Proposal FAQs

Proposal Preparation

Who can be Principal Investigator?

A person holding any of the following academic ranks can serve as a Lead PI or Principal Investigator (Co-PI):

  • Faculty (Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor)
  • Librarian, Associate Librarian, and Assistant Librarian 
  • Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, and Research Assistant Professor
  • Clinical Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, and Clinical Assistance Professor
  • Research Scientist IV, Research scientist III, and Research Scientist II
  • Vice President, Associate Vice President, Assistant Vice President, Dean, Associate Dean, and Assistant Dean

The PI must have an active appointment with UNT and is responsible for executing and financially managing the grant or project. The PI and Co-PI are most often full-time, permanent employees whose official job roles and responsibilities include serving as a PI or Co-PI on extramural grants or sponsored projects. Since a proposal and subsequent award are a commitment for UNT in many ways, it is important to establish the qualifications and ability of PI’s and Co-PI’s to carry out the work on externally funded grants and sponsored projects.

For individuals not in an employment position outlined above, or whose role and responsibility does not include serving as PI/Co-PI, PI eligibility will need to be requested. Individuals must complete the online application and upload the required documentation to be considered. The online application will then be routed to the replacement faculty member and appropriate approver before routing to the Vice President of Research and Innovation or Associate Vice President of Research and Innovation for review and approval.

Please see additional information about the process here: PI Handbook: PI Eligibility 

What if I want to include a relative in my proposal?

The University's policy on nepotism is found in Section 1.2.6 of the UNT Policy Manual. PIs should work with their department chair and HR as needed. 

When do I need to submit a Significant Financial Interest (SFI)?

All applicants for external funding and all researchers with active externally funded projects must complete and submit a Significant Financial Interest Profile annually and upon acquiring new conflicts of interests. Additional information regarding SFI is located here: SFI The policy is found in Section 13.005 of the UNT Policy Manual.

What if human subjects are involved?

Any research involving the use of human subjects is required to secure Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval prior to any contact with human subjects. While the typical connotation of human subject research suggests projects such as medical experiments, applications reviewed by the UNT IRB range from simple surveys to intense biofeedback research. It is recommended that Investigators review the guidelines, application, and training available from the IRB home page. 

What if laboratory animals are involved? 

Any research involving the use of live vertebrate animals is required to secure Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval prior to beginning the project. It is recommended that Investigators review the guidelines and applications that can be found on the IACUC page.

What if recombinant DNA or hazardous materials are involved?

Projects involving the use of recombinant DNA, hazardous materials, or human embryonic stem cells require prior approval before experiments begin, by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). Additional information can be located here: Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

What if my project involves radioactive materials or radioisotopes? 

Researchers who are planning projects involving radiation/radioisotopes and/or lasers should contact the Radiation Safety Officer in  Risk Management Services Environmental Health and Safety. 

After Proposal Submission  

I have heard my proposal will be funded. What does that mean?

Principal investigators are often notified by their program director, technical monitor, etc., that their proposal is to be awarded. At that point, it is assumed that an award is forthcoming, but the process of receiving the official award documents from the sponsor is quite involved.
Once the program officer recommends a proposal for award, it usually has to be approved by a division director. After which, it goes to procurement and finally it reaches the sponsor's contracts or grants office. At this point, the sponsor may issue an official notification that the proposal is awarded. This process takes anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks or longer. Note: The award is not official until the Grants and Contracts Administration receives an official award document from the sponsor's contracts office.

What is involved in accepting an award?

Before accepting an award on behalf of the University, the Grants & Contracts Specialist who worked on the proposal submission will work with the Research Commercial Agreements team to negotiate award agreements.
These items are checked during the review of an award and must be complete before Project ID setup:

  • A current Financial Conflict of Interest on file with UNT Research Integrity and Compliance
  • Human and/or laboratory subjects Approvals with IRB/IACUC/Biosafety (if applicable)
  • Proposal on File
  • Budget and Budget Justification 
  • Cost Share Approval(if applicable)
  • Approved GRAMS Funding Proposal 
  • Subrecipient Documents (if applicable)
  • Export Control review (if applicable)

My award has been accepted, now what? 

Once all documents have been received and your project has been reviewed and processed, it will be routed to the GCA signing representative, who will post the new Project ID (ProjID) assigned to the award. The ProjID account should be used for the processing of project expenditures.