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Working with Internal Approval Forms

The electronic Internal Approval Form (IAF) is a required internal form used at the College of Medicine to provide a summary of pertinent administrative and fiscal information about a proposed sponsored project. The IAF is initiated by the department administrator after the SIMS budget is created.

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IAF Training Guide for Basic Science Agreements

IAF Overview Expand answer

The Internal Approval Form (IAF) is designed to ensure proper review and vetting of any proposed study.

Things to Know

All required fields in the IAF are marked with an asterisk. The IAF cannot be submitted into workflow if any required field is incomplete.

Any fields that are pale yellow need to be filled in. All fields must be green.

If unsure of what to enter in a particular field, hovering the mouse over the ? icon will show a balloon providing greater detail about the requirement. Many fields also include examples to further assist.

All uploaded attachments must be in Adobe PDF format.

Home Screen Expand answer

The home screen is the first screen seen upon logging in to IAF.

Search for existing IAFs using the “OSP Number” search box at the upper right of the screen.

A screenshot of the IAF home screen for Penn State College of Medicine shows a list of existing IAFs.

IAF Creation Wizard Expand answer

To create a new IAF, click “Create IAF” in the top menu.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows the Create IAF menu item.

Users will be prompted with four potential selections:

  • Submit a Proposal
  • Create AIAF
  • Revise an IAF
  • Start an Advanced Fund Request

This training guide focuses on the most commonly used, “Submit a Proposal.” Click that to proceed.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a menu with four options - to submit a proposal, create AIAF, revise an IAF or start an advanced fund request.

After clicking “Submit a Proposal,” users will be prompted with five possible selections:

  • New Funds
  • A Supplement to an Existing Award
  • A Competitive Renewal
  • A Non-Competing Continuation
  • Resubmission of a Prior Proposal

This training guide focuses on the most commonly used, “New Funds.” Click that to proceed.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a menu with five options - new funds, supplement to existing award, competitive renewal, non-competing continuation or resubmission.

A screen appears that give choices for looking up a project by existing OSP number, as well as a “Create New IAF” button.

Click the “Create New IAF” button to proceed.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a search box with fields to enter existing OSP number or existing budget number, and a button that says Create New IAF.

Note: Users are not required to pull in information from either an existing OSP or budget, unless this is an NIH clinical trials subaward continuation. If continuation, it will need to be indicated as such on the “Basic Info” tab.

Summary Tab Expand answer

The IAF Summary Tab provides a read-only summary of all information entered on the individual tabs.

Note: When initially creating a new IAF, users will skip this tab and be directed to the “Basic Info” tab to begin entering information.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a listing of basic information about an in-progress IAF. The field names are bolded with the information provided in them listed beside them.

Basic Info Tab Expand answer

Program Title

Do not include an investigational compound or device name in the title. Change to something generic, such as Compound X, Device A, etc.

The first letter of each word should be capitalized with the exception of articles (a, in, an, the, etc.). The remaining letters should be lowercase. An example is seen in the screenshot below – “Laboratory Testing of Compound X in Cell Systems.”

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a sample basic science program title, Laboratory Testing of Compound X in Cell Systems.

Principal Investigator (PI)

Type in the PI last name and choose from the dropdown list to verify. IAF will not allow entry unless the name is verified from the dropdown list.

Before verifying the name, a magnifying glass search icon will appear with a red background.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the PI Name lookup field blank and a "search" icon with a red background.

After verifying the name, a checkmark icon will appear with a green background.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the PI Name lookup field filled in and a "checkmark" icon with a green background.

Sponsor

Begin typing the sponsor name, choose the appropriate one from the dropdown list and click the magnifying glass to verify. IAF will not allow entry unless the name is verified from the dropdown list.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Sponsor Name lookup field filled in and a "checkmark" icon with a green background.

If a sponsor has multiple addresses, be sure to select the appropriate one. Click the magnifying glass icon to the right of the Sponsor Address field and select the appropriate one from the dropdown list in order to validate.

If a contract is between Penn State and a Clinical Research Organization (CRO), list the sponsor, not the CRO, in the “Sponsor Name” field. List the CRO in the “Remarks” field.

If unable to locate the sponsor in the system, they may need to be added. Contact ORA for assistance.

In the “Sponsor Contact” field, list a point of contact including name and email address to assist in contract negotiation.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Sponsor Contact field filled in with a name and email address.

Type of Submission

For basic science agreements, select “New.” Some exceptions apply, but this is the most commmon.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Submission Type field filled in with New.

Type of Project

Select “Research.”

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Project Type field filled in with Research.

Deadline Date

For basic science, the date must be at least two months from the current date.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Deadline Date field filled in with a calendar icon on green background.

Remarks

Add pertinent notes, such as CRO name or PSCI number, to this box.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Remarks field filled in with sample text.

Potential Issue

If there is a yellow field for “Please Enter Approval Date for the following: Sponsor Issues,” leave that field blank.

Budget Tab Expand answer

Budget Details with Salary Information

Upload the SIMS budget (if available) or other budget documentation on the “Attachments” tab.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Budget Details with Salary Information upload field filled in with a sample filename.

Budget

Start: Choose an estimated start date.

End: Choose an estimated end date based on anticipated length of the study. This must be the last day of the month that is selected.

Information entered in “Initial Period” will auto-populate in “Total Budget.”

Note: Use proposal estimates. When contract/budget negotiations are complete, the Statement of Award will reflect the actuals.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Initial Period fields filled in with dates and dollar amounts and the Total Budget fields auto-populating with the same numbers.

F&A Rate

F&A: Indirect/Overhead

F&A is calculated by multiplying the “Direct” amount by the F&A rate.

For basic science agreements, F&A rate will vary by sponsor:

  • For government/nonprofits, rate is current full rate.
  • For industry-sponsored rate, add 5 percent to the current full rate.
  • For other sponsors, see the “Waiver” Tab.

