Industry-Sponsored Research Process

Sponsored Research Process

Proposal Development and Award Management Process

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Step 1. Principal investigator (PI) prepares routing sheet, statement of work, budget, export control (if applicable), and any other materials required by sponsor.show

When developing a proposal for sponsored research, Georgia Tech researchers submit the following documents:

  • Routing sheet: Before any proposal is mailed to a funding agency, it gets routed through the GTRC internal review process to ensure the proposal is complete and complies with GTRC guidelines. The routing sheet is available online.
  • Statement of Work: The Statement of Work provides an overview of the proposed research project, explains why the research is significant, and often includes a projected timeline or milestones.
  • Budget: The budget provides an estimate of the funds needed to support the research project and includes a justification for the budget expenses. Georgia Tech has developed a Budget Wizard to help with this process.
  • Export Control (when required): International research requires compliance with export control regulations (and some industry-sponsored research in the U.S. does as well). Georgia Tech researchers should familiarize themselves with export control restrictions.

A standard proposal may also include a title page, abstract, curriculum vitae, and bibliography. In addition, many industry sponsors have specific instructions and requirements that must be addressed in the proposal. Therefore, please include the Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP) in the proposal package so that we can help ensure that all submission criteria have been met.

Step 2. PI secures signatures from department chair and dean.show

Once all of the proposal materials have been compiled, the package is routed to the department chair and the dean for approval and signatures. If the proposal includes co-PIs, signatures must be received for all relevant department chairs. This routing process enables department chairs to determine whether the grant will impact a researcher’s teaching load; verify that adequate facilities and equipment are available to support the proposed research; approve the use of human subjects, animal subjects, or hazardous substances; and ensure that the research is aligned with departmental objectives. Once departmental approval has been given, the proposal is then routed to the dean, who reviews the budget, approves the commitment of university funds (if any), and ensures the project is aligned with university objectives.

Step 3. PI submits proposal to the Office of Industry Engagement.show

After signatures and approvals have been received, the proposal and routing form are submitted to Industry Engagement via e-mail. All proposals must be submitted to the Office of Industry Engagement at least 3 business days prior to the deadline.

Please note: For international research, proposals require an additional step: export control. International research proposals cannot be sent to the sponsor until export control approval is received. Therefore, it is strongly advised that international research proposals be submitted to the Office of Industry Engagement at least 3-5 business days before the sponsor deadline to allow for this review.

Once a proposal is submitted, Industry Engagement logs the proposal into the system within 24 hours, assigns a contracting officer, and submits the proposal to the sponsor.

Step 4. Industry Engagement submits proposal to sponsor.show

After the PI submits a proposal to Industry Engagement, the proposal is logged into the system (typically within 24 hours) and assigned a contracting officer. The Office of Industry Engagement then submits the proposal to the sponsor.

Step 5. Industry Engagement negotiates terms and conditions.show

After the sponsor has reviewed the proposal, Industry Engagement negotiates the contract and establishes the terms and conditions with the sponsor on behalf of the PI. This negotiation typically begins approximately 2 weeks after the proposal has been submitted to the sponsor. Before finalizing a contract, Industry Engagement ensures that the terms and conditions are in full compliance with university policies.

For more detailed information on indemnification, publication of results, and intellectual property, download and consult the Contract Accords for University Industry Sponsored Agreements.

Step 6. Industry Engagement executes the contract and establishes the award.show

Once all terms and conditions have been agreed upon, the Office of Industry Engagement accepts the research award and executes the contract on behalf of the university. Prior to the execution of the contract, it is important for the PI to review the details of the agreement to ensure that the funds awarded match the budget in the proposal and to verify any special terms or conditions. After the award is accepted, the university is contractually bound to complete the work; therefore, it is important to review the contract carefully to be certain the scope of work is acceptable. At this time, Industry Engagement enters a notification of the award into the financial system to receive an account number from the Office of Grants and Contracts.

The entire sponsored research proposal process — from submission of the proposal to the moment when work can begin — typically takes 60 days. For international research, the proposal process can take longer due to time differences and export control issues. The Office of Industry Engagement works diligently to ensure that the process moves forward as quickly and smoothly as possible. It is our goal to help Georgia Tech researchers form productive and strategic relationships with industry.

Step 7. Research work begins.show

Once the contract has been accepted and the project is set up in the accounting system, work can begin. An advance payment is required on all projects with industry sponsors, as it typically takes several months from the start of a project until receipt of the first payment. The amount of the advance payment is usually 25% of the total project cost. However, if the sponsor has a bad credit rating, a higher amount (up to the full project cost) may be required. The sponsor is notified of this advance payment requirement in the proposal transmittal letter, which outlines the terms of the agreement. The amount of the advance payment is cited in the payment clause of the contract. The advance payment is applied against the final invoice for the project, and any funds remaining are returned to the sponsor.

Step 8. Post-award account maintenance. show

The Office of Industry Engagement handles any issues that arise during the course of the award, including cost sharing, facilities and administrative costs, subcontracts, subrecipient monitoring, deliverables, and contract close-out. To learn more about the opportunities and challenges unique to institution and industry collaborations, download and consult the Researcher Guidebook.