The best administrative approach in grant and contract application procedures is to involve the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (ORSP) as early as possible in the planning of the application. Nothing is more frustrating, to us and you, than to see a grant/contract proposal (just before a deadline) that has major errors in its budget and administrative sections. The earlier we see an application, even in rough form, the better chance the final application will go through the approval process with minimal difficulty.
Getting a grant or contract application through the Cal Poly Pomona bureaucracy may seem intimidating, but it is actually quite simple. Step #1 is to use an External Funding Approval Form. We are currently still using hard copy (available in the ORSP), but this should change in the near future. The form has several components that the PI must fill out, most of which are self-explanatory. However, it is important that the "Project Costs" section and the "Checklist" be addressed. The "Comments" section should be used to explain all the specifics of the "Cost Sharing Budget" and release time issues.
While there are several levels of signatures required, the PI is only responsible for getting (in addition to his/her's) those of their Chair/Director and the College/Division. Dean. At that point, the application and the final copy of the proposal should be delivered to the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs. Please do not sign any certification sections. Only the Institutional Official is authorized to do so. Also the name of the fiscal agent (where the award will be administered) is NOT the University, but rather the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, Inc. The ORSP will circulate the form and application, and contact you should any problems develop. It takes about 7-10 business days to get a form through all the required signatures. While this may seem lengthy, it results in an application that has the full support of the University.
Find the External Funding Approval Form on our Forms page.
Many of the grants require some type of "match" by the recipient institution. It is best to speak to the ORSP to better understand what constitutes a valid match, including which components of University support can be included as a match and the verifiable costs attributed to them. Federal agencies are taking a much more stringent view of matches, demanding that some aspects of matching be verifiable on a quarterly or monthly basis! Thus, justifying a dollar amount of matching is no longer something that can be done at the end of a grant period or award. A suggestion would be to get a memo/letter detailing out what is being supported, by whom and how much, i.e., hours, dollars, items. There needs to be an objectively costed pre hoc plan that is verified on a periodic basis.
Contracts can be a bit more difficult than grants, as they are much more subject to a negotiation process. The Foundation prefers that faculty and staff to use their standard contract "boiler plate" form, available on the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, Inc. website. There are many aspects to a contract that most investigators do not completely understand (e.g., liability). Thus, a contract that the PI thinks is very fair (he/she is getting what they need to do the work) may not be equitable from the University's perspective. Each signatory in the University/Foundation brings his/her own expertise (often historical experience) to bear to insure that a contract is truly fair to all parties. Given this, it is best to plan for additional time when an External Funding Approval Form for a contract is circulated.