West Chester University
Filano Hall, Room 205
West Chester, PA 19383
Introduction General Considerations. All grant proposals destined for external agencies, the State System of Higher Education, or the West Chester University Faculty Development Committee must have a properly executed "West Chester University GRANT/ CONTRACT COVER SHEET for all Public and Private Sponsors". Signatures at different levels of the university reflect agreement with what the proposal intends to accomplish and guarantee support for the goals of the project. The WCU Grant/Contract cover sheet is intended for internal use only and is not to be submitted to the funding agency with the proposal.
Commitment of Resources. Each level of the university has certain resources at its disposal that it can, at its discretion, commit to a proposed project. For example, the department, the school/college/division, or the university controls different spaces within the university. Each can commit only those spaces within its own level of authority. Each level of the university also controls different funds that can be used for matching purposes. Each level can only commit those funds that fall within its authority. Therefore, while the listing of some resources may seem redundant in the signature authorities cited below, please keep in mind that, in each case, reference is being made only to those resources within the authority of that individual.
Commitments made to external agencies. In addition to the WCU Grant/Contract Cover Sheet, most agencies require a signature on their own cover sheets. The agency's cover sheets are submitted with the proposal and commit the university to the conditions required by that agency. With very few exceptions, the agency's cover sheets require the signature of a university official, not the principal investigator (PI). As a matter of policy, the university requires that only a properly designated official for the university sign agency cover sheets regardless of agency policy. For academic affairs, the ONLY individuals who can sign on behalf of the university are the provost or president.
The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for preparing the WCU Cover Sheet for distribution. In the process, the PI identifies the need for any of the following resources: matching funds; in-kind contributions; new faculty positions; new student positions (graduate assistantships, etc.); new equipment; new degree, major and/or courses; faculty reassigned time; new non-instructional positions; availability of existing space for the project; and the use of human subjects, animals, recombinant DNA, radioactive materials, and/or hazardous substances. If there is a need for any of the above resources, the PI should make appropriate arrangements prior to bringing the proposal and cover sheet to the following for final signatures.
The PI's signature verifies that arrangements have been made for the necessary resources to accomplish the goals of the project, and that the PI has read and will comply with all policies pertinent to sponsored projects, with the university's Drug-Free Workplace policy, with the University's Affirmative Action Policy, and that no significant personal financial interest exists in the project. The PI assumes responsiblity to comply with award terms and conditions and University policies and procedures; particularly for the technical conduct of the work, submission of technical reports, regulatory compliance, and financial management.
If the proposal is intended to go to a private foundation or other Private source, clearance from the Development Office must be obtained via the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) before preparing the proposal.
The principal investigator is responsible for obtaining the signatures of the department head and dean/supervisor of his/her university division. In order to obtain the necessary signatures the following materials must be presented: a completed WCU Grant/Contract Cover Sheet, completed cover sheets for the agency (if the agency has them), a copy of the proposal, and the budget for the proposed project.
The Department Chair's signature assures that prior arrangements have been made to provide departmental space, special facilities, renovations, equipment, and for the hiring of additional faculty, staff, and students within the department, if the proposal so requires. This signature also assures that the project fits within the department's mission and purpose. The Department Head also is responsible for local oversight to insure compliance with university, state, and federal regulations.
Dean or other Division Head
The Dean's signature assures that prior arrangements have been made to provide space, special facilities, renovations, equipment, and for the hiring of additional faculty, staff, and students within the school, college, or division, particularly when these resources must be obtained from outside of the PI's department. If college resources such as matching funds or alternate work load assignments are necessary for the project, the dean's signature verifies that these resources have been committed. If necessary, the dean's signature also verifies that any arrangements between or among different departments, schools, colleges, and/or divisions within the university have the approval of all concerned. This signature also assures that the project fits within the school's, college's, or division's mission and purpose.
Executive Direcotr, Academic Computing
The Academic Computing Executive Director's signature assures that prior arrangements have been made to provide technology, computer equipment or facilities for the project. Not all proposed projects may require this signature. If technology plays an integral role in the proposed project, then the Executive Director's signature is required.
Associate Vice President
The OSR reviews all proposals for compliance with university, state, and federal regulations. The budget is checked in detail for correct salary, benefits, and indirect cost rates, as well as for compliance with Cost Accounting Standards (in particular OMB Circulars A-21, A-110, A-125, and the FAR) and individual agency requirements. The OSR is responsible for identifying sources of matching funds from university sources, and for obtaining clearance to submit a proposal to a private source if necessary. The Associate Vice President's signature assures compliance with all of the above, and verifies the commitments made by the department head and dean/supervisor of the principal investigator's division of the university.
Upon request, the OSR will review a proposal narrative in detail and will check it for meeting all requirements listed in the Request for Proposals and for any necessary editorial revisions. If you elect this option, please allow at least five days for this review, plus sufficient time for any revisions if necessary, in addition to the five days required for obtaining signatures beyond the Associate Vice President for Sponsored Research.
The OSR is responsible for obtaining the signatures of the Director of Restricted Funds, the VP for Advancement (if necessary), and the Provost on the cover sheets. OSR requires, five days to obtain the remaining signatures.
Director of Restricted Funds
The Director of Restricted Funds will check the proposal for budget accuracy; for correct salary, wage, benefit and indirect cost rates; for compliance with university, state, and federal accounting regulations; and will be prepared to create appropriate accounts if the project is funded.
VP for Advancement
This signature is required only when the proposal will be submitted to a private source. It verifies that the proposal has been cleared for submission to that source.
WCU Grant/Contract Cover Sheet. This signature recognizes and verifies the commitments made by all other signatories on the cover sheet, and, if necessary, commits university funds for matching purposes (arrangements for matching funds must be made in advance in cooperation with the Associate Dean for Research and the Provost). This signature also assures that the project fits within the university's mission and purpose.
Agency Cover Sheets. For federal agencies, and occasionally other agencies, the Provost's signature on the agency cover sheets certifies that the university is in compliance with the required federal regulations governing , depending upon the proposal at hand, human subjects, vertebrate animals, debarment and suspension, drug-free workplace, lobbying, delinquent federal debt, research misconduct, civil rights, handicapped individuals, sex discrimination, age discrimination, financial conflict of interest, and others as required by individual federal agencies. Furthermore, federal agencies consider this signature as indicating that statements made anywhere in the application are true and complete to the best of his/her knowledge and commits the university to comply with the award terms and conditions if an award is made.