FAQs

General

Funding Sources

Proposal Preparation and Submission

Budget Development

Compliances, Policies, and Procedures

Post Award

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Answers

General

  • What support is offered by the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs?
    • The Office of Research & Sponsored Programs supports UW-L faculty and staff members in developing, preparing, writing, and submitting proposals of institutional interest.  Assistance is available to help identify funding sources, develop budgets, offer feedback and editing for final drafts, interpret and ensure compliance with internal and external guidelines, communicate and negotiate with funding sources, and review and approve final proposals.  As a complement to one-on-one support, campus-wide workshops are offered to promote and enhance grant seeking and writing throughout the campus community.  Additionally, a monthly newsletter, Grant News, provides updates regarding upcoming funding opportunities and the latest news from our office.

Funding Sources

  • How do find funding for my project?
    • A number of funding resources are outlined on our website's "Funding Sources" page.  In particular, the UW-L campus has free access to two resources:
      1. COS: http://pivot.cos.com/
        • COS is a comprehensive, searchable database of funding sources for all project types
      2. Grants Resource Center (GRC): http://www.aascu.org/grc
        • Contact the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs for the institutional log-in needed to access GRC online resources.
        • GRC offers several tools to assist in identifying funding:
          • Funding publications:  Three publications - on a twice weekly, weekly, and monthly basis - highlight upcoming funding opportunities, primarily from federal agencies.  Opportunities are organized by discipline and can be accessed on the GRC website: http://www.aascu.org/grc/pubs/
          • GrantSearch database:  This targeted database of approximately 2,000 recurring funding opportunities that have a national/regional scope provides a good staring point for funding research:  http://www.aascu.org/gsmodule/
    • Additionally, the monthly publication of Grant News is emailed to all faculty/staff members and contains a list of upcoming funding opportunities for a wide array of disciplines. 

 

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Proposal Preparation and Submission

 

  • Who can serve as a primary investigator (PI) on an award application?
    • As a general guideline, tenured UW-L faculty, faculty on tenure track, and staff with at least a 50% continuing appointment may serve as a PI on an award application.  This helps to ensure staffing continuity for the duration of a project.  If you have questions about serving as a PI, please contact the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs.

 

  • How can I refine my proposal writing skills?
    • The Office of Researched & Sponsored Programs sponsors educational workshops throughout the year designed to enhance the grant seeking skills of the campus community.  Upcoming workshops are listed on our home page, and materials from past workshops are posted online.  To augment campus-wide opportunities, please contact our office for one-on-one support.  A list of proposal writing resources are available on our website, including several specific to major funding agencies.

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  • Whose approval do I need for my proposal?
    • Extramural proposals The approval of various parties is indicated by their signatures on the UW-L Grant Transmittal Form.  Each proposal for extramural support must be approved by the department chair/unit director, the college dean/division director, and the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs before it is forwarded to the funding agency.  Proposals that involve more than one department, school, or college must be reviewed by appropriate officials of each.  Projects that involve partnerships with other institutions must be reviewed by the appropriate officials within each, such as a university’s grants office.  Proposals that involve the use of animal or human subjects must be approved by the appropriate university committees, although approval can be obtained after a proposal has been submitted so long as the process is completed before research commences.
    • UW System proposals Approval signatures for UW System proposals should be obtained on the UW System Grant Transmittal Form.  The appropriate UW-L contacts for each UW System grant program are listed on our website.

 

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  • What is the role of the department chair in reviewing a proposal?
    • The department chair shall review the proposal to:
      1. assure faculty and staff time commitments are reasonable and compatible with department workloads, present and planned;
      2. determine that the percentages of time and the salaries are accurate; and
      3. verify that the space, facility, and service requirements are within the department's present capability if not specifically provided for in the proposal.

 

  • What is the role of the dean or division director in reviewing a proposal?
    • The dean or division director shall review the proposal for completeness and confirm that:
      1. space, services, and support requirements have been adequately provided for;
      2. responsibility will be accepted for assuring the availability of cost sharing funds promised in the proposal; and
      3. the project budget, salary rates, job titles, and classifications are reasonable and appropriate.

 

 

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Budget Development

  • Where should I start when developing my budget?
    • Start by calling the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs as soon as you are considering a project.  During an initial meeting, we can help to brainstorm your project needs and assign figures to those needs.  It isn’t necessary to come equipped with a budget draft – only a project concept.  To conceptualize your project needs, you may find it helpful to first develop a concept paper.

 

 

  • How are a project's personnel salaries and wages calculated?
    • Professional and staff salaries are calculated in terms of the percentage of their time that will be devoted to the project.  Part-time personnel wages are calculated in terms of the hourly pay rate.  Budgets for multiple year projects should take into account annual merit and promotional rate increases of 3% per year.

