Templates and Tools
To reduce the administrative burden on faculty we have gathered together key supplemental document templates that can be easily adapted for new federal proposals.
Since federal agencies discourage the use of boilerplate language for many supplemental documents, these templates should be used as a starting place for the development of your proposal-specific documents. We have found that strong proposals include supplemental documents that have been tailored to meet the needs of the particular research program and solicitation.
Is there a tool or template that isn’t included on this page that would be helpful to have or do you have an example that we should include?
Please use the contact us form on our About page to let us know.
Animal Use in Research
Researchers who propose to use animals as part of their research projects must, in general, submit a detailed description of the experiments and a scientific justification of the need for the use of animals to the funding sponsor and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. The University of Chicago takes the privilege to use animal very seriously and has charged IACUC with the responsibility for review, approval and surveillance of all research and teaching protocols involving the humane use of animals at the University of Chicago. Visit their websites to learn more and receive assistance.
Conflict of Interest
Many federal agencies require Conflict of Interest or Conflict of Commitment Disclosure as part of grant applications by investigators receiving support for research either directly or via subaward. Learn more about the technical requirements of COIs on the URA website.
Federal proposals that promote partnerships between universities and industry, such as NSF Industry University Collaborative Research Center (IUCRC), often require sample cooperative agreements as part of the application. These agreements will generally outline the rights and responsibilities of all parties – center, universities and industry members.
The Technology Commercialization and Licensing team at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is available to advise and create industry agreements for federal proposals.
NSF/NIH Budget Templates
The financial administrator in your department or experts in University Research Administration can help you develop an effective budget that complies with the requirements of specific agencies. As a starting place, NSF and NIH budget templates can be found on the URA website.
Protection for Human Subjects
The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is an administrative body established to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects recruited to participate in research activities. While a proposal can generally be reviewed by a funding agency without IRB approval, projects involving human subjects usually cannot be recommended for funding until this certification or its equivalent is filed. Recruitment and data collection with human subjects cannot begin until the IRB has reviewed the study. If you are not sure whether your project is human subjects research under the IRB regulations, please contact the relevant IRB office for guidance.
Day-to-day responsibility for the use of human subjects in research is handled by three administrative units. The Biological Sciences Division IRB handles all biomedical and behavioral research within the Biological Sciences Division and the University of Chicago Medical Center. The School of Social Service Administration (SSA) IRB serves SSA and Chapin Hall. The Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB handles all other social and behavioral sciences research and any human subjects research in other academic areas (e.g., Graduate School of Business, Humanities, Law School, Argonne National Laboratory), for all units at the University other than the Biological Sciences, SSA and Chapin Hall. Visit their websites to learn more and receive assistance.
Biological Sciences Division/University of Chicago Medical Center Institutional Review Board
Director of Regulatory Compliance for Human Subjects
Social & Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board
Director of Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB
School of Social Service Administration Institutional Review Board
Kari E. Walsh
Director SSA IRB
As part of your proposal you will need to write a strong budget narrative that explains how costs were calculated and justifies those expenses. Learn more about budget justifications and see examples on the URA website.
Data Management Plan
A data management plan is a formal document that outlines how you will handle your data both during your research, and after the project is completed. Templates and examples can be found on the URA site. Additionally, the University subscribes to DMPTool, an online resource with templates that meet the requirements of a wide variety of funding agencies. To get started using this tool, login using your CNetID and you will be first guided through a set of questions and then you will have the opportunity to save a PDF of your resulting plan.
If you need customized help developing a complex data management plan, the Research Computing Center can help you develop data management plans that meet the requirements of grants and other sources of funding.
Key Contacts and Resources:
Russell Burk, grant and program development manager at the Research Computing Center.
DMPTool, an online resource with templates that meet the requirements of a wide variety of funding agencies.
University of Chicago Library, website with data management guidelines and examples.
URA, link to NSF data management plan template
Letters of Support
The best letters of support are customized for the specific proposal you are preparing. You should plan on contacting the person or group you are requesting the letter from at least two weeks in advance and provide them with a draft letter or at minimum a template that describes the importance of the program and how they will be supporting your proposal. For assistance obtaining a signature for a letter of support please contact the following staff members: BSD Deans If you require a letter of support from either the Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, Kenneth S. Polonsky, or from the dean for basic science, T. Conrad Gilliam, please contact Hannah Lawrence, Assistant Dean Faculty Advancement & Diversity, email@example.com. Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and National Laboratories Julia Lane, Executive Director, Research Development Support (RDS), firstname.lastname@example.org Humanities Dean Courtney C.W. Guerra, Senior Writer Grants & Fellowships, email@example.com Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering Dean Maria Rubio, Executive Assistant to Pritzker Director Matthew Tirrell, firstname.lastname@example.org Provost Somaiyya Ahmad, Associate Director of Programs and Special Projects, email@example.com Physical Sciences Division Dean Jennifer Woods, Director Program Development & Special Projects, firstname.lastname@example.org Social Sciences Division Dean Cate Goebel, Associate Dean for Research and Strategic Initiatives, email@example.com
Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan
Federal agencies, like NSF, often require a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for postdocs funded by the proposal. Examples of mentor activities can include career counseling, teacher training, as well as proposal training and guidance. More information on NSF specific requirements can be found on the NSF proposal preparation guide.
Institutional Biosafety Committee
Proposals involving the use of recombinant nucleic acids, pathogenic organisms or biological toxins often require institutional verification so that the institution is aware of the proposed research and has the resources and expertise to conduct the research safely and in compliance with local or federal regulations or funding requirements. The Institutional Biosafety Committee will provide this documentation upon review and approval of your IBC Research Registration (IBC-AURA) and inspection of your laboratory (ORS) when appropriate.