Grant Proposal Submission Guidelines

 

General Guidelines

All grant proposals, contracts and other applications requiring institutional sponsorship (UC, McMicken College, Department, etc.) should be submitted via the procedures of the Office of Sponsored Research Services. Downloadable copies of budget spreadsheets, application forms, information on fringe benefits and indirect cost calculations and other material can be found there. Faculty applying directly to foundations for individual fellowship support should notify the Office of Sponsored Research Services and the Associate Dean for Research in the College, Bob Frank, of their proposal submission.

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Submitting a grant proposal

  1. Get information from the SRS web site
  2. Notify the Office of Sponsored Research Services (SRS) of your intent to submit a proposal, by contacting the SRS staff member assigned to the agency to which you are submitting. Be sure to share any other pertinent information you have (RFP's, announcements, contact with Program Officers).
  3. Download the appropriate forms (Agency forms, Cover pages, Excel budget spreadsheets, Grant & Contract Checklist, etc.). (see 'Quick links' on SRS home page).
  4. Work with your departmental business person to prepare the paperwork and complete the budget. Important -- plan ahead to complete the internal budget review process.
  5. Final Submission: Electronic proposal routing (this is the most efficient way to handle the approval process):
    • Initiate the electronic checklist
    • Check and sign off on the PI certifications* as below
    • Attach the budget and budget justification
    • Submit electronically for final approval

    Important - submission at least 5 working days in advance of any deadline is now mandatory to complete the SRS electronic submission process, and department head and college approval must be obtained before that . Proposal applications received after the internal deadline will not be reviewed or authorized for submission to the sponsoring agency. This applies to all agencies (NSF, NIH, etc).

    A proposal in its final form is a completed proposal application according to specific sponsor guidelines with appropriate UC approvals and normally includes the following:

    • A fully signed proposal routing form (PRF) with Unit Head and College Dean approval, as well as with human subject, animal or bio-safety approvals if required by sponsor
    • Final scope of work (i.e. project description, research plan, project narrative)
    • Complete budget and budget justification (according to sponsor guidelines)
    • Completed administrative components of the proposal including all required documentation from proposed subrecipients.

    Important -- to be certain that all materials are received and approved by the SRS, faculty should allow at least 2 working days before the SRS deadline for the unit head and college approval process.

    The new SRS requirement above applies both to proposals that will be submitted electronically as well as those being submitted on paper.

  6. Final Submission: Paper proposal routing (still necessary in some cases) - use the paper Electronic Proposal Routing Form.
    1. Fill in the required information
    2. Check and sign off on the PI certifications* as below
    3. Attach the budget and budget justification
    4. Please make a copy for college records
    5. obtain the signature of your department Head
    6. obtain the signature of the Associate Dean for Research
    7. submit to SRS

Important -- to be on the safe side, please allow 2 working days in advance of the deadline for the final approval signature process.

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*PI Certifications

These have to do with aspects of research subject to federal laws, e.g., human subjects protection**, animal care***, environmental hazards, recombinant DNA, endangered species, federal debt delinquency, disbarrment, and paid lobbying efforts, and require that you accept responsibility for the scientific conduct of the project and to provide required progress reports if a grant is awarded.

**Human Subjects - additional approval may be required from the Institutional Review Board (IRB).

***Animal Welfare - additional approval may be required from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

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College Policies and Procedures

Proposal Routing and Required Approval Signatures

Principal Investigators needing approval signature from the dean of the college for grant proposals (and budget revisions to new or existing awards) should submit the materials listed below to the Dean for Research (robert.frank@uc.edu). These can be provided as paper copy, as e-mail attachments, or as attachments to the Office of Sponsored Research Services electronic checklist. Signature in the college office is necessary to keep track of budgetary commitments such as cost-sharing and graduate student support, as well as faculty effort in grant submission.

Grant & Contract Checklist (paper or electronic)

  • Official budget (UC Spreadsheet)
  • Budget justification
  • Project summary
  • Cost-sharing agreements, if any (advance approval of Department Head and Dean required)

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Cost Sharing Agreements

Sometimes, agencies and foundations expect a commitment from the institution for cost-sharing, either in terms of direct costs (e.g., 25% of total costs) or "in kind" contributions (e.g., faculty effort, release time, GA or tuition support). Prior to the grant proposal submission for signature, all cost sharing requests must have advance approval by all parties to the terms including amount and dates funds are needed. A faculty member should begin the cost-sharing agreement by discussing it with their department head and the A&S associate dean for research.

