Who can submit a proposal through CDR?
If you are a CNSM faculty/staff member who does not have an affiliation with any research unit on campus, then CDR is the default place to route all your proposals through. CDR typically does not coordinate proposals for faculty/staff (or their students) who have a formal appointment with another UAF college or research institute that has its own proposal coordination office. Proposal coordination requests from any other UAF or non-UAF employee should be directed to the CDR Director who will evaluate the request on a case-by-case basis.
I'd like to submit a new proposal. What should I do? What information do you need from me?
All proposals and pre-award activities for our unit are coordinated by UAFs Office of Proposal Development (OPD). As soon as you decide to respond to a request for proposal (RFP), please send an email to OPD Pre-Award Manager Erin Christian with PI Name; PI's Department; Project Start / End Dates; Proposal Due Date; and Web Link to the Request for Proposal. Erin will generate a new proposal number and assign a coordinator for your proposal, who will then become your point-of-contact for that specific proposal. Erin Christian can also be reached by phone (907-474-5366), or in-person at Akasofu Building Room 204A, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Do I need to go through OPD even for a pre-proposal or a letter of intent?
The specific details of the pre-proposal need to be reviewed to determine what steps will be needed to ensure compliance with OGCA's Pre-proposal review process. Please send an email to OPD Pre-Award Manager Erin Christian. Erin will review the sponsor requirements and advise if you are able to proceed with the submission, or if there will be UAF internal actions required prior to submission.
What help can I expect from OPD in preparing my proposal?
With your input, your assigned proposal coordinator can help you put together a proposal budget, draft your budget justification, reformat your CV to match the specific format required by the Funding Agency, compile your current and pending report; and assist you in formatting your proposal to conform to the agency guidelines. The proposal coordinator also fills out the proposal routing form and collects signatures from the research team, their unit's fiscal officer, and Director (required by UAF). OPD finally hands over the completed routed form and the proposal package to the Office of Grants and Contracts for a final review and for uploading the funding agency's proposal submission site. If you have other specific requests, please don't hesitate to ask.
Why can't I work on my proposal till the Agency submission deadline?
UAFs Office of Grants and Contracts. that submits the research proposals on behalf of the PIs and the University, follows "UAF Uniform Proposal Review Policy: Policy Number 004-001" for proposal submissions. As per this policy OSP requires five business days for review, approval, and submission of a proposal. To comply with this policy, CDR internal deadline to receive the complete final proposal package from the PI's is seven business days before agency deadline. Please also note that collaborative proposals, or proposals that require cost match, IRB clearance, or special accommodations require extra review time. Proposals submitted to the large popular federal calls where several UAF PIs typically submit proposals may have earlier submission deadlines.
Inadequate time for proposal preparation, editing, and appropriate administrative review may result in an uncompetitive proposal, a proposal rejection without review, or a failure to even submit the proposal. We understand that there may be extenuating circumstances for late preparation of a proposal. We will do our best to accommodate your needs but a successful submission can only be guaranteed with your help in conforming to the deadlines.
My program manager has already told me that they will fund my proposal. Can I go ahead and email/submit my proposal directly?
No, all proposals (including proposals for small supplemental funding) have to be routed through OPD. This ensures that your request is assigned a proposal number. When the funds arrive, they can be associated with a specific proposal number, and the expenditures can be tracked against the original proposed budget.
What is F&A, Indirect Costs, Overhead? Are they the same or different?
Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs are also known as the Indirect Costs, or Overhead (a term that is sparingly used now). The F&A rates are negotiated with the federal government, state government, and separately for some funding agencies and programs. Please check the current negotiated F&A rate for UAF. Some RFPs may specifically require a reduced F&A on the proposal, in which case we are required to complete an F&A waiver request form. Waivers should be strategic and the request should provide a strong justification on why a proposal with a reduced F&A is still beneficial and should be pursued by the University. Requesting a waiver does not ensure that the waiver will be approved.
What % of the Indirect Costs can I expect to come back to me as discretionary fund from my funded proposal?
At CDR we reinvest part of the Indirect Cost Recovery (ICR) to support the PIs research efforts. The proposing unit (CDR, in our case) receives ~50% of the total F&A budgeted in a proposal (see ICR distribution plan for more details). Further distribution of the funds that the college receives is as follows: 60% is retained to support CDR operations and its research development fund; 30% is transferred to the faculty member who is PI on the contract/grant for use at the discretion of the PI for reinvestment in his or her research program; and 10% is transferred to the PI’s CNSM department for use within the department to enhance its other research efforts. At CDR we set up a new account for the PIs portion of the Indirect Cost Recovery (often called the PIs ICR account/fund) so that PIs can easily track the expenses that they make against this account.
How does the PI ICR accrue and what can I use these funds for?
The PI portion of the ICR accrues as the PI spends the grant funds. No grant spending results in no ICR build-up. Please be aware that ICR recovery is Fund 1 money, and this needs to be used by May 31st of the fiscal year in which the funds were generated. In early - mid May we will send you a reminder on the status of your ICR account. You can also set-up a one-on-one meeting with our fiscal manager Laycie Schnekenburger (email: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: 474-5740) should you have any questions about your ICR account. Your portion of the ICR follows an annual Use It or Lose It rule, except as outlined below for multi-year grants.
You can use your ICR funds at your discretion on reasonable research related expenditures, such as paying for employee time, travel to conference or field sites, purchasing research supplies, etc. If you are unsure whether an expense you wish to make is allowable, feel free to first check with our fiscal manager.
I have a multi-year grant. Why can I not accrue ICR funds over the grant cycle and use it in the last year of my grant when I need it the most?
We understand that some of the research needs require expenditure to be made at times that are asynchronous with the fiscal year cycle. If you can not use-up your ICR within the fiscal year, and are anticipating an expense to be made at a later time, you can put in an ICR carry-forward request by sending an email to email@example.com no later than May 31 of the year (i.e. 30 days prior to the end of the fiscal year). Although we will make every effort to honor your request, please be advised that we can not guarantee it if the college fund 1 carry-forward request is not approved or reduced by Financial Services.
How can I track the expenditure and balance on my CDR grants and ICR accounts?
Your grant expenses (Summary, Balance, and Detail account reports), as well as your ICR account expenditure and balance report are now posted online on CDRs restricted 'internal' pages (see tab on the left). These reports are generated at the end of the month and posted online on the first Monday of the next month. Fiscal manager Laycie Schnekenburger sends a reminder email to all PI's as soon as the updated reports are posted on the internal site. This email also provides you the site username, password, and the 30-60-90 day notification for grants that are about to expire.