 

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  • Who should not be included as project staff?
    • Consultants and administrative support personnel generally should not be included as project staff.  Consultants are listed as a separate budget line item.  However, only external experts may serve as consultants, and thus employees within the UW System who participate in a project must be included as staff with fringe benefits.  Administrative support personnel are part of indirect (overhead) costs unless the staff member is specifically assigned to the project to provide technical assistance, in which case they should be included as staff with fringe benefits.

 

  • Is there a limit to the amount of additional compensation a PI can receive through award funds?
    • According to UW System policies, additional compensation for faculty with academic year appointments cannot exceed 2/9 of a person’s total salary plus $12,000.  Additional compensation for staff with a 100% annual appointment is limited to an additional $12,000 beyond the person’s total salary.  Some funding agencies also have compensation limitations, and our office can assist you in identifying those restrictions.

 

  • What is the difference between a consultant and a subcontractor?
    • A subcontractor is an external organization that makes a significant contribution to a project.  They generally submit a separate, detailed budget for their portion of the project.  Project activities undertaken by a subcontractor often take place at their facility.  A consultant is an external expert who lends their expertise to a project in a more limited fashion.  Consultants are typically paid directly instead of through an organization and receive a pre-established hourly or per diem rate.

 

  • What are the guidelines for using a project consultant?
    • Generally, consultants are external professionals that are listed in a separate budget line item.  If a UW System employee will be serving in a consulting role, they should be listed as personnel, and fringe benefits should be included for them in the budget.  Contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for further guidance on how to incorporate a consultant into your project.

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  • How should equipment be listed in the budget?
    • As a general rule, equipment is defined as items that cost $5,000 or more per unit.  Equipment costs should take into account the cost of shipping, installation, fabrication, and maintenance.  Be as specific as possible in describing the equipment name, model number, and manufacturer.  Note that allowable equipment expenditures vary by funding agency.  To ensure your requests meet the appropriate guidelines, consult with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

 

  • What are indirect (overhead, F&A) costs, and are they a required budget line item?
    • Indirect (overhead) costs are real costs for actual institutional expenses that support extramural activities but cannot be directly charged to a grant or contract.  Examples include utility costs, administrative support, facility maintenance, buildings, and equipment.  The UW System Board of Regents mandates that extramural proposals request overhead costs to cover these expenses.

 

 

  • What are the guidelines for cost sharing (matching funds) in a budget?
    • Cost sharing requirements vary by funding agency, and our office can help you to identify what those requirements may be.  Cost sharing must be auditable and can consist of cash and/or in-kind contributions, depending upon funding agency guidelines.  Institutional cost sharing commitments must be made in writing, and before a proposal can be submitted, the dean/division director must indicate their approval either via email communication to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs or via their approval signature on the grant transmittal form.

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Compliances, Policies, and Procedures

 

  • When do I need to receive IRB, IBC, or IACUC approval for my project?
    • If your project requires IRB, IBC, or IACUC approval, it does not need to be approved before you submit a proposal for extramural funding.  However, since committee approval is required before your research commences, you should initiate the process as you draft your proposal or soon afterwards so that you are prepared to move forward if your project is funded.

 

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  • What is the purpose of the conflict of financial interest form, and who must complete it?
    • A conflict of financial interest form should be completed by all investigators for proposals being submitted to federal agencies.  The form ensures compliance with federal agency requirements.  An “investigator” is defined as the principal investigator and any other person who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of federally funded research.  Grant proposals cannot be submitted to federal agencies unless this form is completed, signed by your dean/division director, and then returned to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.  To prevent delays in proposal submission, this form should be completed at the time that you are routing the grant transmittal form  for authorizing signatures.  If circumstances change, please contact our office to update the form.

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Post Award

  • I received a notice that my proposal has been funded.  What happens now?
    • Upon award notification, the associate vice chancellor of academic affairs, in consultation with the principal investigator (PI), will verify the itemized budget.  A uniquely numbered account and title for the project (fund 144 for a federal grant, fund 133 for a non-federal award) will be established by the Business Services Office.  The PI, along with the department chair, dean, and central administration, is responsible for directing the funded project and bears fiscal responsibility.  You may call our office or the grant accountant for assistance at any point during the post award process.

 

 

 

  • Who should I consult if I need to make modifications to my project budget?
    • The grant accountant should be your first stop before making budget modifications, as they can verify the actual availability of award funds.  Afterwards, the grant accountant and our office will work with you to either make the modifications internally or communicate with the funding agency.  The process should be initiated at least four weeks prior to the project end date.  Some agencies only allow such modifications if they are initiated electronically by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. You will need to complete a budget modification form prior to the modification being submitted to the grantor.

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