(A) Administrative review of proposals
(1) Proposals will be reviewed to ensure each proposal complies administratively with the general guidelines, requirements, and program objectives before referral for review and evaluation. It is solely the responsibility of the lead applicant to ensure its proposal is complete, accurate, responsive to the requirements, and received on time. All lead applicants are advised that there will be no opportunity to correct mistakes or deficiencies in a proposal after the submission deadline.
(a) Proposals that are both complete and compliant with the requirements of the RFP will be forwarded for review.
(b) Proposals that are missing required forms and information, incomplete, or do not comply with the requirements will be excluded from evaluation. No supplementary or revised materials will be accepted after the scheduled date for submission. The chancellor reserves the right to request specific additional information.
(2) Except in the limited circumstance where the chancellor has requested specific additional information, decisions will be based solely on a proposal's content.
(B) Review process
(1) Proposals will be read and evaluated based on the evaluation criteria stated in this rule.
(2) Interviews of potential awardees may be required.
(3) Based on the evaluation, the most competitive proposals along with a written report prepared by the reviewers, will be forwarded to the chancellor or chancellor's designee. The final decision shall take into account the evaluations made during the review process, and staff recommendations. However, the chancellor or chancellor's designee shall exercise independent judgment in making the final selections. All funding decisions are final.
(4) All lead applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application after final funding decisions have been made.
(C) Evaluation criteria
(1) All proposals submitted under the Ohio research scholars program will be evaluated in accordance with one or more of the following base criteria.
(a) The quality of the proposed program and the extent to which additional resources will enhance its quality;
(b) The extent to which the proposed program is connected to the strengths of the regional economy;
(c) The extent to which the proposed program is or will be integrated with centers of research excellence in the private sector;
(d) The amount of other institutional, public or private resources, whether monetary or non monetary, that the proposed program will leverage;
(e) The extent to which the proposed program brings together public or non public Ohio institutions of higher education, business and industry to strengthen or develop new clusters of research excellence;
(f) The extent to which the proposed program will build on or enhance a university or college's mission and resources committed to an existing cluster of research excellence;
(g) The extent to which the proposed program will facilitate a more efficient utilization of existing faculty and programs in strengthening existing or developing new clusters of research excellence;
(h) The extent to which the proposed program will meet an existing statewide need for quality graduate students;
(i) The extent to which the proposed program will demonstrate productivity or future capacity for the recruitment of scientists and quality graduate students;
(j) The extent to which the proposed program will create additional capacity in education and enhance economic development;
(k) The extent to which the proposed program coordinates with and enhances the positive impact on choose Ohio first scholarships by encouraging students to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees in one or more STEM fields or medicine.
(2) Evaluation criteria in the case of a joint request for proposal will include those criteria set forth above as well as such other criteria as may be developed by the parties to the request for proposals. Detailed itemization of all evaluation criteria will be included in the request for proposals.
(D) Public meeting
Prior to final funding decisions by the chancellor or the chancellor's designee, each proposal submitted for consideration shall be summarized by the chancellor's staff at a public meeting. Each lead applicant with a proposal pending for consideration shall have the opportunity to review the summary and answer questions or respond to concerns about the proposal raised by the chancellor's staff.
(E) Selection and grant agreement preparation
Upon completion of the review and evaluation process, and after recommendations have been made, the chancellor or chancellor's designee shall determine which proposals receive awards, in whole or in part.
(1) An award may require changes to the proposal and budget due to evaluation findings, funding changes, or other reasons. Awardees are expected to complete the project as described in the proposal as funded and as amended.
(2) After a proposal has been selected for funding, approval from the state controlling board for the final grant agreement is required. A lead applicant institution or a collaborating institution of a proposal selected for funding and seeking approval from the state controlling board may be required to attend the controlling board meeting.