The UMass Lowell Office of Research Administration (ORA) is responsible for reviewing all external proposal applications for compliance prior to submission. It is important to note ORA does not have the capability to review technical content. Below please find an outline of items ORA will and will not review. The items in the "Not Reviewed" section are solely the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) to ensure they are prepared in accordance with the sponsor guidelines.

Reviewed - Mandatory

ItemDetails
Eligibility Requirements (PI specific and Institutional)
  • PI meets internal eligibility requirements
    • If not, the Request for PI Status Form must be fully executed
  • PI meets the sponsor specific eligibility requirements
    • Sponsor required documentation (i.e. Dept. Chair Letter) has been included
  • Institution meets the sponsor eligibility requirements
    • 501c3 requirements have been considered resulting in the proposal being submitted through the UMass Foundation
Institutional DataInstitutional Data is correct (DUNS, Tax ID, AOR, etc.)
Budget (First draft must be on ORA internal template)
  • The correct version of the ORA internal template has been used (ensuring accurate rates & calculations)
  • Allowable vs. unallowable costs compliance per Uniform Guidance and specific solicitation
  • Salaries match the value provided in HR Direct
    • Sponsor salary cap restrictions has been followed (if applicable)
    • Sponsor specific effort requirements have been followed (if applicable)
  • Ensure correct stipend has been used and RA Fees have been included for Graduate Research Assistants
  • Capital equipment meets the definition in the Uniform Guidance and quotes have been provided (if available)
  • Human Subject payments are on an indirect cost bearing line
  • Subcontractors vs. vendors vs consultants have been categorized correctly.
  • Consultant letter outlining rates, hours, and contribution to project has been provided 
  • Correct indirect cost rate has been used (On-campus, DOD contract, Other sponsored activities, etc.)
    • Sponsor indirect cost rate limits have been followed
    • VCRI has provided written approval permitting the use of a lower rate if the sponsor will allow the UMass Lowell full rate to be used
  • ORA internal budget has been transferred to sponsor required budget templates
Cost Share (if applicable)
  • Mandatory cost share requirements have been met
  • Voluntary cost share has not been included unless written approval from Chair/Dean/VCRI leadership has been obtained
  • Internal cost share approval form has been fully signed prior to submission
  • Cost share letters of commitment have been reviewed and signed by VCRI leadership (if required by sponsor)
Budget Justification
  • Sponsor required budget justification templates has been used (if applicable)
  • Effort listed in justification matches the budget
  • Correct indirect cost rates and fringe rates have been listed
  • No unapproved and/or unallowable cost share has been listed in the justification
Subrecipients
  • Fully signed subrecipient package has been received
    • Federal Demonstration Project (FDP) members have provided signed FDP Letter of Intent
    • Non-FDP members have provided UML Subrecipient Monitoring Forms
    • If Subrecipient does not have a Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) policy, a signed UML FCOI form has been obtained prior to submission
    • Subrecipient federally negotiated rate has been used and matches their rate agreement
      • If Sub currently does not have an approved rate and they are participating in a proposal for a grant or cooperative agreement – Sub has taken the de minimis rate of 10%; except NIH which is 8%
      • If Sub is participating in a cost reimbursable federal contract and they do not have a rate; sub can take the de minimis rate of 10%; or 8% in the case of NIH.
      • If Sub is a for profit entity and participating in a grant or cooperative agreement, a for profit fee is unallowable.
General
  • Margin size, spacing, type of font and size, headers & footers comply with sponsor guidelines
  • Anything specifically labeled as “Return Without Review (RWR)” in the sponsor guidelines has been followed

Reviewed - Time Permitting

  • Sponsor requirements that do not cause system errors in portal
  • Consistent formatting and fonts have been used throughout proposal
  • Travel justification includes all details requested by sponsor (i.e. location, traveler names, airfare, per diem, conference fees, etc.)
  • Standard UML language in budget justification, facilities, and other templates provided by ORA has been used
  • Current & Pending or other Research Support sections (such as in NIH biosketch) has no expired projects meaning current project end dates have not passed and pending projects start dates have not passed
  • “Look” recommendations: pictures are coming in fuzzy, wording is wrong, etc.
  • Confirming with PI that a certain content in the technical portions of the proposal (e.g. “outcomes”) have been included if the solicitation requires or strongly recommends including it
  • Classification: selecting early stage researcher or other classification that may not be accurate, but does not cause system error

Not Reviewed

Anything outside of the mandatory review criteria, including but not limited to the following:
  • Project Description
  • References
  • Project Summary/Abstract
  • Project Narrative
  • Biosketches/CVs/Resumes
  • Collaborators and Other Affiliations Document
  • Current and Pending
  • Facilities
  • Data Management Plan 
  • Supplemental Documents required by a solicitation, i.e. – Multi-PI Plan, Collaboration Plan, Project Personnel, Appendices, 
  • Standard Letters of Support/Letters of Collaboration
  • Human Subjects/Animals Documents
  • Proposal documents from subrecipients that are not institutional compliance documents