Roles and Responsibilities

All proposals submitted on behalf of the University of Arizona must be routed, reviewed and approved in the UAccess Research electronic research administration (eRA) system by the Principal Investigator/Co-Principal Investigators, Key Personnel, associated Department Heads and College Deans, and Sponsored Projects Services. Depending on the activities or special commitments (such as compliance, cost sharing, and Facilities & Administrative cost considerations) included in the proposal, additional reviews and approvals may be required.

Approvals outside UAccess Research such as emails and phone calls will not be accepted other than as a temporary measure due to extenuating circumstances.

Creating/submitting or approving a proposal imparts a set of roles and responsibilities to each party, based on their role, as outlined below:

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Proposal Initiator
Program Director/Principal Investigator/Co-Principal Investigator
Co-Investigator/Faculty Associate
Key Person
COI Discloser
Department Head/Director
Dean/Vice President
Sponsored Projects Services
Senior Vice President for Research

Proposal Initiator

The Proposal Initiator is the individual who creates, saves, completes, and routes the internal UAccess Research Proposal for a funded sponsored project or program. They may be in an administrative, accounting, research administration, or other support role, may be an individual or part of a team, and may assist the PD/PI/Co-PI with various aspects of the proposal and submission process, depending on their specific department and college. 

By creating/submitting the proposal document in UAccess Research, the Initiator:

  • Acts as or identifies a liaison between the principal investigator(s) and Sponsored Projects Services for clarifications and questions about proposal routing and submission
  • Ensures the proposal document is created and routed with sufficient time to obtain all necessary approvals prior to the three-day Internal Deadline for Proposal Routing
  • Ensures sponsor deadline date, time and type are entered accurately, and that notes are included on the Notes tab of the proposal Attachments section identifying unusual circumstances
  • Ensures Project Personnel are entered with appropriate roles, all associated units and appropriate Award Credit and F&A Revenue splits as identified by the PD/PI/Co-PI
  • Ensures all required documentation is included prior to routing
  • Ensures accuracy of information entered in UAccess Research and included in attachments to streamline review and avoid unnecessary corrections and time delay

Program Director, Principal Investigator, and Co-Principal Investigator

The Program Director (PD), Principal Investigator (PI), or Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) is an individual who is judged to have the appropriate level of training, skill, authority, and responsibility and is designated by the University of Arizona to direct or co-direct a sponsored project or program. They are responsible and accountable to the University and the Sponsor for the design, execution, and management of a sponsored project or program, including the submission of all required reports. 

Serving in the role of  PD/PI/Co-PI is a privilege granted to certain individuals and roles at the University of Arizona. For more information, please see the PD/PI/Co-PI Eligibility page. 

By approving the proposal in UAccess Research the Principal Investigator and each Co-Investigator:

  • Certifies that the information in the proposal and application is accurate and factual
  • Certifies that if the project is funded, the PD/PI/Co-PI(s) will assume accountability for carrying out the conditions of the award 
  • Certify that neither the PD/PI/Co-PI nor anyone involved in this project is presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from covered transactions by any federal department or agency
  • Indicates whether the PD/PI/Co-PI and the project does or does not involve an actual or potential conflict of interest or commitment, based on University policy
  • Agrees that the PD/PI/Co-I(s) will meet the proposed level-of-effort if the project is funded
  • Agrees to assume responsibility for custody of records and data (e.g., complete proposal, technical reports, lab notes) in accordance with the University policy on Retention of Data, and agrees to provide the University access to such records and data

All PD/PI/Co-PIs involved in a proposed project must approve the proposal in UAccess Research. Investigators may not delegate this authority to a designee.

Delayed PD/PI/Co-PI approvals can hold up routing, review, and approval for submission, so plan ahead for investigators who will be away during proposal routing. 

Note: Due to system limitations, Co-Principal Investigators are listed as Co-Investigators in UAccess Research except in NIH multi-PI proposals. The distinction in roles and responsibilities is indicated in the content of the project details, budget narrative, and submission package. 

Co-Investigator/Faculty Associate

A Co-Investigator (Co-I) is an individual the PD/PI/Co-PI relies on to assume responsibilities above those of other personnel, who makes significant contributions to but does not have overall responsibility and authority for the sponsored project or program.  

Co-Is are identified by the PD/PI/Co-PI.

By approving the proposal in UAccess Research the Co-I:

  • Confirms their identified role and effort on the project and that they have the necessary skills, abilities, and bandwidth to carry out that role
  • Certifies that they are not presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from covered transactions by any federal department or agency
  • Indicates whether their involvement in the project does or does not involve an actual or potential conflict of interest or commitment, based on University policy

All named Co-Is involved in a proposed project must approve the proposal in UAccess Research. Investigators may not delegate this authority to a designee.

Delayed Co-I approvals can hold up routing, review, and approval for submission, so plan ahead for investigators who will be away during proposal routing. 

Key Person

A Key Person (KP) is an individual who is essential to the performance of the sponsored project or program, and who contributes to the scientific design, development, or execution of the project or program in a substantive, measurable way, but who does not have overall responsibility and authority for the sponsored project or program.  

