November 16, 2009

SPO Implements New Proposal Review Form

On November 16, 2009, the Sponsored Projects Office implemented a new improved format for its Proposal Review Form (PRF). The new form can be found on the SPO web site on the UC Berkeley Forms page. Please delete any previous versions of the form that you may have saved on your computer, and start using the new form immediately. If you have already prepared a PRF for a new proposal, and it is not possible to get new signatures in time to meet the 5 day deadline to SPO, you may include the old form with your proposal. However, the old form does not include several required fields, and if you use this form you will be required to provide additional information. After January 1, 2010, SPO will not approve any proposal submitted with the old PRF form.

What is different?

New Format – Although much of the information has remained the same we have changed the way that the form is organized to be more intuitive, and to communicate information in a more meaningful way. To do this, we have expanded the form to two pages in order to accommodate a more readable font size. Also, fields that relate to each other have been grouped together so that administrators and investigators new to proposal submission at UC Berkeley can more easily understand what information we are asking for.

Tool Tips – We have added tool tips (or mouse overs) to fields that are commonly misinterpreted, or fields where administrators and investigators may want a quick reminder while filling out the form.

Drop Down Menus – In several areas we have replaced the check boxes with drop down menus. This allows us to provide more categories that may more accurately reflect the nature of the proposed project, while at the same time keeping the form uncluttered and easily readable.

Note Fields – It is not possible to create a form that incorporates all possible situations, while keeping it useful for everyday department purposes. To help compensate for this, we have included fields specifically for the PI and the department to communicate additional information as need to SPO and each other.

Key Personnel – This is a new mandatory field for the PRF and has been added to enable the department and SPO to review the effort commitments of Key Personnel at the time of proposal. As with many fields on the PRF, this is a necessary first step we take to comply with Federal requirements. This does represent a new area of compliance for the University, so we have incorporated this information into the PRF in order to minimize the additional administrative burden on the department. Please note that we only need this information for people listed as Key Personnel, and not all personnel on the project.

Addenda – We have created the Expanded Personnel Form to accommodate large projects with more than five Key Personnel. We have also created an Expanded Signature Page for interdepartmental projects, and projects with multiple Co-PIs.

We have also updated the Instructions, and added a Frequently Asked Questions page in order to provide additional resources for both Berkeley researchers and their administrative support.