- Getting Started
- The Informal Inquiry
- Developing the Full Proposal
- Proposal Assistance
- Budget Assistance
- Direct Costs
- Indirect Costs
- Cost Sharing
- Other Support
- University Clearance and Compliance
- Processing Competitive Proposals
- Administration of Approved Project
Purpose of Manual
Faculty and staff who direct sponsored projects at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville have an important public, as well as personal, responsibility to manage their projects carefully. This manual is intended to help principal investigators and project directors fulfill that responsibility, acquaint them with the policies and procedures of UW-Platteville, inform them of the various services offered by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) and serve as a reference and guide for additional information and assistance. While greater emphasis is given to sponsored research, the procedures and policies outlined generally apply to sponsored instructional projects and public service programs.
A part of the mission of the UW-Platteville is to provide higher education, advance knowledge, and contribute to the welfare of the state by accepting funds and entering into agreements with extramural agencies for research and training, including construction and other projects. This is done, only when:
- Such projects provide faculty with the opportunity to gain experience and knowledge which will contribute to their teaching and research;
- The project is a suitable activity through which the individual faculty member makes worthy contributions to the body of knowledge or an appropriate public service is performed; or
- Any major facility to be provided will complement the university's teaching and research aims.
Although the university has established various procedures for initiating and conducting research projects, the primary responsibility for managing the projects is the principal investigator's or project director's. Faculty members are encouraged to seek outside support that will contribute to their basic knowledge and their professional development. This can also be done in collaboration with colleagues in the same department, college, university or at other campuses. The university encourages the close integration of research and instruction and dissemination of research findings.
The terms principal investigator - PI - and project director - PD - are used interchangeably. The PI or PD conceives the research or project, writes and submits the proposal, and carries out the sponsored project in compliance with the terms, conditions and policies of the funding agency and the university. He/she will submit required narrative and technical reports and manage the funds entrusted to him/her. As the person primarily responsible for day-to-day management of the project, this person must be aware of the university and funding agency requirements.
Individuals with tenure or a tenure-track appointments, professor, associate professor, and assistant professor as well as instructional and administrative academic staff may function as a PI or PD. Where special considerations warrant, the Chancellor or a designee may, upon recommendation of the department chair, unit head, dean or director, permit an individual to serve as a PI or PD. The approval is on an individual project basis and is limited to the period covered by the grant.
The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, a corporation established under the laws of the State of Wisconsin and charged with administering the university as a public trust, is empowered to accept grants and to make contractual arrangements on behalf of UW-Platteville. All grants of extramural funds for research, training, construction and other activities are grants to the Board of Regents. Committments made under these arrangements are commitments of the Board of Regents. Only an official formally authorized to commit the Board of Regents may enter into formal agreements. UW-Platteville's authorized official is the Provost/Vice Chancellor or designee.
Restriction of Publication and Proprietary Information
It is policy of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville that the results of research shall be fully communicated. Accordingly, the university does not engage in classified research and will not agree to grant or contract provisions, which either restrict the right of a university employee to publish, release, or otherwise share findings derived from the supported activities. The university recognizes that some research may require access to proprietary data and it will permit the sponsor of the research an opportunity to review materials prior to publication and request changes in order to protect proprietary data. The final decision on whether to publish is the PI's. The right of review by the sponsor does not contain a corresponding right of approval. This review period is typically 30 days or less but should not exceed 90 days.
Although the university will agree to receive proprietary information and will exercise best efforts to maintain the confidentiality of this information, it insists such proprietary information be restricted to that which is necessary for the research. It must be clearly marked "proprietary" at the time it is received by the university. Proposed exceptions to this policy, including the negotiation of contracts or agreements covering classified research in the national interest, must be approved by the dean, director, provost or chancellor.
There are various sources and types of funding for a variety of activities. While federal departments and agencies are prominent sources of support, alternative sources, such as industry, private and corporate foundations, and state governmental agencies, should not be overlooked. To explore potential funding sources, you need to begin the process of converting your initial idea into a clear and reasonable detailed project design. To make your project attractive to the funding source, it is important to demonstrate that you are offering a response to a current problem that is of interest to them. The goal is to propose a clearly thought-out project with measurable outcomes in a specific area of need.
Evaluate your idea as objectively as possible. The evaluation process may require: reading and citing authoritative sources; conversation or correspondence with leading figures; familiarizing yourself with ongoing funded activities; and considering the relevance of your idea in light of other approaches. You should always be open to the possibility of refocusing the project design as a result of this evaluation. Keep in mind that review groups, in considering the merit of each application will assess: the significance and originality of the proposed research; the adequacy of the methodology; the qualifications and experience of the investigators; the suitability of the facilities; and the appropriateness of the requested budget.
The First Step
A written description of the project, called a preliminary proposal, has to be developed in order to identify the problem that the project will address and its importance, and the need for the project as a significant response to a problem.