The image below shows the F&A Rate field with a sample rate of 63.32 filled in. This is for purposes of illustration only. The actual F&A rate to be used varies, as it is reviewed and approved annually and is subject to change.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the F&A Rate field with filled in with sample information.

The University offers information on F&A, including a copy of the current rate agreement, here.

Location and Basis

Location will always be “On Campus.”

For Basis, select “TDC” (total direct costs).

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Location field filled in with On Campus and the Basis field filled in with TDC.

Create AURA

Under the “Create AURA?” field, select yes, then add the seven-digit budget number (for example, 04017xx).

The “Aura Contact Email” field cannot be filled.

Under “Are Advanced Funds Requested?” select no unless the department guarantees funds.

For location, enter HY for Hershey. Contact the appropriate financial analyst for assistance.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Create Aura section filled in with details on advanced funds, budget number and notes.

Waivers Tab Expand answer

For type of F&A, choose full or partial.

If Choosing Full

  • No waiver is required.
  • Whatever rate it was awarded at carries through for all years of the agreement.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Type of F&A field filled in with On Campus and the Basis field filled in with Full with Industry Premium.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows a dropdown listing reasons why a budget might indicate less than full F&A.

If the reason for the partial F&A rate is a “Domestic non-profit with published guidelines,” upload a copy of the guidelines.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows Domestic non-profit with published guidelines selected as the reason for less than full F&A and then shows an upload field for supporting documentation.

If the reason for the waiver is not in the dropdown list, choose the final selection, “Waiver approved.” When doing this:

  • Approval must be obtained from Dr. Sheila Vrana.
  • Dr. Vrana’s approval must be saved as a PDF file and attached.
  • The submission must include the reason why the waiver is approved or reference a published NIH guideline.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows Waiver approved selected as the reason for less than full F&A and then shows an upload field for supporting documentation.

Administrative Expenses

Administrative expenses (such as office supplies and clerical supplies) may not be directly charged when federal funds are used, except in special circumstances.

The University offers additional details regarding such F&A exceptions.

Requests for exceptions can be submitted using the University’s Cost Accounting Justification Form.

If “Will administrative expenses be charged?” is set to Yes, ensure that an approval email or document is attached in the Attachments tab.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Provide copy of waiver approval form upload field filled in with a sample filename.

Cost-Sharing

In the event the sponsor is unwilling to cover the full costs of the study, resulting in a deficit, cost-sharing will be needed to move the study forward.

The University offers more information on cost-sharing.

All cost-sharing must be approved by the applicable department chair in writing. Investigators may not know up front whether cost-sharing is needed. If “No” is selected initially, it can be corrected at a later time when the need is identified.

If “Yes” is selected for cost-sharing, ensure that an approval document is attached in the Attachments tab.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Is there cost sharing field set to Yes, with fields filled in with dollar amounts and an upload field filled in with a sample filename.

Personnel Tab Expand answer

Personnel

List all study personnel, including principal investigator, co-investigator, coordinator, etc.

Effort

Complete for principal investigator.

  • For industry-sponsored, if 1 percent, then enter .12 for PI. If 2 percent, then enter .24.
  • For federally funded, enter what it actually is (e.g., 10 months’ effort would be 1.2).

Refer to the conversion chart for IAF effort.

Credit

Credit is only awarded to PIs and co-PIs.

The “% Credit” column must total 100 percent.

If each co-investigator has a 1 entered, then the PI will get the balance to equal 100.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Personnel tab with fields about the investigator filled in.

Research Info Tab Expand answer

Abstract

Enter a simple description of the project in this field.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Research Info tab's abstract field filled in with sample text.

Scientific Areas

For basic science agreements, allocate 100 percent in either the “Health Sciences” or the “Biological and Biomedical Sciences” field under Life Sciences.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Research Info tab's categories fields filled in with sample percentages.

Program Areas Tab Expand answer

Consult with the PI, coinvestigator(s), study coordinator and/or department research administrator to determine which program areas are applicable to the study.

Check all applicable areas.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Program Areas section with many checkboxes. Two are checked and circled as examples.

Export Tab Expand answer

The second question on the Export tab will be auto-populated based upon the name/address entered for the sponsor.

Each question must be answered accurately. If in doubt, check with the PI or other personnel (coordinator, sponsor contact if applicable, etc.) Don’t guess.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Export section with several dropdowns, all of which are set to No.

Disclosures Tab Expand answer

This is completed by investigators and coordinators as part of the workflow process.

On the Waiver tab, if either “Unrestricted grant” or “Gifts and charitable contributions” is selected, then the investigator and key personnel will be asked three additional questions when completing the Disclosures tab.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Disclosures tab with fields about the investigator filled in.

Human Subjects Tab Expand answer

If “Yes” is chosen for “Does any portion of the project involve the use of human participants in research?” use the Import Study button to link to and import the IRB information. This is done after IRB approval. Do not import pending approvals.

Protocol on this tab actually means the IRB approval.

The grey box will not contain any information until the study is imported following IRB approval.

Workflow can be started without IRB approval. However, IRB approval is needed prior to award.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Human Subjects section with yes selected and further information requested.

Animal/Biosafety Tab Expand answer

Vertebrate Animals

If choosing “yes” to whether vertebrate animals are used, a current IACUC approval is required.

A box will appear allowing the import of the IACUC approval. “Protocol” on this tab actually means the IACUC approval.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Animal/Biosafety section with yes selected to vertebrate animals being used and further information requested.

Biohazardous Materials

If choosing “yes” to whether biohazardous materials are used, a current biohazard safety approval is required.

A box will appear allowing the import of the biosafety approval. “Protocol” on this tab actually means the biosafety approval.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Animal/Biosafety section with yes selected to biohazardous materials being used and further information requested.

Radiation/Lab Safety Tab Expand answer

If the research involves radioactive materials, contact Mike Erdman for a radiation safety number. This cannot be imported.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Radiation/Lab Safety section with options to choose yes or no about radioactive materials or other hazards.

