Preliminaries to Proposal Preparation

Preliminaries to Proposal Submission

Roughly develop the proposed project, as well as its scope, methods, and objectives, to the point where personnel, equipment, facility, and other support requirements can be estimated. If appropriate, discuss these plans with the department chair in order to assure consistency with departmental objectives and availability of necessary resources. This may also require discussions with the dean of the school/college, and, if the project is interdisciplinary, with other department chairs and deans.

The PI may have informal contact with representatives of an outside sponsor to explore the possibility of receiving the sponsor’s support. While such contacts are encouraged, no commitments binding UNT may be made until a formal proposal has been processed and approved by GCA. 

Sponsored Research Agreements with Commercial Entities

Sponsored Research Agreements with Commercial Entities

RCA has developed a standard Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA) for use with industry, which is available upon request, and as applicable, may be provided to industry counterparts. PIs should sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) prior to any substantial conversations. Negotiation of an SRA should consider the various stakeholder groups involved in the process. The interests and needs of UNT from the perspective of a non-profit, tax-exempt research and educational institution with a mission of public service are to be contrasted with the commercial, for-profit goals of corporate sponsors. The SRA is beneficial to both parties participating in research collaboration. Faculty members learn about industrial technologies, their research receives substantial support, and they contribute to the development and transfer of technologies that benefit the public. Sponsors gain access to the expertise of the faculty and the facilities of UNT.

Prior to preliminary proposal discussions, submit a request for a Grants and Contracts Specialist. The Grants and Contracts Specialist will discuss a timeline for submitting documents to GCA for the administrative review process. It is best to refrain from delving into budget details any more than necessary to define the general or tentative cost of the project during preliminary proposal discussions. In estimating the total cost, be sure to include both direct costs and F&A costs at the current federally negotiated research rate.

It is helpful if GCA is made aware of informal proposals (white papers) or correspondence being exchanged with potential sponsors. This may be accomplished by sending informational copies to GCA. This is particularly true when large or complex projects are being discussed or there are unusual aspects to a proposal that may require University consideration prior to approval.