Why the three-business-day deadline?

Over the past several years, UTIA faculty and staff have become increasingly active and successful in seeking and obtaining extramural support for their programs. Since 2008, UTIA grant and contract submissions have more than doubled and expenditures have increased by over 40%.

The UTIA Sponsored Programs office provides a very high level of support to assist faculty and staff in proposal development and submission. As activity has increased, additional pre-award grant coordinators have been added (with salaries paid from increased F&A) to assist in proposal development and submission. The overarching objective of this approach is to strengthen the competitiveness of UTIA’s grantsmanship efforts through greater support and service for faculty and staff.

Even with this added support, challenges continue regarding timely completion and submission of proposals. With electronic submission both at the university and sponsor level, timely submission and routing to obtain needed approvals and agency acceptance is more important today than in the past. In light of these ongoing challenges, we are implementing a three (3) business day deadline for complete proposal information to be delivered to UTIA Sponsored Programs, prior to the agency proposal deadline. All final documents, ready for submission must be delivered by this time. Where collaborations with UT-Knoxville exist, proposals must meet their five (5) day lead time requirement. Any exception to this policy must be addressed directly by the principal investigator to the appropriate dean.

In a recent real-world UTIA example, a proposal was not accepted by USDA NIFA due to missing the agency deadline by six minutes. The principal investigator was working on the proposal right up to the deadline and so submission took place too late. Grants.gov was receiving hundreds of other submissions at the same time, causing the submission to arrive after the deadline. Ultimate result, the proposal arrived at NIFA at 5:06 pm; deadline was 5:00 pm; submission was denied. We must begin submission at least one day (preferably two days) before the agency deadline.

UTIA faculty and staff are working harder and are more productive than ever before and we appreciate all you do for UTIA. If there are questions, please feel free to contact us.

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UTIA Office of Sponsored Programs
Fax: 865-974-7451
aggrant@utk.edu or
225 Morgan Hall
2621 Morgan Circle Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37996-4514