Attachments Tab Expand answer

Warning Message

A warning message that appears at the top of the “Attachments” Tab about not uploading award documents should be ignored. Those instructions are applicable to projects at University Park only, not to the College of Medicine.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows a warning message that appears on the Attachments tab, but that is not applicable to College of Medicine investigators.

What to Attach

  • For “Budget Documentation With Salary Information,” upload the budget worksheet.
  • For “Full Proposal Upload,” upload the protocol or scope of work.
  • Under “Add Other Proposal Document,” include any cost-sharing approval document, if applicable, and choose the appropriate type and enter a description.
  • Under “Add Other Proposal Document,” include any Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA), if applicable, and choose the appropriate type and enter a description.

Maximum document size is 100MB.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Attachments section with fields to upload various types of supporting documentation.

Summary Tab (Final Check) Expand answer

Verify all required fields/questions have been completed by clicking on the “Summary” tab.

Any required field that is not complete will include a “Not Answered” box with a yellow background.

If an investigator (including the primary investigator) is removed after the workflow has been started, it will be noted on this tab.

Once the IAF is a “pending proposal,” the investigator’s and key personnel’s responses to the Disclosure tab will be visible on the summary.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a listing of basic information about an in-progress IAF. The field names are bolded with the information provided in them listed beside them.

Approvals Tab Expand answer

The workflow should be started prior to submitting a Basic Science Agreement Request.

After approving an IAF, the user will be redirected to the IAF Approval Confirmation Page.

Once approved by the PI, the approvals are workflowed to any co-investigators simultaneously.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Approvals section listing the personnel who are required to approve it and the status of their approval.

Reminders Expand answer

IAF training is available. Email e-grants@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or e-contracts@pennstatehealth.psu.edu as appropriate for details or to schedule.

Also, please ensure anyone who is listed on an IAF has their Penn State (@psu.edu) email forwarded to their Penn State Health (@pennstatehealth.psu.edu) email account so they receive the IAF alerts. See instructions for setting up email forwarding.

IAF Training Guide for Clinical Trials Agreements

Overview Expand answer

The Internal Approval Form (IAF) is designed to ensure proper review and vetting of any proposed study.

Things to Know

All required fields in the IAF are marked with an asterisk. The IAF cannot be submitted into workflow if any required field is incomplete.

Any fields that are pale yellow need to be filled in. All fields must be green.

If unsure of what to enter in a particular field, hovering the mouse over the ? icon will show a balloon providing greater detail about the requirement. Many fields also include examples to further assist.

All uploaded attachments must be in Adobe PDF format.

Home Screen Expand answer

The home screen is the first screen seen upon logging in to IAF.

Search for existing IAFs using the “OSP Number” search box at the upper right of the screen.

A screenshot of the IAF home screen for Penn State College of Medicine shows a list of existing IAFs.

IAF Creation Wizard Expand answer

To create a new IAF, click “Create IAF” in the top menu.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows the Create IAF menu item.

Users will be prompted with four potential selections:

  • Submit a Proposal
  • Create AIAF
  • Revise an IAF
  • Start an Advanced Fund Request

This training guide focuses on the most commonly used, “Submit a Proposal.” Click that to proceed.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a menu with four options - to submit a proposal, create AIAF, revise an IAF or start an advanced fund request.

After clicking “Submit a Proposal,” users will be prompted with five possible selections:

  • New Funds
  • A Supplement to an Existing Award
  • A Competitive Renewal
  • A Non-Competing Continuation
  • Resubmission of a Prior Proposal

This training guide focuses on the most commonly used, “New Funds.” Click that to proceed.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a menu with five options - new funds, supplement to existing award, competitive renewal, non-competing continuation or resubmission.

A screen appears that give choices for looking up a project by existing OSP number, as well as a “Create New IAF” button.

Click the “Create New IAF” button to proceed.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a search box with fields to enter existing OSP number or existing budget number, and a button that says Create New IAF.

Note: Users are not required to pull in information from either an existing OSP or budget, unless this is an NIH clinical trials subaward continuation. If continuation, it will need to be indicated as such on the “Basic Info” tab.

Summary Tab Expand answer

The IAF Summary Tab provides a read-only summary of all information entered on the individual tabs.

Note: When initially creating a new IAF, users will skip this tab and be directed to the “Basic Info” tab to begin entering information.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a listing of basic information about an in-progress IAF. The field names are bolded with the information provided in them listed beside them.

Basic Info Tab Expand answer

Program Title

Do not include an investigational drug or device name in the title. Change to something generic, such as Drug A, Device X, etc.

The first letter of each word should be capitalized with the exception of articles (a, in, an, the, etc.). The remaining letters should be lowercase. An example is seen in the screenshot below – “A Phase 2, Double-Blinded, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Center Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Drug X.”

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a sample basic science program title, A Phase 2, Double-Blinded, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Center Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Drug X.

Principal Investigator (PI)

Type in the PI last name and choose from the dropdown list to verify. IAF will not allow entry unless the name is verified from the dropdown list.

Before verifying the name, a magnifying glass search icon will appear with a red background.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the PI Name lookup field blank and a "search" icon with a red background.

After verifying the name, a checkmark icon will appear with a green background.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the PI Name lookup field filled in and a "checkmark" icon with a green background.

Sponsor

Begin typing the sponsor name, choose the appropriate one from the dropdown list and click the magnifying glass to verify. IAF will not allow entry unless the name is verified from the dropdown list.

Note: After typing the first three letters of the sponsor name, after a pause, a list of any applicable sponsors will be displayed.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Sponsor Name lookup field filled in and a "checkmark" icon with a green background.

If a sponsor has multiple addresses, be sure to select the appropriate one. Click the magnifying glass icon to the right of the Sponsor Address field and select the appropriate one from the dropdown list in order to validate.

If a contract is between Penn State and a Clinical Research Organization (CRO), list the sponsor, not the CRO, in the “Sponsor Name” field. List the CRO in the “Remarks” field.

