Duke launches a new research grant proposal review & submission process

By Laurianne Torres, Associate Dean for Research Administration, Duke University Medical Center

About 250 faculty and staff attended the research town hall “Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: a discussion on upcoming changes to the grant review and submission process and the move to electronic attestation”.

Dr. Geeta Swamy, Vice Dean and Associate Vice Provost for Scientific Integrity, and Michael Dickman, Associate Director, Office of Research Administration, presented an overview of the grant review and submission changes.

A panel of Duke Surgery faculty and staff presented their experience with the way the Surgery Intent to Submit process has changed proposal development in their department, providing a higher level of support for Faculty writing grants.

Blake Perrault (Senior IT Analyst, myRESEARCHhome) gave a demo of the new Electronic Attestation feature coming on July 15, 2019, which replaces the paper Duke Proposal Approval Form (DPAF).

Summary of improvements and new features coming in July 2019

Intent to Submit Process
A new feature in myRESEARCHhome will give faculty the ability to alert grant managers about an intent to submit a grant application.  This notice will prompt your grant manager to reach out early in the process to offer project support.

Pre-Award Kick-off Meetings
The Intent to Submit feature will also allow for the Central Pre-Award Office to offer development support that includes consultation on proposal requirements, a customized checklist and timeline for submission, and a review of documents as they are completed (in advance of the 5 day internal deadline).

5 Day Internal Deadline Policy
The Central Pre-Award Office (ORA) will move from a 7-day to a 5-day internal deadline.  The new policy applies only to ORA submission (your department may have its own internal deadline) and requires that a near final draft be received by 8:00 a.m., 5 full business days (not including sponsor deadline day) prior to the sponsor deadline.

Revised Review and Submission Guidance
New guidance has been posted to the ORA website, which includes a description of the elements required for routing (which includes a near final of the technical/scientific sections of the proposal) and the review process for late or rush submissions.

Late Application Waivers
On rare occasions, situations may arise that require expedited review.  Beginning in July, the waiver process for late grant submissions will be replaced with a request for rush service requiring department leadership review and approval. Beginning in the Fall 2019, requests for rush services will include a charge.

Electronic Attestation Process
The electronic attestation process replaces the current paper-based DPAF form.  The new feature, available in myRESEARCHhome, includes:

  • Notification to all faculty if named in a proposal
  • Attestation at proposal stage for all PIs, Co-PIs, Multi-PIs and PI Fellows
  • Attestation at award stage for all Key Personnel named in the sponsor’s notice of award

The Duke Department of Surgery shared its experience with the Intent to Submit process with a before-and-after comparison of their proposal development support model. 

  • Before Intent to Submit, the process was inefficient, email-based, and administratively-burdensome and time consuming for both the investigator and the grant manager.
  • Recognizing that there was a more effective way to provide proposal development support for the investigator, the Department of Surgery implemented an electronic Intent to Submit.
  • The streamlined, single-step submission form, which captures more details than what will be required by the SOM process:
  • Takes about 15-30 minutes to provide full details
  • Helps flag issues early in the process with time to resolve
  • Engages the proposal development team early, working together to address financial, administrative, technical and regulatory aspects.

We would like to thank all of those who attended the event, provided feedback and asked questions. This event provided an opportunity to begin and continue important dialog about Duke’s grant review and submission process - the efficiency and efficacy of which is essential to supporting and promoting the research and scholarly activities of Duke faculty.

Would you like to review the June 11 Research Town Hall presentations?

Please access recording HERE

Please access slides HERE


Acknowledgements: Duke Office of Scientific Integrity would like to thank the panelists who participated in this event: Geeta Swamy, Vice Dean and Associate Vice Provost for Scientific Integrity; Laurianne Torres, Associate Dean for Research Administration; Justin Pollara, Assistant Professor of Surgery; Lauren Anderson, Director of Research Development; Ashley Palmer, Contracts and Grants Administrator
Rachel Morales, Contracts and Grants Administrator.