Proposals & Sponsored Projects

Information and resources related to Proposals & Sponsored Projects

In This Section


Principal Investigator (PI)/Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI)/Project Director (PD) Requirements

Research, Innovation & Impact (RII) has set out PI/PD/Co-PI Eligibility Guidelines that must be met for the consideration of granting status as a PI/PD/Co-PI’s to any individual.

Minimum Employment Requirement:

The minimum level of FTE to serve as a PI/PD/Co-PI is 0.50 FTE as a University of Arizona employee. If a request for an exception of a lower FTE is needed, a PI/PD/Co-PI FTE Exception Request form must be completed with all required signatures. 

PI/PD/Co-PI Eligibility by Employment Category:

Status/Title Eligible to be PI/PD/Co-PI Require an eligible PI/PD as a Co-PI
Tenured/Tenure Eligible Faculty YES  
Continuing/Continuing Eligible YES  
Career track asst/assoc/full professors (including clinical, research, and professors of practice) YES  
Research Scientists YES  
Postdoctoral Fellows YES  
Research Associates   YES
Research Assistants   YES
Graduate Students   YES
Undergraduate Students   YES
Adjunct Faculty   YES
Visiting Faculty & Scholars (DCC)   YES
Emeritus Faculty   YES
Directors, Chairs, Deans, Vice Presidents YES  
Librarians/Curators YES  
Affiliate or Clinical Faculty (DCC) not paid by UArizona when all the research is conducted at the university or under the auspices of the university with our affiliated healthcare partners YES  
Other Designated Campus Colleagues   YES


Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy

Employees of the University should be aware of the Conflict of Interest Commitment Policy. Outside obligations, financial interests, or other employment may be considered a conflict of interest or commitment.

An interest exists if an employee is in a position to influence a business transaction which the University is involved. The Arizona Conflict of Interest statute requires the employee to disclose in writing any substantial interest the employee or their close relatives may have in dealing with the University.

The Proposal process has a specific question concerning whether the proposed project will involve any conflict. When a conflict does exist, a researcher should follow the instructions on the UA COI website to complete a COI disclosure form.  There are a variety of forms to choose from depending on an individual's role on a project.  The prompts should be followed to ensure the appropriate form is selected, whether it be a new disclosure form or a modification to an existing disclosure form.

Indirect Cost (IDC) Rate and Waivers

University policy requires that established indirect cost rates are used in proposals. The indirect rate needs to be identified in the proposal development. If the indirect cost rate is stipulated by the sponsor, a copy of the RFP or statement from the sponsor must be attached to the Proposal submission.

Calculating the indirect rate varies by sponsor; however general guidelines are that capital equipment (a single item costing more than $5,000) are excluded from the total direct costs on which the indirect cost is figured.

The Graduate Assistant Rate is broken down in to two components: A percentage for fringe and a percentage for tuition remission. The tuition remission is excluded from indirect costs.

On subcontracts, indirect cost is calculated on the first $25,000 of direct costs only if the proposal is applying a full indirect cost rate.

In the event full IDC is not charged on a proposal, and not stipulated in the sponsor's Announcement of Opportunity (AO), an IDC waiver request form must be approved by SPS/VPR prior to proposal submission.  PIs requesting an IDC waiver must submit this to SPS no less than 5 business days ahead of the proposal deadline. Waivers must have signatures of the PI, Department Head, and the Dean. Non-stipulated waivers require a waiver justification that states the benefit to the University for accepting a reduced rate.  If an AO stipulates an IDC rate lower than the UA-approved IDC rate, a waiver is not required; however, this stipulation should be provided to SPS with the proposal.

Large Proposals

When a PI from LPL is preparing a large dollar proposal the Business Office will notify SPS and alert them well in advance. SPS will designate a specific person to work with us and begin previewing budgets, etc at the earliest possible time. 

Major Project Status

OMB Circular A-21 allows administrative/clerical salaries to be directly charged on research efforts that can be defined as “major projects” and if the individual(s) involved can be specifically identified to the project. Circular A-21 defines major Project as, “a project that requires an extensive amount of administrative or clerical support which is significantly greater than the routine level of such services provided by academic departments.” Examples of major projects according to OMB A-21 are identified on the request for "Major Project" form (PDF). Check the box(s) that applies to this proposal.

Other administrative costs such as office supplies, postage, and memberships are chargeable if they are being used in “unlike circumstances”. The proposal does not have to meet the criteria for major projects to include these types of administrative costs, but they must be identified in the proposal budget and explained in the budget notes.

The LPL request for “Major Project” form needs to accompany the proposal submission and the administrative salary must be a line item in the budget.

A form for the request to re-budget Administrative/Clerical Salaries and Other Administrative Costs after the project has been awarded available on the SPS Post Award page.

Proposal Content

Statement of Work/Abstract
Technical Data
Budget - (Proposals with subcontractors identified in the budget must also provide a detailed budget from each subcontracted.)

Proposal Submission Deadlines

Electronic proposal must be submitted to Sponsored Projects Services (SPS) in final form 3-business days prior to the sponsor deadline.

Non-electronic proposal must also be submitted 3-business days prior to the sponsor deadline. The complete proposal submission must include a statement of work, budget and budget justification (if required).

Proposals that meet the 3-day deadline will be prioritized over those that did not meet the deadline. If your proposal does not meet the deadline, SPS makes no guarantees that the proposal will be submitted on-time.