If unable to locate the sponsor in the system, they may need to be added. Contact ORA for assistance.

In the “Sponsor Contact” field, list a point of contact including name and email address to assist in contract negotiation.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Sponsor Contact field filled in with a name and email address.

Type of Submission

For clinical trials agreements, select “New.” Some exceptions apply, but this is the most commmon.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Submission Type field filled in with New.

Type of Project

If human subjects are involved, select “Clinical Trial.” If human subjects are not involved, select “Research.”

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Project Type field filled in with Research.

Deadline Date

For industry-sponsored clinical trials, the date must be at least three months from the current date.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Deadline Date field filled in with a calendar icon on green background.

Remarks

Add pertinent notes, such as CRO name or PSCI number, to this box.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Remarks field filled in with sample text.

Potential Issue

If there is a yellow field for “Please Enter Approval Date for the following: Sponsor Issues,” leave that field blank.

After completing all required fields on the “Basic Info” tab, click the “Save” button on the bottom right before moving on to the remaining tabs.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a save button and an exit button.

This will result in creation of the draft IAF including a unique OSP number, which appears on the top left portion of the screen and should be recorded for the submitter’s records.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a draft IAF with a newly assigned OSP number.

Budget Tab Expand answer

Budget Details with Salary Information

Upload the proposed sponsor budget (estimated budget) on the “Attachments” tab.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Budget Details with Salary Information upload field filled in with a sample filename.

Budget

Start: Choose an estimated start date.

End: Choose an estimated end date based on anticipated length of the study. This must be the last day of the month that is selected.

Information entered in “Initial Period” will auto-populate in “Total Budget.”

Note: Use proposal estimates. When contract/budget negotiations are complete, the Statement of Award will reflect the actuals.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Initial Period fields filled in with dates and dollar amounts and the Total Budget fields auto-populating with the same numbers.

F&A Rate

For industry-sponsored clinical trials, F&A rate will be 26 percent, unless there is a waiver; then, see the “Waiver” Tab.

F&A: Indirect/Overhead

F&A is calculated by multiplying the “Direct” amount by the F&A rate.

Location and Basis

Location will always be “On Campus.”

For Basis, select “TDC” (total direct costs) for industry-sponsored clinical trials.

For federally funded, choose “MTDC” (modified total direct costs).

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the F&A Rate field filled in with 26.00, the Location field filled in with On Campus and the Basis field filled in with MTDC.

Create AURA

Under the “Create AURA?” field, select yes, then add the seven-digit budget number (for example, 04017xx).

The “Aura Contact Email” field cannot be filled.

Under “Are Advanced Funds Requested?” select no unless the department guarantees funds.

For location, enter HY for Hershey. Contact the appropriate financial analyst for assistance.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Create Aura section filled in with details on advanced funds, budget number and notes.

Waivers Tab Expand answer

For type of F&A, choose partial, then choose

Choose Clinical Trials (26%).

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows a dropdown listing reasons why a budget might indicate less than full F&A.

If less than 26 percent, a waiver is required.

If the reason for the waiver is a “Domestic non-profit with published guidelines,” upload a copy of the guidelines.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows Domestic non-profit with published guidelines selected as the reason for less than full F&A and then shows an upload field for supporting documentation.

If the reason for the waiver is not in the dropdown list, choose the final selection, “Waiver approved.” When doing this:

  • Approval must be obtained from Dr. Sheila Vrana.
  • Dr. Vrana’s approval must be saved as a PDF file and attached.
  • The submission must include the reason why the waiver is approved or reference a published NIH guideline.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows Waiver approved selected as the reason for less than full F&A and then shows an upload field for supporting documentation.

Administrative Expenses

Administrative expenses (such as office supplies and clerical supplies) may not be directly charged when federal funds are used, except in special circumstances.

The University offers additional details regarding such F&A exceptions.

Requests for exceptions can be submitted using the University Cost Accounting Justification Forms.

If administrative expenses will be charged answer “Yes” and ensure that an approval email or document is attached in the “Attachments” tab.

Cost-Sharing

In the event the sponsor is unwilling to cover the full costs of the study, resulting in a deficit, cost-sharing will be needed to move the study forward.

The University offers more information on cost-sharing.

All cost-sharing must be approved by the applicable department chair in writing. Investigators may not know up front whether cost-sharing is needed. If “No” is selected initially, it can be corrected at a later time when the need is identified.

If “Yes” is selected for cost-sharing, ensure that an approval document is attached in the Attachments tab.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Is there cost sharing field set to Yes, with fields filled in with dollar amounts and an upload field filled in with a sample filename.

Personnel Tab Expand answer

Personnel

List all study personnel, including principal investigator, co-investigator, coordinator, etc.

Effort

Complete for principal investigator.

  • For industry-sponsored, if 1 percent, then enter .12 for PI. If 2 percent, then enter .24.
  • For federally funded, enter what it actually is (e.g., 10 months’ effort would be 1.2).

Refer to the conversion chart for IAF effort.

Credit

Credit is only awarded to PIs and co-PIs.

The “% Credit” column must total 100 percent.

If each co-investigator has a 1 entered, then the PI will get the balance to equal 100.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Personnel tab with fields about the investigator filled in.

Research Info Tab Expand answer

Abstract

“Clinical Trials” should be typed in the box for industry-sponsored clinical trials only.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Research Info tab's abstract field filled in with the words Clinical Trials.

Scientific Areas

For clinical trials, allocate 100 percent in the “Health Sciences” field under Life Sciences.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Research Info tab's categories fields filled in with sample percentages.

Program Areas Tab Expand answer

Consult with the PI, coinvestigator(s), study coordinator and/or department research administrator to determine which program areas are applicable to the study.

Check all applicable areas.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Program Areas section with many checkboxes. Two are checked and circled as examples.

Export Tab Expand answer

The second question on the Export tab will be auto-populated based upon the name/address entered for the sponsor.

