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Re: internal approvals John Czaja 05 May 1998 09:54 EST

Alexandra Thompson wrote: "Does anyone else have an up-front approval
process? If so, does it work? How does it work?  What are the pitfalls?"

Miami University in Oxford, Ohio has used a "budget prereview" procedure
for as long as I have been here (13 years).  It works quite well.  Faculty,
staff and students submitting external proposals are told that a budget
preapproval is *required* before they can start a proposal through the full
proposal approval process (department, college, etc).  The budget prereview
procedure tends to catch and correct most of the items that would cause
problems during final review (such as cost-sharing, release time,
appropriate pay and fringe rates, student fee waivers, etc.).

Our preaward office (rather than the budget office) now does most of the
budget development and budget prereview. This is often handled
electronically.  We provide spreadsheet templates for the PIs to complete
and return. Otherwise, we enter the budget numbers into a spreadsheet or
agency template ourselves based on discussion with the PI.  In either case,
we keep these spreadsheets for reference during final review.

In most cases, final budget review and proposal sign-off are now both done
by the preaward office without any involvement by the budget office.  If
there are any last minute changes in the budget, these can then usually be
handled easily and quickly with the spreadsheets developed during
prereview.  The budget prereview requirement dramatically reduces the
number of proposals delayed due to budget problems in the final review.

While we do not have 100% compliance, most budgets do undergo prereview.
An important factor at Miami U. is that the PI is responsible for mailing
his or her proposal.  As a result, the PI has to deal with the consequences
of a delay he/she may introduce by not following guidelines.

--  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --

 John A. Czaja, Ph.D.                   E-mail: xxxxxx@MUOhio.Edu
 Miami University                       Voice   (513)529-3734
 107 Roudebush Hall- OAST               FAX     (513)529-3762
 Oxford, OH  45056

        * Professor of Psychology
        * Associate Director (Research and Sponsored Programs),
           Office for the Advancement of Scholarship & Teaching
        * Coordinator, Undergraduate Summer Scholars [USS] Program