Pre-Award Services

The University of Tulsa ORSP Pre-award Staff reviews and approves research proposals, ensures the accuracy of the budget for the proposed project, handles the award negotiations and various compliance issues. It also answers any inquiries related to regulations of the various funding agencies.

Pre-award activities and processes performed by the staff of ORSP are designed to help the faculty and facilitate the overall grant process, while balancing the need for institutional and sponsor regulatory compliance. We are here to help you in the following areas:

  • Funding Opportunities – identify potential funding sources or eligibility
  • Proposal assistance – offering assistance in budget development, proposal development, and as an agency liaison.
  • Proposal review & approval – ensuring proposals meet agency and institutional guidelines/specifications, as well as regulatory compliance.
  • Proposal submission – managing electronic or print applications
  • Proposal authorization – serving as the authorized official on behalf of the University
  • Award negotiation and acceptance – reviewing terms and conditions prior to acceptance of award to minimize burden to investigators.
  • Compliance – assist in reviewing sponsor requirements and meeting federal and other mandates in compliance areas such as human subjects and animal research, conflict of interest or export control.

Links from Pre-Award










Cost Sharing and Matching

Some sponsored programs require the University to participate in funding the costs of a project. The University's participation in funding the costs of a project is referred to as "cost sharing." Cost sharing expressed as a ratio is sometimes referred to as matching. The terms cost sharing and matching are used interchangeably and are subject to the same federal regulations. Reference: OMB Circular A-110, Subpart C.23. Unless waived by the terms of the program, federal cost principles require that cost sharing contributions meet all the following criteria:

  • are verifiable from the recipient’s records
  • are not included as contributions for any other federally-assisted project or program
  • are necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient accomplishment of project of program objectives
  • are allowable under the applicable cost principles
  • are not paid by the Federal government under another award
  • are provided for in the approved budget

The cost sharing requirement can be expressed as (1) percentage of the principal investigator's level of effort, (2) number of hours of the principal investigator's time, (3) percentage of total sponsor-funded costs, or (4) as an absolute dollar amount. Usually, the University meets its cost sharing requirement by contributing direct labor and associated fringe benefits, plus indirect costs and/or by contribution of tuition support for graduate students. For projects awarded at less than the negotiated indirect cost rate, the University may include the difference between the negotiated and the awarded indirect cost rate as cost sharing, with the prior approval of the Federal agency. University contribution of funds to support travel, supplies or other direct costs must be approved on the Internal Approval Form (IAF) by a person authorized to commit the funds (i.e. Chair of the Department or Dean of the College).

Proposals should include cost sharing only to the extent required by the program. Some investigators believe that they will improve the competitive advantage of their proposal if they promise generous amounts of cost sharing. The investigator must consider that, if an award is made on the basis of a proposal that includes excess cost sharing, the proposed cost sharing in excess of the required amount becomes a legal obligation. After the award, failure to deliver the promised cost sharing may cause the Federal, State or other sponsor to demand a refund for the unmet cost sharing and may constitute a violation of the terms of the award so serious as to provide grounds for debarment or suspension.

The cost of University equipment purchased before the start date of the project, made available for use on the project, may not be included as cost sharing. It is appropriate to describe University equipment available for use on the project in the Facilities section of the proposal.


Compliance issues such as research involving human subjects or animals, conflict of interest, export control or others require special review and approvals. If you proposal involves any compliance issues, please contact the ORSP staff as soon as possible in advance of proposal submission so that the staff can assist you in reviewing the sponsor’s requirements and assisting in obtaining the necessary approvals.

Laboratory Space

If additional space is needed to conduct the project, the investigator must make arrangements at the departmental/college level for the additional space before the proposal is routed. If off campus space is required, and, if no space is available on campus, the project may be proposed at the off campus indirect cost rate and the budget may need to include a line item for rental of facilities.

Conflict of Interest

Employees of the University must be aware that outside obligations, financial interests, or other employment may result in a conflict of interest and affect the objectivity of their decisions and effectiveness of their performance. A conflict of interest exists when an employee is in a position to influence any University business transaction, research activity, or other decisions in ways that could lead to any manner or form of personal gain for the employee or for his/her family members, other than salary from the University, regardless of source. A conflict of interest exists when a significant financial interest could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting of funded research.

The principal investigator and co-principal investigators of a proposed project must determine whether a potential or actual conflict of interest exists. A Conflict of Interest Form must be submitted with each and every proposal.

Proposals involving a potential or actual conflict of interest are routed according to the normal procedure, independent of the conflict of interest disclosure process. Funded activity will proceed only after resolution of the conflict. Examples of conditions or restrictions that might be imposed to manage conflicts of interest include: public disclosure of significant financial interests; monitoring of research by independent reviewers; modification of the research plan; disqualification from participation in all or a portion of the research funded by the sponsor; divestiture of significant financial interests; or severance of relationships that create actual or potential conflicts.

