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Research Grant FAQ

How do I develop a budget?

You can request ERO staff develop an internal budget sheet for your project, or you can use the Budget Justification Template.

Is there standard wording for a budget justification?

Yes. You will want to customize the wording for your particular proposal, but the Budget Justification Template is a good start.

When should I notify the Engineering Research Office about a planned proposal submission?

As soon as you know you are submitting a proposal. This allows us time to assist in your proposal preparation at the level of service desired by the PI.

How much time does the grants office need prior to the sponsor deadline?

The following timeline refers to the review and processing of final proposals, not drafts:
If terms and conditions are included, the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (OSPA) needs 7 full business days to review the terms.
If no terms and conditions, OSPA needs 2 business days to review your final proposal prior to submission to the sponsor.

Can I discuss my budget with the sponsor prior to submitting my proposal?

Any conversations with a sponsor regarding budget should be conducted only by OSPA.

Must I include Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs in my proposal?

Yes. If the sponsor may object to seeing them clearly separated in your budget, ERO staff will work with you to provide a “loaded budget” for the sponsor submission (each F&A cost is loaded into the direct cost lines).
Please note: F&A costs are real expenses (electricity, janitorial services, support staff, etc.). If not for F&A reimbursement, you would have to conduct your research in the dark and out on the street.

I need a signature on my proposal. Who can sign for the university?

Only an Institutional Authorized Representative may sign. Typically, the authorized representative’s signature will be provided by the director or the associate director of OSPA.

Can I negotiate terms on publications?

No. Allowing our publication freedoms to be constricted defeats all graduate student work on projects and can lead to an invoking of Export Control Regulations, which could further inhibit our academic mission.  As a general rule, the curators cannot accept terms from sponsors that dictate or limit the ability of university personnel to publish.

Can I negotiate terms on publications?

No. Your creative endeavors are the property of the curators. Only the curators can commit to agreements involving royalties, potential patents, and inventions.

Can I do preliminary work before an agreement is finalized?

No. If you do, you and the curators can be held liable on several fronts. If you are working without a signed agreement, there is no way to guarantee you will be paid, no matter what your technical contact says, and you may inadvertently forfeit rights to inventions.