Internal Proposal Endorsement Procedure

Middlebury's internal endorsement procedure uses the grant proposal Endorsement Form (formerly 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.

View the "blue sheet" form.

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 College grant proposal Endorsement Form. All submissions need to be reviewed by the Director of Foundation Relations and Institutional Grants and approved by the Director of Grants and Contracts Administration as well as the appropriate senior academic officer. 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 form and securing required signatures. The Corporate & Foundation Relations office (CFR) or the Sponsored Research Office (SRO) 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 an endorsement form may not be submitted until the Director of Grants & Contracts Administration  has signed the form, and several offices must review it before it reaches that office, plan to give your endorsement form to SRO 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
Revised Budgets
Renewals
Supplements

When is an endorsement form required?

A grant proposal Endorsement 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 the College
  • proposal commits college employee time (other than faculty time that is within the terms of their contract)
  • proposal commits use of college equipment or space (other than faculty offices)
  • proposal commits, explicitly or implicitly, college funds (other than faculty leave salary)
  • proposal commits the college to a future action (such as offering a new course developed with grant funds or a project that requires extensive LIS services)

Back to Top

What attachments must you include?

The endorsement form must be accompanied by:

  • the final budget and budget justification
  • the appropriate Conflicting Financial Interest Disclosure form:
  • 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 or NSF)
  • all application forms that require an official signature (if any)
  • a copy of the official cover page (if any)

The proposal draft need not be highly polished; simply include enough information to ensure that reviewers of the endorsement form can understand what you plan to do.

Back to Top

Who must sign the grant proposals endorsement form?

The endorsement form always must be signed 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 College administrator
  • the Sponsored Research Office (SRO) or the Corporate & Foundations Relations Office (CFR)
  • the Director of Grants & Contracts Administration  (or designee)

A signature from Grants & Contracts Administration is always required, unless the only commitment relates to academic affairs issues, and the grant will paid directly to faculty and will not be administered by the College. For example, a grant for course development, even if it isn't administered by the College, will likely affect academic affairs by requiring that proposed courses be taught. In such cases, a senior College administrator must sign. For most faculty grant proposals, the SRO obtains signatures from the senior College administrator and the Director of Grants & Contract Administration.

If the PI/PD is department chair (or supervisor) or is the spouse/partner of the department chair (or supervisor), or if the department chair (or supervisor) is unavailable, the appropriate senior College administrator signs in lieu of the department chair (or supervisor).

A supplemental endorsement form can be used, if necessary, to collect multiple signatures.

Back to Top

Other Signatures

Additional signatures are required in the case of certain personnel, equipment and facilities, and research issues, to document that you have discussed these matters with appropriate College personnel. Many of these requirements pertain to all grants, not just those funded with federal funds. These signatures can be provided by email if necessary, but the Director of Grants & Contract Administration has the right to require original signatures. If you obtain an email signature, please ask the sender to cc: the Sponsored Research Office.

College cost-share: Some grants require matching funds from the College, and at other times a College contribution might strengthen your proposal. Discuss cost-sharing requirements with the Sponsored Research Office. 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.

New PhD-level position: Discuss any proposed new grant-funded PhD-level positions with senior administration. 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 installation, storage, maintenance, service contracts, etc. Discuss proposed equipment with your department chair and the Dean of Curriculum or LIS administrator responsible for that type of equipment.

Central technology, computers, servers, software: Discuss computer-related needs, including data management plans, with Carol Peddie and other LIS staff.

Human subjects: Many sponsors withhold awards for projects that involve human subjects unless the project has been approved by the IRB. The College does not require you to obtain IRB approval before you submit your grant proposal, but you must notify the IRB Chair that you intend to submit a protocol, and you must submit the protocol to the IRB within 60 days of submitting the proposal so that approval will be in place when you are funded. Only the IRB can determine whether a proposal is exempt from review. If your protocol has  already been approved, you don't need the Chair's signature; simply supply the date on your approval letter.

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. Only the IACUC can determine whether a proposal is exempt from review. If you already have an existing protocol number, you don't need the Chair's signature.

rDNA or Biohazards: Discuss the use of recombinant DNA or biohazardous material with the appropriate senior administrator.

Radioactive materials: Discuss the use of radioactive materials with the Radiation Officer.

Responsible Conduct of Research: If you are applying for a grant from the National Science foundation, you must sign the endorsement form to indicate that you agree to train any student participants in the responsible conduct of research.

If a Grant Proposal Endorsement 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 a Grant Proposal Endorsement Form before a grant fund (Banner FOAP) can be established. In these cases, some signature requirements may be waived by the Director of Grants & Contract Administration, appropriate senior College administrator, or SRO.

Back to Top

Procedures

New Proposals

Follow this procedure for:

  • first-time submissions
  • 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

Allow two weeks for the endorsement procedure. Start the endorsement form process as soon as your budget is final.

