Pre-Award Opt-In Services

Overview 

URA Pre-Award Opt-In Services is a team of dedicated Pre-Award Research Administrators who provide pre-award support for opt-in partners across campus at The University of Chicago. These services include support for proposal development, pre-proposals or Letters of Intent (LOIs), Just-In-Time (JIT) requests and assistance navigating sponsor policies and interpreting guidelines. This support is designed to handle pre-proposals, LOIs, proposals, JITs, pre-award compliance and administrative facets of Principal Investigators’ proposal and pre-award portfolios, so that faculty members may focus on the scientific, technical and academic content of their work.

Once an investigator decides to submit a proposal, URA will request to be notified as far in advance of the deadline as possible, so that we may begin to plan and coordinate pre-award support accordingly. We require that drafts of proposals be routed at least a week before the sponsor proposal deadline, so that we may ensure they receive institutional review, approval and endorsement in a timely fashion and prior to the sponsor deadline. Please see our due date calculator for help determining timelines here

Once URA is notified of an investigator’s affiliation with a department or entity to which we provide pre-award opt-in support, investigators will be assigned a designated Pre-Award Research Administrator to help them navigate the proposal preparation and development process as well as additional pre-award items that may arise prior to a project being awarded. For a detailed list of pre-award services and additional information, please visit our website here.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Anna Jackson, Assistant Director, Sponsored Programs Pre-Award, annaj@uchicago.edu.

Services We Provide  

The assigned URA Pre-Award Research Administrator will serve as the faculty member’s point-of-contact for all pre-award questions and needs. This support includes:  

Pre-Proposal/Letter Preparation Advise faculty member of pre-proposal or Letter of Intent requirements for submission. Assist in the pre-proposal or LOI process for sponsors that require pre-application submission prior to full proposal submission.
Proposal Development 
  • Provide checklist of sponsor requirements based on guidelines for proposal submission
  • Create timeline to keep faculty member on track for sponsor deadline
  • Create or assist in creating the proposal budget
  • Compile all required documents and ensure that institutional and sponsor requirements are met for proposal submission
  • Ensure a secondary review of the final proposal prior to submission based on URA Pre-Award Policies and Procedures: (link here)
Current and Pending Support or Other Support Updates Assist faculty member, as needed with updates to pending support as proposals are submitted to ensure that a current version of the C&P Support document is used for submissions, as required.
Just-In-Time (JIT) Preparation
  • Create checklist of sponsor requirements for JIT submission
  • Advise faculty member of requirements for JIT submission and assist in preparation of JIT response. This may be in the form of Other Support (OS) or protocol approval information
  • Budget revisions and other additional requested information
  • Ensure a secondary review of the final JIT final response prior to submission based on URA Pre-Award procedures
Sponsor Communication Reach out to sponsors on faculty’s behalf to address a variety of topics, including but not limited to, clarification of sponsor guidance, status of proposal submission, act as authorized organizational official and liaison between faculty and grants contacts at sponsoring agency. 
Meetings/Communications The dedicated URA Pre-Award Research Administrator will be available to meet with faculty or departmental staff, as needed, to review proposal and/or sponsor requirements for upcoming proposal submissions, to answer questions and to provide guidance on how agencies are structured and the agency contacts that faculty may reach out to directly. Email and phone communications will be answered within one business day, and if additional time is required, that will be communicated. 

Benefits of Opt-In Pre-Award Services 

Faculty and departmental staff will work collaboratively with the URA Pre-Award Research Administrator throughout the pre-award process and should expect the following benefits from this collaboration:

  • Faculty will be able to focus his/her time on the technical or academic aims of the project and rely on the URA Pre-Award Research Administrator for all administrative matters related to the pre-award process and proposal development
  • URA Pre-Award Services shares an office with other URA teams including Post-Award, Central Post-Award, Billing and Collections, Subawards, Contracts, Research Integrity and Account Create as well as other central offices (Procurement, Shared Services, Payroll and HR).  This allows for broader collaboration amongst all parties involved in the pre-award process. As a result, faculty can expect quicker turnaround times and support staff with access to more resources and training
  • URA Pre-Award Research Administrators are service-oriented, knowledgeable about pre-award, agency/sponsor, federal, non-federal and institutional requirements, and are experts in the relevant policies, procedures and systems to carry out the pre-award process with ease

For an estimate of cost to opt in to these Pre-Award Services, please reach out to Anna Jackson, Assistant Director, Sponsored Programs Pre-Award at annaj@uchicago.edu