Proposal Checklist for Principal Investigators

Phoebe Proposal is the UC Berkeley system for proposal approvals and routing from departments and units to the Sponsored Projects Office and the Industry Alliances Office.

Issues to Consider When Applying for Funding

Issue Action Proposal Package
Agency and Program Rules and Regulations Obtain sponsoring agency guidelines. Before submitting proposals, contact SPO for assistance with questions about unusual solicitations or agency policies, compliance issues, or regulations.
Animal Subjects or Custom Antibodies Research involving vertebrate animal subjects or using custom antibodies must have the approval of the campus Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC). Submit protocols to ACUC.
Collaborative Subagreement(s) If a proposal includes a collaboration with an outside entity, the potential subawardee must provide a an institutionally endorsed Subrecipient Commitment Form or FDP Expanded Clearinghouse Participant Commitment Form, statement of work, budget and budget justification, and other material, depending on the nature of the agreement. See Subaward Process at Berkeley procedures. Copy of Subrecipient Commitment Form or FDP Expanded Clearinghouse Participant Commitment Form, statement of work, budget and budget justification, and other required forms and documents from each subawardee(s).
Cost Sharing When a proposal involves cost sharing with university funds or resources, the person authorized to commit the funds or resources must provide a statement or letter verifying that the cost sharing can be honored. Copy of letter or statement.
Current and Pending Support If the sponsor’s proposal guidelines require a listing of current and pending support, ensure completeness and accuracy of all elements of the report as required by the external sponsor. Note: Failure to report all sponsor required components of other support (foreign/domestic as well as in-kind and financial) can result in personnel actions and even indictments by law enforcement. Some federal funding agencies have stated that investigators who fail to disclose appointments or support from foreign entities may be ineligible to receive funding.
Environment, Health and Safety Follow Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) guidelines when planning to use any of the following: regulated carcinogens; regulated biological materials; hazardous chemicals, radioactive waste, or medical waste; toxic gases; or radioactive materials and radiation-producing machines, use of Class III-B or Class IV lasers.
Follow Materiel Management guidelines for: narcotics or controlled substances.
Exception to PI Policy Only voting members of the Academic Senate may serve as Principal Investigator on a sponsored project. Others may serve only by special exception to policy. Requests for exception are made by the head of the unit to be administering the award to the Vice Chancellor for Research. VCRO approval of Exceptional PI status is not required at the proposal stage; however, the Dean/Chair/Director must agree to obtain VCRO approval of the PI’s “Exceptional” status prior to SPO accepting the award.
This will occur when the Dean/Chair/Director approves the proposal in Phoebe.
Export Control Export control laws are federal regulations that control the conditions under which certain information, technologies, and commodities can be transmitted overseas to anyone, including U.S. citizens, or to a foreign national on U.S. soil.
Facilities and Administrative (Indirect Cost) Rate Awards are funded according the established campus Facilities and Administrative (F&A or indirect cost) rate.
Some sponsoring agencies do not reimburse indirect costs at the full rate. The university will honor these exceptions when the organization has written guidelines or will provide a letter stating agency policy on payment of indirect costs. This letter should be from someone with authority to represent the agency and should indicate both the allowed F&A rate as well as the base that the rate is applied to. For example, total direct costs (TDC) or modified total direct costs (MTDC). Copy of the sponsor’s written policy or letter.
To request an exception to the campus policy, a letter requesting a waiver must be sent prior to proposal submission to the Vice Chancellor for Research, through SPO.
Financial Disclosure Disclosure of financial interest is required for proposals to most non-governmental sponsors, according to State of California law. The disclosure form is called the Statement of Economic Interests for Principal Investigators Form 700-U.
Some nonprofit agencies are exempt from the financial disclosure requirement: Exempt organizations.
Statement of Economic Interests for Principal Investigators Form 700-U for non-governmental agency.