Each question must be answered accurately. If in doubt, check with the PI or other personnel (coordinator, sponsor contact if applicable, etc.) Don’t guess.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Export section with several dropdowns, all of which are set to No.

Disclosures Tab Expand answer

This is completed by investigators and coordinators as part of the workflow process.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Disclosures tab with fields about the investigator filled in.

Human Subjects Tab Expand answer

If “Yes” is chosen for “Does any portion of the project involve the use of human participants in research?” use the Import Study button to link to and import the IRB information. This is done after IRB approval. Do not import pending approvals.

Protocol on this tab actually means the IRB approval.

The grey box will not contain any information until the study is imported following IRB approval.

Workflow can be started without IRB approval. However, IRB approval is needed prior to award.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Human Subjects section with yes selected and further information requested.

Animal/Biosafety Tab Expand answer

Vertebrate Animals

If choosing “yes” to whether vertebrate animals are used, a current IACUC approval is required.

A box will appear allowing the import of the IACUC approval. “Protocol” on this tab actually means the IACUC approval.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Animal/Biosafety section with yes selected to vertebrate animals being used and further information requested.

Biohazardous Materials

If choosing “yes” to whether biohazardous materials are used, a current biohazard safety approval is required.

A box will appear allowing the import of the biosafety approval. “Protocol” on this tab actually means the biosafety approval.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Animal/Biosafety section with yes selected to biohazardous materials being used and further information requested.

Radiation/Lab Safety Tab Expand answer

If the research involves radioactive materials, contact Mike Erdman for a radiation safety number. This cannot be imported.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Radiation/Lab Safety section with options to choose yes or no about radioactive materials or other hazards.

Attachments Tab Expand answer

Warning Message

A warning message that appears at the top of the “Attachments” Tab about not uploading award documents should be ignored. Those instructions are applicable to projects at University Park only, not to the College of Medicine.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows a warning message that appears on the Attachments tab, but that is not applicable to College of Medicine investigators.

What to Attach

  • For “Budget Documentation With Salary Information,” upload the budget worksheet.
  • For “Full Proposal Upload,” upload the protocol or scope of work.
  • Under “Add Other Proposal Document,” include any cost-sharing approval document, if applicable, and choose the appropriate type and enter a description.
  • Under “Add Other Proposal Document,” include any Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA), if applicable, and choose the appropriate type and enter a description.

Maximum document size is 100MB.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Attachments section with fields to upload various types of supporting documentation.

Summary Tab (Final Check) Expand answer

Verify all required fields/questions have been completed by clicking on the “Summary” tab.

Any required field that is not complete will include a “Not Answered” box with a yellow background.

If an investigator (including the primary investigator) is removed after the workflow has been started, it will be noted on this tab.

Once the IAF is a “pending proposal,” the investigator’s and key personnel’s responses to the Disclosure tab will be visible on the summary.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a listing of basic information about an in-progress IAF. The field names are bolded with the information provided in them listed beside them.

Approvals Tab Expand answer

The workflow should be started as soon as possible after IAF creation to avoid potential delays in the contract award process.

After approving an IAF, the user will be redirected to the IAF Approval Confirmation Page.

Once approved by the PI, the approvals are workflowed to any co-investigators simultaneously.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Approvals section listing the personnel who are required to approve it and the status of their approval.

Adding Compliance Approvals Expand answer

At some point after the IAF is in workflow, it will need to be updated to include any applicable compliance approvals, such as from Human Subjects Protection Office, IACUC or Biosafety.

Previously this required recalling the IAF from workflow so it could be edited. However, this is no longer the case.

Note: Do not import pending compliance approvals. The compliance approval must be final in order to import the applicable expiration date.

To add a compliance approval, click “Create IAF” in the top left, as if creating a new IAF.

Then select “Add/Delete Study Number to IAF.”

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Create IAF item in teh top menu and a popup with five options, the last of which is Add/Delete Study Number to IAF.

A prompt requesting the OSP number will appear. Type the applicable OSP number, then click on the red magnifying glass icon or hit enter on the keyboard to validate.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the OSP number lookup field blank and a "search" icon with a red background.

Once validated, the magnifying glass will turn into a green checkmark. Click “Check Protocols” to continue.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the OSP number lookup field filled in and a checkmark icon with a green background.

The “Available Protocol Type Selection” prompt will appear. The list will vary based upon the compliance approvals applicable to the IAF.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the available protocol type selection field.

Click the desired compliance approval to continue.

This will bring up the applicable compliance approval add/import box. Click “Import Study(s)” and a list of studies will appear.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the compliance approval add/import box with buttons to import a study or add one manually.

Click the checkbox beside the applicable study and then click “Import Study(s).”

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Import Study section with the checkbox next to one study checked.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows an Import Study button and a Cancel button.

This will then redirect back to the applicable compliance approval add/import box, which now includes the imported approval.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Import Study section with a specific study's information listed.

Go back into the IAF and click on the applicable tab to verify the compliance approval has been successfully imported.

Reminders Expand answer

IAF training is available. Email e-grants@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or e-contracts@pennstatehealth.psu.edu as appropriate for details or to schedule.

Also, please ensure anyone who is listed on an IAF has their Penn State (@psu.edu) email forwarded to their Penn State Health (@pennstatehealth.psu.edu) email account so they receive the IAF alerts. See instructions for setting up email forwarding.

IAF Training Guide for Grants

Overview Expand answer

The Internal Approval Form (IAF) is designed to ensure proper review and vetting of any proposed study.

Things to Know

All required fields in the IAF are marked with an asterisk. The IAF cannot be submitted into workflow if any required field is incomplete.

Any fields that are pale yellow need to be filled in. All fields must be green.

If unsure of what to enter in a particular field, hovering the mouse over the ? icon will show a balloon providing greater detail about the requirement. Many fields also include examples to further assist.

All uploaded attachments must be in Adobe PDF format.

Home Screen Expand answer

The home screen is the first screen seen upon logging in to IAF.