Even if you haven't developed a preliminary proposal, it is a good idea to meet and become acquainted with the staff in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, 5th Floor Pioneer Tower, 608.342.1456. You will receive helpful information and suggestions for your project early in the planning stages. The more that is known about your proposed project, the more help can be provided by ORSP staff.
A preliminary description of the project's intent is valuable as a first step in defining it. The description is also useful in eliciting feedback and constructive criticism from your colleagues. And, it will help ORSP staff to identify appropriate extramural funding sources. It is a vehicle for direct preliminary contact with potential program officers.
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs staff is ready to respond to your needs and will do a search of possible funding sources. If you wish to search the web, visit the ORSP home page, it contains links to databases, federal and private funding sources.
A preliminary proposal can help the staff in ORSP in their efforts to search for funding sources. A short list of possible funding sources will be sent for your review. The staff will provide as much detail as possible. ORSP will request proposal guidelines from the funding source.
The PI should follow up by calling the program officer to have technical discussions about his/her project. Studies have shown that contact with the program officer correlates highly with success in receiving funding.
Preliminary contact with potential extramural funding sources is highly recommended to determine if they are willing to consider a formal grant application. A well-written two or three page preliminary proposal can provide answers about the agency's potential interest and will save time for you and agency personnel. If the proposal is clearly not suitable for formal submission, you will know early in the process. The preparation of the formal document is simplified if a preliminary proposal has been carefully written. The agency may offer assistance in designing the proposal to meet their priorities without distorting your original intentions. Finally, the agency staff may be able to suggest other funding sources that might be interested in your proposed research project.
A preliminary proposal should demonstrate that the investigator is acquainted with the work and purpose of the particular organization. It will include the significance of the project; discuss the objectives and how they will be achieved; a timeline; and an estimated budget. Fringe benefits are always included in the budget without exception. Indirect cost or facilities and administrative (F and A) costs are included, if applicable. The preliminary proposal should also identify who will benefit from the project, how the results will be disseminated, how the project will be funded after grant funds are no longer available, and what will happen if the project is not funded.
A preliminary proposal should give enough indication of step-by-step planning to show the project has been carefully reviewed and pitfalls have been anticipated. It will also demonstrate the writer's knowledge of the subject and his/her ability to undertake the project. It should be emphasized that this is a preliminary inquiry, not a formal proposal, and the investigator will send further details if the agency wishes.
Since the preliminary proposal is an informal, direct communication between the principal investigator and the funding agency, generally it is not routed through university channels with a transmittal form and does not require any university endorsement. However, an informational copy of the preliminary proposal and agency correspondence should be sent to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
In general, private foundations are interested in innovative projects that are a) relevant to national or regional problems; b) relevant to new methods in education; c) capable of being continued after funding from the agency ends; and, d) not being funded by governmental agencies or the investigator's own institution.
The initial letter of inquiry and brief preliminary proposal should highlight characteristics that best fit the project at hand. Further suggestions on both the appropriateness and the preparation of a preliminary proposal may be obtained from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
While there is no guaranteed formula for developing a perfect proposal, there are some general principles which can help you prepare an effective document that will strongly state your case when seeking extramural funding.
The format of a particular proposal will depend on the requirements of the sponsor. Most federal agencies have application forms or very specific guidelines, while other sponsors may be less direct. The guidelines also known at the Request for Proposals or RFP's can be obtained from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
Consider the nature of the potential funding source as you begin to write. The approach to a "general purpose" foundation will differ from the approach to a "discipline specific" federal agency. With the approach to a "general purpose" foundation, start with a general needs statement to establish the importance of the specific area of interest as it relates to larger areas of need. In the approach to a "discipline specific" federal agency, be direct and state the specific need of your project.
The preliminary proposal serves as an outline when drafting a fuller, more complete document. Funding agency or collegial reactions to the preliminary proposal should provide assistance in developing your final proposal. Here are some helpful suggestions as you write the final proposal:
- In a well-organized, narrative style, the main body of the proposal describes what is planned and why. Begin with a need statement or problem to be addressed; include all of the elements stated in the preliminary proposal, but add necessary supporting information.
- Include a review of relevant literature and other on-going projects. It is important that researchers demonstrate familiarity with similar projects that are either in progress or already completed and take into account complementary studies that shed light on the proposed work. If you have undertaken similar work, indicate that and offer to forward copies of project reports. A copy of your vita may also be enclosed to acquaint the agency with your background and qualifying credentials.
- State the general goals and specific objectives of the project. Establish a clear and logical connection between the problem defined and the proposed solution.
- Be specific about the methodology to be employed, the expected results and the financial boundaries within which the research will be conducted.
- Remember the proposal is the initial basis for agencies to evaluate the project and to determine whether financial support is justified. The agency must be convinced about the quality, training and expertise of the personnel who will conduct the research.