Phoebe: Upload a PDF copy; also send the signed original printed copy.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Assistance only), National Science Foundation, the Public Health Service (including the National Institutes of Health), and other agencies that have adopted federal requirements (e.g., American Cancer Society, American Heart Association) require financial disclosure of their applicants. Applicants to these agencies must fill out financial disclosure forms. Copy of each required financial disclosure form for NASA, DOE, NSF, PHS, or other agencies that have adopted federal requirements.
Foreign Sources of Support PIs must disclose foreign sources of support in the Current and Pending sections a proposal according to the requirements of each federal agency. Some of these requirements have been in place for some time and others are new or are being interpreted differently and/or more rigorously than in the past. See Federal Disclosure Related to Sponsored Projects. This page will be updated as information becomes available.
If you have any questions regarding specific proposals or awards, contact your SPO Contract and Grant Officer.
Human Stem Cells Research involving human stem cells must have the approval of the Stem Cell Research Oversight (SCRO) Committee.
Human Subjects Research involving human subjects must have the approval of the Committee for Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS). Submit protocol to CPHS.
Major Project Whenever a proposal budget to a federal sponsor includes clerical or administrative salaries or other expenses, the proposal must establish that the project being proposed meets the A-21 definition of a “major project.” This must be stated explicitly in the budget justification section of the proposal.
Material Transfer When research will involve biological materials received from another institution, the provider’s material transfer agreement must be signed by the Industry Alliances Office.
PI Release Time Department chairs must approve planned faculty release time if 50% or higher PI effort is shown in the proposal. Copy of approval letter.
Program Income Program income is subject to the terms and conditions of the sponsor, and it is the PI’s responsibility to ensure the funds generated by the project are treated according to the sponsor’s requirements.
Proprietary, Confidential, or Privileged Information If proprietary, confidential, or privileged information is included in the proposal mark the title page and each page of restricted data with an appropriate legend. See FAR 52.215-1(e) for model legend.
Research Data Management Most federal funding agencies require that proposals include a data management plan that describes how research data will be generated, managed, and made available. The Research Data Management program provides assistance for creating data management plans and implementing the plan and addressing issues.
Scientific Diving and the Use of Small Boats for Research Use of SCUBA equipment for research requires a University permit, issued by the Scientific Diving and Small Boat Safety Board. Boaters are encouraged to follow recommendations and complete training prior to undertaking operations. See EH&S Scientific Diving & Small Boat Safety Board and UC Dive & Boat Safety Consortium for more information.
Select Agents Federal laws require that research institutions collect information regarding certain select agents and register their presence with the federal government. When a proposal includes select agents, SPO will forward a proposal copy to Environment, Health & Safety.
Small Business Subcontracting Plan Required when Federal Contract/Subcontract Amounts > $700,000) 1. Confirm that the federal contract/subcontract will exceed $700,000.
2. Work with the BRS/Department RA and the Campus Supplier Diversity Program Manager to develop a Small Business Subcontracting Plan as soon as possible.
3. Ask the funding organization when the plan needs to be submitted for acceptance.
Include the plan in the package submission to SPO, if required by the sponsor and not previously submitted, signed by the Supplier Diversity Program Manager.
Space - New or Renovated Chairs/directors must approve plans to build new or renovate existing department space. Phoebe: Answer Yes to “Will this project involve any of the following potential space issues?” on Phoebe Questions tab, answer subquestions, and attach supporting documentation if needed.
Space - Rental When a project involves leasing off-campus space, Real Estate procedures must be followed. The off-campus Facilities and Administrative (indirect cost) rate applies to proposals using rented space.
Third-Party Commitment(s) When a proposal involves a commitment from a third party to cost share, a letter of concurrence from the third party is required. One of the following:
  • Copy of signed original or scanned concurrence letter(s), or
  • An email clearly describing the commitment from the third party sent directly to the SPO Contract and Grant Officer, or
  • An email clearly describing the third-party commitment forwarded to the SPO CGO by the PI/Dept with a “Cc” to the third party.

Proposal Submission

Item Description When and Where to Submit
Proposal Draft For assistance with agency and university policies, compliance issues, and other proposal issues, send proposal drafts or sections of proposals (i.e., budgets) to SPO for review. Submit at least 10 working days before agency deadline.
Pre-proposal/White Paper/Letter of Intent with Required Institutional Signature Some sponsors require a pre-proposal as part of the proposal review process. Pre-proposals that require an institutional signature, cost share, and/or a detailed budget are submitted through SPO. Submit through Phoebe.

Submit: Four or more working days before agency deadline (see VCR Four Day Proposal Submission Policy).
Proposal Prepare proposals according to sponsoring agency guidelines. Submit through Phoebe.

Submit: Four or more working days before agency deadline (see VCR Four Day Proposal Submission Policy).
Electronic Proposal Follow agency guidelines for electronic submission; check for special computer requirements; plan ahead and allow adequate time for submission. Submit through Phoebe, in addition to electronic submission to agency.

Submit: Four or more working days before agency deadline (see VCR Four Day Proposal Submission Policy).