Roles and Responsibilities

Electronic Routing via Kuali Coeus

Establishing routing and approval maps in Kuali Coeus
Instructions on how to approve a proposal in Kuali Coeus

Principal Investigator (PI)

Responsible for the overall development and content of the proposal; may delegate aspects of preparation to administrative and scientific staff, but remains ultimately responsible for all aspects of the proposal as submitted

  • Reviews sponsor requirements—both standard and non-standard
  • Develops the scope of work and determines the resources necessary to complete the project
  • Prepares the budget and justification in collaboration with the Departmental/Laboratory/Center Administration(DLC) administrator, including verifying time/effort commitments, cost sharing, and underrecovery
  • Communicates with OSP Research Subaward Team as early as possible during budget preparation regarding subcontractors vs. consultants, and preparation of Small Business Subcontracting Plan, if required
  • Consults with the Department/Dean regarding the use of space and personnel, underrecovery, cost sharing, international activities and other key issues, as needed
  • Secures all Institute commitments required for proposal. This includes Human and Animal subject protocol(s) or any other institute approval, i.e. biohazards, radioactivity, hESC use, export controls, Fabricated Equipment approval and Subaward vs. Procurement issues from appropriate Institute office
  • Complies with all regulatory requirements; plans for applicable reviews
  • Completes online PI Certification and Conflict of Interest screening questions; submits fCOI disclosure, if required; ensures all other Investigators and Key Persons do the same
  • Describes the relationships between the proposal and significant financial interests (e.g. consulting); consults with the relevant DLC head or Conflict of Interest Officer prior to submitting the proposal and consults as needed with program directors, TLO and OSP to manage or eliminate real or perceived conflicts
  • Works with DLC, as needed, to respond to OSP proposal review comments and indicate confirmation of any exceptions prior to submission
  • Submits electronic RPPR/Research.Gov renewals or non-competing continuations

Departmental/Laboratory/Center Administration (DLC AO/FO)

Responsible for the overall preparation, review and, if delegated by DLC Head, department approval of the proposal prior to routing it for submission

  • Reviews the proposal prior to submission to ensure compliance with sponsor solicitation (due date, budgetary limits and other requirements) and MIT policy (PI status, approval from the Office of Foundation Relations, subaward materials, and Institute routing requirements)
  • Prepares the budget—verifies rates, allowability of costs, salary caps, cost sharing, underrecovery, location and type of activity
  • Prepares or collects other administrative documents, such as bio sketches, other support, resources, and checklist
  • Works with PI to obtain third-party documentation—including consultant letters, subaward proposals, scope of work, budget, and subaward institutional sign-off
  • Works with PI to prepare documentation, as necessary, for MIT requirements, including PI status, cost sharing, underrecovery, vacation accrual, graduate student support, salary caps, and faculty effort, Fabricated Equipment approval and Subaward vs. Procurement verification
  • Works with PI to verify and review for regulatory compliance as well as protocols and training— human subjects, animals, biohazards, export controls, hESC use, responsible conduct of research, NSF postdoctoral mentoring plan, and conflict of interest disclosure(s)
  • Collects and enters into Kuali Coeus all components of the proposal as needed
  • Manages the Kuali Coeus routing and review of the proposal, including electronic certification by multiple PIs and approvals by Department Heads and Dean’s office in sufficient time to meet OSP's 5-day internal deadline
  • Works with PI to request waiver from Dean of 5-day internal deadline requirement, if necessary
  • Routes the internally approved proposal in its completed form to OSP
  • Works with PI, as needed, to respond to OSP review comments and indicate confirmation of any exceptions prior to submission
  • Submits electronic RPPR/ renewals or non-competing continuations
  • Works with PI to submit OSP-approved proposals to Sponsor unless it is a system-to-system submission  
  • Works with OSP to ensure proposal sent to Sponsor is reflected in Kuali Kuali Coeus

DLC Head

Responsible for approving the proposal content, including scope of work, and commitment of department space and other resources needed to carry out the project (may delegate approval of the proposal to DLC AO/FO)

  • Reviews potential conflict of interest issues as they relate to the project, contacts OSP in cases where a management plan may be needed. Note that conflict of interest approvals cannot be delegated to staff, but another faculty member in the department could be delegated the role of the Designated Official under MIT’s Conflict of Interest in Research Policy (see
  • Reviews requests for waiver of 5-day internal deadline rules prior to submission of request to Dean’s Office

School Administration (Dean’s Office)

Reviews, advises, and approves proposals

  • Ensures space and other resource commitments in the proposal, such as cost sharing or funding of underrecoveries, will be met either by the department or Dean’s Office
  • Works with DLC to respond to OSP proposal review comments and indicates confirmation of any exceptions prior to submission
  • Assures PI status
  • Approves requests for waiver of 5-day internal deadline rules

Office of Sponsored Programs

Reviews, advises, provides institutional endorsement, and submits electronic proposals

  • Oversees the routing and review within OSP
  • Reviews proposal, budgets, and supporting documentation for compliance with sponsor solicitation, federal and MIT policies
  • Notifies the DLC and PI of any changes required to make the application compliant
  • Works with the PI and DLC in preparing the Small Business Subcontracting Plan, if required
  • Reviews Conflict of Interest Disclosure
  • Prepares and executes Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs), Memorandum(a) of Understanding (MOUs), Teaming and Collaboration Agreements (consulting with other MIT offices as appropriate), if necessary
  • Drafts the response to anticipated sponsor terms or drafts the proposed agreement, as appropriate
  • Ensures proper institutional sign-offs on proposals and financial commitments, such as F&A underrecovery and cost sharing
  • Contacts Office of Foundation Relations or any other MIT office that needs to approve a proposal before submission
  • Prepares supporting documents for proposal, including the transmittal letter, certifications, and response to terms and conditions, if necessary
  • Submits electronic proposals if not otherwise dictated by Sponsor solicitation (e.g. PI submittal via Sponsor Website)
  • Notifies the DLC and PI when the proposal is ready to be sent to the sponsor—if not a submission
  • Works with DLC to ensure proposal sent to Sponsor is reflected in Kuali Coeus
  • Attaches relevant proposal documents to Institute Proposal in Kuali Coeus

Key References