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Penn State Internal Approval Form (IAF) Instructions

Penn State Internal Approval Form (IAF) Instructions

Introduction: The IAF is an online, Internal Approval Form for grant proposals. Electronic approval of the form replaced signatures. The form’s tabs are explained below, including information about completing them. Be sure to click the Save button before leaving each tab. The IAF is not the proposal itself; approval of the IAF does not constitute submission proposal submission. Note: Additional information is available at links on the titles of most tabs below.

Summary Tab: The information on this tab is automatically filled from the other tabs. PI to review.

Basic Info Tab: The Grants & Contracts Office (GCO) completes this tab. PI to review.

Budget Tab: The GCO completes this tab. PI to review.

Waivers Tab: The GCO completes this tab. PI to review.

Personnel Tab: On this tab, the PI’s name and names of other key personnel, along with their departments and roles on the proposal, and the “1st Period Effort (person months)” fill from SIMS. The PI completes the “% Credit” column in whole percentages totaling 100%. Credit will be attributed to the college and dept in proportion to the percentages appearing in % Credit column. Percentages reflect "credit" for intellectual and technical responsibility for the project, but need not represent salary or effort for all project participants. Research Info Tab: If the GCO has the abstract, they will paste it into the abstract box. The PI is responsible for inserting the proper percentages into the categorized proposed research areas below the abstract.

Export Tab: 

Will the project require access to classified facilities or classified information? 

  • If the project requires access to classified facilities or classified information, choose Yes. Choose yes also if the project will require personnel to hold security clearances. Is the sponsor or prime sponsor a foreign entity?
  • This will be automatically answered based on the information that the GCO enters in the Basic Info tab. Does the project include payment to any foreign subrecipients or foreign consultants?
  • If foreign subrecipients or foreign consultants are proposed, choose Yes.
  • If you choose Yes, a red message will appear that says “OSP must review and approve this proposal prior to submission to the sponsor. Please upload a copy of the approval email.” However, Do Not upload any document in the “Export Control Approval” box; GCO will upload the approval. Will there be any foreign visitors or unpaid foreign collaborators associated with this project?
  • If foreign visitors (also known as Visiting Scientists) will be participating in the project, choose Yes.
  • If you will be collaborating with any foreign persons, colleagues or entities, other than paid foreign subrecipients or paid foreign consultants identified in the previous question, choose Yes.
  • If the only foreign parties will be Penn State employees or enrolled students, choose No. Does the project require foreign travel?
  • If the project requires travel outside the US or its territories, choose Yes.

Other than technical reports, will the project involve the delivery of goods, materials or services to a foreign location or a foreign individual?

  • If the project requires the shipment of equipment, materials, or controlled technical data to a foreign recipient, choose Yes.
  • This does not include delivery to a US company with foreign employees. [Examples may include/not limited to prototypes, novel materials, unpublished third party technical data, proprietary software.] Export Control Approval
  • Do Not attach anything in this box if it appears. GCO attaches the approval from OSP.

Investigators Tab: If the 5th column in this tab says “Investigators Tab Not Complete,” do the following:

  • All Investigators must disclose their significant financial or business interests using COINS (Penn State's electronic Conflict Of INterest System) by following the link: http://coins.psu.edu.
  • Financial disclosures submitted in COINS will be forwarded to the discloser's Dept Head for review.
  • After Department review, disclosures are electronically routed to the Conflict of Interest Program. Conflict of Interest staff determine whether disclosures can be processed administratively, or if they need to be reviewed by the Conflict of Interest Committee.
  • A plan to manage any conflicts of interest must be in place prior to the expenditure of any award funds.

Human Subjects Tab: Does this research involve interaction or intervention with human subjects or the use of identifiable private human subjects data? This includes the following:

  1. work done under the auspices of Penn State,
  2. human subjects research at performance sites other than Penn State campuses and field sites, and/or 3) any work done by a subcontractor or commercial vendor.

If you are unsure, please contact the IRB Program for assistance.

If the answer to the above question is Yes, additional information will be requested in this tab: “If you have an approved study or studies, please provide the information below. This information is optional at the time of proposal submission, but is mandatory before Penn State will accept an award. To view your currently approved studies, go to the myResearch Portal.

Animal/Biosafety Tab: Does this research involve interaction or intervention with animal subjects? This includes the following:

  1. work done under the auspices of Penn State,
  2. any animal subjects research done at performance sites other than Penn State campuses and field sites, and/or
  3. any work done by a subcontractor or commercial vendor (including custom antibody production).      If you are unsure, please contact the IACUC Program for assistance.

If the answer to the above question is Yes, additional information will be requested in this tab: “If you have an approved study or studies, please provide the information below. This information is optional at the time of proposal submission, but is mandatory before Penn State will accept an award. To view your currently approved studies, go to the myResearch Portal.

  • Does this research involve the use of any Biohazardous Materials as defined in Penn State Policy SY24, Use of Regulated and Biohazardous Materials in Research and Instruction?

If the answer to the above question is Yes, additional information will be requested in this tab: “If you have an approved study or studies, please provide the information below. This information is optional at the time of proposal submission, but is mandatory before Penn State will accept an award. To view your currently approved studies, go to the myResearch Portal.

Radiation/Lab Safety

Does this research involve the use of radioactive materials, radiation-producing instruments, or lasers? 

  • Radioactive material is a solid, liquid, or gas compound or mixture in which some of the atoms are in an unstable atomic state. These atoms naturally decay to a stable state by the emission of ionizing radiation, normally from the nucleus. Users of this material must comply with Penn State Policy SY-14 and the Rules and Procedures for Use of Radioactive Material.
  • Non-ionizing radiation is radiation that has insufficient energy to cause the ionization of target atoms. Examples include microwaves, visible light, infrared waves, radio waves and lasers. 
  • Lasers are devices which use a quantum mechanical effect, stimulated emission, to generate a coherent beam of light. Lasers are a form of non-ionizing radiation but are treated separately at Penn State. Laser users must comply with Penn State Policy SY-17.

If the answer to the question above is Yes, 3 additional questions will appear:

  1. Does this research involve the use of radioactive materials?

If the answer to the above question is Yes, additional information will be requested in this tab: “If you have an approved study or studies, please provide the information below. This information is optional at the time of proposal submission, but is mandatory before Penn State will accept an award. To view your currently approved studies, go to the myResearch Portal 2) Does this research involve radiation-producing instruments? 3) Does this research involve lasers?

Does this research involve chemical, biological, animal, or physical hazards?

Attachments Tab: Please do not attach or upload anything at this tab. This will be done by the GCO.