Funding Overview

The following provides a brief overview of the entire proposal/award process to provide a framework. It is recommended that the other Professional Development sessions and Responsible Conduct of Research training be completed to gain a complete picture of the topics discussed in this overview.

Proposal Submission

  • Requires Office of Research and Sponsored Programs approval
    • Even if sponsor specifically requests a proposal
    • Obtained on the routing form
    • Exception: sponsor/agency requires proposal/application to be submitted by the individual
      • May state will reject if submitted by the institution
      • Is not processed/reviewed by the Office of Research
      • No routing form needed
  • Routing Form
    • SharePoint form with workflows to email appropriate individuals
    • Includes approval from Co-Principal Investigators, if applicable
    • Department Chair(s) and Dean(s)/Director(s) approve
    • Certification section
      • Must be completed
      • Majority of questions used as guides for investigator
        • Inform the investigator to obtain necessary approvals for animal use, biohazards, etc.
        • Provides contact information for protocol
        • Approval is not needed at proposal stage, must be before start spending
    • Includes questions on principal investigator responsibilities
  • Cost Share section must be completed if proposal contains cost share
    • Cost share approval is obtained by signing the form
    • Office of Research generally does not approve voluntary cost share
    • More information is provided on the Cost Share Document
  • Submitted once all approvals are obtained
    • Either electronically, mailed or hand delivered to sponsor
    • May require submission by the Office of Research
      • Based on requirements by the sponsor/agency
  • Contracts
    • Routing form must be submitted
      • Office of Research must approve
    • Office of Research involved with necessary negotiations
    • Office of Research obtains the appropriate UNO and state signatures

Award Management

  • Begins as soon as the award is made
  • Includes:
    • Ethical conduct of research
      • All aspects of research and all individuals involved
      • Misconduct could lead to sanctions, fines, etc. for the individual and/or university
      • Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training
        • Required for all individuals who receive support from or are a Principal Investigator for an award from the National Science Foundation or U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
        • Includes on-line tests and live discussions
    • Proper spending of funds
      • Must follow the awarded budget
      • May submit a budget adjustment request
        • Sponsored Programs Accounting processes request
        • May need sponsor approval
      • Must be allowable, allocable, reasonable and consistently applied
      • May need sponsor approval for some items, such as additional compensation
        • Refer to award document or sponsor guidelines
    • Timely submission of reports/deliverables
      • Follow deadlines in award document
      • Could result in audit finding if submitted late
    • Adequate monitoring of subcontractors, if applicable
      • Performed throughout the project period
        • Principal Investigator's responsibility
        • Office of Research provides assistance and reminders
      • Properly and timely close subcontracts
        • Final invoice must be paid before final invoice is submitted to sponsor


  • Questions to consider near the end of the award to allow closeout to proceed smoothly:
    • Will an extension be needed?
    • Does a particular expenditure benefit the project?
    • Are all expenditures posted to the award so they can be billed?
    • Will the final report/deliverable be completed by the due date?
  • For more information, see the Closeout document


Principal Investigator

  • Properly prepare and submit a proposal
  • Complete the internal routing form
  • Properly manage award

College or Department Offices

  • Review and approve/reject routing forms
  • Encourage proposal submissions

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

  • Review proposals
  • Submit proposals as required by the sponsor
  • Assist with award management and closeout

Sponsored Programs Accounting

  • Assist with award management and closeout