Reference: Conflict of Interest

Representations and Certifications

Representations and certifications that are required to be submitted with the proposal vary, depending on the Federal agency and the contract amount. Generally, the grant application or the RFP will clearly specify which certifications are required. Examples of commonly required certifications and the appropriate University signatory are:

Lobbying Certificate (SPS)
Debarment and Suspension (SPS)
Drug Free Workplace (SPS)
Procurement Integrity (PI and ORCA)
Certificate of Current Cost and Pricing Data (ORCA)
Contract Pricing Proposal Cover Sheet (ORCA)
Statement of Intent to Establish a Consortium Agreement (PI and SPS)
EPA Procurement System Certification (SPS)
Section K Certifications (ORCA)
Short Form Research Contract-Research Proposal Cover Page (ORCA)
Certificate of Environmental and Safety Compliance (Risk Management)
Financial Audit Information (SPS)
Small Business and Small Disadvantaged Business Subcontracting Plan (Purchasing)
NEA Applications (PI and ORCA)

The ORSP will assist you in the completion of these forms. Many of them require the signature of the University’s authorized signature authority: Director of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Teaming Agreements, Nondisclosure Agreements and Confidentiality Agreements

In some cases, private companies or nonprofit organizations, or the solicitation itself will require the preparation and execution of other agreements prior to the preparation and/or submission of a proposal. The ORSP staff will review, prepare, negotiate and obtain the necessary signatures on these agreements.

Proposal Audits and Site Visits

Occasionally, a Federal agency will audit a proposal before negotiating the contract. The auditor will verify the indirect cost rates, labor rates, and will review quotes and other documentation supporting the proposed costs. The audit report will be sent to the appropriate Federal contracting officer for purposes of negotiating the contract with the University. The proposal audit report will not be distributed to the University. The investigator may request a copy of the audit report from the awarding office.

If a representative from the sponsoring agency contacts you to schedule a site visit, notify the ORSP regarding the proper procedure for setting up the visit.

Transferring a Grant from Another University

When a faculty member transfers to The University of Tulsa from another institution, the former institution will closeout its grant with the sponsoring agency. The sponsoring agency will then award a new grant to The University of Tulsa. The first step in transferring a grant is for the relinquishing institution to notify the sponsor of the remaining balance and the new end date. The investigator should work with their former institution to determine the remaining balance of the grant. The investigator will submit a proposal from The University of Tulsa to the sponsoring agency in the amount of the remaining balance. Many Federal agencies have special forms for both the relinquishing institution and the institution to which the grant is being transferred. Please contact the ORSP in advance of your arrival to arrange the necessary documentation and begin the process.

Negotiating the Award

The ORSP staff are responsible for the negotiation, acceptance and obtaining the necessary official signatures on award documents. Frequently a sponsor needs additional information or wants to award a grant to the University at an amount lower than proposed. The sponsor's grants office will call the principal investigator or Sponsored Projects to negotiate the grant. Actually, there is very little negotiation involved. Rather, the University has the choice to either accept the award at the lower amount or not accept it. If the sponsor reduces the budget, the investigator must determine whether the originally proposed scope and objectives of the project can be met under the revised budget. If not, the investigator and sponsor must redefine the scope and objectives in writing before the University accepts the award. The ORSP administrator will act as the single point of contact, coordinating the communication between the sponsor and the principal investigator.

The Pre-award contacts are as follows:

  • Community of Science – training and enrollment – Linda Golden 
  • Funding Opportunity Point of Contact – identify potential funding sources, funding alert systems, eligibility, proposal idea development, identify potential collaborators, general questions – Linda Golden
  • Initial Point of Contact When Submitting a Proposal – notification of the intent to submit a proposal, submission of solicitation or RFP for ORSP review, assistance with sponsor guidelines and internal processes – Linda Golden and/or Adrienne Blalack 
  • Budget Preparation and Review – assistance (i.e. spread sheets, etc.) in the preparation and review for sponsor compliance – Adrienne Blalack 
  • Human Subjects Compliance – Carmen Schaar-Walden 
  • Research Involving Animals –  Carmen Schaar-Walden
  • Other Compliance Issues – Conflict of Interest, Export Control, etc. - Debbie Newton 
  • Compilation of Proposal, Preparation of Required Letters of Support, General Questions Regarding Solicitation information, Coordination of Collaborative Partners, Submission of ProposalLinda Golden
  • Electronic Proposal SubmissionLinda Golden and/or Adrienne Blalack 
  • Assistance in Preparation of Internal Approval Form (IAF) and Conflict of Interest (COI) FormsAdrienne Blalack and/or Debbie Newton 
  • Teaming Agreements, Non-disclosure Agreements, Confidentiality Agreements – Debbie Newton
  • Negotiation of Contracts, Grants or other Agreements – Debbie Newton

Contact Information:

Adrienne Blalack 
Director of Pre-Award Services
205-B McClure Hall, (918) 631-2480 

Linda Golden
Senior Coordinator of Pre-Award Services
205-D McClure Hall, (918) 631-3312

Carmen Schaar-Walden
Coordinator of Research Compliance
205-C McClure Hall, (918) 631-3310