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News & Updates
- The Federal Executive Level II Salary Cap has changed effective January 2017. The NEW Amount is $187,000. This is anticipated to affect all new NIH awards and some DHHS and Department of Justice awards. Still waiting on an announcement from NIH on the Salary Cap.
- New guidelines regarding the Vertebrate Animals Section of proposals has been simplified and is in place - NOT-OD-16-006.
- NEW Rigor and Transparency requirements for NIH and AHRQ Research Grant Applications - NOT-OD-16-011. This announcement lists several other related announcements that are important. Please note that reviewers are being asked to pay close attention to these items.
- Diane Hillebrand's office is now located at the new School of Medicine & Health Sciences building in room W423.
- NIH REQUIRES use of updated electronic application forms for due dates after May 25, 2016. This is Form D.
- The most recent date on the Indirect Cost Rate Agreement is now 06/29/2016.
- Graduate student fringe benefits are currently estimated at about $750 per year or 3%.
- A new NIH Biosketch Form was issued to be used after 05/25/2015.
- The budget templates have been revised to separate out Key Personnel and Other Personnel. Please use these templates if there is not an agency specific budget to use.
- In all budget justifications, please designate a Key Personnel section and also an Other Personnel section.
Did You Know...
- Only a full-time faculty member or a full-time professional staff member may be named as the Principal Investigator on a research proposal. The following academic ranks constitute appointments to the faculty: instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. These appointments may be at the probationary or tenured level. Exceptions may be made to this policy based upon approval of a petition submitted to the Vice President for Research. The petition, which is submitted by the proposed Principal Investigator, must indicate endorsement or non-endorsement by the department faculty as evidenced by the Chairperson's signature, by the Dean, and by the Director of the Research Development & Compliance Office. A blank petition form can be found on the Proposal Resources ~ Budget Information ~ Budget Categories ~ Personnel ~ section of the Grants Management website.
- Keep in mind that if you have multiple departments involved in your proposal, and F&A Cost is an allowable charge in your budget, you will need to discuss the distribution of the F&A Cost Return with these departments. A memo or a signed agreement discussing the distribution of the F&A Cost Return needs to be included with the proposal. An example of this memo can be found on the Proposal Resources ~ Budget Information ~ Budget Categories ~ F&A Rates ~ section of the Grants Management website.
- The lead time policy for internal processing of grant proposals is five days. This means that five days prior to the due date of the proposal, a finalized version should have all SMHS signatures and be ready for Research Development and Compliance for final signature.
- As the PI of a grant project, you may be contacted by a Federal, State, or University auditor concerning expenses on your grant. When you receive these phone calls or e-mails, it is a good idea to direct that individual to myself for explanations and/or clarifications. If the auditor insists that a discussion with yourself and/or the department head is needed, I can then set up a meeting with all parties involved. If you have any questions or concerns, I can be reached by phone at 777-2808, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- When a new grant project number is set up by the UND Grants & Contracts Administration Office, the PI of the project is mailed a copy of the award document and the UND Information Sheet. If you did not receive these documents, or have lost them, you can contact Grants Management at 777-2808 for a copy.
- UND policy states that if your grant project requires IRB approval, a grant project number (ex. UND0012345) will not be set up until the IRB approval has been obtained.
- On North Dakota Department of Human Services proposals, you are to use the full indirect cost rate if it will be awarded as a contract. If the proposal is to be awarded as a grant, the indirect cost is limited to 8%.
- Your proposal budget may ask for a "Cognizant Agency" for our Indirect Cost Rate Schedule. UND's "Cognizant Agency" is the US Department of Health & Human Services. Our Point of Contact is Robert W. Lee, and his phone number is (415) 437-7820.
- On a Grants.gov proposal application, each new application must have a different title from any other application with the same PD/PI. The title is found in the "Descriptive Title of Applicant's Project" field of the SF424 (R&R) form.
- Federal and UND regulations require that conflict of interest forms be on file for principal investigators (PI's) of proposals submitted to external funding agencies. UND has recently approved a new policy on conflict of interest. The policy and forms can be found on the Research Development & Compliance website. PIs must also submit a "Certification of Filing of Financial Interests Disclosure Statement" to the Division of Research annually, or more frequently if their status changes during the year.
- The UND Division of Research frequently provides matching funds for proposals to external funding agencies. In order to properly monitor the amounts and sources of matching funds provided for these proposals, principal investigators requesting matching funds must complete a "Division of Research Matching Funds Request Form," which can be found on the Division of Research website.
- In order to ensure that correspondence from granting agencies is received by the Division of Research in a timely manner, please use the following e-mail address for Barry Milavetz, Associate Vice President for Research, on all external grant proposals: UNDgrantcontracts@research.und.edu.
- Reviewing your "PI Report" monthly helps you verify your budget, expenses, and budget balance.
- If you are proposing a subcontract in your budget, you will need to receive a commitment letter with an authorized signature, budget, budget justification, scope of work and any agency mandated forms from that entity, before the proposal is submitted by UND.
- Once an employee receives his/her "Personnel Activity Confirmation" report, they have to review, sign, and return this form to Grants Management so it can be certified within 30 days.