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Graduate Assistant and Graduate Tuition Support

All PI's are encouraged to seek support for graduate students on grant proposals whenever appropriate and allowable.

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Faculty Effort during the Academic Year

McMicken College encourages faculty to apply for competitive external support in the form of research grants and fellowships. Faculty may obtain released time from teaching responsibilities, and some or all of a faculty member's general funds academic year salary may be released if he/she receives a grant or fellowship with an academic year salary component.

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Determining the amount of release time salary to request in the grant

As a general rule, faculty wishing to obtain release time from teaching on grant proposals should follow the guidelines of the Office of Sponsored Research Services and base the financial request on academic year effort (e.g., each semester of full-time effort = 33% of annual base salary). Fringe benefits are also usually charged to the grant budget. Faculty wishing to obtain partial release time from teaching on a course-by-course basis (or any other basis less than full time effort) should request a minimum of 1/6 of annual salary plus the current rate of full-time faculty fringe benefits.

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Released Salary Return to department

Two-thirds (66.6%) of the general funds academic year salary released will be returned to the faculty member's department. The department will be expected to fund all of the teaching requirements necessitated by the buy-out from this 66.6% return, and to use any remaining funds to provide support for research activities in the department. The College will retain the remaining 33.3% to be used to stimulate and support scholarly activity in McMicken College of Arts & Sciences.

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Fellowships

In the case of fellowships (e.g., NEH, Guggenheim, MacArthur, Wilson, and Fulbright Fellowships), the College will consider releasing the faculty member from academic responsibilities to conduct funded research. The faculty member should discuss with their department head and associate dean for research their application for fellowship funding. During this discussion alternative methods of administering the award will be reviewed. The faculty member may elect whether the fellowship will be self-administered or administered through the university depending on the policies of the sponsor.

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Full Salary, Self-Administered

Example: A faculty member with a salary of $60,000 receives an ACLS fellowship of $50,000 and an American Philosophical Society grant for $10,000.

If the award is self-administered, the faculty member receives the funding directly from the funding agency. The funds are not managed by the university. The faculty member should request professional leave without pay but with full benefits per article 26 of the AAUP contract. The faculty member will not be on the UC payroll during the leave period but will have UC benefit coverage. The faculty member should consult with a tax accountant to review income tax implications of self-administered fellowships.

The faculty member requests a professional leave without pay with benefits. The department receives $40,000 and college receives 20% of the released salary. The department will be expected to fund all of the teaching requirements necessitated by the buy-out. The College will retain the remaining portion to support additional salary and to stimulate and support scholarly activity in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences.

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Full Salary, University-Administered

Example: A faculty member with a salary of $60,000 receives an ACLS fellowship of $50,000 and an American Philosophical Society grant for $10,000.

Fellowship requests may be submitted through SRS to the granting agency. This type of funding proposal would follow the normal approval process. The faculty should not submit their proposal directly to the agency unless required to do so. If awarded, the funds are received at UC, and the faculty member is paid from the award account. Per university budget procedure, the funding source of the salary should also be charged the current rate of fringe benefits (unless such charges are prohibited by the foundation). If full salary is realized from the fellowship, the faculty member should request a special duty assignment per Article 24.5 of the AAUP contract. The faculty member will remain on the UC payroll during the leave period.

The faculty member requests special duty assignment to provide release time from their normal workload for research purposes. Per university policy, the funding source of the salary is also charged the current rate of fringe benefits (unless prohibited by the foundation). The $60,000 available must be reduced by the current fringe benefit rate to determine the amount of salary dollars available. Using 32.2% as the fringe rate, the $60,000 nets $45,386 in salary dollars to pay the faculty member's academic year salary during their leave. The department receives 66.6% of the released salary or $30,227 and the college receives $15,113. The department will be expected to fund all of the teaching requirements necessitated by the buy-out. The College will retain the remaining portion to support additional salary and to stimulate and support scholarly activity in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences.

