Timelines and Service Levels

Plan ahead--the chance for insurmountable obstacles increases in direct proportion to the closing of a deadline window. Late proposals do run the risk of not being submitted by the sponsor's deadline.

In order to better ensure reliable and timely support for our faculty, the UM-Dearborn ORA provides a clear and uniform policy outlining the services we can offer to faculty. The level of service is time‐sensitive, depending on when ORA receives your Proposal Request Form and key information needed to begin the proposal planning and development (e.g., sponsor solicitation, general budget parameters, period of performance, etc.).

"No Deadline" Proposals: When there is no specified sponsor deadline (i.e., sponsor accepts proposals any time), ORA will work on the proposal as time allows and based on what we are provided to work with. ORA will endeavor to meet a PI's "target date" if it does not put proposals with hard deadlines at risk. The timeline required to meet a target date will follow the standard practices for internal deadlines for a hard sponsor deadline. If the PI cannot meet the specified dates, the timeline will be shifted accordingly, keeping in mind that other proposals with hard deadlines must still take priority.

All other proposal submissions: The timelines below are based on a standard proposal submission with no complicating factors. We reserve the right to add additional days to the standard timeline when complex factors exist such as the following: UM personnel from multiple units across campuses, subawards and subcontracts, cost sharing, non-standard documentation required such as sponsor forms or special approvals such as EHS, etc. We cannot anticipate every possible scenario, so this list is not exhaustive.

Office of Research Engagement Service Policy Timeline

To meet the deadline policy: You should notify UM-Dearborn ORA at least 20 work days before the deadline so we can begin assisting you (see details below.) Upon submission of the Proposal Request Form, PIs will be provided with a timeline for submitting documents to our office, and due dates for the final proposal package in accordance with UM's deadline policy in order to provide the best opportunity for success. Proposals submitted for approval outside the university's internal deadline are not guaranteed submission by the sponsor's deadline.

Key Timeline Milestones

The following are the key proposal development milestones that must be met to ensure timely submission of proposals. These milestones apply to all UM‐Dearborn proposals, regardless of the assigned ORA service level. If these milestones are not met, university investigators cannot be assured that their proposals will be submitted by the sponsor deadline.

  • Submit the proposal request form as soon as possible.
    • Do this as soon as you start planning to submit a proposal--the earlier you contact us, the better (preferably no less than 20 business days before the due date)
    • A proposal specialist will be assigned to your project and will contact you with a list of required documents, customized timeline, and other next steps
  • 10 business days before the submission deadline a draft budget must be submitted to ORA
  • 8 business days before the submission deadline UM‐Dearborn Administrative Shell must be finalized to route the PAF for approvals, including (as applicable):
    • finalized budget and budget justification
    • an abstract or draft of the proposal narrative
    • facilities/resources document
    • data management plan
    • any other documents that outline UM-Dearborn commitments to the project
  • 5.5 business days before the submission deadline all final documents must be submitted to UM-Dearborn ORA for final review and assembly of the proposal package, and uploading of documents to the PAF and sponsor system for final submission.
  • 4 business days before the submission deadline the proposal must be finalized, approved by UM‐Dearborn, and forwarded to the U-M Office of Research & Sponsored Projects (ORSP). Proposals that miss this University deadline risk administrative errors or not being submitted by the sponsor deadline.
    • All proposals and pre-proposals must be authorized by U-M ORSP on behalf of the university via the PAF (Proposal Approval Form) before submission to a sponsor. Dearborn ORA will guide you through this process.

Service Levels

Full Service: Engagement 20 Business Days (Or More) In Advance Of The Sponsor Deadline

Early engagement allows our staff to build an effective working relationship with University investigators and enables PIs to receive the full complement of ORA services as well as full review from UM-ORSP. Full Services include: contacting the sponsor for guidance with non-technical questions related to proposal requirements; providing advice on cost estimates for anticipated expenses and assistance with development of cost rationale; completion of sponsor application/forms and assembly/uploading of required documents in sponsor systems; communication/coordination with subcontractors and collaborators to obtain required information and documents; assistance with obtaining letters of support/commitment if needed, etc.

Discretionary: Engagement Between 19 And 10 Business Days In Advance Of The Sponsor Deadline

The level of service (Full or Administrative Review Only) that a university investigator will receive is at the discretion of ORA. Requests that fall into this timeframe will be assigned a level of service based upon the complexity (e.g., multi‐institution/units, subcontracts, etc.) and the current ORA staffing and workload. The PI will be notified at the time of engagement the level of service assigned to the proposal.

Note: Proposals assigned to Full Service may be relegated to Administrative Review Only if the PI fails to meet the timeline milestones set forth in the collaboration plan and ORA resources are needed to provide assistance to other Full Service customers.

Administrative Only: Engagement Between 9 And 6 Business Days In Advance Of The Sponsor Deadline

University investigators will receive an Administrative Review only by the ORA and all required changes are the complete responsibility of the PI to correct.

At Risk: Engagement 5 Business Days Or Less In Advance Of The Sponsor Deadline

Subject to the workload of ORA, investigators will receive an Administrative Review only and all required changes are the responsibility of the PI to correct.

University investigators already engaged with ORA will have priority over PIs who engage ORA in this timeframe. Given the UM-ORSP requirement that proposals be finalized and submitted 4 business days in advance of the sponsor deadline, Dearborn ORA cannot guarantee that PIs engaging 5 business days or less in advance of the sponsor deadline will have their proposals submitted by the sponsor deadline.

Office of Research

1060 - Administration Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5468
Fax: 313-593-6790