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ePRF Guidelines

These Guidelines explain the data elements in the ePRF to help ensure all users understand what specific information we are asking for in each section.

Data integrity is critical and must be everyone's responsibility. While much of the information in the ePRF is the same as it’s always been, what’s changed is you’ll be using a ‘smart’ form to enter proposal information, helping us minimize errors and duplicative data entry. If you need more information or have questions, please email us at researchUVA-help@virginia.edu.

Interstitial Pages

Proposal Type

Select a proposal type.  Note that it is critical to select the correct proposal type when you initially create the proposal.

  • New: This indicates an entirely new proposal. New proposals are counted in yearly proposal dollar totals. You may use the “Last Proposal” box that will appear at the bottom of this page to connect this proposal to an LOI/Pre-proposal, but this will be uncommon.
  • Renewal: This indicates an application to renew (on a competitive basis) an existing award. Renewal proposals are counted in yearly proposal dollar totals.  Note that if you select a renewal, you will have the option to select the existing award to establish an appropriate connection. If you select this type, use the “Last Award” box that will appear at the bottom of this page to connect this proposal to the current award.
  • Resubmission: This indicates a resubmission of a proposal previously submitted to a sponsor but not funded based on the initial submission. (Note: NIH rules define and limit resubmissions. Please see here for more information.) Resubmission proposals are counted in yearly proposal dollar totals. Note that if you select a renewal, you will have the option to select the existing award to establish an appropriate connection. If you select this type, use the “Last Proposal” box that will appear at the bottom of this page to connect this proposal to the most recent proposal.
  • LOI/Pre-proposal: This indicates a letter of intent or preliminary proposal submission that requires institutional endorsement and will later require the submission of a full “new” proposal. Keep in mind that different sponsors may use different terminology here (e.g., Step 1 proposal). Budgetary information presented in LOIs/Pre-proposals are not counted in yearly proposal dollar totals.
  • Supplement: This indicates a proposal for supplemental funding relative to an existing sponsored program. Supplement proposals are typically awarded competitively and are counted in yearly proposal dollar totals. If you select this type, use the “Last Award” box that will appear at the bottom of this page to connect this proposal to the current award.

Is this a proposal with a solicitation available in Grants.gov?

If you are responding to a sponsor solicitation available in Grants.gov, in situations where UVA is the lead institution and in situations where UVA anticipates receiving an incoming subcontract, please indicate “yes”. If not, indicate “no”. If you indicate “yes”, you will be required to include a solicitation number, as every solicitation in Grants.gov will have a corresponding solicitation number. Please keep in mind that there are other situations where a sponsor still has a solicitation number; in those instances, while the information will not be required to proceed, please provide that information.

Principal Investigator

Enter the name of the Principal Investigator. The Principal Investigator (PI) is the individual deemed by UVA to have the appropriate level of skill, authority and responsibility to direct the sponsored program. An individual not automatically eligible to be a PI at UVA via their University appointment must request permission (on a proposal-by-proposal basis) in accordance with UVA policy.

Does the Principal Investigator (PI) meet the University’s criteria for PI eligibility?

Please refer to the University’s policy on PI Eligibility here. If the PI does meet the criteria, select “yes”. If not, select “no”. If you select no, an exception must be granted consistent with the University Policy (on a proposal-by-proposal basis); please upload the documentation to the personnel or documents tab.

Title

Enter the title of the proposal.

Proposal Organization

This should represent the org or department responsible for the proposal.  Note that this will default to the PI’s home unit and only needs to be edited if another unit is handling the proposal.

Immediate Sponsor

Please enter the name of the entity to whom UVA is applying for funds. This is the entity with whom we would enter into an award agreement.

Does this project involve flow-through funding from a different originating sponsor?

In situations in which UVA is receiving pass-through funds from another entity, select “yes”. In situations in which UVA is not receiving any pass-through funds (i.e., the originating source of our funding is the immediate sponsor), select “no”.

Originating Sponsor

If you answered “yes”, this project does involve flow-through funding from a different originating sponsor, a box will appear for you to enter this sponsor’s name. In situations in which UVA is receiving pass-through funds from another entity, please enter the name of the entity providing the original funding.

As an example, you would answer “yes” if we are receiving a subaward/subcontract from another university, which has in turn received an award from a federal agency. The university receiving the funding from the federal agency (as a pass-through entity) would be our Immediate Sponsor, and the federal agency would be our Originating Sponsor.

Proposal Tab

screenshot of the proposal tab in the ePRF

Title

The proposal title you previously entered will be displayed here; you may edit as needed.