- You may need to establish that UW-Platteville has the facilities necessary to support the proposed project. Often this can be accomplished by including some form of organizational capabilities statement or a flow chart either within the body of the proposal or as an addenda item.
- Agency personnel often read a number of similar proposals during a relatively short meeting. In order to stand out in the crowd, the proposal should be logical, concise and well organized.
- The language must be precise and easily understood. It is your responsibility to communicate the purpose and potential value of the project clearly and understandably. While providing sufficient technical detail, the proposal must also be understood by the layperson.
- Internal review by department colleagues is strongly recommended. Their expertise and constructive criticism can be helpful in producing a final draft. This review often anticipates the reactions encountered during the agency's peer review process.
- Be sure to follow the sponsor's guidelines.
- Fill out forms carefully and furnish all required information with the appropriate signatures.
- The proposal must be readable, neat and easy to handle. Be sure different sections are easily identifiable and the table of contents and pagination are accurate.
- When using federal agency application forms, make photocopies of the budget pages for use as "work sheets." Extra copies of the original kits are not always available for last minute additions/corrections/revisions.
- Necessary internal approvals and signatures must be obtained on the transmittal form. See the appendix for a copy of this form.
- All proposals must be submitted to ORSP 10 working days or more before the agency deadline.
Staff in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs can assist you in a number of ways as you develop a competitive extramural proposal. They can assist you with the process of proposal development, agency interests and priorities, and UW-Platteville's institutional procedures for proposal submission. They are also familiar with agency procedures and requirements and can match the project with the sources that are most likely to fund it. Obviously, not every proposal is funded the first time. As a matter of fact the probabilities of successful funding tend to double with resubmissions. Certain agencies expect to see proposals, especially from new investigators, three or four times before they are actually funded. Many successful proposals are funded after multiple submissions. Proposal revisions and resubmission, therefore, are to be expected. The results of proposal reviews are either provided automatically by the agency or can be requested by the principal investigator.
The format for proposals, which are not prepared on funding agency forms or in a format prescribed by the prospective agency, may be completed as given below. Check with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for specific agency requirements.
Title/Cover Page (sample)
- Name and address of funding agency
- Name of the organization
- Name of the university
- Title of the Project
- Amount of request-for multi-year proposals it is helpful to show the total request and the amount for the first year.
- Name of the principal investigator or project director
- Signatures of authorizing official(s)
The title of the proposal is very important. It should be descriptive, short and easy to remember.
Abstract or Summary
While an abstract or summary is not required by all funding agencies, it is a highly effective means of presenting a project to a reviewer or review board. Typically, an abstract is no longer than 200-250 words. It is brief, summarizes the objectives, significance of the problem, procedures to be followed and the plans of evaluating the results. Unless specifically requested, facts given on the title page need not be repeated in the abstract.
If extensive introductory remarks are appropriate to "set the stage" for the specific proposal, devote a separate section to them. However, if the introduction is brief, it should be included in an introductory paragraph of the next section.
Description of the Proposed Project
The description of the proposed project is an expansion of the abstract. It is a full and detailed explanation of the PI's proposed research plan and should include a detailed description of the work to be undertaken, its relevance to the present state of knowledge in the field and to comparable work in progress, and a justification of the need for the research. This section should also include clearly stated objectives, goals and methodology.
Facilities and Equipment
If present facilties and equipment are used, they should be described and emphasized. If additional facilities and equipment are needed and requested in the proposal, they should also be described in detail and UW-Platteville's expected contribution should be indicated. Financial information should be noted in this section and detailed in the budget narrative.
- Permanent equipment is defined a non-expendable, tangible equipment costing $1,000 or more per unit and a useful life of two years or more. The cost of shipping, installation and fabrication should be included. Whenever possible, the PI should specify the name, model number and manufacturer of the equipment.
- Permanent equipment is defined in two categories-special purpose and general purpose. Equipment purchased on grants or contracts is generally designated special purpose because it is necessary for the research and is not, generally, available within or of general use to the university, i.e. lab equipment or testing apparatus. Justification for this request must be provided in the budget and the budget narrative.
- General purpose equipment includes items like office furniture, typewriters, computers, etc. The purchase of general purpose equipment is allowed by some federal agencies when it is primarily or exclusively used in the conduct of the business or supported research. Generally, title to equipment purchased with grant funds remains with the university. However, specific conditions in each grant will govern.
Expendable Equipment and Supplies
Equipment costing less than $1,000 should be listed under expendable equipment and supplies. These articles should be itemized in the budget. For example, laboratory supplies, office supplies, chemicals, glassware, and software should be included in this category.
