The Research Office

Wilson Hall
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-2762
(248) 370-4111

Lifecycle of a Sponsored Project

A basic summary of steps - always contact Research Office staff if you have questions.

TRO = The Research Office / RDO = Research Development Officer / GCO = Grant and Contract Officer


Idea GenerationResearcher/scholar develops an idea. Can engage with an RDO or with TRO staff (or both) to help identify interested sponsors, or proceed independently.
Proposal DevelopmentOnce a suitable funding opportunity is known, researcher/scholar should contact RDO and GCO to begin developing proposal (RDO) and proposal budget (GCO).
Proposal Review & ApprovalResearcher/scholar sends proposal documents to GCO for review at least five business days in advance of the sponsor’s submission deadline. GCO provides institutional review and approval of the proposal and budget.
Proposal SubmissionGCO submits all proposals for sponsored projects as the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) where institutional approval is required by the sponsor. Researcher/scholar may submit proposals for individual support (e.g., fellowships) where institutional approval is not required, but only after GCO review. This ensures minimum issues at award review/acceptance stage.
Sponsor ReviewSponsor reviews proposals received in accordance with announced criteria/guidelines. If issues are identified, sponsor may return proposal without review, or may allow correction of a limited number of non-critical issues. Just In Time (JIT) and other sponsor requests should be communicated to the GCO (if they are not directly notified by the sponsor) for response.
Notice of AwardSponsor notifies Principal Investigator (PI) that the proposal is likely to be (or has been) funded. Note that a recommendation for award is not the same thing as an award notice, and does not legally obligate the sponsor to fund the proposal.
Award Review & AcceptanceTRO has the authority, delegated by the President and the Board of Trustees, to sign grant and contract awards for sponsored projects on behalf of OU. GCOs review all awards and negotiate terms with the sponsor as needed. If human subjects, animal subjects, or other compliance reviews are required at this time, the PI works with TRO and the appropriate institutional offices/bodies to ensure completion of all such reviews.


Award SetupAfter review and acceptance (including negotiation of any terms or conditions found to be problematic for OU), TRO assigns a project number and [funding id number]. This activates final processing of any outgoing subawards.
Outgoing SubawardsIf a portion of the project will be conducted outside of OU, the GCO works with the PI and the subaward recipient(s) to ensure all required documentation is complete. Final execution of a subaward only takes place once the main or prime award has been set up in the financial system.
Project Performance & OversightDuring the lifetime of the award, TRO provides guidance to ensure that the project is carried out, and the award managed, in accordance with university and sponsor requirements. As needed, GCO will contact sponsor personnel on behalf of the PI. PI must report progress (and certain other information, as specified in the award documents) to TRO to ensure appropriate oversight and maintenance of required records.
Award ManagementPI, with support from departmental administrators and TRO (as appropriate), provides overall financial and programmatic supervision and stewardship of the award. GCOs provide expertise in financial information and cash management.
Compliance RequirementsTRO supports award management by interpreting sponsor requirements and establishing procedures and guidance for compliance. This includes, but is not limited to, responsibility for property; acceptance of certifications, representations, and clauses; technical and administrative reports; and releases at closeout.
Financial ReportingGCO, working with the PI, prepares and submits financial reports to sponsor, depending on sponsor requirements.
Technical ReportingPI prepares and either submits to sponsor or transmits to GCO for submission to sponsor, depending on sponsor requirements, technical and progress reports as required by the terms and conditions of the award.
CloseoutAt the end of an award, TRO works with PIs and other implicated personnel to complete all financial and administrative obligations, including financial closeouts in Banner.
AuditTRO is responsible for coordinating all sponsored project audits for OU.