A RAPid alert on behalf of ORSP and eResearch.

New Requirement - All Investigators Must Sign PAF as of September 14, 2020

To help ensure that the University of Michigan accurately and completely discloses all information required by our funding agencies, all U-M investigators listed on a new Proposal Approval Form (PAF) or certain PAFs in progress will be required to complete the “Sign PAF” activity.

Staff in the Office of Research & Sponsored Projects (ORSP) and the Conflict of Interest (COI) offices will begin a pilot program to ensure the information provided via the “Sign PAF” activity is included in, and congruent with, documentation that is required to be submitted to federal sponsors such as NIH 
(“Other Support”) and NSF (“Current & Pending Support”).

NoteIn order to complete the “Sign PAF” activity, investigators will need to have a current outside interest disclosure on file in the M-Inform system (within the past 365 days).

What changes have been made to the “Sign PAF” activity?

The “Sign PAF” activity has been updated to include:

  • Questions regarding investigator outside activities, relationships, and interests as they relate to the sponsored project
  • Questions regarding investigator international engagements (e.g., appointments, resources)
  • Updates to the attestation of investigator roles and responsibilities

When will the updated “Sign PAF” activity be required in eRPM?

  • September 14, 2020

What happens to PAFs in progress prior to September 14? 

  • PAFs routed for Unit approval prior to September 14 that have the necessary (PI only) signatures to meet the current requirement will continue to be routed, reviewed, and submitted without the need for other investigators on the PAF to complete the “Sign PAF” activity.
  • PAFs that have not been routed for Unit approval prior to September 14, or have been routed without the necessary (PI only) signatures in place, will fall under the new requirement, and all investigators on the PAF will need to complete the “Sign PAF” activity within 30 days of submission to the sponsor.

Who will need to complete the “Sign PAF” activity?

All investigators listed on a PAF, including the following roles:

  • U-M Principal Investigator
  • U-M Sponsor Principal Investigator
  • Participating Investigator with Specified Effort
  • Participating Investigator without Specified Effort
  • Non-faculty Investigator

When does the “Sign PAF” activity have to be completed?

Investigators are expected to sign the PAF prior to proposal submission. The proposal will still be submitted even if the PAF lacks all required signatures, but: 
  • Investigators who have not signed at the time of proposal submission will receive regular email reminders to complete this activity. 
  • After 30 days the proposal will be at risk of withdrawal. 
  • All signatures must be completed prior to award acceptance.
  • In the event that an investigator is added to the proposal after submission to the sponsor, but prior to receipt of an award, the signature activity will need to be completed during initial award processing. 

How are investigators being notified of this change?

  • Investigators received a preliminary message about this change through a targeted email on August 13. The same population of investigators will receive another targeted email later today.

What can I do to prepare?

  • Encourage investigators to update their M-Inform outside interest disclosures.
  • Review additional details about this change, including further impacts to existing PAFs and Awards, on the Office of Research & Sponsored Project (ORSP) Sign PAF web page.
  • Review the recording of the webinar on this topic, held on September 1.
Thank you for all you do to support research at U-M. Stay safe and healthy as we start a fall semester unlike any other! 
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Constance Colthorp, Communications Manager
Research - Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP)
Finance - Sponsored Programs Office (Sponsored Programs)

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