A Research Department (RD) Research Proposal Review Process


The MSHA RD serves to support MSHA staff and ETSU faculty by facilitating applications for research studies. Acting in the capacity of the MSHA's designated authorized official, MSHA RD staff review and approve all sponsored and non-sponsored research proposals on behalf of the Principal Investigator and the MSHA. MSHA RD staff serve as a resource for faculty and staff with questions regarding the myriad of sponsor proposal requirements. MSHA RD staff are committed to helping faculty prepare their best and most competitive sponsored research proposals.

The review process itself represents collaboration between the Principal Investigator, the Corporate Director of the MSHA Research Department, other MSHA Departments or private offices (when appropriate). MSHA RD provides a comprehensive pre-submission administrative review to ensure a complete and accurate proposal and compliance with sponsor and ETSU institutional policies. At times MSHA RD requests changes that will bring the proposal into compliance with guidelines and policies, or suggest changes to enhance funding success. When the proposal is complete, MSHA Research Department provides ETSU institutional endorsement of the proposal. 

Please note that MSHA Research Department must frequently review and submit many different proposals for the same deadline, carefully allocating time to each. 

MSHA RD can provide the highest level of service to Principal Investigator when adequate lead time is given to review the proposal. Standard internal deadlines: initial notification and budget/administrative materials - 30 work days prior to submission deadline; complete proposal - 2 weeks prior to the submission deadline.

Once MSHA RD receives all necessary documents1, Research Administrative Team (including MSHA Legal Office, and/or Grants Officer and MSHA support staff members) completes the proposal review process. This involves:  

Ø Reviewing the solicitation, program announcement, or request for proposals (RPRF) (if applicable) 

Ø Gathering any past related proposals or awards (e.g., for non-competing continuations) 

Ø Assuring that Principal Investigator, Department Chair (as applicable), MSHA Scientific Reviewer , MSHA Corporate Director of Research, MSHA VP/CMO and  MSHA Senior VP/CMO have signed the RPR form 

Ø Assuring that all required conflict of interest  and training forms have been submitted to MSHA RD (if applicable) 

Ø Verifying appointments for all MSHA/ETSU personnel listed on the proposal and ensuring that coverage for unnamed research staff is appropriate and reasonable  

Ø Reconciling effort commitments in the proposal with those indicated on the RPRF form; this ensures that all members of study team are aware of their responsibilities. 

Ø Verifying that correct rates have been applied and calculated in the budget for fringe benefits and facilities and administrative (F&A); this helps to ensure both that awarded funding is adequate and that the research site hasn't mistakenly requested excess funding.   

Ø Confirming cost sharing requirements and MSHA/ETSU funding sources (when applicable)  

Ø Reviewing equipment quotes, subcontract budgets, sponsor protocol approvals, etc. (when applicable)  

Ø Reviewing the budget justification to ensure that the explanation of budget line items is reasonable and accurate, and includes only allowable costs.