Q. I think I want to write a grant proposal. How do I begin?
Begin by searching for a sponsor fit in the links listed on the “Funding Opportunities” page on the OSP website. To begin writing your grant, visit the links on the “Grant Writing” page. The Office of Sponsored Programs is always available to assist you in person.
Q. Why do I have to go through the Office of Sponsored Programs to submit my grant?
An award is made to the university not an individual. Therefore the ultimate responsibility is assumed by the university. This is why the government and most sponsors require certifications and assurances signed by the University’s official signatory. The official signatory for grants also resides with the Office of Sponsored Programs and is designated to the Director and Associate Director of OSP. In addition, OSP strives to ensure that the best quality proposal is submitted to the funder.
Q. What is RAMSeS?
RAMSeS is the acronym for Research Administration Management System & e-Submission. UNCG proposals are electronically routed through RAMSeS for review, sign-off prior to being submitted to an external funding agency. All proposals must be routed through this system. Contact your Grant Specialist for assistance.
Q. When are proposals due in OSP?
The OSP requires that all proposals, electronic or otherwise, be fully routed and submitted in RAMSeS FIVE WORKING DAYS PRIOR to an agency deadline. The primary reasons for this are: To assist the PI in creating and submitting a proposal that is within sponsor guidelines including: assistance with an appropriate and accurate budget, assistance with format to ensure that the proposal is complete and that it represents the University and the Investigator in a positive way. Since the proposal document is submitted and the award is made to the University, not to the Principal Investigator (PI), OSP has the legal and fiduciary responsibility to ensure that all University, sponsor, State and Federal regulations, laws, and policies are met. Because the actual proposal development process can take days, weeks, and even months, we recommend that the PI contact the OSP very early in the proposal process, so the administrator can help facilitate the overall process.
Q. Who assists me with the preparation of my proposal budget?
OSP is responsible office for assisting PIs with budget preparation and review. Contact the Melissa Williams, Grants Specialist at 336-334-4918 for more information.
Q. What is “cost-sharing,” and how does it work?
Sometimes sponsors require that the applicant share or “match” some of the project cost as an indicator of commitment. There are two common forms of matching: “in-cash” and “in-kind.” Contact the Melissa Williams, Grants Specialist at 336-334-4918 for more information.
Q. What items may not be listed as match or cost share?
Keep in mind that the university is responsible for documenting and providing all cost sharing obligations to auditors. The main area of cost sharing is equipment, personnel, travel and indirect cost. All of these items are easy to document when the grant/contract ends.
Q. What are the fringe benefit rates?
A composite fringe benefit rate of 33% should be used for permanent three quarter to full-time personnel in proposal writing, except in cases where the sponsor requires otherwise. Fringe is NOT calculated on subcontractors, GAs and student workers with some exceptions: 1) If students are hired for summer employment and are not enrolled full-time in summer school, you must include 8.35 percent for their fringe rate.
For assistance with fringe benefit compensation, contact the Tamara Adams, Grants Specialist at 336-334-4574 for more information.
Q. What are Indirect Costs (F&A costs)?
Indirect costs as it pertains to a sponsored project or agreements are allowable items of cost that are directly related to the project, but cannot be directly attributed to that specific project. Examples of indirect costs can include depreciation of buildings and equipment; research administration; accounting; and, custodial services. Indirect costs are known by many different names, such as “Facilities and Administrative Costs”, “Overhead Costs” or simply “Administrative Costs”. Even though these costs cannot be directly attributed to a sponsored project, they are a very real fiscal cost to this institution. In addition, indirect costs are viewed by the Federal Office of Management and Budget as real and legitimate costs that may properly and legally be billed to a funding agency.
At UNCG, Facilities and Administrative rates (indirect costs) must be applied and charged on all sponsored projects and agreements. The only exception to this policy is when a program or an agency has been granted a legislatively endorsed restriction on the F&A rate that is to be charged or, in the case of private agencies, an established written policy exists which limits F&A rates. In these rare instances, it is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) to furnish the Office of Sponsored Programs with the written, established policy.
Q. What is the indirect cost rate?
The federally negotiated rate is 43.5 percent of Modified Total Direct Costs.
