What Does OGCA Review?

Full Proposals vs. Pre-Proposals, Notices of Intent (NOI), Letters of Intent (LOI), White Papers, Concept Papers, etc.

A full proposal is either submitted in response to a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) or as an unsolicited submission. It formally commits University personnel time/effort, facilities, or other resources and therefore requires internal institutional approvals.

Sometimes sponsors initially require applicants to submit a "pre-proposal", "notice of intent", "letter of intent", "white paper", or "concept paper" in order to be eligible to apply for a program or be invited to submit a full proposal. For purposes of these outlined procedures, the term “pre-proposal” is used to describe all the terms noted above (list may not be all inclusive).

UAF approval guidelines for proposals depend wholly upon sponsor requirements and the commitments written into the proposal.

All full proposals (as referenced above) require OGCA final review and endorsement.

Pre-proposals (as referenced above) that meet either of the following criteria require OGCA review and endorsement:

  • A pre-proposal submitted to a sponsor in response to a limited submission funding opportunity announcement.

Note: Internal whitepapers prepared for UAF Limited Submission Committee review do not require OGCA review.

If a pre-proposal is not subject to any of the conditions listed above, it can be submitted directly to the sponsor without OGCA review. If you are unsure, please contact our office.

For pre-proposals submitted to a sponsor without OGCA review, the following statement should be included in the submission email:

"The information provided in this document is for discussion purposes only. It does not represent a firm quote and it does not commit UAF personnel, facilities, or funds. Final terms and conditions of this sponsored activity are subject to UAF review and authorization of a formal proposal or agreement."

Care must be taken to ensure that any activities prior to submission of a formally-approved proposal on behalf of UAF do not create any University commitments.

*Per UA Board of Regents policy and delegated via the UAF Chancellor, the designated AORs for UAF are the OGCA Executive Director and Associate Director.

Note on Banner FRAPROP Entry: All pre-proposals should be entered into Banner FRAPROP as the type "PP". If selected to be submitted as a full proposal, it can then be changed to the relevant proposal type (NC), using the same S number. If a pre-proposal does not require a budget, it should be left at a zero dollar amount until a full proposal is invited for submission. Banner entry does not require review by OGCA Pre-Award.

If you have questions or are unsure about these guidelines, please contact our office.

OGCA Pre-Award:

This list of other requests that OGCA Pre-Award reviews and approves includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Supplemental Funding Requests: Requests for additional funding to supplement the current project (Note: You must use the most current F&A rate for supplemental requests, except for requests to NSF, which use the parent award rate.)
  • Annual Continuations: Requests for the next year's funding (only when required by the sponsor)
  • Renewals: Requests to “renew” the sponsor’s support for the project’s continuation
  • Pre-Award Revisions: Any changes to the proposal or budget before the official award is accepted by UAF
  • Internal UAF minigrant proposals
  • Pilot project proposals, after they have been vetted by their committees and chosen to go forward

OGCA Post-Award

OGCA Post-Award reviews the following:

  • Notices of award, amendments, and/or modifications
  • Annual or final progress reports
  • Amendments or modifications to existing awards, unless the money coming to UAF is a new pot of money
  • No cost extensions, grant transfers, personnel changes, or changes to the scope of work
  • Post-award revisions to the proposal and/or proposal budget

OGCA Managment

OGCA Management reviews the following:

  • Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs), and other agreements related to sponsored projects
  • Industry-sponsored agreements
  • Master agreements, with related task orders
  • Special terms and conditions in either a proposal or award

OGCA-Proposal Review Guidelines


OGCA-Proposal Review Guidelines


A. Introduction

The Office of Grants and Contracts Administration (OGCA) will provide a full review of the administrative content of a proposal submitted 5 full business days in advance of the sponsor deadline while allowing additional time for the research content to be finalized and submitted to OGCA.

 Administrative content (internal routing form, application forms, budget, CVs etc.) must be submitted to OGCA at least 5 full business days in advance of the sponsor deadline for full review. The research narrative and other research content may be submitted either in draft form in advance, or in final form up to one full business day in advance of the deadline, depending on the level of review.


OGCA recommends that a substantially complete draft of the research content be submitted in advance with the administrative content for a thorough review of all required proposal components to be completed prior to submission to the sponsor. However, the Principal Investigator (PI) may choose not to submit a draft at this time, with the understanding that these sections will not be reviewed prior to submission. Please keep in mind

that proposals submitted in full or in part less than 2 full business days before the sponsor deadline are at a greater risk of missed deadlines, submission failure, sponsor rejection or errors that could impact award negotiation.

Departments/Units may require additional time to prepare budgets, assemble application materials and review proposals prior to OGCA submission but should not impose stricter internal requirements for the final research content than those outlined below.


B. Administrative Content Includes (depending on sponsor/proposal requirements):
  • Internal Routing Form
  • Application forms
  • CV(s)/Biosketch(es)
  • Current and Pending/Other Support
  • Budget & Budget Justification
  • Cost share commitments (these should not be included in the research content)
  • Appendices/Supplemental Documents – (Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan, Resource Plan, Data

Management Plan, Vertebrate Animals plan, Human Subjects plan etc.)

