As part of its activities as a major research institution, New York University provides services to the academic community in support of research, training and related activities carried out with funding from outside the University. The central office providing these services for all schools and units exclusive of the Medical Center is the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), which is part of the Office of the Provost. OSP has designed this GUIDE to assist in preparing and submitting proposals to external sources. A separate manual describes the procedures of the Medical Center.
All information in this GUIDE is current as of the date of publication, but is subject to change. Potential proposers are therefore urged to contact OSP for updated information as proposals are developed.
OSP is responsible for institutional approval and submission of proposals on behalf of the University. OSP is staffed by Projects Officers knowledgeable about funding opportunities in a wide range of academic disciplines and experienced in working with external sponsors. They will help proposers to identify appropriate sponsors, interpret guidelines, develop budgets, and fulfill application requirements. They review proposals for consistency with institutional and sponsor guidelines and requirements, act as liaison between investigators and sponsors in the negotiation of awards and provide guidance to investigators in managing funded projects.
OSP also serves as the University's research compliance office by identifying regulatory requirements, negotiating federal assurances and staffing institutional review committees, developing institutional policy and procedures for the protection of human subjects, conflict of interest and misconduct in science, and supporting the University's obligations under its Assurance covering the use of animals in research, along with other requirements imposed by federal, state and local regulatory agencies.
To keep the University community informed, OSP maintains an NYU website and publishes a Deadline Calendar of other upcoming funded opportunities, as well as an Awards Listing to assist potential proposers in identifying faculty members working in compatible areas of interest, and detailed announcements of specific program opportunities. Sponsor guidelines, application materials, and general guides to proposal development are available in the OSP library, which is open to NYU faculty and administrators. From time to time OSP also conducts workshops for faculty investigators and local research administrators and participates in classroom instruction on research-related policy for students.
OSP staff may be reached Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, at: 212-998-2121
A sponsored program is a research, training, instructional, or related project supported by external funds that are received by the University on behalf of a member of the University community, and for which the University is accountable. Such funds are provided as a result of a formal communication with the sponsor such as a letter, application or other written proposal signed and submitted by an authorized University official through OSP.
A sponsored program will normally have one or more of the following additional characteristics:
Examples of externally provided support not included in this category are:
For the purposes of this Guide, a proposal is a formal statement of a project for which external support is sought. While a proposal can take several forms, as discussed below, in general it will:
There are many types of proposals. These include the following:
Sponsored program proposals are submitted by OSP on behalf of the University for the individual(s) who will have primary responsibility for the project, should an award be made. The individual with primary responsibility for the project is called the principal investigator (PI) or project director. A PI must have a full-time, regular faculty appointment in a University school or college, or an appointment with the honorific title of Research Professor, Research Associate Professor or Research Assistant Professor.
Clinical Professors may serve as PIs on training grants only. For research or evaluation grants, clinical professors must apply for PI status (see next paragraph).
Exceptions to this policy may be made to allow Code 103 Professional Research Personnel to submit proposals for sponsored projects. Using procedures established for faculty appointments, the department recommends the appointment to the Dean or Director of the school or unit. This request, accompanied by a curriculum vita and letters of recommendation, is then forwarded to OSP by the Dean or Director. After review, OSP submits the request to the Office of the Provost. For more information, consult the Code 103 Policy Addendum, available from school and departmental administrators or from OSP.
Requests for PI status should be submitted with sufficient time to allow a decision in advance of a sponsor's deadline.
Exceptions to the policy on PI status cannot be made for those with the status of Visiting Faculty or Instructor.
With certain exceptions, submitting proposals to external sponsors, public or private, is an institutional rather than individual function. That is, the University, rather than the PI, acts as the official applicant and legally has responsibility for the performance and administration of any funded project resulting from the proposal. In practice, however, the PI has responsibility for the appropriate conduct and fiscal management of the project.
For institutionally-submitted proposals, certain internal approvals (institutional authorizations) must be formally secured before the proposal may be submitted to the sponsor. Prior institutional review is also required for the use of animals or human subjects in research, the use of chemicals or biohazardous agents, and potential conflicts of interest.
Proposals are reviewed and authorized using New York University’s proposal preparation and approval system, Cayuse SP. A PI certifies the proposal content, and the department head and Dean or Director (or designee) each authorize the proposal for submission. Only then may the proposal be submitted to the external sponsor.
Under certain circumstances, a PI may submit a proposal independently, as for specific fellowship programs. PIs should carefully check sponsor guidelines to ensure that no University clearances or commitments are required for submission. If unsure about submission procedures, PIs should consult their OSP Projects Officer for assistance.
Other offices at the University, in addition to OSP, will be of assistance in the development and submission of proposals for sponsored projects. Some have University-wide responsibility; some are specific to individual schools or units. There are local research administration offices in the Faculty of Arts and Science, at the School of Education, at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, at the College of Dentistry, and at the Wagner School of Public Service.
University-wide offices of importance to PIs include those which assist proposers in complying with governmental and University regulations. These offices and organizations, whose roles are discussed in detail later in this GUIDE in the section titled Regulatory Requirements, Assurances and Certifications, include the Office of Laboratory Animal Services, the University Committee on Animal Welfare, the University Committee on Activities Involving Human Subjects, the Radiation Safety Office, the Institutional Biosafety Committee, and the Environmental Services Department.
The Office of University Development (OUD) can assist PIs in identifying private foundations whose areas of funding interest, in addition to formal sponsored programs as described above, may match the PI's. OUD will also provide guidance on approaching a given foundation, since most foundations prefer to deal formally with the University as an entity rather than with individual faculty members. The University follows special procedures when making proposals to several of the large foundations; OUD will advise on contact and submission procedures to these organizations as well.
The Office for Industrial Liaison promotes the commercial applications of research and inventions and assists PIs in generating research support from the industrial and investment community, and works inventors to protect all proprietary rights to inventions and other intellectual property. For guidance in approaching industrial sponsors, consult the Guidelines for Key Issues in University-Industry Research Agreements.