Short Title

The short title is automatically generated based on a combination of the award-owning school and department, as well as the full title (omitting any articles). This title truncates after 30 characters.  Note that you may override this title, but you are cautioned to maintain the appropriate prefix at the beginning of the title (e.g., a proposal from Cancer Center in the School of Medicine would have a short title that begins with “MD-CANC”).

Proposal Organization

This should represent the org or department responsible for the proposal.  Note that this will default to the PI’s home unit and only needs to be edited if another unit is handling the proposal.

Award Owning Org/Dept Number

This should represent the org or department responsible for the award. Note that this will default to the PI’s home unit and only needs to be edited if another unit is expected to manage the award.

Activity Types

Primary Activity Type

Choose one of the three options initially available. You may only select one. The categories reflect those in our federally-negotiated indirect cost rate agreement and are as follows:

  • Organized Research: All research and development activities of an institution.
  • Instruction: The teaching and training activities of an institution.
  • Other Sponsored Activity: Programs and projects which involve the performance of work other than instruction and organized research. Examples of such programs and projects are clinical trials, health service projects, and community service programs.

Other Activity Types

The Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey is the primary source of information on R&D expenditures at U.S. colleges and universities. The survey collects information on R&D expenditures by field of research and source of funds and also gathers information on types of research and expenses and headcounts of R&D personnel. Please select one of the three following categories. If the work contains elements of multiple activity types, select the one that represents the majority of the proposed work.

  • Basic research is experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundations of phenomena and observable facts, without any particular application or use in view.
  • Applied research is original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge. It is directed primarily towards a specific, practical aim or objective.
  • Experimental Development is systematic work, drawing on knowledge gained from research and practical experience and producing additional knowledge, which is directed to producing new products or processes or to improving existing products or processes.

For the remaining categories, select as many as applicable.

  • Computational Research that has a need for computational infrastructure.
  • Clinical Research is research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator directly interacts with human subjects. More information is available from NIH here and at FDA here.
  • A Clinical Trial is a research study in which human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.

If Clinical Trial is selected, you must indicate whether this is Investigator-Initiated or a Sponsor-Initiated trial.

On or Off Grounds

Please choose the correct option. To determine whether a project will primarily occur on or off grounds, consider where the majority (50% or more) of the work will occur, consistent with the University’s federally-negotiated F&A rate agreement. For more information, see the relevant University policy, available at: insert link to policy. A clear explanation consistent with the above-referenced policy should be present in the proposal package for the use of the Off-Grounds rate.

Period of Performance

Enter the proposed start and end dates of the project.

Is this a construction grant?

Please select “yes” or “no”.

Sponsor Tab

screenshot of the sponsor tab in the ePRF

Is this proposal After-the-Fact?

If a proposal will not need to be submitted to a sponsor (e.g., sponsor has already agreed to fund a proposal), you should answer “yes” to this question. Note that if this is an after-the-fact proposal, the deadline will be automatically set at five (5) business days from the submission to OSP for final review.

Sponsor Deadline (EST)

Enter the date and time indicated as the immediate sponsor’s deadline for submission. In situations in which UVA is proposing to receive funding from an immediate sponsor (i.e., via a pass-through entity), it may be helpful to additionally be aware of the originating sponsor’s deadline. A specific time is also required; the time entered must be EST/EDT.

Is this a target deadline?

In situations where there is no explicit deadline from the sponsor, please select “yes”. Otherwise, please select “no”.

Small Business Program

Please select “SBIR”, “STTR”, or “neither”. Keep in mind that UVA can only receive funding under an SBIR or STTR mechanism via an incoming subcontract, typically from a small business concern (SBC).

Limited Submission opportunity?

Please select “yes” or “no”. If the former, please include the relevant internal selection email (typically from the VPR’s office) as an upload.

Sponsor Contact Information

Please provide the Sponsor’s Contact Information, if applicable. While you are not required to fill in Sponsor’s Contact information, we encourage you to consider whether OSP will need this information to move forward effectively. If this is a situation where a proposal will follow a traditional federal submission process (e.g., be submitted through Grants.gov), sponsor contact information may not be necessary. However, if you have a draft agreement from an industry sponsor and you would like OSP to begin negotiating the agreement, providing the sponsor’s contact information is critical.

Personnel Tab

screenshot of the Personnel tab in the ePRF

Senior/Key Personnel

Key/Senior Personnel may be defined as individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a sponsored program in a substantive, measureable way, whether or not they receive salary or compensation under the program, and whose absence from the program would be expected to impact the scope of work. “Key Personnel” tends to be an NIH-specific term; “Senior Personnel” tends to be an NSF-specific term.

