Sponsored projects, such as government or quasi-government grants secured by Westminster faculty and staff, can support important initiatives and research. The application for these projects must be reviewed in advance and approved by the appropriate dean or staff supervisor, director of budget and financial reporting, and provost before submission because they can create resource obligations for the institution and may have strategic implications. Only the provost, or a named designee, can submit grant proposals that require an institutional sign-off. If a project includes financial obligations on the part of the institution, the chief financial officer must also approve the proposal.
Submit Your Intent to Apply
As soon as you have an idea for a grant proposal, whether as a primary grantee or subrecipient, complete the Intent to Apply form as completely as possible, describing the project and budget. A general abstract of your project idea with a rough budget is enough to get the process started. All proposals must be approved by your dean or supervisor, in consultation with the Provost. The form will be automatically sent to the appropriate approvers for your proposal.
Grant Budget Worksheet
This one-page worksheet can help you prepare a budget in an easy-to-follow format that corresponds with the categories in the Intent to Apply form.
Indirect costs—also referred to as Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs— are costs not specifically identifiable for any one project or program, but are valid expenses of conducting research, instruction, and other sponsored activities. Examples include building use, equipment depreciation, operation and maintenance of university facilities, student services, and departmental administration, and administrative support offices.
Westminster University’s current federal negotiated indirect cost rate is 32% of all non-equipment costs. This rate should be used in proposals to all funding agencies that allow for full indirect costs. Many funding agencies do not allow for any indirect costs, while other funders set a cap or maximum percentage on allowable indirect costs for a specific funding opportunity.
At Westminster University, indirect costs are applied as follows:
- 50% to Westminster General Fund
- 25% to Provost Research Fund
- 25% (or minimum $1000) to Funded Project
This allocation is evaluated annually by the Provost, with feedback from the Sponsored Projects Subcommittee.
A description of how the portion of indirect costs directed back to the project will be used must be provided and approved by the dean prior to proposal submission. The specific use of indirect costs should not be detailed on the budget submitted to a funding agency.
Salary and Benefits
Faculty can write a salary for themselves (at the same monthly equivalent as their full-time contract) into a grant budget to cover any time not covered in their full-time contract with the university. For example, a faculty member on a 9-month contract earning $63,000 a year is eligible to bring in up to 3 months of salary from external funding at a rate of $7,000 a month to cover time dedicated to funded projects.
Undergraduate researchers are typically paid at a rate of ~$9.40 per hour or ~$3,000 for an 8-week summer research season unless otherwise specified in the authorizing legislation or grant solicitation. Contact the Career Center for current pay rates for student employees.
All faculty, staff, and student salaries in a grant budget must be accompanied by funds to cover fringe benefits. This includes 7.65% on top of all salaries (faculty, student, and staff) to cover the employer portion of FICA. Salary paid from grants to faculty can also be accompanied by the employer’s retirement contribution, but this must be paid for out of the grant budget. Salary reimbursed from grants for staff can also be accompanied by the employer’s retirement and insurance contribution. Contact Human Resources or read about employee benefits for current retirement rates.
You can do one of the following with benefits:
- Directly write benefits into the grant budget as a direct cost under fringe benefits
- Deduct benefits from any total amount budgeted for salaries
- Have benefits come out of any indirect costs directed back toward the project
Equipment is typically defined as property that has an expected useful life of more than one year and costs $5,000 or more per item. Any items that do not meet both of these criteria are considered materials or supplies by most funding agencies, although some allow or use a lower purchase price of $2,000 when defining equipment.
The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for paying for gas from grant funds when using Westminster vehicles for project-related purposes funded by external grants. When gas is $3/gallon the rate will be roughly $0.27/mile for a 12-passenger van and $0.23/mile for a minivan. If a university van is not available, the PI will need to rent one and pay for gas and the rental cost from grant funds.
Requirements for matching funds or cost sharing can be met through a combination of “soft” and “hard” matches by the university. Soft matches are financial commitments that the university has already budgeted to fund apart from your projects, but which will contribute to your project. Hard matches are financial commitments that are not budgeted by the university and will need a funding source identified. Work with your dean or supervisor to identify funding. In kind donations can also be used as match in many cases. In some cases, matching funds are not required but can be a vital component of a competitive proposal.
After receiving the Intent to Apply form, your Dean or Supervisor will consult with the Provost and send you an email indicating approval to move forward with your project. Once your Dean or Supervisor and Provost have given your project a green light, the sponsored projects team will work with you to develop the proposal, gather required attachments, review for compliance, and obtain approval for the final submission.
The earlier you begin to collaborate with the team, the better your final proposal will be. All sections of the proposal should be complete one week prior to the due date to allow time for approval and submission.
Some additional information you may need as you work toward preparing your proposal:
- Authorized Signature: The Provost is the authorized representative for Westminster University. The Provost may name a designee in certain instances.
- Federal Employer ID: 87-0212470
- IRS Tax Determination Letter
- DUNS Number: 07-310-6866
- Unique Entity ID (SAM) (UEI): PP17KGH6HJF7
- Indirect Cost Rate: 32%
- Indirect Cost Rate Agreement Document
- Cognizant Federal Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
- US Congressional District: District 2 (UT-02)
- IRB Guidelines: If your approved project involves human subjects, it must go through an IRB approval.
Policies regarding sponsored projects can be found on the university policies webpage. Policies governing sponsored projects include:
- Policy 201 Spending and Contracting Policy
- Policy 240 Sponsored Projects and Grants
- Policy 240-A Budget Procedures for Sponsored Projects
- Policy 241 Indirect Cost Policy
- Policy 242 Financial Conflict of Interest Policy
- Policy 243 Time and Effort Policy (with Time and Effort Documentation Form)
- Policy 260 Purchasing Policy and Principles
- Policy 261 Purchasing Policy for Federal Grants and Related Procedures
Uniform Guidance– 2 CFR Part 200 (Uniform Guidance), effective Dec. 26, 2014, governs the expenditure of federal awards (superseding circulars A-110, A-21, et.al.). Uniform Guidance applies only to federal funds. The full text of 2 CFR Part 200 (Uniform Guidance) is available:
- Subpart A (200.0-200.99) - Acronyms and Definitions
- Subpart B (200.100-200.113) - General Provisions
- Subpart C (200.200-200.211) - Pre Award Requirements
- Subpart D (200.300-200.345) - Post Award Requirements
- Subpart E (200.400-200.475) - Cost Principles
- Subpart F (200.500-200.521) - Audit Requirements
Federal Agency Policy Guides
- Proposal preparation and submission, and general questions: Nancy Brown
- Budget development and award management questions: Piper Rogers
Director of Government Relations and Sponsored Projects
Director of Budget & Financial Reporting
- Full-Time Staff
- Director of Budget & Financial Reporting
M.A.C.C. Westminster University
M.B.A. Westminster University
B.A. Westminster University
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