit" on the online PET form and follow the prompts to certify your approval.   Complete this process at least six business days before the proposal submission deadline (earlier is better and may be required for complex proposals). 

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Revised Budgets

Contact OGSP for procedures when the sponsore has requested a revised budget for a grant that has been approved for funding by the sponsor but not yet formally awarded by the sponsor.

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Continuations

Contact OGSP for procedures to follow when second- and later-year budgets of approved multiple-year grants require an authorized institutional official's signature.  

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Supplements

Contact OGSP for procedures to follow when requesting a Supplement to an existing grant.   In most cases, these are treated as New Submissions (see above). 

If the supplement is coterminous with the existing grant, and the budget request is consistent with the existing grants's budget (e.g. a supplement to support one additional student), some signature requirements may be waived.