Please note that individuals who do not fall into the category of Senior/Key Personnel should not be listed in this section.

It is important that for each person added, the correct role is selected – note that “Co-Investigator” will be the default when an individual is added.

The roles available are:

  • Principal Investigator

The Principal Investigator (PI) is the individual deemed by UVA to have the appropriate level of skill, authority and responsibility to direct the sponsored program. An individual not automatically eligible to be a PI at UVA via their University appointment must request permission (on a proposal-by-proposal basis) in accordance with UVA policy.

  • PI (Multiple PI Submission)

This option should be chosen only in situations in which the sponsor allows more than one Principal Investigator (typically under NIH solicitations). There should nonetheless be a “Contact PI” on record in these situations, designated as the PI with whom formal communication regarding the sponsored program should be directed. The Contact PI’s information should be entered in the Principal Investigator field on this form, and the other PI(s) on the project should be entered as “PI (Multiple PI Submission).” More information on NIH multi-PI programs is available here.

  • Co-Investigator/Co-Principal Investigator

The Co-Investigator is an individual that the PI relies on to assume responsibilities above those of other personnel. (“Co-Investigator” tends to be an NIH term.) A Co-Investigator is an individual recognized as making a significant programmatic contribution to a project. A Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) is recognized as an individual who shares with the PI the responsibility for the conduct of a sponsored program, including meeting reporting requirements. (“Co-PI” tends to be an NSF term.) 

  • Graduate Student

Should typically only be listed as Senior/Key Personnel on fellowship proposals.

  • Postdoctoral Fellow

Should typically only be listed as Senior/Key Personnel on fellowship proposals.

  • Other

This role includes individuals for whom the other role definitions may not be appropriate but whom are appropriately deemed Key/Senior Personnel.

Budget Tab

screenshot of the budget tab in the ePRF

 Is there cost share included in this proposal? 

Select “mandatory”, “voluntary”, or “neither”.

Mandatory cost sharing is cost sharing required by the sponsor as a condition of eligibility for an award. Typically, a mandatory cost sharing requirement must be communicated in a proposal solicitation.  In these situations, a proposal must demonstrate/commit to the required cost sharing.  Mandatory cost sharing is typically explicitly referenced in an award document.  Mandatory cost sharing must be properly documented and tracked for cost accounting and compliance purposes.

Voluntary committed cost sharing is cost sharing not required by the sponsor as a condition of award but provided at the discretion of the institution. This cost sharing is referenced within a proposal and becomes a binding, auditable obligation; it is often (though not always) referenced in an award document.  Voluntary committed cost sharing must be properly documented and tracked for cost accounting and compliance purposes. 

If neither of the above is applicable, please select “neither”. Note that voluntary uncommitted cost sharing falls into the “neither” category, as this is cost sharing not required by the relevant program solicitation, not referenced in the proposal or award, and not formally tracked (or auditable).  The most common form of voluntary uncommitted cost sharing is faculty or researcher effort additional to the level of effort originally committed to the sponsored project.

 F&A Rate Applied to this project 

While the Activity Types are entered on the Proposal tab, they are displayed here (along with whether the project will be on- or off-grounds) as the completion of these items has directly impacted which F&A rate gets automatically populated. Thus, the F&A rate should be accurate based on the above. However, we recognize that there are exceptional situations where a waiver may be granted, or where a sponsor limits F&A recovery as an eligibility criteria. In these instances, you can overwrite this field.

 Will effort  level change in out years?

If the effort for each Senior/Key Personnel will be consistent for all budget periods, then leave this blank. If the effort will fluctuate between periods, please check this box.

Budget Table

The budget periods will automatically populate based on the proposed start and end dates entered on the Proposal tab. You can add additional budget periods as necessary; if you do, you will be prompted (when you “save”) to make the appropriate updates on the Proposal tab. Please ensure the budget period start and end dates are correct for all periods. Enter the direct and indirect costs, as well as cost share costs (if applicable).

Note that salaries and appointment information is displayed for all Senior/Key Personnel for ease of reference to ensure appropriate budgeting. If the individual’s appointment is changing, you can override the appointment field by selecting the correct forthcoming appointment. Paid (budgeted and requested of the sponsor) effort and cost shared (to be paid by the University) should be entered.

Budget Upload Type

Please select “combined budget and justification document” if you wish to upload one comprehensive document or “separate budget and justification documents” if you intend to upload two documents.

Does this project require new or additional space not already assigned, or the renovation of space?

Please select “yes” or “no”.

Does this project involve any outgoing subcontracts to external entities?

