BEST PRACTICES DRAFT DOCUMENT:

Internal Competition Timeline:

Internal competition deadlines are planned based on sponsor deadlines and managed by the Office for Research Development (ORD)

  • When sponsor deadlines change from one year to the next, the schedule for the internal competition will change as well. Anticipated dates for future internal competitions will be considered as approximate until sponsor deadlines are confirmed.
  • Competition timelines are set to allow adequate time for internal submissions, review, and full proposal preparation – at least 8 weeks or more.
  • If the Office for Research Development is notified of a limited submission opportunity with insufficient time to conduct an internal competition, an internal competition may not be announced. Available submission slots may be awarded on a “first to notify” basis. This may vary based on the details of a given opportunity, however the general guideline is 6 weeks or less as justification for the “first to notify” basis.
  • Some programs may have additional internal deadlines for College/School/Unit-level review; check with your Unit director, department Chair or Dean’s office to ensure that deadlines at that level of review are met.
  • The ORD will use this internal submission procedure for all situations where there is a practical amount of time between receipt of the first notice from an interested faculty member and the date of the funding agency deadline

Internal Competition Application:

When possible, requirements for the internal application will mirror the requirements of the funding sponsor to reduce duplication or extraneous paperwork. Depending on those requirements, internal applications may require any subset of these items:

  • Abbreviated CV or biographical sketch of the PI including previous agency experience if applicable
  • Brief (2-page maximum) project summary
  • List of collaborators on this project
  • For opportunities requiring cost share or match, a description of the mandatory institutional cost share for the project and how the cost share would be met [if known], and a letter of cognizance from Dean/Chair indicating support of the cost share or match.
  • For proposal resubmission, copies of program reviews of prior submission and response to reviewers’ remarks.
  • For major equipment acquisition, a description of where the instrument will be housed and a plan for sustainability of equipment use.

Applicants may also be asked to submit names of faculty members with knowledge of the area of proposed research to serve as internal competition reviewers.

Application Review and Selection

The submissions are reviewed and ranked by a review committee composed of peer faculty. Names of potential reviewers are solicited from the Research Council, Associate Deans for Research, and the applicants themselves. When possible, review committees are composed of faculty members from each college, school, or unit represented in the applicant pool.

Review criteria are driven by the requirements of each opportunity. In general, internal applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Likelihood of success based on program objectives and review criteria in the agency solicitation
  • Relevance to university’s or college’s strategic direction
  • Presentation of project (clear plan of action, summary of project, grammar)
  • Qualifications of investigators and collaborators
  • Investigators’ track record of successful planning and development of competitive proposals for submission to external sponsors

Feedback for authors of both successful and unsuccessful internal competition proposals may be available from the review committee. Additional resources, such as advice from key administrators and proposal development support from the ORD office, may be offered for those researchers whose proposals are chosen to go forward.

If the number of internal applications received is fewer than the institutional limit set by the funding agency (e.g., funding agency allows 3 proposals from OSU, but only 2 proposals are submitted to the internal competition), then all submitted proposals will be allowed to go forward if they are meritorious and meet stated competition criteria.

PI Responsibilities when selected to represent Oregon State University as an internal competition nominee:

  • Candidates (i.e., proposal submitters) selected as internal competition winners must ensure they are aware of any additional requirements of the funding agency beyond the internal competition.
  • Candidates must also complete all regular internal approval processes, including submission of the final application to the sponsor via OSSRA. Candidates are responsible for contacting the appropriate office(s) for assistance to prepare and submit the full application.
  • If a proposal is submitted to a funding agency, but not funded, the review committee or ORD may request feedback from the researcher (e.g., written reviews from the sponsor, ratings/rankings/scores), to help in understanding how to better select and prepare proposals for the next round of that internal competition.
  • If a candidate is no longer able to apply for a limited submission opportunity, the PI must notify ORD immediately, to allow another colleague the chance to move forward with a submission.
  • Failure to submit a final proposal to the funding agency after being selected as an internal competition winner will be a significant factor in considering future internal competition applications from a candidate.