Project Timeline for Research Projects

The current PSA research project approval and review process is as follows:

1a) Faculty member conducting research in an area of potential interest to PSA is identified by faculty, department chair, or Experiment Station administrators, and communicated to the Associate Vice President for Public Service and Agriculture.

1b) New faculty hires meet as below to discuss research plans before submitting pre-proposal. Pre-proposals for new faculty are circulated, reviewed, and approved electronically. Renewing faculty members are asked to submit 1-2 page pre-proposal and accomplishment summary prior to meeting.

2) Faculty member meets with department chair/unit head, the appropriate college Associate Dean, REC/Institute Director (if appropriate), appropriate PSA Associate Dean, Associate Vice President for Public Service and Agriculture, to discuss five-year research objectives and potential impacts.  Discussion to include (i) scientific justification, objectives and approach for the proposed project, (ii) opportunities for university-wide or broader collaboration, (iii) potential of proposed research to generate outside funding/leveraging, (iv) specific short-term outputs of research and long-term outcomes. Faculty with terminating projects should address deliverables and impact for the immediate past project in addition to the proposed project. All Experiment Station projects must address pertinent issues aligned with the five PSA goals. PSA expectations are that researcher: i) complete a CRIS report annually, ii) submit research publications for PSA technical contribution numbers and iii) leverage PSA funding. Researchers are asked to provide Experiment Station with non-proprietary project reports for sponsored projects so that the leveraging impact can be included in accountability reporting.

3) Projects are presented to CAFLS (or other college) Research Associate Dean for comments and concurrence. The Associate Vice President of Public Service and Agriculture is informed of recommended projects.

4) If project concept is approved, faculty member is advised and requested to write project. All faculty members have access to the searchable CRIS database online.

5) Project is peer reviewed, and reviewer comments are provided to Associate Dean, COO and faculty member.  Faculty member responds to comments and revises project. COO reviews and approves project. Projects, related CRIS forms and any IRB certifications are submitted to USDA/CSREES. USDA approves project. Note: Target date for approval of projects for development of salary roles is March 1.

6) New projects are typically funded for four years with researchers submitting annual CRIS accomplishments reports.

7) Changes in Project Direction or Management.  Prior approval by the Associate Vice President for Public Service and Agriculture is required for a change in objectives, scope, PI, or project effort.  Examples, though not all inclusive, are as follows:
     1.  Change in specific aim approved at the time of project approval.
     2.  Any change from approved use of animal or human subjects.
     3  Shifting emphasis of research from one area to another.
     4.  Applying a new technology from that proposed
     5.  Transferring the performance of substantive work to a third party (subcontractor)
     6.  Change in those designated as "key personnel" by the sponsor and
     7.  Significant re-budgeting.


May-June:  The Experiment Station advises the principal investigator (PI) via letter at least a year in advance of the scheduled termination date of the PI's project.

May-October:   If the PI is asked to continue,  the PI,  the Associate Vice President for Public Service and Agriculture, associate deans, and department chair(s) meet to discuss the proposed project. The project must:

  • Present case for relevance, capacity, impact
  • Detail research/extension collaboration, as appropriate
  • Determine costs associated with the project

PI conducts CRIS search in advance of writing proposal ( PI writes project proposal, using the research project format. PI submits proposal to the Experiment Station and requests that the project be sent for peer review.  PI submits names and addresses of four reviewers with proposal. The policy of the Experiment Station is that three of the reviewers should be outside Clemson University. These reviewers can be scientists from other universities, other institutions or organizations, private industry, etc.

  • November 1:  The Experiment Station sends the proposal to reviewers, with a questionnaire. Reviewers are also invited to write suggestions to improve the project directly on the copy of the proposal. Reviewers are given 10 working days to return the review to the Experiment Station.
  • December 1:  The Experiment Station compiles all reviewers' comments into a letter to the PI.  If the reviewers have written comments on the proposal, these are included with the letter that is sent to the PI. The PI then revises the proposal and resubmits to the Experiment Station
  • January 7:  Upon approval by the Experiment Station, the PI is authorized to complete CRIS forms 416, 417, and CSREES-2008 via the CRIS website. If human subjects, animal subjects, or DNA research is involved in the project, approval must be obtained from the appropriate university committee prior to final submission to this office. The project cannot be submitted to CSREES without the date of university approval on the CSREES-2008 form.
  • January 15:  The Experiment Station assigns a new project number and forwards project to CRIS (via CRIS website) for approval. CRIS office returns approved paper copy of forms CRIS 416, 417, and CSREES-2008 to the Experiment Station. Copies of these forms are sent to the PI.
  • March 1:  Budget is set up for project.            
  • July 1:   Project begins.