KPs are identified by the PD/PI/Co-PI.

By approving the proposal in UAccess Research the KP:

  • Confirms their identified role and effort on the project and that they have the necessary skills, abilities, and bandwidth to carry out that role
  • Certifies that they are not presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from covered transactions by any federal department or agency
  • Indicates whether their involvement in the project does or does not involve an actual or potential conflict of interest or commitment, based on University policy

All named KPs involved in a proposed project must approve the proposal in UAccess Research. Investigators may not delegate this authority to a designee.

Delayed KP approvals can hold up routing, review, and approval for submission, so plan ahead for investigators who will be away during proposal routing. 

COI Discloser

A Conflict of Interest Discloser (COI Discloser) is any person, regardless of title or position, included in a proposal, who is responsible for Conducting Research performed by or under the auspices of the University, other than those already included in a Project Director (PD), Co-PD, Principal Investigator (PI), Co-PI, Co-Investigator, or Key Person (KP) role. This may include Postdocs, students, and trainees. 

Conducting Research includes the design, development, testing, evaluation, conduct, reporting, review, and oversight of a program of scientific inquiry. For more information, please see the page for the Office for Responsible Outside Interests

COI Disclosers are identified by the PD/PI/Co-PI.

While COI Disclosers are not included in routing and their approval is not required, each COI Discloser:

  • Must complete Conflict of Interest Required Disclosure Training Certification once every four years in accordance with UArizona policy
  • Must periodically and timely disclose any significant financial interests or significant personal interests through the University eDisclosure system in accordance with UArizona policy

COI Disclosers are not included in routing for approvals.

 

 

Note on approvals in UAccess Research: If an approver at one level is also a Department Head or Dean level approver, UAccess Research provides the option to approve separately for each role or approve once and receive no future approval requests. If the proposal is recalled or returned for edit, each role will be required to approve again.

Department Head/Director

The Department Head/Director or their designee(s) has the authority to approve and commit the use of Department personnel and resources in a proposal. 

By approving the proposal in UAccess Research the Department Head/Director:

  • Certifies that, to the best of the Department Head/Director's knowledge,  the PD/PI/Co-PI in their department is competent and capable of carrying out the proposed project
  • Certifies that when the project is funded, the PD/PI/Co-PI's responsibilities within the department will be adjusted so that the investigator will be able to commit the required effort to the project 
  • Approves the involvement, role, and level of effort for any Co-Is or KPs in their department
  • Approves the use or involvement of other resources in their department as indicated in the proposal
  • Certifies that when the project is funded, the department will manage award funds in compliance with University of Arizona and sponsor policies 
  • Signifies approval of cost sharing and/or proposed Facilities & Administrative costs, if applicable 
  • Signifies that space and facilities are or will be available for the project should the proposal be funded
  • Signifies that the project is consistent with the mission of the department, the college, and the University

All department heads must approve the proposal in UAccess ResearchIt is recommended that each Department Head/Director designate at least one alternate approver using the UAccess Provisioning Tool.

Dean/Vice President

The Dean/Vice President or their designee(s) has the authority to approve and commit the use of College personnel and resources in a proposal. 

By approving the proposal in UAccess Research the Dean/Vice President:

  • Certifies that the required resources will be available and that the department is capable of carrying out the proposed project 
  • Signifies that the project is consistent with the mission of the college and the University
  • Signifies approval of cost sharing and/or proposed Facilities & Administrative costs, if applicable

All Deans must approve the proposal in UAccess Research. It is recommended that each Dean/Vice President designate at least one alternate approver using the UAccess Provisioning Tool.

Sponsored Projects Services

Sponsored Projects Services is a centralized unit under the direction of Research, Innovation & Impact and the Senior Vice President for Research and has the designated authority to review, approve, and submit proposals that are complete, accurate, and adhere to all applicable University and Sponsor policies and guidelines. 

By approving the proposal Sponsored Projects Services

  • Certifies that the proposal budget has been reviewed and approved
  • Certifies that the fringe benefit and F&A cost rates are correct
  • Certifies that the budget cost categories are correctly presented
  • Provides institutional authorization to submit the application as proposed

No proposal for external funding should be submitted to a sponsor without appropriate institutional review and approval. Potential consequences for submitted proposals which did not go through the required internal review and approval processes include withdrawal of an application from consideration and/or refusal of an award. 

Senior Vice President for Research

The Senior Vice President for Research does not personally approve the application; the authority to approve on behalf of the Senior Vice President for Research is delegated to Sponsored Projects Services. However, it is customary for the principal investigator or their support personnel to contact Sponsored Projects Services at sponsor@email.arizona.edu before proposing:

  • An unusually high-dollar project
  • A project that involves an unusual amount of University resources, or
  • One that has unusual public interest

Sponsored Projects Services' signature on behalf of the Senior Vice President for Research indicates that, pending successful completion of negotiations between the University and the sponsor, the University will assume institutional responsibility for the project.

 

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