See Vice Chancellor for Research Policy on Proposal Submissions to SPO for current policy.

UC Berkeley CALmessages Notice

Date: June 1, 2009
From: Graham Fleming, Vice Chancellor for Research
To: Deans, Directors, Department Chairs
Subject: Modification to VCR Policy on Late Submission to SPO

I am writing to inform you of a change to the VCR Policy on Late Proposal Submissions. As you know, the original policy required complete proposals to be submitted to SPO five working days in advance of a sponsor’s deadline. Since this policy was announced on October 22, 2008, we have collected data on the impact of the policy and I am pleased to report that it has had a significant and positive effect in reducing the number of proposals at risk for missing sponsor deadlines because of a late submittal to SPO.

During this time, my office also has received a number of very helpful suggestions from the faculty community concerning the operation of the policy. We have reviewed the policy with the Academic Senate’s Committee on Research and other faculty members. Our goal has been to find a way to offer flexibility to the faculty and prevent duplication of effort by research administrators, while still allowing a high degree of confidence that we can submit proposals that meet sponsor deadlines and content requirements. With the modification described below, we believe we will more effectively meet this goal.

Effective today, a proposal will not be considered late if the principal investigator submits a proposal that includes all administrative components in final form and a draft copy of the statement of work or technical section to SPO at least five days before the applicable deadline. The PI/department should indicate that the technical section is draft form and must work out a due date for the submission of the final technical section with the research administrator at SPO assigned to the PI’s department.

At the time the new deadline is established for the final technical section, the PI will be offered the option of having SPO submit the draft technical section if the new, revised deadline is not met. If the PI does not choose this option and is unable to submit by the revised deadline, SPO will accept the late proposal without requiring the PI to go through the late proposal exception process but will process the proposal in the normal queue after other on-time proposals.

For this approach to work, the PI will need to either highlight in the revised statement of work/technical section the portions that have changed or inform SPO that only editorial changes were made to the technical section. Changes to the technical section should not impact:

  • The amount of project funds requested from the sponsor
  • The project’s budget justification
  • Cost sharing or matching
  • F&A (indirect) costs requested
  • Effort of key project personnel
  • Named consultants and/or subcontractors
  • Administrative costs requested.

Of course, if the changes in the revised technical section are inconsistent with what the PI has submitted in the administrative section, SPO will have to return the proposal to the PI so that the PI can make sure that the administrative and technical sections are consistent. This will result in the proposal being processed by SPO after the other on-time proposals.

This policy modification should provide greater flexibility for the faculty members responding to often very short deadlines and reduce the number of late proposals. I recognize that there still will be cases in which proposals must be submitted late through no fault of the PI and that exceptions to five day policy may be required. To ensure that such exceptions are processed as quickly as possible with all of the needed information, my office has established a new process for obtaining an exception to the five day policy. Requests for exceptions should now be submitted to using the revised Late Proposal Submission Instructions that appear on the SPO website.

Thank you for your comments and your cooperation. If you have any questions concerning this policy modification, please contact Pamela Miller, the Director of SPO, or myself.


Graham Fleming
Vice Chancellor for Research

source: 6/2/2009 CALmessages: VCR Policy on Late Proposal Submissions