Search for existing IAFs using the “OSP Number” search box at the upper right of the screen.

A screenshot of the IAF home screen for Penn State College of Medicine shows a list of existing IAFs.

IAF Creation Wizard Expand answer

To create a new IAF, click “Create IAF” in the top menu.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows the Create IAF menu item.

Users will be prompted with four potential selections:

  • Submit a Proposal
  • Create AIAF
  • Revise an IAF
  • Start an Advanced Fund Request

This training guide focuses on the most commonly used, “Submit a Proposal.” Click that to proceed.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a menu with four options - to submit a proposal, create AIAF, revise an IAF or start an advanced fund request.

After clicking “Submit a Proposal,” users will be prompted with five possible selections:

  • New Funds
  • A Supplement to an Existing Award
  • A Competitive Renewal
  • A Non-Competing Continuation
  • Resubmission of a Prior Proposal

This training guide focuses on the most commonly used, “New Funds.” Click that to proceed.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a menu with five options - new funds, supplement to existing award, competitive renewal, non-competing continuation or resubmission.

A screen appears that give choices for looking up a project by existing OSP number, as well as a “Create New IAF” button.

Enter SIMS budget number in “Existing Budget #” and click the red magnifying glass to the right.

After the magnifying glass turns green, click the “Create New IAF” button to proceed.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a search box with fields to enter existing OSP number or existing budget number, and a button that says Create New IAF.

Summary Tab Expand answer

The IAF Summary Tab provides a read-only summary of all information entered on the individual tabs.

Note: When initially creating a new IAF, users will skip this tab and be directed to the “Basic Info” tab to begin entering information.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a listing of basic information about an in-progress IAF. The field names are bolded with the information provided in them listed beside them.

Basic Info Tab Expand answer

Program Title

This information will prepopulate from the SIMS budget.

Principal Investigator (PI)

This information will prepopulate from the SIMS budget.

Sponsor

This information will prepopulate from the SIMS budget.

If a sponsor has multiple addresses, be sure to select the appropriate one. Click the magnifying glass icon to the right of the Sponsor Address field and select the appropriate one from the dropdown list in order to validate.

Type of Submission

This information should prepopulate.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Basic Info section with a field for type of submission, set to "New."

Type of Project

This information should prepopulate. In most cases, the answer will be “Research.” If the project is a clinical trial, select “Clinical Trial” here.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Basic Info section with a field for type of project, set to "Research."

Deadline Date

Enter sponsor deadline.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Deadline Date field filled in with a calendar icon on green background.

Remarks

Add pertinent notes to this box. This is optional.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Remarks field filled in with sample text.

Budget Tab Expand answer

Budget Details with Salary Information

Upload the SIMS budget (if available) or other budget documentation on the “Attachments” tab.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Budget Details with Salary Information upload field filled in with a sample filename.

Budget

This information will prepopulate from SIMS.

Information entered in “Initial Period” will auto-populate in “Total Budget.”

F&A Rate

This information will prepopulate from SIMS.

The University offers information on F&A, including a copy of the current rate agreement, here.

Location and Basis

Location will always be “On Campus.”

For Basis, select “MTDC” for federal sponsors, such as NIH. Select “TDC” for non-federal sponsors.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Location field filled in with On Campus and the Basis field filled in with MTDC.

Create AURA

Under the “Create AURA?” field, select yes, then add the seven-digit budget number (for example, 04017xx).

The “Aura Contact Email” field cannot be filled.

Under “Are Advanced Funds Requested?” select no.

For location, enter HY for Hershey. Contact the appropriate financial analyst for assistance.

Waivers Tab Expand answer

For type of F&A, choose full or partial.

If Choosing Full

  • No waiver is required.
  • Whatever rate it was awarded at carries through for all years of the agreement.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Type of F&A field filled in with Full (on campus).

If Choosing Partial

If not charging the full F&A rate, indicate why by choosing the appropriate selection from the dropdown.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows a dropdown listing reasons why a budget might indicate less than full F&A.

If the reason for the partial F&A rate is a “Domestic non-profit with published guidelines,” upload a copy of the guidelines.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows Domestic non-profit with published guidelines selected as the reason for less than full F&A and then shows an upload field for supporting documentation.

If the reason for the waiver is not in the dropdown list, choose the final selection, “Waiver approved.” When doing this:

  • Approval must be obtained from Dr. Sheila Vrana.
  • Dr. Vrana’s approval must be saved as a PDF file and attached.
  • The submission must include the reason why the waiver is approved or reference a published NIH guideline.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows Waiver approved selected as the reason for less than full F&A and then shows an upload field for supporting documentation.

Administrative Expenses

Administrative expenses (such as office supplies and clerical supplies) may not be directly charged when federal funds are used, except in special circumstances.

The University offers additional details regarding such F&A exceptions.

Cost-Sharing

If the sponsor does not cover the PI salary, cost-sharing will be needed to move the study forward.

The University offers more information on cost-sharing.

All cost-sharing must be approved by the applicable department chair in writing. Investigators may not know up front whether cost-sharing is needed. If “No” is selected initially, it can be corrected at a later time when the need is identified.

If “Yes” is selected for cost-sharing, ensure that an approval document is attached in the Attachments tab.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Is there cost sharing field set to Yes, with fields filled in with dollar amounts and an upload field filled in with a sample filename.

Personnel Tab Expand answer

Personnel

List all faculty members involved, including role.

Effort

Complete for principal investigator.

For industry-sponsored, if 1 percent, then enter .12 for PI. If 2 percent, then enter .24.

Refer to the conversion chart for IAF effort.

Credit

Award credit to all key personnel.

The “% Credit” column must total 100 percent.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Personnel tab with fields about the investigator filled in.

Research Info Tab Expand answer

Abstract

Enter the application abstract here.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Research Info tab's abstract field filled in with sample text.

