In accordance with SMU Policy 10.1, all Proposals and Awards for Sponsored Projects must be coordinated through, approved by, and administered by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. Approval is required prior to initiation of a Proposal for external funding, and prior to acceptance of an Award to validate that the Sponsored Project and restrictions imposed on the University by the Award are consistent with University Policies and with the University’s mission, its capabilities and capacity, and its commitment to free and open inquiry. Procedures for obtaining University approval are detailed in the Research Handbook.

The proposal process begins with notifying the assigned Grant Management Specialist (GMS) of your intent to propose 10 business days prior to the submission deadline. If you do not have an assigned GMS, please contact 214-768-4708 for assistance.

Grant Management Specialist (GMS)

The GMS assists with the submission of proposals, manages post-award acceptance and set-up, and serves as a liaison between the Principal Investigator (PI) / Project Director (PD) and Research Compliance, Contract and Technology Management, and Grant and Contract Accounting (GCA).

  • The GMS is required to adhere to federal and state regulations and University policies, and has the authority to sign off on grant proposal on behalf of the University.

Principal Investigator / Project Director

The PI / PD is responsible for proposal preparation and administration and fiscal management of awards, with assistance from Sponsored Projects, Research Compliance, and GCA.

  • The PI / PD is required to adhere to federal and state regulations and University policies, as well as any terms or conditions set forth by an award in execution and management of sponsored projects.
  • PIs / PDs do not have the legal authority to enter directly into agreements with sponsors on behalf of the University.

Department Chairs, Center and Institute Directors, School Deans, and Financial Business Managers are responsible for validating the sponsored project proposal.

Prior to submission of the PIAF document, please review SMU Policy 10.1 for the responsibilities of the PI / PD.  Send the PIAF, Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure, and a complete proposal to the GMS at least four (4) business days prior to the agency submission deadline. The PIAF will be routed for validation signatures via DocuSign prior to final submission to the funding agency.  For more details regarding the submission process, refer to the Research Handbook.

Research Compliance Requirements

The following Research Compliance requirements should be completed before the proposal is submitted to the funding entity:

  • Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Disclosure must be completed yearly by each PI and Co-PI for each proposed project. The FCOI Disclosure can be completed here.  Alternatively, you can fill out and submit an FCOI Disclosure Form to your GMS.  See the FCOI website for more details.
  • Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Training is required every 4 years for all researchers applying for and/or receiving external funding. Training is available through CITI. See the FCOI website for more details.
  • Responsible Conduct of Research Training is required every 3 years for all researchers applying for and/or receiving external funding. Training is available through CITI. See the RCR website for more details.
  • All proposal narratives must now undergo Plagiarism Analysis via Turnitin. You may wish to perform the plagiarism analysis before submission and email the resulting report to your GMS; this allows time for necessary revisions. If the plagiarism analysis report is not submitted by the PI, the analysis will be performed by Research Compliance. Excessive similarity to existing materials may lead to further review and retraction of the proposal.

If the proposed project is chosen for funding, the award will not be processed until the Research Compliance requirements have been completed.

Complete and obtain University approval of a budget for the Sponsored Project that is compliant with University Policies, allowable as defined by Sponsor’s policies and guidelines, consistent with the proposed Statement of Work, adequate for the Sponsored Project period of performance, and that specifically shows University contributions to the Sponsored Project, whether in the form of direct or indirect expenses. For detailed information on budget development, refer to the Research Handbook.

Limited Submission Opportunities

A sponsor may limit the number of proposals an institution may submit for a funding opportunity.  For detailed information on limited submission opportunities, refer to the Research Handbook.

STTR/SBIR funding opportunities allow SMU researchers to collaborate with industry as a subcontractor on a federal award. These funding opportunities require the coordination of Sponsored Projects, Contracts and Technology Management, and Research Compliance.