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Guideline Interpretation - B03


Once a decision has been made to apply for external funding, a Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD) must review the guidelines or instructions for application. This may come in hard copy form from a prospective sponsor or may be available on the sponsor website in a downloadable and printable format. Faculty, staff and students must take the time to read this, as information pertaining to font size, margins, page limits, eligibility, funds availability, budgeting, deadlines and delivery is contained in the guidelines. Failure to address all the stipulations in the proposal guidelines most often results in an ineligible proposal that is sometime returned without review.


This procedure applies to all sponsored projects subject to OU Policy 19.045 Administering External Grants and Contracts set up as separate accounts in the OHIO Financial Management System (FMS).


In all instances, a PI/PD will provide his or her respective SPM with a copy of the proposal guidelines or a link to the funding agency’s website for specific proposal preparation instructions.

The SPMs are well trained at interpreting guidelines that are often highly specific and somewhat confusing. They deal with many programs on a consistent basis and can offer advice based on previous submissions from OHIO, which may not be included in the guidelines.

When the PI/PD and the SPM disagree on the interpretation of a regulatory guideline, in collaboration with the PI/PD respective Associate Dean for Research (ADR), the Assistant Vice President for Research (AVPR) or Legal Affairs interpretation will prevail.


Questions regarding this procedure can be sent to


There are no forms or templates for this procedure. 

Roles and Responsibilities 





Link to Agency Specific Information

OU Policy 19.045 Administering External Grants and Contracts