Scientific Areas

For the College of Medicine, use the “Life Sciences” category. The 100 percent can be split between the Life Sciences subcategories.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Research Info tab's categories fields filled in with sample percentages.

Program Areas Tab Expand answer

Consult with the PI, coinvestigator(s), study coordinator and/or department research administrator to determine which program areas are applicable to the study.

Check all applicable areas.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Program Areas section with many checkboxes. Two are checked and circled as examples.

Export Tab Expand answer

The second question on the Export tab will be auto-populated based upon the name/address entered for the sponsor.

Each question must be answered accurately. If in doubt, check with the PI or other personnel (coordinator, sponsor contact if applicable, etc.) Don’t guess.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Export section with several dropdowns, all of which are set to No.

Disclosures Tab Expand answer

This is completed by investigators and coordinators as part of the workflow process.

On the Waiver tab, if either “Unrestricted grant” or “Gifts and charitable contributions” is selected, then the investigator and key personnel will be asked three additional questions when completing the Disclosures tab.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Disclosures tab with fields about the investigator filled in.

Human Subjects Tab Expand answer

If “Yes” is chosen for “Does any portion of the project involve the use of human participants in research?” use the Import Study button to link to and import the IRB information. This is done after IRB approval. Do not import pending approvals.

Protocol on this tab actually means the IRB approval.

The grey box will not contain any information until the study is imported following IRB approval.

Workflow can be started without IRB approval. However, IRB approval is needed prior to award.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Human Subjects section with yes selected and further information requested.

Animal/Biosafety Tab Expand answer

Vertebrate Animals

If choosing “yes” to whether vertebrate animals are used, a current IACUC approval is required.

A box will appear allowing the import of the IACUC approval. “Protocol” on this tab actually means the IACUC approval.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Animal/Biosafety section with yes selected to vertebrate animals being used and further information requested.

Biohazardous Materials

If choosing “yes” to whether biohazardous materials are used, a current biohazard safety approval is required.

A box will appear allowing the import of the biosafety approval. “Protocol” on this tab actually means the biosafety approval.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Animal/Biosafety section with yes selected to biohazardous materials being used and further information requested.

Radiation/Lab Safety Tab Expand answer

If the research involves radioactive materials, contact Mike Erdman for a radiation safety number. This cannot be imported.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Radiation/Lab Safety section with options to choose yes or no about radioactive materials or other hazards.

Attachments Tab Expand answer

Warning Message

A warning message that appears at the top of the “Attachments” Tab about not uploading award documents should be ignored. Those instructions are applicable to projects at University Park only, not to the College of Medicine.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows a warning message that appears on the Attachments tab, but that is not applicable to College of Medicine investigators.

What to Attach

  • For “Full Proposal Upload,” do not upload anything. ORA will upload the submitted application.
  • Under “Add Other Proposal Document,” include any cost-sharing approval document, if applicable, and choose the appropriate type and enter a description.
  • Under “Add Other Proposal Document,” include any Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA), if applicable, and choose the appropriate type and enter a description.

Maximum document size is 100MB.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Attachments section with fields to upload various types of supporting documentation.

Summary Tab (Final Check) Expand answer

Verify all required fields/questions have been completed by clicking on the “Summary” tab.

Any required field that is not complete will include a “Not Answered” box with a yellow background.

If an investigator (including the primary investigator) is removed after the workflow has been started, it will be noted on this tab.

Once the IAF is a “pending proposal,” the investigator’s and key personnel’s responses to the Disclosure tab will be visible on the summary.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a listing of basic information about an in-progress IAF. The field names are bolded with the information provided in them listed beside them.

Approvals Tab Expand answer

The workflow should be started before bringing the grant to ORA for review.

After approving an IAF, the user will be redirected to the IAF Approval Confirmation Page.

Once approved by the PI, the approvals are workflowed to any co-investigators simultaneously.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Approvals section listing the personnel who are required to approve it and the status of their approval.

IAF for RPPR Expand answer

Submit a Proposal Screen

To submit an IAF for RPPR (NIH annual progress reports), on the “Submit a Proposal” screen, select “A Non-Competing Continuation.”

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a menu with five options - new funds, supplement to existing award, competitive renewal, non-competing continuation or resubmission.

After choosing that, there will be a prompt to enter the existing OSP number. Enter the number and click the red magnifying glass to verify. When the magnifying glass turns green, use the “Create New IAF from Existing” button to continue.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Existing OSP # Lookup section with a field to enter a number and a magnifying glass icon on a red background.

The IAF will populate with the answers from the previous year.

Budgets

For an RPPR, the budget tab will not prepopulate.

Open the Current Statement of Award.

Find the budget breakdown “Spreadsheet Summary.”

  • Direct: Enter the “Total Federal DC” number from the spreadsheet.
  • F&A: Enter the “Total Federal F&A” number from the spreadsheet.
  • Total: Enter the “Total Cost” number from the spreadsheet.

In an example of the spreadsheet summary, with columns for Year 4 and Year 5 visible, if Year 4 represents the current year, the Year 5 info is what should be used for the RPPR.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the  Spreadsheet Summary with information in Year 4 and Year 5 columns.

For federal resubmissions or continuations, go to the Budget tab and enter the grant number.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Budget section listing a number of fields, including one titled Current Grant, Contract, or PSU Account Info."

IAF for Resubmission Expand answer

Submit a Proposal Screen

To submit an IAF for resubmission, on the “Submit a Proposal” screen, select “Resubmission of a Prior Proposal.”

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a menu with five options - new funds, supplement to existing award, competitive renewal, non-competing continuation or resubmission.

After choosing that, there will be a prompt to enter the existing OSP number. Enter the number and click the red magnifying glass to verify. When the magnifying glass turns green, use the “Create New IAF from Existing” button to continue.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Existing OSP # Lookup section with a field to enter a number and a magnifying glass icon on a red background.

The IAF will populate with the answers from the original application.

Add the SIMS budget number and click the green magnifying glass.

