FAQ's

Formation

HOW DO I FIND FUNDING FOR A PROJECT?

DSU has access to a database supported by the Grants Resource Center, American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Funding sponsors can be found through this database. The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is able to provide you with a login details for this database.

Our website has links to both government-agency and private-organization funding sources.

HOW DO I START WRITING A PROPOSAL?

Analyzing the requirements provided by the funding sponsor is the best place to start. Funding sponsors provide rubric on which they grade and based awards off of. Each solicitation/agency is unique in their specific requirements. Always keep your Research Administrator informed of any proposal BEFORE submitting.

DO I NEED TO GET ANY APPROVALS BEFORE APPLYING FOR A GRANT?

Principal Investigators (PIs) cannot commit University resources to a research project. You should discuss your idea with your Chair and Dean at the very beginning of the proposal- development process; some proposals also require letters of support at the College level. In addition, most proposals require proof of support (a letter and/or “signing” the actual proposal application) at the University Administration level (usually the VP of Academics).

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HOW DO I CREATE A BUDGET FOR MY PROPOSAL?

The key to creating a budget is to identify and estimate. Identify how much time and resources a project will take, and estimate the individual costs. The budget is a key component in your proposal and it’s very important to have all the information correct. It is also crucial to have the budget outlined to align with DSU’s banner system.

WHAT ARE INDIRECT COSTS?

Indirect costs, sometimes referred to as Facilities and Administrative (F&A) or Overhead costs are costs incurred for common or joint objectives that cannot be identified readily with a particular sponsored project or institutional activity. For example, F&A costs may include, but are not limited to: building and equipment use, operations, maintenance and utilities, general departmental and sponsored projects administration, library, and capital improvements.

The federal government tells us what rate to use for indirect costs. DSU’s federal F&A cost rate for sponsored projects is established in accordance with the federal government’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Higher Education.

WHAT IS COST SHARING OR MATCHING FUNDS?

Generally speaking, cost-share is any item devoted to the project such as personnel services; supplies; equipment; tuition, and in some cases, unrecovered indirect costs. In- kind contributions are those committed to the project by a third party entity. These may be in the form of real property; equipment; supplies; and the value of goods and services specifically identifiable to the grant project.

Institutional commitment, including cash and third party in-kind contributions may meet the definition of cost-share. Funding agencies have restrictions on what is cost-share allowable so it is important to pay close attention to agency-specific requirements.

DO WE HAVE INSTITUTIONAL ANIMAL CARE AND USE (IACUC) AT DIXIE STATE UNIVERSITY?

Yes. If you have any questions concerning IACUC please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs.

WHAT IS AN ALLOWABLE COST?

As it relates to sponsored projects and programs, the simple definition of an allowable cost can be determined by applying a three-pronged test. An allowable cost for a specific grant is one that is acceptable if (1) it is incurred solely to advance the work under the sponsored agreement; (2) it benefits both the sponsored agreement and other work of the institution, in proportions that can be approximated through use of reasonable methods, or (3) it is necessary to the overall operation of the institution and is deemed to be assignable in part to sponsored projects.

If you should have additional questions about allowable costs on a sponsored project or agreement, please contact the Office of Sponsored Projects.

WHO SIGNS PROPOSALS? WHO SIGNS GRANTS AND CONTRACTS?

The PI is not authorized to sign any document to legally obligate the university. OSP will facilitate the correct signatures for the correct levels of funding.

WHAT HAPPENS TO EQUIPMENT PURCHASED WITH A GRANT OR A CONTRACT?

Title to equipment purchased from sponsored funds is dependent upon the sponsor. Dixie State University retains the title to most federally sponsored research equipment and we always try to negotiate title for all other sponsored equipment.

CAN I CHARGE SOME OF MY SECRETARY’S TIME TO THE GRANT?

The secretary’s time is considered by the federal government to be an indirect cost and therefore cannot be applied to a grant. However, in the case of a program where the federal legislation creating the program articulates the need for a secretary, that can be included. For example, Student Support Services funded by the US Department of Education allows for a secretary wholly and completely dedicated to the project.

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WHAT HAPPENS IF I SPEND MORE THAN MY BUDGET?

If expenditures exceed the awarded budget, accounting will freeze the account The Principal Investigator will be liable for pursuing a funding supplement to cover the costs and ensuring that the account is reconciled. Ultimately, the Dean of the College will have to cover over-expenditures.

MY PROJECT INVOLVES INTERVIEWING PEOPLE FOR A STUDY. I HAVE HEARD ABOUT INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (IRB), BUT THIS IS JUST UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE IN MY STUDY. DO I NEED IRB? WHAT IS IRB ANYWAY?

The IRB is charged with assuring all Dixie State University research projects adhere to Federal, State, and University guidelines. The board’s Human Subjects in Research Committee is responsible for ensuring the University complies with established policies for the protection of human subjects used in clinical research and other scientific investigations. The DSU administration requires that all research involving the use of human subjects must be submitted to the committee for review.

For more information, the OSP website includes an IRB link, or visit http://www.Dixie.edu/IRB/default.html

THE AGENCY THAT I AM APPLYING TO ONLY ALLOWS 10% IN INDIRECT COSTS. HOW CAN I GET THIS APPROVED?

The policy at Dixie State University is that we recover all possible indirect costs (F&A). We use the federally negotiated rate (33.7%) on every proposal. However, when an agency publishes a rate that is different, and applies that rate to all applications, the published rate can be used. Any other deviation from the DSU’s federally negotiated indirect cost rate must be approved by the Executive Vice President.

NSF

HOW DO I GET STARTED ON NSF FAST LANE?

OSP will list you as an authorized DSU user. Please call us. You can then open a file. We will provide technical assistance. Fastlane is very intuitive. Once registered and logged in, you need to open your specific application and give OSP access to read, edit and submit proposal.

I HAVE LOST MY NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION FASTLANE PASSWORD. WHAT CAN I DO TO GET ANOTHER ONE?

The NSF FastLane Log In site (https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/researchadmin/researchAdminHome.do) includes a Password Reset link, and a link to lookup your FastLane ID. If you have any questions or problems, contact your OSP Research Administrator.