Please select “yes” or “no.” If your project includes outgoing subawards or subcontracts, please attach a subrecipient package for each subrecipient entity, to include a commitment letter or face page signed by the appropriate Authorized Organizational Representative, a scope of work describing the work proposed by the subrecipient, a detailed budget and budget narrative, and other information that may be required by the sponsor. Subrecipient commitment packages should be reviewed prior to submission to OSP for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with UVA and sponsor requirements.

If awarded, will this project require internal subaccounts?

Please select “yes” or “no.” Please note that at award stage it is labor intensive and inefficient for OSP to re-establish multiple internal subaccounts in situations in which only one PTAEO was originally established.

Compliance Tab

screenshot of the compliance tab in the ePRF

Does this project involve human subjects?

Please indicate whether the proposed project involves human subjects. More information, including definitions, here.

Does this project involve vertebrate animals?

Please indicate whether the proposed project involves vertebrate animals. More information, including definitions, here

Does this project involve recombinant DNA, hazardous chemicals, radioactive or biohazard materials, infectious agents, or Select Agents?

Please indicate whether the proposed project involves the listed items and activities. More information here.

Intellectual Property

Does this project involve Intellectual Property (IP) developed at UVA for which an invention disclosure has been made to the Licensing & Venture Group?

Please select “yes” or “no.” More information about LVG here.

Does this project involve IP obtained under a licensing agreement from another entity?

Please select “yes” or “no.”

Does this project involve Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) or Data Use Agreements (DUAs) with a party other than the sponsor?

Please select “yes” or “no.”

Is the express purpose of this project the development of new IP?

Please check “yes” or “no.”

Have all personnel involved in the proposed work signed the University Patent Agreement?

Please select “yes” or “no.”

Export Control

Will any of the funded activities be performed outside the United States?

Please select “Yes” or “No.”

Will performance of this project require access to or result in the production of information subject to proprietary or government access or dissemination restrictions?

Please select “yes” or “no.” You would likely answer “yes” if the announcement or solicitation indicates that restrictions or limitations will be applied to eventual awards, including prior approval for dissemination or publication, export control restrictions (ITAR, EAR, or nuclear regulations), restriction on access or participation of foreign nationals, the need for a U.S. government security clearance, or certain IT security requirements. Access or dissemination restrictions may include the following:

  • “For official use only” (FOUO) is used by the Department of Defense and other federal agencies to identify information which is unclassified but may not be appropriate for public release.
  • Controlled Unclassified Technical Information (CTI) is technical information with military or space application that is subject to controls on the access, use, reproduction, modification, performance, display, release, disclosure, or dissemination (DFARS 252.204-7012).

For more information about the UVA Office of Export Controls here.

Science Tab

screenshot of the proposal tab in the ePRF

Statement of Work (SOW)/Abstract (Copy and Paste)

Please copy and paste the proposal abstract.

Check here if the full proposal has been uploaded in an external sponsor system.

If a copy of the full proposal is available for institutional review in an external sponsor system (e.g., NSF’s FastLane), you can check this box.

Documents Tab

screenshot of the documents tab in the ePRF

Statement of Work/Abstract

Not a required document, but may be uploaded. Must be inserted via copy and paste on the Science Tab. Only one document can be uploaded.

Full Proposal

A required document unless you check that the full proposal has been uploaded in an external sponsor system. Only one document can be uploaded.

Approvals

If approvals are not gathered electronically, upload email or hard copy approvals here as one combined attachment. Only one document can be uploaded.

Draft Letter of Intent

Not a required document, but if you have drafted a Letter of Intent (LOI) that you would like OSP to endorse for proposal submission, please upload it here. Only one document can be uploaded.

Biographical Sketch

Not a required document, but if these will be required for submission and are not available in another system, please upload here. Multiple documents can be uploaded.

Current and Pending

Not a required document, but if these will be required for submission and are not available in another system, please upload here. Multiple documents can be uploaded.

Facilities, Equipment, & Other Resources

Not a required document, but if these will be required for submission and are not available in another system, please upload here. Only one document can be uploaded.

Consultant Letters

Not a required document, but if your proposal involves consultants, please provide appropriate supporting documentation. Multiple documents can be uploaded.

Solicitation

Not a required document, but we ask that you provide a copy of the solicitation if one is available to assist all parties in appropriate review of the proposal. Only one document can be uploaded.

Other

If there are any other proposal documents that need to be provided, please upload in this category. Multiple documents can be uploaded.

A note about the Additional Information sections

At the bottom of each proposal tab (except for the Documents tab), there is a section for you to add any relevant additional information as you may deem appropriate. Please use this field to provide any relevant information to OSP and/or to document the proposal record. When in doubt, please do err on the side of over (as opposed to under) communication.