Click “Refresh Budget #” to pull the budget information into the application.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the SIMS budget fields.

IAF for Renewals Expand answer

Submit a Proposal Screen

To submit an IAF for a competitive renewal, on the “Submit a Proposal” screen, select “A Competitive Renewal.”

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF system shows a menu with five options - new funds, supplement to existing award, competitive renewal, non-competing continuation or resubmission.

After choosing that, there will be a prompt to enter the existing OSP number. Enter the number and click the red magnifying glass to verify. When the magnifying glass turns green, use the “Create New IAF from Existing” button to continue.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the Existing OSP # Lookup section with a field to enter a number and a magnifying glass icon on a red background.

The IAF will populate with the answers from the original application.

Add the SIMS budget number and click the green magnifying glass.

Click “Refresh Budget #” to pull the budget information into the application.

A screenshot of Penn State College of Medicine's IAF tool shows the SIMS budget fields.

Reminders Expand answer

IAF training is available. Email e-grants@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or e-contracts@pennstatehealth.psu.edu as appropriate for details or to schedule.

Also, please ensure anyone who is listed on an IAF has their Penn State (@psu.edu) email forwarded to their Penn State Health (@pennstatehealth.psu.edu) email account so they receive the IAF alerts. See instructions for setting up email forwarding.

More IAF Details and Tips

IAF Approval Rules Expand answer

Standard Process for Proposals

The following guidelines are for a standard submission process. Use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browsers while working in the IAF system.

  • Department research administrator starts the IAF. In consultation with the principal investigator, this administrator completes all information except for the Investigator tab. Capitalize the first letter of each word in the title with the exception of articles (in, an, the, etc.).
  • The department research administrator puts the IAF into workflow.
  • A copy of the first page of the IAF, copy of application, budget and RFA are brought to the Office of Research Affairs.
  • The principal investigator is automatically sent an email notifying them that an IAF is awaiting their input and approval. The PI fills out the Investigator tab, fills out any additional inputs that the research administrator did not complete, then reviews and approves the entire IAF. At any time after an IAF has been created, the PI can fill in as much of the IAF as they would like. This would allow a PI to provide their inputs if they will not be available just prior to proposal submission time when they would normally fill it out. Any co-investigators and the PI’s department chair are automatically sent an email notifying them that an IAF is awaiting their input and approval.
  • Co-investigators fill out the Investigator-only tab and review and approve the entire IAF. The co-investigators’ department heads are automatically sent an email notifying them that an IAF is awaiting their approval as each co-investigator approves.
  • Department chairs and any additional approvers review and approve the IAF.
  • The departmental research administrator will email a final PDF of the application to their grants officer. The Office of Research Affairs then reviews, approves and submits to the Office of Sponsored Programs at the University.
  • The PI and all investigators with individual compliance issues will receive a compliance checklist.

Proposal Approvals

The following people will always be required to approve the IAF, although not necessarily before proposal submission:

  • Principal investigator
  • Co-investigators
  • PI’s and co-investigators’ department chairs
  • Institute director (if submitted through an institute)

If the sponsor requires PI certification prior to proposal submission (e.g., NIH), the submitting departmental research administrator is responsible for ensuring compliance. If changes are made to the IAF after an approval, the requirement for obtaining a re-approval from the same individuals is at the discretion of the submitting administrator.

Additional approvals may also be required at the discretion of the submitting AOR. These approvals may include:

  • Department chair of PI and co-investigators (for example, in cases involving cost-sharing, buyout, facility requirements, overhead waiver or significant equipment purchase)

Recalls and Revisions

IAFs can be recalled after being sent into workflow. Anyone awaiting approval will receive an email notifying them that the IAF cannot be approved. Once the ePIAF has been re-sent into workflow, the pending approvers will receive an email notifying them that the ePIAF can now be approved.

Do not recall an IAF without consulting with the Office of Research Affairs first.

The following changes to an IAF will require the IAF to be rerouted for approvals:

Proposal Types

There are some situations that may alter the standard approvals required as listed here:

General Approval Rules

  • Department chairs may delegate their approval. Investigators may not.
  • No one can approve in more than one role.
  • There are special situations for investigators who hold another role, such as department chair.

Detailed Budget Information

Detailed budgets including salary information will be uploaded to the IAF.

Only the PI, the PI’s department head and the Office of Research Affairs will have access to the budget.

A separate personnel page that shows all named personnel and their percentage of effort and percentage of credit will be available for those without detailed budget access.

Creating an Advanced Fund Request Expand answer

An advanced fund request cannot happen until the IAF has been submitted by ORA and is a pending proposal. Once that happens, to start an advanced fund request, submitters should do the following:

  • Click “Create IAF” in the IAF system.
  • Select “Start an Advanced Fund Request.”
  • Place IAF number in the OSP lookup and hit the red magnifying glass.
  • Once IAF is verified, click “Create New IAF from Existing.”
  • Go to the budget tab and select “Yes” to create AURA.
  • Select “Yes” to Advanced Funds Requested.
  • Add the reason for the advanced fund.
  • Add budget info into the AURA Budget Number field.
  • Type “Department Guarantees Funds” and any other applicable AURA budget notes.
  • Save.
  • Place IAF back into workflow.
  • Check the boxes next to the two statements. Please note that by checking the statements, the department is acknowledging they are responsible for these funds if award does not materialize. The statements note that the submitter certifies that:
    • “I am aware that Advanced Funds will be requested during award processing;” and
    • “I understand and acknowledge that any and all financial and legal risks and/or liabilities which may result from starting work on the project prior to final award execution will be the responsibility of the requesting College, Department and/or Unit.”
  • Click “I Approve.”
  • Contact ORA once this has been done so the IAF can be submitted to ORA for the final step.
  • An AURA will not generate until ORA submits and compliance is approved.

IAF Support

For IAF questions, contact Marybeth Brown at 717-531-8495 or mbrown2@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or Brenda Thomas at 717-531-4196 or bthomas2@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.