Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I contact the Office of Research Administration (ORA)?

The ORA is located in Research Parkway, Building 865, in Suite 450. The phone number is 405-271-2090.  Please email any documents to

How can I locate funding sources?

The Office of Research Administration website includes links to various funding sources. In addition, opportunities can be found on the News page and are emailed weekly to all faculty and staff from the ORA. Other opportunities can be found on the Vice President for Research's home page under Announcements.

What is a Proposal?

A proposal is a detailed request for funding prepared in accordance with the sponsor’s instructions. A sponsor can be a federal, state, or local agency, a private foundation, a corporation or other business entity.

A proposal must comply with University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center policies and sponsor requirements. A proposal, upon submission, becomes an official record of the work OUHSC proposes to do for the sponsor.

Who in ORA can help me?

Throughout the life of your proposal and award, Sponsored Programs Administrators (SPAs) within the ORA will provide oversight and administrative support to investigators and departmental administrators. To find your SPA go here.

When is a SoonerTrack routing form needed?

Sponsored activities routing forms are required any time proposals are being prepared to bring new funds into the University. Routing forms are not required for rebudget, extension, and carryover requests. To initiate a routing form, enter your OUHSC user name and password into the SoonerTrack system here.

Who can help me with budget information?

Your Department or College should be able to assist you with your budget preparation. Spreadsheet templates are available on the ORA website. A Detailed Budget Spreadsheet template and NIH Modular Spreadsheet template is available under Grant Related Forms.

If I submit a proposal electronically to the sponsor do I still need to route my proposal through ORA?

Yes. All completed grant applications and proposals must be routed through and reviewed by the ORA at least three (3) full business days prior to the sponsor's deadline. This includes all proposals to state, federal, non-profit, foundation, and industrial/pharmaceutical sponsors, regardless of the type of submission. An authorized agent of the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma in the ORA must approve and sign all proposals prior to submission to the sponsor. Faculty do not have the authority to sign any proposal or grant application, nor to submit any electronic applications without the prior written approval of the ORA.

I need to request an extension on my grant, how do I do that?

Contact your Sponsored Programs Administrator here. The extension request process varies by sponsor. Your SPA will advise you what documentation is necessary to begin the extension request process. Extension requests need to be completed prior to the end of the award period.

When do I need to notify ORA that I will be applying for a grant or contract?  

Please notify your Sponsored Programs Administrator (found here) as soon as you know you will be submitting a proposal.  Include a link to any guidelines or RFA. Please note that the full proposal package, including all the applicable forms, must be provided to the ORA three (3) business days prior to the submission deadline.

How do I know if the contract request I’m submitting should be for a Subrecipient or for a Vendor?

To determine which contract is appropriate, please review these Subrecipient vs. Vendor Guidelines. If you still are not sure, please contact your Sponsored Programs Administrator.

Who is eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator?

The OUHSC policy on PI eligibility is located here:  PI Eligibility

I do not think I will be able to make the three-day submission deadline.  What do I do?

Incomplete proposals submitted with less than three (3) full University business days before the funding agency’s deadline will NOT be accepted without a waiver from the Vice President for Research (VPR) or his designee. [NOTE: An email request and approval from the VPR or his designee is sufficient to meet this requirement].

I need to rebudget the funds on my award, how do I do that?

The rebudgeting process begins with Grants and Contracts Accounting.

How can I start spending on my grant?

Please contact your Sponsored Programs Administrator here. If an award notice and budget information has been received and all required institutional approvals are in place, your award will be set up.  If your award requires contract negotiation or institutional approvals, you do have the option to prepare an Advanced Expenditure Authorization Form for Sponsored Funds (ECAV) so that you may begin spending prior to completion of the contract.  

What are the indirect cost rates for sponsored programs? 

OUHSC Administrative Policies, Section 572.3 addresses applicable indirect cost rates (also known as Facilities and Administrative Costs rates) according to funding source and type of program.  

FEDERAL - The University’s current federal negotiated facilities and administrative (F&A) costs rates apply to all federally funded programs, with the exception of Federal Training Grants. This includes funds received directly from federal agencies and funds received indirectly from federal agencies as “flow-thorough” or “pass-through” funds from other institutions, i.e., subawards and subcontracts.

STATE - The current applicable F&A costs rate applies to all programs funded by State of Oklahoma agencies (including OSDH, ODHS, OHCA and others). The State agency must also provide written certification to the ORA regarding the source of their funding, federal versus non-federal, in order to determine the applicable F&A costs rate. All research grants or contracts funded by federal flow-through funds are required to include OUHSC's current negotiated F&A costs rate.

NON-PROFIT/FOUNDATION - The applicable F&A costs rate applies to all programs sponsored by Non-Profit agencies and Foundations.

INDUSTRY: CLINICAL TRIALS - The F&A costs rate for Clinical Trials funded by Industry/Pharmaceutical companies may vary, but must include 20% for core Institutional overhead costs. Departmental or College Administrative cost rates may be included in addition to the Institutional 20%. There will be no exceptions to the core Institutional rate of 20% for Clinical Trials sponsored by Industry/Pharmaceutical companies.

INDUSTRY: BASIC RESEARCH – The University’s current federal negotiated F&A costs rate applies to all basic research programs sponsored by for-profit Industry/Pharmaceutical companies.

What can I do if the sponsor will not pay the full indirect cost rate?

Requests for exceptions to the indirect cost rate are located in OUHSC Administrative Policies, Section 572.4. The exception request is not required for direct federal sponsors if the rate is capped in the program announcement. The University has pre-approved certain non-federal sponsors and will accept a lower rate from them without completion of the exception form.  

How do I get an eRA Commons Username and Password?

Please email the ORA at to request an eRA Commons Username. Please indicate if you already have a Username from a previous institution.

What if I think I might have a conflict of interest?

A Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form must be completed for each grant submission if there is a potential conflict of interest. Please see Grant-Related forms and policy.

What do I do if I receive an award document from the sponsoring agency?

Immediately forward a copy of the document to the ORA mailbox, The staff in the ORA will begin processing your award.

How do I request carryforward funds on my grant?

Carryforward requests vary by sponsor.  If sponsor permission is not required, the Grants and Contracts Accounting office can process the carryforward of funds into the next budget period.  If permission is required, please contact your Sponsored Programs Administrator here. Typical carryforward requests include carryforward dollar amounts along with the intended use of the funds.

Once I complete my NIH Progress Report who do I route it to?

NIH Progress Reports need to be routed to your Sponsored Programs Administrator found here. Please remember that Progress Reports cannot be approved unless appropriate certifications (IRB, IACUC, IBC), if applicable, are current.

What is the difference between a subcontract-in (sub-in) and a subcontract-out (sub-out) and who in ORA handles them?

Sub-out: The Grants department handles the outgoing subcontracts where OUHSC is paying a contractor / subcontractor for research or training from a grant or contract that was awarded to OUHSC.
Sub-in: The Grants department handles the incoming subcontracts where the other party is paying OUHSC as a subcontractor for research or training from a grant or contract awarded to the other party (sponsored funds).