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Reviewing and Approving a Proposal at the College, Department or Special Approval Levels

Last Updated: 12/4/2017

Institutional approval must be granted for proposals to be submitted to a sponsor. At MSU, institutional approval is obtained through a series of intermediate approvals, beginning with the investigators named in the proposal and ending in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), Business Connect (BC) or Contract and Grant Administration (CGA). This job aid details how to find the information in KC, and how to take the desired action (whether to approve the proposal, disapprove the proposal or reject the proposal for revisions).


  • Academic Chairs, Deans, or designees
  • International Studies and Programs (ISP) Administrators
  • Office of Planning and Budgets (OPB) Administrators
  • University Advancement Administrators


Upon notification that you have a Proposal Development document to review


  1. Click on the Action List button located at the top left of the screen
  2. Click on the number in the Id column next to the proposal you wish to review. KC will open the proposal and display the Proposal Summary screen Example proposal Id link highlighted on the KC Action List panel

    NOTE: Click expand all at the top of the Proposal Summary tab to view all of the information without having to expand the panels.

  3. Review the information located in the Proposal Summary panel. Proposal Summary panel showing example proposal information and budget totals
  4. Click show on the Budget Summary panel and review the information located in each of the subpanels; Budget Periods, F&A, F&A Allocation Summary and Budget Reports. Budget Summary panel populated with example budget data
  5. To review the budget in greater detail click show on the Budget Reports subpanel and click the Print button corresponding to the report you would like to view (report #5 is recommended). The budget displayed can be saved or printed.

    NOTE: If the Budget Module within KC was not used to create the budget you may review the attached detailed budget by following the instructions listed below for viewing attachments in the Attachments subpanel.

    The print button indicated for the Budget Summary Total Report in the Print Forms table of the Budget Reports panel
  6. Click show on the Key Personnel panel; click show on the Proposal Person Certification subpanel beneath each PI and Co‐I to display the answers to their Proposal Person Certification questions. Key Personnel panel with the show button indicated for the Proposal Person Certification (Complete) subsection

    NOTE: Key Personnel are not required to answer the Proposal Person Certification questions, and therefore will typically not have a Proposal Person Certification subpanel.

  7. Click show on the Combined Credit Split subpanel to review the F&A Allocation, Post Award Unit, and Space distributions.
  8. Click show on the Special Review panel to see if this project involves human subjects, animals, international activities, additional space/renovations, or export control activities that were identified at the proposal stage.
  9. Click show on the Custom Data Information panel to review a description of Voluntary Cost Share that is committed in the proposal. If no voluntary cost share has been committed, this panel will be blank.
  10. Click show on the Questions panel to review the questionnaires necessary for the proposal; you will need to click the show button for each subpanel that appears in order to review the questions and responses to each. The answers to the international activities and additional space/renovations questions are located here. Questions subpanel expanded to show example questions and responses entered for a proposal
  11. Click show on the Attachments panel. Three subpanels will be displayed: Proposal Attachments, Personnel Attachments and Institutional Attachments. The number of attachments in each subpanel are displayed after the subpanel name. Click show to display the Attachment Types; click view next to each Attachment Type to display the attachment. Attachments may include the detailed budget (if the budget was not created in the KC Budget Module), scope of work, subcontract commitment forms, budget justification, internal approvals, etc. On the Attachments panel, Institutional Attachments subpanel expanded to show example attachments
  12. Click show on the Notes panel to read the notes that were added to the proposal prior to, or during route. If notes were not added, this panel will not be displayed.
  13. Click show on the Keywords panel to view the keywords that were added to the proposal. If keywords were not added, this panel will not be displayed.
  14. Click show on the Validations panel and click turn on validation to reveal any warnings for the proposal.
  15. For System‐to‐System proposals, click show on the Print panel, and show on the Print Forms subpanel to view the list of possible Federal forms that may be submitted with the application. Check the box next to the form(s) you would like to display, or click the Select all option, and click print selected. The forms being submitted with the application will be displayed. On the expanded Print panel, the Print Forms subpanel is expanded to show example forms selected for printing and the print selected button indicated

    NOTE: Some User Attached Forms may not be included from this print screen, however they may be viewed from the S2S tab, on the User Attached Forms subpanel.

  16. Following the completion of your review select the appropriate action button at the bottom of the screen.

    NOTE: Pay attention to the statement, located just above the action buttons: Approval signifies that the proposed project fits within the academic framework and resources of the unit, requirements for new or renovated facilities/space have been discussed with the appropriate people, contributions listed will be met by the department/college unless otherwise approved, that Conflict of Interest requirements have been addressed, and that Sponsored Programs may process the proposal.

    Proposal Approve, Disapprove, and Reject buttons beneath the approval statement
    • Approve ‐ indicates agreement with the information provided and advances the Proposal Development Document to the next reviewer.
    • Caution! Disapprove ‐ will prevent any further actions or approvals from occurring. The individual who disapproves the proposal will need to provide their rationale for the disapproval in the comment box to complete the disapproval process. No further changes or modifications to the proposal will be permitted. The disapproval option should rarely be used and should only be selected for proposals that will not be submitted to a sponsor.
    • Return ‐ indicates the proposal requires additional information or corrections in order for the reviewer to approve. The reviewer who returns the proposal will need to provide their rationale in the Return Reason box to complete the process. Returned proposals will go back to a draft status, allowing the initiator to make revisions and approve the document changes reinitiating the review and approval process.
      • If Returned, you will be routed to the Proposal Actions tab where you will need to:
        • Enter the reason in the Return Reason field; it may be beneficial to specify the changes required for eventual approval
        • Click yes to confirm your action

          Rejection Reason field highlighted on the Proposal Actions tab panel

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