Process & Documentation

Cluster Connect offers an on-line submittal and review capability that will permit PSU to accelerate proposal approvals and rapidly engage the PSU extended community. The proposals will be processed as they are submitted and the prior approach of calendar date submission deadlines will be discontinued. Please use the Firefox or Chrome browser for the best experience.

Login to Cluster Connect

Please use the Firefox or Chrome browser for the best experience.

Supporting Instructions for Project Processes

Faculty and Staff, known in Cluster Connect as “Project Leaders”, will submit their proposals, participate in the Review and Approval process, engage with their project teams, and will create a project completion report. Supporting documents of some of the new functionality in Cluster Connect is shown as follows:

With the Clusters, designated Project Reviewers participate in the Review and Approval process. Documentation supporting those roles is provided below:

Additionally, to support offline project and budget proposals, the documents below may prove helpful in preparing a proposal request:

Conflict of Interest

To complete a Project Proposal, project leaders are asked to agree to the statement, “I have reviewed and will comply with PSU’s Conflict of Interest policies with respect to this project. I understand that project funding may not be approved and that no reimbursements are possible prior to approval. Further, I understand it is my personal responsibility for any expenses incurred prior to approval.” For policies regarding Conflict of Interest, please visit USNH Personnel Policies and the PSU Faculty Handbook.

Institutional Review Board

All PSU research activities proposing to involve human participants must be reviewed and receive written, unconditional approval from the IRB before commencing. The Federal Government has specific regulations, 45 CFR 46, regarding the use of human participants in research and requires such activity to be reviewed by an Institutional Review Board prior to any data being collected. . In 45 CFR§46.102 research is defined as “(d) … a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.” This definition has been routinely interpreted as activities intended for presentation outside a classroom/educational setting. Any activities involving human participants that are intended to contribute to the “generalizable knowledge” must be reviewed by the PSU IRB without exception (this includes thesis, dissertations, research studies (quantitative/qualitative), independent studies, etc.). Visit PSU’s Institutional Review Board website to learn more.

Preparing a Successful Project

During Summer of 2017, a group of dedicated faculty read the entire portfolio of Cluster Projects available at that time. Their thoughtful analysis and recommendations presented in this Guidebook are valuable to both a new Project Leader or to those who have sponsored a successful project in the past.