Office of Sponsored Programs Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is eligible to serve as Principal Investigator?
Tenured and tenure-track faculty members are qualified to serve. Some non-tenure track faculty who are considered to be on long-term lines are also qualified. Members of the University’s professional staff may also serve with the approval of the appropriate chair(s), dean(s), and vice chancellor/chancellor. Deans, department chairs and other administrators may serve, especially if it is specifically required by the agency. However, senior administrators should limit their cumulative effort to no more than 25%.
- What documents are required to submit a proposal?
Please refer to the page on the proposal submission process.
- How do I route a proposal?
Please refer to the page on the proposal submission process.
- Who copies and mails the proposals?
The staff of OSP will assist with copying and preparing proposals for submission. Project directors bear some responsibility in mailing the proposal.
- What are facilities and administrative costs (indirect/overhead)?
Indirect costs (also known as overhead or facilities and administrative costs, F&A) are costs that are not readily assignable to a specific contract or grant. These are costs such as building and equipment use charges, utilities, general administration, sponsored programs administration, and departmental administration.
- How do I handle subcontracts in my proposal?
Information on subcontracts is detailed here.
- How do I transfer a grant to N.C. A&T?
Prior approval and agreement among the officials of the universities involved and the sponsoring agency are required before the award is transferred. If the transfer is approved, the project director will be required to complete the proposal submission process in the OSP.
- What happens if my expenditures exceed my awarded budget?
This is totally unacceptable. However, if this does occur, the project director will have to obtain permission from the dean and department chair to perhaps reimburse that account from another account.
- Can I charge administrative and clerical costs to my sponsored project?
Yes, if these items have been approved by the agency.
- Who owns equipment purchased from sponsored funds?
The agency decides ownership of equipment purchased with sponsored funds. Some equipment remains with the sponsor; sometimes title is given to the recipient institution.
- Can sponsored equipment be transferred from N.C. A&T to another institution?
Prior approval and agreement among the officials of the universities involved and the agency are required before equipment can be transferred.
- What is the appropriate salary to budget for graduate students, research assistants, etc.?
The determination of whether an award is research or training is made by the awarding agency and is generally identified in the award document. For awards classified as research, the following types of compensation are allowable if specifically identified in the proposal and included as a cost category in the approved budget: (1) Student Wages - Compensation to students for work or services performed on a research project. (2) Tuition Remission -- Payment of tuition and fees to the University for a student actively involved in the research effort of the award. For additional information see Graduate Tuition and Fees.
- When is a proposal considered to be off-campus and therefore subject to the lower F&A cost rate?
If more than 50% of the project is performed off campus, the F&A rate for off-campus may be used.
- What if I am informed that my grant or contract is subject to either the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or Export Administration Regulations (EAR)?
If your project entails the import and/or export of technology or items, you will be required to follow the regulations of the laws in ITAR and EAR. Contact the director of the Office of Research Compliance and Ethics for guidance.
- Do I notify OSP if I decide to be away from the campus on an interim or permanent basis?
Please notify OSP if you: (1) withdraw from the project entirely; (2) are absent from the project during any continuous period of three months or more; (3) are substituted with an alternate individual; or (4) make an effort commitment reduction of 25% or more. This rule applies to a budget period, not a single quarter.
- Can I travel (domestic or international) without prior approval from sponsoring agency?
Travel is allowable if identified in the agreement. Travel must be specifically related and identifiable to the sponsored program. University travel policies and procedures (see the travel page on the Contracts and Grants site) must be adhered to. Travel costs that exceed the approved budget by 10% or $500, whichever is greater, must be approved by the sponsor. Written prior approval for international trips must be received in advance of each trip even if included in the approved budget unless the requirements have been waived by the agency.
- What if I receive an award document from the sponsoring agency?
You must immediately notify OSP and forward a copy of the document to OSP, if requested.
- What if I receive a check from the sponsoring agency?
All checks must be forwarded to OSP immediately for processing. The check will be forwarded to the Office of Contracts and Grants for receipt and deposit.
- How do I set up a residual account?
Please refer to the Residual Funds on Fixed Price Contracts page. Once approval is received to use the funds, the project director may request assistance in setting up the account by contacting OSP.
- When do I close my project?
Please refer to the OSP web page on the Closeout Phase.
- Do I ever prepare financial records?
You are never to prepare financial reports/records. The Office of Contracts and Grants is responsible for this task.
- Who decides which proposal is to be submitted in a limited submission (internal competition) solicitation?
For information on limited solicitations, please refer to the Research Services website.
- What can be used as cost share, other than salary and cash?
Cost sharing that is required by some sponsors (such as EPA) is called mandatory cost sharing. Cost sharing included in proposals that is not required by the sponsor is referred to as voluntary cost sharing. However, it is the University's policy not to volunteer cost sharing. Once cost sharing has been included in a proposal and that proposal has been accepted by the sponsor, the University has an obligation to provide the cost sharing proposed, regardless of whether it was mandatory or voluntary. The terms required or committed cost sharing are used to describe this obligation.
- What are the steps for entering into a Collaborative Agreement?
Please refer to the OSP web page on collaborative agreements.
- Where do I get information on completing the application packet for the Institutional Review Board?
Please refer to the IRB web page.
- How do I decide on the indirect rate for my project?
The indirect rate is determined by: (1) Type of Project (i.e. Instruction, Research, Other Sponsored Activity etc.) and (2) Agency Guidelines. Please see the University’s indirect rate information for the current negotiated rate.