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Pre-Award Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled questions investigators frequently ask about the research proposal process.

You can also contact your Grant Manager directly to discuss your proposal.

FAQs

What is it that SPA reviews and approves for Baystate?

Submissions to external funding organizations must be routed through SPA if it involves requesting funds from extramural sources for the purpose of supporting public service, research, or educational functions at or by Baystate Health with a deliverable product or service and uses Baystate Health resources (personnel, facilities, equipment, etc.) regardless of whether or not an institutional signature is required by the sponsor.

Funding organizations include all federal, state, county or local government agencies; foundations; non-profit organizations; private corporations; colleges and universities, and any other private or public group that awards grants to hospitals for the performance of a specific scope of work.

Does SPA have policies about submitting proposals for funding?

Any formal proposal requesting project support for Baystate Health (research or otherwise) from an external funding organization must be approved before it is submitted to the funding organization.

Proposals that meet this definition include initial submissions as well as renewals, continuations, and/or revisions. It is expected that the proposal will be in the SPA office five (5) days in advance of the proposal deadline in order to allow time for review and processing of errors or omissions.

What are the consequences if I don’t go through SPA with my proposal?

Awards not reviewed and approved by SPA as a proposal will not be accepted and any funds received may be returned to the sponsor, except when specifically authorized by the Senior VP of Academic Affairs 

When do I need to have my proposal to SPA?

We highly recommend contacting your assigned SPA Grants Manager as soon as you begin to plan your submission.  However, in all circumstances it is expected that the proposal will be in the SPA office five (5) days in advance of the proposal deadline in order to allow time for review and processing of errors or omissions. 

What happens if I make changes to my submission at the last minute?

The final version of the proposal must have approval by the Senior VP of Academic Affairs or his/her designee.  No changes will be permitted in proposals after they have received final approval, except when specifically authorized by the Senior VP of Academic Affairs.

What do I need to know to build my grant proposal?

Your SPA Grants Manager can help you through most of the process, but here are a few tips:

  • If you are going to be working with collaborators at other institutions, allow extra time for paperwork and understand that SPA will be writing and negotiating subcontracts for you.
  • See Information for Your Grant Proposal for helpful information (DUNS number, FWA, etc.)
  • Published indirect rates must be applied appropriately to all proposals and clinical trials.
  • In cases where the budget is inadequate to cover Baystate’s expected expenses, signature authority from the Chair of the Investigator’s Department/Division must be obtained. 

What if I am working on a funded project where there is no “proposal” to submit?

Where no formal proposal is written or submitted by the investigator, such as in the case of clinical trials funded by commercial entities, the Investigator is expected to review the initial Confidentiality non-Disclosure Agreement (CDA) with SPA (regardless of whether an institutional signature is required).  If preliminary review of the protocol leads to a Clinical Trial Agreement (CTA), the budget and the terms and conditions must be reviewed, negotiated, and approved by SPA.  In cases where the budget is inadequate to cover Baystate’s expected expenses, signature authority from the Chair of the Investigator’s Department/Division must be obtained.

What if I need an exception to SPA policies or procedures?

Waivers to any of these policies and procedures can only be made under the authority of the Senior VP of Academic Affairs.

I’m pretty sure my proposal will get funded. How is SPA involved then?

An award of a grant or contract to Baystate subsequent to a SPA-approved proposal must be approved by the appropriate Baystate administrator.  Faculty/PIs are not authorized to sign for Baystate. 

You will need to submit your awarded project to a software package called IRBNet (we can help you with this!).  The first “package” in IRBNet comes to SPA and gets the ball rolling for post-award activities such as IRB and/or IACUC approval and getting set up to spend your award in the Lawson grants management system.

Your SPA Grants Manger will be contacting you to set up a “kick-off meeting” for your new award.  At that time, you will be given more materials and information about what happens at Baystate with an awarded project.  Congratulations