Q. What budget items are exempt from indirect cost?
The applicable F&A rate is not applied to certain costs or expenses often found within a sponsored project budget. The Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) base shall exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, tuition remission, rental costs of off-site facilities, scholarships and fellowships as well as the portion of each subgrant and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
Q. What if the sponsor only allows a certain percentage for indirect or F&A costs?
The rate agreement does not supersede sponsor guidelines. In the case of training, for example, many federal training grants mandate an indirect cost rate of no more than 8%. Many private sponsors also will not support indirect costs over a certain percentage; some will not allow indirect costs at all. In these cases, OSP will require written documentation of the policy from the sponsor.
Q. What are the Congressional and Senate districts’ numbers for UNCG?
- US Congressional District: 06
- NC House District: 89
- NC Senate District: 32
Q. How much should I pay my students (graduate and undergraduate)?
You may request whatever you deem appropriate from the funding agency. Keep in mind that justifications for all budget items are required, and it is important to provide a good rationalization for the request.
Q. How much do I pay a consultant?
Consultants should be paid on the basis of their history of consultancy fees, noting that certain agencies maintain maximum rates (e.g. U.S. Department of Education – $513/day; U.S. Department of Justice – $450/day; and NSF $537/day).
Q. How do I list other UNCG faculty on grants if they are not a Co-PI?
They may be listed by name and department with pertinent percentage of time under personnel.
Q. What are the UNCG Federal ID (Tax Exempt) and DUNS numbers?
- Federal ID (Tax Exempt) Number: 56-6001468
- DUNS Number: 616152567
Q. What is our Federal-Wide Assurance number?
Under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) human subjects protection regulations (at 45 C.F.R. 46.103), every institution engaged in human subjects research funded or conducted by DHHS must obtain an Assurance Of Compliance approved by the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). Both “awardee” institutions and collaborating “performance site” institutions must file assurances. The university’s number is FWA00000216.
Q. If my grant includes research with humans or animals must I get clearance from the IRB and IACUC?
Yes. The university’s Institutional Review Board number is IRB00000216.
Q. How are limited submission proposals handled?
If a faculty member learns of a funding opportunity with limited submission and wishes to respond to it, it is his/her responsibility to notify the Office of Sponsored Programs immediately. If the Office of Sponsored Programs learns of a funding opportunity with submission limitation, a notification is sent to members of the Research Advisory Committee for distribution to their faculty. See Limited Submissions under Funding Opportunities on the OSP website.
In the event that two or more faculty members wish to submit to a funding opportunity with a submission limitation, an internal competition is held. If an internal competition is required, the Office of Sponsored Programs will request the submission of a brief description of the proposal and a preliminary budget for each proposal to be evaluated by RAC with the final decision being made by the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development on which proposal will move forward for submission to the agency.
Q. My grant is funded! How do I get my money?
After you supply OSP with your award notice/letter, the award information is entered into RAMSeS, which indicates to the Office of Contracts and Grants that an award has been received and a Grant Account needs to be established. An account number will then be issued to you by the Office of Contracts and Grants and your Contracts Specialist in that office will advise you on the administration of your grant account.
Q. Can I start spending the award money before the official award document is received at the university?
Sometimes no, sometimes yes. Your Grants Specialist can assist you in determining whether you can begin spending prior to the official award document arriving at UNCG. If yes and you have sufficient documentation from the funding agency that an award document has been delayed, you can complete an Assumption of Risk (AOR) form.
Q. My grant calls for a subcontract to be prepared. How do I go about doing that?
To prepare a subcontract, the PI must provide the following information to their Grants Specialist:
- The grant account number/RAMSeS proposal number for the project
- The name of the entity which UNCG is subcontracting
- The statement of work for the subcontractor
- The budget for the subcontractor
- The period of performance for the subcontract
- The name, address, telephone, fax and e-mail address for the subcontractors: PI and contract administrators
- How the subcontractor is to invoice UNCG: monthly, quarterly, by a set schedule (provide the schedule dates for invoicing), pursuant to a deliverables schedule (if via a deliverables schedule, please provide that schedule)
- The name and address of the person to whom we should send the subcontract for signing (if different than the contract person)
Q. My grant is ending and I would like to transfer remaining funds to a miscellaneous account. Is this possible?
The Office of Sponsored Programs is primarily a pre-award office. Pre-award is associated with the activities performed before the grant proposal is funded and immediately after a project is funded. The Office of Contracts and Grants handles all post-award financial activity. Transferring of funds is handed in that office.