  • Subaward documents (letter of commitment, scope of work, budget, etc…)
  • Letters of support


 C. Research Content Includes (precise section label may vary by sponsor):
  • Project Summary/Abstract
  • Narrative/Research Strategy/Project Description
  • Specific Aims
  • References Cited


 D. Timing of submission and review

The type of review and feedback provided depends on when the components of the proposal are received by OGCA. Three review scenarios are outlined below.

Proposals are reviewed in order of receipt. It is strongly recommended that the PI and/or their proposal coordinator/unit provide OGCA with advance notice of upcoming proposal submissions as soon as it is known. This helps OGCA to plan ahead and anticipate submission so they can respond to the greatest degree possible in the case of last minute submissions.

Advance notice also allows OGCA to become familiar with the required proposal components so they are prepared to provide PIs with an effective review and units with guidance on proposal requirements. This is especially important in the case of complex proposals (example: center grants, program project grants, proposals with multiple subawards or foreign components, proposals responding to RFPs that include problematic terms and conditions, complicated online submission systems etc.), where it is important for PIs or their proposal coordinators to work with OGCA well in advance of the sponsor deadline.

Scenario 1. Full Review with or without draft research content (when received by OGCA at least 5 full business days in advance of deadline; See Proposal Review Guidelines for definition of full review)

  • Complete and final version of administrative content
  • Indication of when final research content will be provided
  • OGCA will make best efforts to review and provide feedback within 2 business days
  • OGCA will not submit until advised by PI or their administrative representative that package is ready for submission.

Scenario 2. Limited review with or without draft research content (when received by OGCA 3-4 full business days in advance – See Proposal Review Guidelines for definition of limited review)

  • Complete and final version of administrative content
  • Indication of when final research content will be provided
  • OGCA will provide limited review within 2 business days
  • OGCA will not submit until advised by PI or their administrative representative that package is ready for submission
  • Proposal must be submitted to OGCA by 12:00 noon (AK)

Scenario 3. No Review (when final package is received by OGCA 2 or fewer business days in advance – see Proposal Review Guidelines for definition of no review)

  • Complete and final version of proposal package (administrative and research content)
  • OGCA review limited to ensure UAF and Sponsor’s submission requirements (see below) are met
  • Proposal is submitted as is (unless issues with UAF and Sponsor requirements); no further follow up with PI or their administrative representative. A post-submission review will be conducted by OGCA and comments will be submitted to PI and their administrative representative. Any and all comments will need to be addressed prior to award being issued.
  • Proposal may be withdrawn or award may not be accepted if significant issues with UAF and Sponsor requirements, eligibility, budget and/or cost-share/match commitments are discovered post-submission. This will be in partership with the Vice Chancellor for Research and the PI’s dean/director.
 E. OGCA Review

Following proposal review, OGCA will provide comments that will be grouped according to whether or not the comment must be addressed prior to submission.  As a reminder only those documents that are reviewed, endorsed, and finalized by OGCA should be submitted to the sponsor.  All proposals should be routed to OGCA for review, endorsement and finalization prior to submission to sponsor/agency. For example:

  1. UAF/Sponsor Submission Requirements: Proposals will be submitted when they meet UAF/Sponsor submission requirements and comply with sponsor/agency guidelines.
  1. To Be Resolved: OGCA will work with the PI/delegate and unit/department to determine how the issue(s) flagged must be resolved. Proposals will be submitted based on the decision of the department, unit, or PI as applicable, and subsequent PI authorization.
  • Budget/Budget Justification (F&A rate, fringe benefit rate, unallowable costs, errors)
  • Cost share/match requirements and authorization of commitments
  • PI eligibility
  • Elements that would prevent submission or system acceptance, such as missing documents, incorrect institutional ID #s (DUNS #), page limits exceeded, file names and types etc.
  1. Recommendation: It is at the PI’s sole discretion as to whether or not to act upon the recommendation. Proposals will be submitted by OGCA based on the PI’s decision, sponsor guidelines of supplementary/optional documents.
  • Responsiveness to selection criteria
  • Deviations from sponsor guidelines
  • Sponsor instructions that do not prevent submission (e.g. PMCID #, order of publications in CV, letters of support, full subawardee documentation, quotes, inclusion of base salary etc.).

OGCA will make every effort to provide concise feedback on proposals. Reviews will:

  • be provided in bulleted or numbered form
  • reference the applicable section or page number of the proposal
  • provide relevant information within the text of the email as well as a link to find the information (e.g. DUNS number, Animal Welfare Assurance Number, etc.)
  • indicate the comment type (UAF/Sponsor Submission Requirement, To be Resolved or Recommendation).

OGCA continually strives to provide exemplary service to researchers. Feedback on OGCA’s review process, or any other aspect of our services, is encouraged and should be sent to OGCA uaf-ogca@alaska.edu.

OGCA has in depth knowledge and expertise with specific sponsors and can work with researchers and departmental representatives or units to guide them through the proposal process.

Please consult OGCA at any time with questions or feedback directly or using the following contact information: uaf-ogca-preaward@alaska.edu