The University of Arizona

Roles and Responsibilities

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Proposal Initiator
Lead Unit Pre-Approver

Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator(s)
Department Head/Director
Dean/Vice President
Sponsored Projects Services
Senior Vice President for Research

All proposals submitted on behalf of the University of Arizona must be reviewed and approved in the UAccess Research electronic research administration system by the principal investigator/co-principal investigators, their Department Heads and Deans, and Sponsored Projects Services. Approvals outside UAccess Research such as emails and phone calls will not be accepted other than as a temporary measure due to extenuating circumstances. Depending on the activities or special commitments (such as compliance, cost sharing, and Facilities & Administrative cost considerations) in the proposal, additional reviews and approvals may be required. Approving a proposal imparts a set of roles and responsibilities to each approving party, as outlined below:

Proposal Initiator

By creating/submitting the proposal document in UAccess Research, the Initiator:

  • Acts as or identifies a liaison between the principal investigator(s) and Sponsored Projects Services for clarifications and questions about proposal routing and submission
  • Ensures the proposal document is created and routed with sufficient time to obtain all necessary approvals prior to the three-day Internal Deadline for Proposal Routing
  • Ensures sponsor deadline date, time and type are entered accurately, and that notes are included on the proposal Abstracts & Attachments tab identifying unusual circumstances
  • Ensures Key Personnel are entered with appropriate roles, all associated units and appropriate Award Credit and F&A Revenue splits
  • Ensures all required documentation is included before routing and ensures accuracy of information entered in UAccess Research and included in attachments to streamline review and avoid unnecessary corrections and time delays

Lead Unit Pre-Approver

By approving the proposal the Lead Unit Pre-Approver:

  • Assigns lead unit or college personnel to monitor routing progress to meet all deadlines
  • Completes an administrative review to ensure proposal quality
  • Checks the proposal for major changes to avoid re-routing in UAccess Research
  • Verifies key content reflects prior arrangements between departments and colleges

It is recommended that each department designate at least two Lead Unit Pre-Approvers using the UAccess Provisioning Tool.

Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator(s)

By approving the proposal the Principal Investigator and each Co-Investigator:

  • Certifies that the information in the proposal and application is accurate and factual
  • Certifies that if the project is funded, the principal investigator and co-investigator(s) will assume accountability for carrying out the conditions of the award 
  • Certify that neither the principal investigator nor anyone involved in this project is presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from covered transactions by any federal department or agency
  • Indicates whether the project does or does not involve an actual or potential conflict of interest or commitment, based on University policy
  • States that the principal investigator and co-investigator(s) will meet the proposed level-of-effort if the project is funded
  • Agrees to assume responsibility for custody of records and data (e.g., complete proposal, technical reports, lab notes) in accordance with the University policy on Retention of Data, and the investigator agrees to provide the University access to such records and data

All principal investigator/co-investigators involved in a proposed project must approve the proposal in UAccess Research. Investigators may not delegate this authority to a designee. If an investigator will be off-campus when their proposal is routing for approvals, login requires the University of Arizona VPN and NetID+.  All investigators must approve before any department or college can approve so plan ahead for investigators who will be away during proposal routing.

If an approver at one level is also a Department Head or Dean level approver, UAccess Research provides the option to approve separately for each role or approve once and receive no future approval requests. If the proposal is recalled or returned for edit, each role will be required to approve again.

Department Head/Director

By approving the proposal the Department Head/Director:

  • Certifies that the principal investigator, to the best of the department head’s knowledge, is competent and capable of carrying out the proposed project
  • Certifies that when the project is funded, the principal investigator’s responsibilities within the department will be adjusted so that the investigator will commit the required effort to the project 
  • Certifies that when the project is funded, the department will manage award funds in compliance with University of Arizona and sponsor policies 
  • Signifies approval of cost sharing and/or proposed Facilities & Administrative costs, if applicable 
  • Signifies that space and facilities are or will be available for the project should the proposal be funded
  • Signifies that the project is consistent with the mission of the department, the college, and the University

All department heads must approve the proposal in UAccess Research. It is recommended that each Department Head/Director designate at least one alternate approver using the UAccess Provisioning Tool.

Dean/Vice President

By approving the proposal the Dean/Vice President:

  • Certifies that the required resources will be available and that the department is capable of carrying out the proposed project 
  • Signifies that the project is consistent with the mission of the college and the University
  • Signifies approval of cost sharing and/or proposed Facilities & Administrative costs, if applicable

All Deans must approve the proposal in UAccess Research. It is recommended that each Dean/Vice President designate at least one alternate approver using the UAccess Provisioning Tool.

Sponsored Projects Services

By approving the proposal Sponsored Projects Services

  • Certifies that the proposal budget has been reviewed
  • Certifies that the fringe benefit and F&A cost rates are correct
  • Certifies that the budget cost categories are correctly presented

Senior Vice President for Research

The Senior Vice President for Research does not personally approve the application; the authority to approve on behalf of the Senior Vice President for Research is delegated to Sponsored Projects Services. However, it is customary for the principal investigator to contact Research, Discovery & Innovation before proposing:

  • An unusually high-dollar project
  • A project that involves an unusual amount of University resources, or
  • One that has unusual public interest

Sponsored Projects Services' signature on behalf of the Senior Vice President for Research indicates that, pending successful completion of negotiations between the University and the sponsor, the University will assume institutional responsibility for the project.