- It is very important to verify that your actual effort percentage on a grant project meets or exceed the effort percentage shown in the grant proposal.
- "Spending down" a sponsored project when it gets close to the end date of that project is strictly prohibited per Federal OMB Circular A-110, relocated to 2 CFR 215.
- Facilities & Administrative Costs (F&A Costs also known as Indirect Costs) are only charged on the first $25,000 of each subcontract, and are not charged on any individual piece of equipment purchase $5,000 and above.
- Salary corrections should not be done on an employee once that employee has certified to their time on their "Personnel Activity Confirmation" report.
- All UND SMHS employees working on a grant project need to certify to their time. This certification is done by reviewing and signing a "Personnel Activity Confirmation" report which is sent to the employee semesterly by Grants Management.
- All externally sponsored proposals at the SMHS need to be reviewed and signed by the PI of the project, your department chairperson, Grants Management, the SMHS Associate Dean for Research, the SMHS Dean, central Grants Management and the UND Research Development & Compliance Office. These signatures are obtained on the "UND Proposal Routing Form".
- There is a process where a grant project number can be set up prior to the award document being received. If you are interested in this option, you can contact Diane Hillebrand at 777-2808.
- No-cost extension requests need to be reviewed by Grants Management and submitted by the Research Development & Compliance office. If you have any questions on these requests, you can contact Grants Management at 777-2808.
- When submitting an NIH proposal via Grants.gov, all attachments need to be in a PDF format.
- When submitting an NIH proposal via Grants.gov, you need to input the PI's eRA Commons username in the box titled "Credential, e.g., agency login" on the Senior/Key Person Profile form.
- Expenses such as office supplies, line charges, postage, administrative salaries, memberships, food purchases, subcontracts and equipment are considered unallowable on grants and contracts unless they are listed in the proposal budget and budget justification.
- When submitting an NIH proposal via Grants.gov, attachments should not include page numbers or headers. Once the proposal is received by NIH, headers and footers are automatically added.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some general questions concerning the administration of research projects at the SMHS. For questions specific to proposal budgets, please see the Proposal Resources ~ Budget Information section of this website.
Q - How long does it take to route a proposal for signatures?
A - It normally takes five days to route a completed proposal for signatures after the SMHS has signed off on the proposal.
Q - Who needs to sign my grant proposal?
A - Your proposal needs to be reviewed by your department chairperson, SMHS Grant & Contract Officer, SMHS Associate Dean for Research, SMHS Dean, central Grants Administration and the UND Associate VP for Research before you are allowed to submit it to the sponsor. This process may take up to five days to complete once the SMHS has signed off on the proposal.
Q - How do I verify my PAC Report?
A - Once you have received your Personnel Activity Confirmation Report (PAC), you need to review and sign this report certifying that the effort percentages shown are accurate and return this form to the Grants Management at the SMHS. This form must then forwarded to Central Grants from the SMHS Grants and be back in the UND Grants and Contracts Administration office within thirty (30) days from the time the UND Grants and Contracts Administration office printed.
Q - Where can I find the Proposal Routing Form?
A - The Proposal Routing Form can be found on the Grants Management website on the main index page and also under Proposal Resources ~ Proposals ~ Process. This form is in excel that allows you to complete the boxes and then print it out for signature.
Q - What is the current indirect cost rate for UND?
A - The current indirect cost rates for UND can be found on the Proposal Resources ~ F&A Rates section of the Grants Management website. At the present time, On Campus Research is 39%.
Q - What is the current fringe benefit rate for UND?
A - The current fringe benefit rates for UND can be found on the Proposal Resources ~ Budget Information ~ Budget Categories section of the Grants Management website. Keep in mind that the fringe benefit percentages shown are approximations used for budgeting purposes. Once your proposal is funded, the actual fringe benefits will be charged to your project.
Q - What is the current salary amount for GRA's or GTA's?
A - The current graduate student salary amounts for the SMHS can be found by asking your department administrator.
Q - Do I have to follow my budget line items exactly?
A - Most of the time you are not restricted to follow the budget line items to the exact amount budgeted. You usually have the flexibility to overspend one line item (such as travel), while underspending another line item (such as supplies), as long as you do not exceed the total direct costs awarded. Some agencies will limit the ability to overspend line items and this information will be in the award document or the agency policies.
Q - My proposal requires a subcontractor. What information do they need to provide to me?
A - It is university policy that you obtain a commitment letter signed by an authorized individual, scope of work, budget, budget justification and any agency mandated forms from your subcontractor before your proposal is sent through for the review process. This information obtained from the subcontractor shows a commitment toward your project and is essential to writing the subcontract agreement once your project is funded.
Q - My budget does not include equipment, but I need to purchase some equipment. What do I do?
A - You need to contact the SMHS Grant & Contract Officer about your situation, as the purchase of equipment in leau of other direct costs will affect the indirect expenses of your project. Then in most cases you will need to get the funding agency's approval to purchase any equipment not listed in your proposal.
Brown Bag Session #2
Effort Certification and How it Affects Me
Brown Bag Session #1
What is My Role on this Grant?
National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) YouTube Tuesdays