The Office of Research, Grants, and Foundation Relations (RGFR) is the central administrative
office responsible for submitting grant proposals and accepting extramural awards
on behalf of Pepperdine University. RGFR offers the following support and services:
Faculty, staff, and administration contact Research, Grants, and Foundation Relations (RGFR) to submit proposals, letters of inquiry, or grant requests for extramural funding. RGFR assists with identifying funding opportunities from both public (federal, state, local) and private (foundation, corporate, other nonprofits) for a program, project, research, or other initiatives.
RGFR serves as the University's primary point of contact for all communications with funding agencies, foundations, and corporate partners, which ensures timely proposal submission and reporting compliance. All requests for external funding must be routed through RGFR.
RGFR works closely with the Project Director (PD) or Principal Investigator (PI) to craft competitive proposals that adhere to both internal and funder guidelines and policies. PDs/PIs are always the subject-matter expert on the information presented; RGFR can help strengthen the proposal with content organization and constructive feedback. In addition, RGFR assists with:
- Proofreading, editing, and providing feedback on drafts
- Budget preparation and ensuring proper University rates (e.g., fringe benefits, travel, indirect costs, etc.)
- Obtaining institutional information, such as financial statements, organization budget, student data, etc.
- Providing examples of successful proposals that have received funding
Requests for extramural funding must be reviewed and approved by the following prior to submission:
- Project Director/Principal Investigator
- Budget Manager
- Division/Department Chair
- Associate Provost
- Vice Provost (requests to public funding agencies and proposals involving research)
- Vice President, Advancement (requests to private funders)
- Provost (requests $50K+)
Proposals/LOIs must be submitted to RGFR seven (7) days prior to the submission deadline in order to give signatories sufficient time to review. Signatures for institutional authorization are obtained through eSign and WaveNet.
Depending on the type of project, requests may also require the approval of Human Resources, the Institutional Review Board (IRB), and/or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
RGFR works with you to ensure that your proposal/LOI is submitted on time, prior to the deadline, and that all submission components and requirements have been met.
The Office of Research, Grants, and Foundation Relations will:
- Help identify appropriate funding agencies;
- Work with the project director to prepare a well-written, competitive proposal;
- Ensure proposed budgets are accurate and include correct rates for fringe benefits and indirect costs;
- Review proposals for compliance with University policies and agency guidelines;
- Ensure neither the project director nor the University is exposed to unnecessary liability; and
- Consult with the project director to ensure compliance with applicable regulations, policies, and assurances regarding the use of humans, animals, and/or recombinant DNA in research.
Before a proposal may be submitted for any sponsored project, the Principal Investigator (PI), working in conjunction with RGFR, must obtain authorization through RGFR's routing system. Authorizations for proposals submitted through RGFR are required from the PI, and generally include the Department Chairperson (if applicable), the Dean or Director of the School, the Major Area Budget Manager, the Director of RGFR, the Vice Provost, and the Provost. RGFR staff will:
- Secure the authorized institutional official's signature before submission to the funding agency;
- Provide as attachments any University documents required by the agency;
- Submit the signed proposal to the funding agency;
- Help negotiate agreements with funding agencies; and
- Provide internal support when awards are received.
For all NSF proposals including undergraduate students, graduate students, or postdoctoral researchers, there must be a plan included to provide appropriate training, mentoring, and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research. This will not be a specific section of the proposal, but instead will be an Institutional and Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD) certification stating that Pepperdine University offers an effective program of education and mentoring in order to comply with the directive. Explore Responsible Conduct of Research Training.
The PD/PI is responsible for the overall management of the grant; however, grant funding
is awarded to Pepperdine University. Therefore, both University and funder procedures
and policies must be followed.
Formal acceptance of the grant is obtained through the Award Acceptance Form and the institutional authorization signature process outlined above. The Award Acceptance Form contains:
- Accounting chartfields
- Grant account restrictions
- Reporting requirements
- Additional obligations and/or restrictions
RGFR coordinates with General Accounting to set up a University grant account for depositing, charging, and disbursing the funds.
If needed, RGFR conducts a "Welcome to Your Award" workshop to give PDs/PIs an overview of:
- Roles and responsibilities as PD/PI of an extramurally funded grant
- Fiscal management
- Preparation guidance on reporting
- Overview of project closeout
Throughout the grant period, RGFR monitors progress on the grant, ensuring that the PD/PI is timely and appropriately expending grant funds and carrying out the activities funded by the grant.
RGFR works with the PD/PI to timely submit reports to the funding organization and serves as the primary point of the administrative contact. RGFR works to ensure that we are sharing the progress of your grant with the funding organization and communicating/requesting any deviations from the proposed scope of work or budget.
Once the grant funds have been fully expended and, when required, the final report has been submitted to the funder, the Grant Completion Checklist will be sent (via eSign) to the PD/PI for completion. General Accounting may then close-out the grant account.
*The PI must allow adequate time prior to submission for RGFR's review and preparation of application materials. Accordingly, RGFR must receive all finalized materials at least one (1) calendar week prior to the sponsor's deadline. For example, if a proposal is due on a Wednesday, RGFR must receive the finalized application by the previous Wednesday. Upon receipt of the final package, RGFR will conduct necessary compliance checks and route the proposal for approval and subsequent submission. Materials received after the internal administrative deadline will not be submitted for consideration.