KSOM Research Policies & Procedures

Research Policies & Procedures

Proposal Review & Approval

The Dean and administrative staff of the Keck School of Medicine (KSOM) recognize the critical contribution of sponsored contract and grant funding to the school. They also recognize support to the faculty in the grant and contract proposal process is essential to ensure timely and successful grant and contract submissions. The KSOM Policy on Proposal Review and Approval is designed to communicate and clarify the roles and responsibilities of the principal investigators (PIs) and their departments as well as the roles and responsibilities of KSOM Research Administration and USC Department of Contracts and Grants.

Full KSOM Policy

Who May Be A PI on KSOM Sponsored Projects

The USC Guide to Research describes who may be a Principal Investigator on Sponsored Projects at USC. There are KSOM specific conditions and processes for requesting an exception, the form can be found here.

USC Policy on Who Can Be A PI on Sponsored Research Projects and KSOM Procedures for Requesting Exceptions

Special Instructions for Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR)

The RPPR is used by grantees to submit progress reports to NIH on their grant awards. This page provides an overview of the annual RPPR, the final RPPR and the interim RPPR and provides resources to help you understand how to submit a progress report.

Research Performance Progress Report(PDF) (updated 8/15/23)

Professional Services Agreements

Professional Services Agreements that do not require a submission via Grants.Gov should be submitted for USC Office of General Counsel review and approval via KSOM Research Administration using the Routing and Approval Form. A KSOM flow chart illustrating the routing, review, and approval process is also available for reference here.

Cost Share Request Procedures

Sponsored grant proposals requiring cost share commitments will require careful monitoring. The KSOM document describing types of cost shares and documentation of costs shares can be found here. Any special requests for cost share from the Dean’s Office should be made using the form provided here.

Advance Funding

The University and the KSOM acknowledge that there may be occasions when the principal investigator (PI) of an approved sponsored grant or contract desires to begin before an official award notice has been received from the sponsor. The Keck School endeavors to accommodate this situation by approving advance funding under certain terms and conditions.

Full Policy
Pre-award Authorization

Fixed Price Contract Unexpended Balance Transfers

Unexpended balances occur on fixed price contracts when the actual cost to conduct the research project is less than the amount received from the sponsor. The remaining direct costs after a minimum indirect cost has been earned may be used for future KSOM-based research expenses via transfer to a gift or unrestricted account.

Full Policy
Unobligated Balance Transfer Request Form

Guidelines on Grants versus Gifts

Is your proposal application a grant or gift? Should I go through Contracts and Grants or Development? Helpful guidelines for distinguishing between the two sources of funding are provided.


Guidelines for Requesting Partial Waivers of IDC

Externally sponsored grants, contracts and subcontracts are charged the full federally negotiated IDC rate unless
(a) the sponsor has published a different rate that can be independently verified or
(b) an exception is request is submitted in writing by the PI and approved the KSOM Research Dean.

These guidelines describe how to a request an exception.

Keck Partial IDC waiver Request Instructions
Partial IDC Waiver Request Form

Multi-Keck School Department Research Projects & Satellite Accounts

The Keck School of Medicine will adopt the USC procedure of establishing satellite accounts across Schools to encourage faculty to participate in interdisciplinary research and team science in the Keck School of Medicine.  We believe that this mechanism would fairly attribute the costs associated with such research activity.  To this end, the lead unit of a research project (prime unit) should work with the collaborating units to apportion the research activity with both direct and indirect costs even if the direct costs are limited to faculty time and effort. This procedure applies to all sponsored research projects not only multi-PI projects.

A non-lead unit may waive its option for a satellite account in writing to the lead unit with copy to the Keck Office of Research Administration.

PI Separation Checklist

When Faculty who are engaged in research leave the University, they must ensure the proper close down of their research activities including research space. This checklist is provided to assist the faculty and Department Administrator(s) with what actions to take and who to contact as they wind-down their activities.