1. Who do I contact in the Grants Office to get started?
    • Brand new to grant seeking? Start the process by completing this form. Once that is submitted, Dawn Helsing Wolters, Director of College Grants, will reach out to you to set up a time to meet and discuss your next steps!
    • Seasoned grant seeker? Contact Dawn via email to set up a meeting!
  2. When should I start planning my proposal?
    • This is often dependent upon the funder. Larger proposals (e.g. National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health) can take 2-3 months in order to fully prepare and compile the necessary attachments. Smaller funders with less requirements can take 1-2 months. Your best bet is certainly starting sooner rather than later, especially if you are funding an upcoming sabbatical.
  3. What is the difference between student employees and student researchers?
    • Student researchers: These students are involved as trainees. They are expected to work full time on the project, but more as a learning experience, not as structured employment. Student researchers are paid through a stipend and not through payroll. For NSF purposes, they are considered participants and indirect costs cannot be calculated on their stipend pay.
    • Student employees: These students are hired through the normal College hiring channel and given specific tasks to complete within specific times. They are paid through an hourly wage. Payroll taxes are withheld on any hours worked in the summer months, not during the academic year. Student wages are included in the calculation to determine indirect costs.
  4. What are indirect costs?
    • Indirect costs are the costs incurred by the College that affect the work of the grant but cannot be easily quantified within the budget. Best said: They are the cost of keeping the lights on! Indirect costs account for the space utilized by the researchers and the personnel assisting with managing the grant activity. Our current indirect cost rate is 56% of salaries and wages.
  5. What is the Proposal Processing Form and when is it required?
    • The Proposal Processing Form is required for all faculty research and/or federal proposals. It’s required for institutional awards that require match funding and/or will start a new program. The form asks specific compliance related questions required when applying for federal funding. This also confirms approval from the Principal Investigator’s Dean and the Provost department.
  6. How do I request a no cost extension?
    • The Grants Office will work with you during this process as it will vary by funder. For most federal agencies, the first no cost extension (NCE) can be both requested and approved internally. The most critical piece is ensuring you have a plan and updated timeline for the extension.
  7. How do I disclose a Conflict of Interest?
    • Prior to any proposal, it’s important to review the funder’s guidelines regarding who is eligible to apply for an award. Federal funders have specific Conflict of Interest reporting requirements prior to submitting any proposals. If you have a new conflict after receiving an award, it must be reported in a timely manner. We encourage all PI’s to review any potential conflicts of interest on an annual basis to ensure there are no changes to report. Details related to the federal funder guidelines and forms can be found here.
  8. Once awarded, how do I access the funds?
    • After receiving the award letter, the Grants Office will work with Finance to set up an account specific to this funding and provide access to the PI. Federal awards operate on a reimbursement basis, meaning the College will request the funds on a quarterly basis after they’ve been spent. Private and state agencies will specify in their award letter or contract how the funds will be provided. The Grants Office will review the spending on a monthly basis in order to ensure compliance with the funder’s guidelines and the budget submitted with the original proposal.