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Partial Salary, Procedures

In some cases, a faculty member may receive a fellowship that is less than their full academic year salary. Under these circumstances, the faculty member may request that the shortfall in salary be supported by departmental or college funds. Decisions to fund the salary difference will be made on an individual basis through discussion with the department head and dean's office. If partial salary is realized from the fellowship, then the faculty member should request a special leave per Article 20 of the AAUP contract. The faculty member will remain on the UC payroll during the leave period.

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Partial Salary, Self-Administered

Example: A faculty member with a salary of $65,000 receives a $40,000 NEH Fellowship.

The faculty member receives directly from the agency the $40,000 as income. When an award is self-administered, the faculty member will be paid the difference between what they receive from the fellowship and their regular salary. The faculty member requests a special leave with partial salary ($15,000) and full benefits for the time period of the fellowship. Note: pre-tax retirement contributions made by the university will be proportionate to UC-paid salary, so faculty would need to make contributions from their portion of the fellowship.

The department and college each receive their share of the released salary or $26,640 to the department and $13,360 to the college. The department will be expected to fund all of the teaching requirements necessitated by the buy-out. The College will retain the remaining portion to support the additional salary and to stimulate and support scholarly activity in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences.

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Partial Salary, University Administered

The University receives the $40,000 fellowship funding as a sponsored award. Typically, the fellowship is restricted to only pay for the faculty member's salary. This requires cost-sharing of the fringe benefits by the department and college. The faculty member would receive the $40,000 fellowship from NEH, and $15,000 from their UC salary, plus benefits. The faculty member would request a special leave with partial salary and full benefits for the time period of the award.

Example: A faculty member with a salary of $65,000 receives a $40,000 NEH Fellowship.

Using 32.2% as the fringe rate, $12,880 is needed for cost-sharing, so the amount of released salary available is $27,120. The department retains $18,061 and the College retains $9,059 from the remaining released salary. The department will be expected to fund all of the teaching requirements necessitated by the buy-out. The College will retain the remaining portion to support the additional salary and to stimulate and support scholarly activity in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences.

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FAQ

Why do I have to get approvals to submit a proposal?

In most cases, grants are made to institutions, not individuals (i.e., UC is the Grantee; you are the Principal Investigator), and the Sponsor requires the proposal to be submitted with an authorized institutional signature. In addition, you need the approval of your department and the college, to assure that needed facilities and resources are available and that accepting an award is not in conflict with your responsibilities.

The SRS will review the proposal to determine if it conforms to UC policy, satisfies the Sponsor's requirements, and if the budget contains the correct budget items such as salary, fringe benefits, correct indirect, graduate student tuition, etc.. The SRS has experience with all aspects of awards from federal, state and other government agencies, as well as most foundation procedures for submitting grant proposals, and has access to NSF's FastLane and other electronic filing systems. Whether your proposal is to be submitted electronically or in paper copy, once your proposal is finished, SRS can complete the final submission.

Do I have to do this for all proposals, even those that do not include indirect costs (overhead)?

Yes. Institutional approval is still necessary for the reasons mentioned above, and also because of the need for accurate record-keeping (to ensure that faculty, departments and the college get fair 'credit' for grant submissions).

Do I have to request support for grad students?

No (although some departments may require it). We encourage you to request support for your grad students, but it is not a requirement of the College.

Do I have to request graduate tuition on my grant?

If you include a request for student support, it is required that tuition (which does not generate any overhead charges) be included.

What about the 2 day pre-deadline expectation?

The Office of Sponsored Research Services requests 5 working days in advance for application processing. The Office of Sponsored Research Services requests 5 working days in advance for application processing. The department and College approval process must be completed in advance of that 5-day process (i.e., if you are submitting via the SRS electronic checklist, which is usually done several days in advance of the 5-day deadline, there will be no difference). For a paper copy, it will probably take less time, but we ask that you allow 2 days as a courtesy. In most cases, you will be able to drop off a proposal and pick it up the same or the next day.

But what about "emergencies" close to the deadline?

We will do all we can to help in such circumstances. The favor of advance notice -- e.g., an e-mail to the associate dean for research saying: "I will be working on the final draft of my NIH proposal up to the very last minute, which is 5 PM Friday" -- will be appreciated.