Central Administration Research Office (CARO) Services
The Central Administration Research Office (CARO) is composed of pre-award and research development professionals dedicated to supporting investigators as they navigate the grant cycle from conceptualization to submission to award acceptance.
CARO works with DFPM investigators to customize the level of support desired for each project. Generally, investigators request one of two support tracks: pre-award administration, which includes budgetary support, formatting, compliance checking, uploading, and internal tracking, or research development, which encompasses pre-award and further includes project management and proposal development (e.g., editing, team facilitation, arranging reviews). Each staff member specializes in various aspects of research support and is assigned to projects accordingly. To view CARO's organizational chart, please visit the Research Infrastructure page.
CARO offers services in the four domains below:
- Provide project management, including timelines, regular check-ins, and team member communication
- Review the FOA and create a checklist outlining necessary documents and any FOA-specific requirements
- Coordinate with internal organizations, including the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP), Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CTSI), the Vice President for Research (VPR), and the School of Medicine
- Assist with finding external and internal partners
- Communicate with external collaborators, including subawards and consultants, and collect documents and necessary information
- Ensure compliance with sponsor and university guidelines
- Identify and distribute funding opportunity announcements relevant to faculty research interests
- Maintain current knowledge of sponsor changes and requirements and disseminate to faculty via research meetings and the Research and Scholarship Committee
- Internally track submissions and awards
- Identify areas of need and coordinate with leadership to provide support
- Coordinate with University Communications to disseminate research success
- Coordinate and manage limited submissions
- Facilitate partnerships between divisions, departments, and institutions
- Encourage and coordinate internal and external scientific peer review
- Support presentations at New Proposal Working Group (NPWG)
- Support REDCap survey development intended to generate preliminary data for future submissions
- Support faculty nominations and applications for awards and honors
- Work with investigators to ensure that research appropriately incorporates Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and that Human Subjects plans include minoritized populations as appropriate
- Work with the PI to create and refine a budget and justification according to best practices and funder guidelines. We work hand-in-hand with division accountants to anticipate needs and problems before they arise during the project period
- Provide expert proposal editing in accordance with recommended best practices, agency guidelines, and FOA-specific recommendations
- Provide outlines (for proposal narrative documents) and templates (for supporting documentation; e.g., Facilities, Human Subjects, MPI plan) that are responsive to best practices and sponsor requirements
- Assist with drafting letters of support templates and collecting/tracking letters
- Create, edit, and/or format supporting documentation, including biosketches, data management plans, multi-PI plans, and protection of human subjects
- Provide graphic design support in creating figures, tables, and logic models
- Upload all proposal information and documents into the appropriate submission system (typically Cayuse or FastLane) and coordinate with OSP for review and submission
- Work with PIs to resolve questions discovered during OSP review
- Support IRB submissions and approval, including amendments and study reports
CARO support can begin at the onset of the proposal process, including seeking tailored funding opportunities, facilitating collaborations, and supporting project conceptualization. Faculty do not need to come to CARO with a fully developed research proposal for support. The sooner CARO is involved in the process, the more services we are able to offer.
- For pre-award administration services (budgetary support, formatting, compliance checking, uploading, and internal tracking), we ask that you contact us as soon as possible, preferably at project onset. To ensure a smooth submission process, investigators should contact us at least one week before the OSP deadline (5 days prior to sponsor deadline). More complex proposals, such as those with multiple subawards, may require additional time.
- For research development services (pre-award administrative services as well as project management, proposal editing, and graphic creation), CARO requests that investigators contact us at project onset, preferably one month in advance of the OSP deadline.
CARO staff understand that emergencies happen and that turnaround times may be shorter than desired. It is our goal to meet all reasonable requests for support. However, if requests exceed our capacity at times, our services may be streamlined or given on a first-come, first-served basis. Per DFPM policy, CARO does not support applications that do not meet the OSP deadline. The Department Chair or the Vice Chair for Research may approve exceptions.
- To request proposal support services, please fill out the Intent to Submit form. A member of CARO will contact the investigator within 2 business days to learn more about the project and desired services to determine who is best positioned to support the project. Once a CARO staff member has been assigned, they will initiate support with a kickoff meeting.
- For other support requests (e.g., REDCap support, IRB support, assistance with nomination letters, etc.), please contact Dr. Melanie Steiner-Sherwood, Director of Research and Scholarship (email@example.com).
- To schedule a session of New Proposal Working Group (NPWG), contact Dr. Melanie Steiner-Sherwood.
- Unsure of whether CARO can support your work? Please reach out to Dr. Melanie Steiner-Sherwood to discuss what we can do to assist.