Guidance of supporting practices for complex and large proposals and projects

September 1, 2020

Oregon State University recognizes an increasing trend for funding agencies to fund complex multi-disciplinary projects potentially associated with various complicating factors. For example, developing these proposals is more complex, and the administration and management of these projects (once awarded) are also more complicated. Further, success in obtaining funding from some of these programs may depend on the level of institutional support provided and documented in the proposal. These factors form significant additional work for faculty and can be perceived as a barrier for faculty considering leading these projects. Yet, given the funding trends, OSU needs to be competitive in this realm.

The following details the possible modes of support that can be provided to PIs to encourage them to take the lead on large projects and strengthen the proposals so that they can be successful.  

Complex projects, in this context, are defined by a number of potential attributes, including (but not limited to) projects that:
  1.  Require long-term, large-scale projects with large budgets, example., 1 million over 3 years, or 10 million over 5 years.
  2.  Involve the establishment of a prestigious program or center (e.g., a Science and Technology Center) in a signature area for OSU as defined by SP4.0 or other university-wide initiatives and   priorities
  3.  Require additional space, staffing, outreach and marketing efforts, equipment, or faculty hires, and require strong evidence for such institutional support for success at the proposal stage
  4.  Involve complex relationships with partner entities, such as multiple sub-awards, contracts, lease or purchase agreements, procurements, or other financially complicated arrangements
  5.  Are associated with a large amount of cost-share
  6.  Involve a large number of collaborating investigators at various institutions.
  7.   Involves complex IRB or Office of Research Integrity attention
For proposals that meet these criteria, OSU may be able to make additional support available. This support could come in the form of:
  • additional support during proposal preparation and submission, including targeted meetings during budget development and organization of proposal reviews with an internal review team
  • additional resources to provide adequate space, funds for space renovations, additional equipment, or support for additional faculty hires
  • additional dedicated staff within various support offices (i.e., URM, OSRAA) to provide dedicated project support

The exact nature of the provided support will be catered to the needs of the individual projects, emphasizing specific support that will help make the proposal successful.  The desired support should be negotiated at the proposal stage with the VPR and the Provost. Attention will be paid to the amount of support provided by home Colleges or Centers/Institutes and the amount of F&A dollars generated by the project. However, the mechanism for support will not be a re-distribution of generated F&A. Rather, the support will be in the form of direct and explicit institutional investment in the endeavor by central administration.      


Large/Complex Proposal Support Intake Form