California State University, Fullerton

Policies & Procedures

Visit Proposal Preparation for the proposal manual, boilerplate text, and other useful proposal preparation information. 

Please visit the Research Compliance website for information regarding IRB, IACUC, Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), Conflict of Interest, etc.

To ensure that complete and accurate proposals to external funding agencies are submitted on time, CSUF faculty and other researchers are requested to contact their OGC Coordinator as soon as a decision is made to submit a proposal. This will ensure that the OGC and pertinent offices can identify all administrative and compliance requirements early in the process. 


Table of Contents

Grant Submission Timeline Policy
PI Eligibility Policy


Grant Submission Timeline Policy

Every funded project starts with a proposal to the funding agency. At CSUF, any submission to an external funding agency (“sponsor”) cannot be made without appropriate review and approval by authorized administrators within the university, as required under the California State University Executive Order no. 890 (EO 890). All reviews and approvals must be completed prior to submission. For this reason, the CSUF has implemented the Extramural Grant and Contract Proposal Submission Timeline Policy,  which requires that a proposal has to be routed for campus approvals at least seven (7) business days prior to the sponsor deadline. In order for a proposal to be considered “on time,” the following documents are required:

  • Finalized budget
  • Final budget Justification
  • Final (or near final draft) Project Narrative
  • Completed Internal Routing form

Please see the Grant Submission Timeline Policy Memo and the Addendum to the Proposal Submission Policy (June 2015) for important internal guidelines.

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PI Eligibility Policy

Background, Definition and Role  

A Principal Investigator (“PI”) must be identified for every proposal submitted by the university. While there may be any number of co-Principal Investigators (“co-PI”) or co-investigators (“co-I”) involved in a proposal, there must be one individual who is recognized as ultimately responsible for the overall management of the project/program, completion of all required reports and deliverables, and who will serve as the primary technical point of contact for the potential funding agency and California State University, Fullerton (“CSUF”) if the proposal is funded. In some projects, a Principal Investigator may also serve as Project Director (“PD”).

The eligibility to serve as PI at CSUF on university-based grants or contracts is currently limited to an individual employed under any of the following categories:

  • Tenure or Tenure-track faculty member currently employed by the CSUF
  • Academic Administrator: Department Chair, College Dean or equivalent, Associate Vice President, Vice President
  • Full-time CSUF Management Personal Plan (MPP) employees or an employee of the ASC acting in his/her capacity as Center Director (or equivalent appointment)

The following individuals may serve as PI with prior approvals as described below:

  • A faculty member with emeritus status, with prior approvals from the College Dean or Division Head/Vice President, and Associate Vice President for Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer (AVPRCATT)
  • Non-tenured faculty such as Adjunct Faculty or Lecturer, with prior approvals from the College Dean or Division Head/Vice President, and AVP-RCATT
  • In some circumstances, a Visiting Faculty (with temporary appointment) may serve as Co-PI for a proposed project, provided that the main PI is a full-time faculty member or Academic Administrator (as defined above).

NOTE: Students submitting proposals where an award is issued to the CSUF or ASC must be sponsored by a faculty member or academic administrator who acts as the designated PI.  If the sponsor guidelines require, the student may be listed as a co-investigator, but may not be the point of contact for the project.

Prior approvals may be provided via email or signed “PI Approval Form” (template provided on Page 3 of the proposal manual).  Some colleges and departments may have specific guidelines on PI eligibility. Prospective PIs or co-PIs should check with her/his department and/or college to ensure that he/she meets their unit’s specific eligibility requirements.

Responsibilities of a PI

The PI has responsibility for understanding funding opportunity guidelines when applying for extramural funding. In addition, the PI must comply with university policies regarding the review and approval of proposal submissions. In order to serve as a PI, he/she must meet certain criteria which are outlined in CSU Executive Order 890 (  The Office of Grants and Contracts (OGC) is committed to provide assistance and support to the PI in the preparation, compilation and submission of the proposal. The PI must be prepared to direct and/or perform the activities and meet all deliverables described in the proposed project.

If the application is chosen for an award, the PI must work collaboratively with the ASC’s Office of Sponsored Program (OSP) administrator and the sponsor agency staff to ensure successful administration and progress of the awarded project.  The PI must comply with CSUF and ASC compliance policies which include, but not limited to, the use of human/animal subjects, environmental health and safety issues, disclosure of significant financial interests or conflict of interest (COI), responsible conduct of research (RCR), complete all required RCR training, confidentiality requirements, and risk management.

The PI has dual responsibility for complying with the financial and administrative policies of the award while achieving the technical success of the project.  Even though the PI may have administrative staff to assist in the management of sponsored projects, the ultimate responsibility for the successful completion of the scope of work and the management of extramural dollars rests with the PI. The ASC is committed to assisting PIs in the administration of sponsored research and other activities. A copy of the Sponsored Programs Manual can be found at

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Frequently Asked Questions (under construction)

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