Proposal Approvals

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University Signatory


A University of Arizona official is often required to provide certain assurances, certifications, and representations to a federal, sub-federal or other potential sponsor when the award makes use of federal funds. This is usually provided at the proposal submission stage.

The assurances, certifications, and representations may be incorporated by reference in signing or submitting the proposal or are incorporated specifically or by reference in the award document. The University of Arizona is registered with the System for Award Management (SAM), which maintains an online summary of our Representations and Certifications.

In general, certifications have higher legal requirements than assurances and representations.


Assurance: An assurance is a written guarantee or pledge that one will operate in a certain way or comply with certain terms and conditions of an award.

Representation: A representation is an account or statement of fact concerning the University of Arizona and its capabilities and abilities to perform. It is viewed legally as an inducement to parties to enter into a contract. It may introduce terms into a contract and affect performance. Representations may be a vital part of a contract, a "condition" of an award and an untruth may be the basis for an award being withdrawn. A "warranty" or an independent subsidiary promise, may allow the sponsor to claim damages, but normally will not provide grounds to invalidate the entire contract.

Certification: A certification is the submission of documents that serve as guarantees that the award applicant meets certain standards or will comply with certain governmental acts.

Generally, the government views a certification as an attestation for which false certification may make the individual subject to criminal sanctions. Although all the certifications carry the same force, they can be separated into three general categories:

  • Those that need special monitoring (e.g. fraud, waste, abuse, research subjects and costs)
  • Those that need routine monitoring (e.g. access to records, labor standards, nondiscrimination/affirmative action, and environmental issues)
  • Those that need minimal monitoring (e.g. place of performance, patents and copyrights, and other items requiring merely that certain information be provided to the sponsoring agency at certain times)

Certifications are provided in writing either within the application guidelines or at the time of the award and normally are signed by the authorized signatory of the institution.

Some certifications and assurances may require submission of a separate document (e.g., human subjects assurance, IRB certification, civil rights assurance).

The University of Arizona and subrecipient are responsible for establishing and maintaining the necessary processes to monitor their compliance and that of their employees, consortium participants, and contractors with these requirements; taking appropriate action to meet the stated objectives; and informing the sponsor of any problems or concerns.

Certification categories normally represented are:

  • Debarment and Suspension (specific certification language included in application instructions)
  • Drug-Free Workplace
  • Lobbying (specific certification language included in application instructions)
  • Financial Conflict of Interest
  • Research Misconduct
  • Non delinquency on Federal Debt
  • Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
  • Human Subjects
  • Research on Transplantation of Fetal Tissue
  • Recombinant DNA Molecules and Human Gene Transfer Research
  • Vertebrate Animals
  • Women and Minority Inclusion Policy
  • Inclusion of Children Policy
  • Age Discrimination
  • Civil Rights
  • Sex Discrimination
  • Handicapped Individuals

Other Certifications

Historic Preservation:

  • National Historic Preservation Act of 1966
  • Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment
  • Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974


  • Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973
  • Notification of Violating Facilities
  • Protection of Wetlands
  • Evaluation of Flood Hazards in Flood Plains
  • Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974


  • Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act
  • Paperwork Reduction Act

Representations and certifications required with proposal submission vary, depending on the Federal agency and the contract amount. Generally, the grant application or the RFP will clearly specify which certifications are required. 

University Signatory

Examples of commonly required certifications and the appropriate University signatory are:

Sponsored Projects Services, on behalf of Research, Discovery & Innovation

  • Office Lobbying Certificate
  • Debarment and Suspension
  • Drug Free Workplace
  • EPA Procurement System Certification
  • Financial Audit Information

Contracting & Research Support

  • Procurement Integrity (must also be signed by the Principal Investigator)
  • Certificate of Current Cost and Pricing Data
  • Contract Pricing Proposal Cover Sheet
  • Section K Certifications
  • NEA Applications (must also be signed by the Principal Investigator)
  • Short Form Research Contract-Research Proposal Cover Page

Risk Management

  • Certificate of Environmental and Safety Compliance

Procurement and Contracting Services

  • Small Business and Small Disadvantaged Business Subcontracting Plan

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