  1. Fill out the endorsement form completely.
  2. Print and attach your budget, budget justification, and draft proposal. For a resubmission, attach a copy of the previous proposal instead.
  3. Obtain all signatures other than senior administrator and Director of Grants & Contract Administration. Attach a supplemental signature page if needed.
  4. Deliver the endorsement form to SRO (or to CFR if it is an institutional proposal) at least six business days before the proposal submission deadline.

Do not use campus mail if your deadline is less than two weeks away.

Back to Procedures

Revised Budgets

Follow this procedure whenever the budget is revised for a grant that has been approved but not yet awarded.

Allow one week for the endorsement procedure. If the revision is straightforward, you may be able to get College authorization more quickly than is usual with a new proposal. SRO will notify any administrators who are new since the original endorsement form was signed.

  1. Fill out a new endorsement form or make the changes on a photocopy of the original, ensuring that it reflects the revised budget figures and any changes in cost-share, equipment, or other endorsement form items.
  2. Print and attach your revised budget, revised budget justification, and revised proposal (if necessary) to the new endorsement form.
  3. Obtain signatures (or initials, if you are using a photocopy) for additional or changed equipment, revised cost-share, major changes in scope, or changes in other compliance requirements. Attach a supplemental signature page if needed.
  4. Deliver the endorsement form to SRO (or to CFR if it is an institutional proposal). Do not use campus mail; doing so can delay endorsement.

Back to Procedures

Renewals

Follow this procedure for second- and later-year budgets of approved multiple-year grants when an authorized signature is required on the budget or submission form.

Allow one week for the endorsement procedure.

  1. Fill out a new endorsement form or make a photocopy of the original, ensuring that it reflects the budget figures for the appropriate year.
  2. Print and attach your budget and budget justification to the form.
  3. Obtain signatures  (or initials, if you are using a photocopy) for additional or changed equipment, revised cost-share, or changes in other compliance requirements.
  4. Deliver the endorsement form to SRO (or to CFR if it is an institutional proposal). Do not use campus mail if your deadline is less than one week away!

Back to Procedures

Supplements

Follow these steps to request a supplement to an existing grant.

Allow two weeks for the endorsement procedure. Start the endorsement process as soon as your budget is final.

  1. Fill out the endorsement form completely.
  2. Print and attach your budget, budget justification, and draft proposal to the endorsement form.
  3. Obtain all required original signatures  (attach a supplemental signature page if needed).
  4. Deliver the endorsement form to SRO (or to CFR if it is an institutional proposal). Do not use campus mail if your deadline is less than two weeks away.

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

Recombinant DNA

No work with recombinant DNA can be done at Middlebury College without either review by the College’s Institutional Biosafety Committee or a statement, signed by the PI, certifying that the rDNA used in his or her research is exempt from IBC review. This statement must cite the section(s) of the NIH Guidelines that pertain to the research and must specify why the PI believes that the research is exempt from review.

Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988

This federal certification requirement, designed to prevent individuals and institutions from receiving federal funding unless they have a drug-free workplace policy, applies to all federal grants and (with rare exceptions) to federal contracts for $25,000 or more. It applies to controlled substances as defined in 21 CFR 1308, but not to alcohol. Middlebury College must:

  • notify employees that controlled substances are prohibited in the workplace and specifies the penalties for infraction
  • establish a drug-free awareness program
  • inform employees on federally funded projects that they must follow the College’s policy and must notify the College, within five days, about any drug conviction that occurs at the workplace
  • notify the funding agency within ten days of learning of a drug conviction
  • punish convicted employees and require them to attend drug abuse assistance or rehab

Individuals must certify that they comply with the College’s policy.

Violations may result in termination of the grant or suspension or debarment of the institution or individual.

Delinquency on Federal Debt

This federal assurance/certification requirement, designed to prevent people and organizations from benefiting from federal programs while delinquent in repaying other federal programs, applies to all federal funding. For individuals, the assurance is usually provided by checking a box on a proposal application form. For institutional awards, the institution must certify that it is not delinquent.

If an individual or institution is found to be delinquent, funding could be withheld or reduced by the delinquent amount.

Debarment and Suspension

This federal certification requirement, designed to prevent fraudulent or improper use of government funds, applies to all grants and cooperative agreements and to most contracts. Applicants must certify that they, their principals, and their researchers:

  • aren’t debarred, suspended, ineligible for, or excluded from funding by any federal entity
  • haven’t been convicted of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with federal agreements within the past three years
  • haven’t been convicted of violating federal statutes within the past three years
  • haven’t been convicted of committing any form of theft or fraud within the past three years
  • haven’t been charged with any of these crimes by any government entity
  • haven’t had any government agreements terminated for cause or default within the past three years

Any subawardee or contractor who will get $25,000 or more must also so certify.

False certification could result in termination of the grant and debarment, suspension, or both.

Byrd Amendment: Lobbying

This federal certification requirement, designed to prevent lobbying to influence federal funding decisions, applies to all federal agreements. The PI must certify (by checking a box on the endorsement form) that nobody has lobbied on behalf of the proposal being submitted.

Failure to disclose lobbying activity results in the award being withheld; debarment or suspension may also result.