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Administrative Approval Process

Prior to submitting a grant proposal to or entering into a contract or cooperative agreement with any external agency, the proposed funding request must be approved by the University. This is a relatively simple process, though the review can take some time. In particular, the Legal Office must review all relevant Certifications and Assurances or other contractual obligations. These are essentially any “strings” which the funding agency may place on ACU should an award or agreement be accepted. This is sometimes a very brief process, but it can also take a great deal of time. It is therefore very important that the administrative review process be initiated in a timely manner.

Tips for the Administrative Review Process

  1. As soon as a definite decision is made to apply for external funding, contact Megan Roth in ORSP.
  2. You will need to complete an External Funding Approval Form. Complete all of the fields and email the unsigned form and all required supporting documents to The ORSP office will review the materials and budget for completeness and allowability, then load all documents into Adobe ESign and route for signatures.
    1. If you require assistance in completing the form, please contact Megan Roth in ORSP.
  3. The form should be completed and submitted unsigned via email at least 2 weeks prior to the deadline for grant submission and prior to signing any contracts or agreements. However, the legal review of certifications and assurances can be conducted well in advance of submission. This will ensure that there is enough time to conduct an adequate legal review. Further, should there be problems in this area, it is far better for this to be identified as early in the process as possible than to make this discovery after a great deal of work has been invested in the project.
  4. Please complete EthicsCORE Responsible Conduct of Research Training. Be sure to register under the ACU group when creating an account. Please submit a copy of your Completion Certificate with your Approval Form. RCR training should be conducted once every 4 years. All investigators listed on the Approval Form and/or budget must have an up-to-date Completion Certificate on file. All training modules are accessible via a Canvas Research Training Course. You may request access to the classroom by clicking here.
  5. Financial disclosures are required for each grant application and annually if you receive the award. Please see the Conflict of Interest policy and forms. Please complete the disclosure and submit with your external funding approval form.The disclosure should be completed by all significant contributors on the team.

If you anticipate applying for or receiving a gift from a private foundation, you will still complete the External Funding Approval Form, and it will be routed to the Advancement Office for approval. Please note that if you are asking a private foundation for $100,000 or more, then you must receive approval from the Senior Leadership Team before applying. You must submit this approval with your External Approval Form upon submission.

Tool: What is a gift versus grant versus contract versus cooperative agreement?

Letters of Intent

If a funding agency requires the submission of a Letter of Intent (LOI) as a first step, you do not have to complete the full External Approval Form unless you are invited to submit a full proposal. However, the ORSP and, in some cases, the Advancement Office need to be aware of, approve, and track all LOIs, as many funding agencies limit the number and frequency of LOI submissions from a single institution. Please complete the LOI Approval Form below and submit, unsigned, to at least 2 weeks prior to your submission date. The ORSP Office will review the request and route for appropriate signatures.

LOI Approval Form