Brief biographical sketches, including bibliographies, of the principal investigator/project director and senior professional personnel should be included in the proposal. If support personnel and students are known, they may be listed in the proposal. If support personnel are not known, a position description with appropriate classification(s) and title(s) should be given. Naming a person in the grant application does not commit the institution to hire him/her and does not satisfy the requirement of open recruitment. Some of the following categories of personnel may be needed.
- Program Director-principal investigator, co-principal investigator, or project director
- Faculty-professor, associate professor, assistant professor, lecturers and academic staff (instructional and administrative)
- Employees-in-Training-research associates, research and project assistants (undergraduate or graduate students)
- Academic Staff- scientists, managers, specialists, and technicians
- Classified Staff- clerical, physical plant, and maintenance staff
- Student hourly- graduate and undergraduate students
Cost of preparing and publishing the results of the research conducted with grant funds, including the cost of the final report, per page duplication charges, journal costs, and illustrations should be indicated in the proposal budget. Normally such costs do not include support of book or monograph publications.
- Distinguish between type, research or meeting, and category, domestic or international travel, since different types of approval may be required. Within each category list the name of the traveler, destination and reason for the trip; round-trip mileage and/or coach airfare; number of days and per diem or actual living expenses; other expenses such as ground transportation and conference registration fees.
- The purpose of each trip should be discussed in the proposal. Expenditures for travel should be budgeted in accordance with the university and the state of Wisconsin travel regulations.
- If international travel is anticipated, the proposal should give relevant information and justification. It is preferable to include this in the original proposal and budget the expenditures in accordance with per diem rates established by the federal government. If provisions for foreign travel were not included in the original proposal, approval must be obtained from either the funding agency or the university (as appropriate) prior to the commitment of funds.
Tuition, Fees and Institutional Allowances
Training grants may provide for payment of tuition, segregated fees and/or institutional allowances for trainees. When such provisions exist, they must be fully documented in the proposal. Also, when budgets are prepared, be sure to allow for anticipated increases.
- Consultants must be identified by name (if known) and/or by their specialty, the number of person-days of consulting, and their daily rate. Federal funding agencies ask that PI's hire consultants only when the services are necessary and cannot be provided by salaries to current employees on the project. PI's should engage in an objective selection process designed to secure the most qualified individual. And, PI's should assure that these persons provide a "necessary and unique contribution" to the project.
- Eligibility of individuals holding local, state, or federal positions to serve as paid consultants must be determined in advance. Employees within the UW System or of a federal agency cannot serve as paid consultants unless they are on leave status.
- Where the costs of consultants are borne in whole or in part as direct costs on federal projects, an invoice from the consultant must document the consultation. Any of the following information not shown on the invoice must be shown in a memorandum or other document, including handwritten notations on the invoice, signed by an authorized official and retained in the file: the name of the consulting firm or individual; social security number and home address; the nature of the services rendered and their relevance to the grant; the period of service; basis for calculating the fee, i.e. rate per day, hours worked or rate per unit of service rendered; amount paid.
Subcontracts should appear as a line item in the proposal budget with reference to the attached subcontractor's formal, detailed budget. PI's should document the reasons for choosing a particular subcontractor. The first $25,000 of each subcontract is subject to UW-Platteville's indirect cost.
Space and Facilities
Expenditures necessary for construction, remodeling or rental of space and facilities should be explained in detail. The basis for this entry will be the estimates you receive from the university's director of space and management. If the university approves off-campus rental facilities, the budget should include rent, utilities, custodial care and other costs, which may be incurred.
The budget is a key element in any proposal because it outlines the projects in fiscal terms and is often used by reviewers to form an impression of how the project will be organized. If a preliminary proposal is submitted with an unrealistic budget, it becomes very difficult to request increases in the final proposal. Arrange for early discussions on the budget with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs staff.
The major budget item is often salaries-a broad category that must be broken into personnel classifications such as professional and support staff. Salary levels and the percentages of time spent on the project should be indicated. Fringe benefits are calculated on all salaries. See the fringe benefit rates in the appendix. Other budget items are office and laboratory supplies, computer time, travel expenses, equipment, and indirect costs/facilities and administrative (F and A) costs. If UW-Platteville is providing partial support for the project— cost sharing, or a match— it must be indicated in the budget. Assistance is available in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to develop and fine-tune the budget.
The principal investigator's best estimate of the financial support required to carry out the statement of work should be presented in detail in the proposed budget. A reasonably detailed explanation of budget categories should be provided in the budget narrative. When undertaking a research project, there are two components of costs, direct costs which are attributed to the specific project and indirect costs, which are incurred by the university, for the general support and management of the project.
Salaries and Wages
List professional/professorial personnel first, followed by classified personnel (clerical, technical), LTE's, part-time and students. Professional/professorial staff salary figures should include the percentage of effort he/she will devote to the project. Part-time and non-professional personnel hours may be an estimate. Consultants should not be included in this category. Care should be taken to anticipate and provide for annual merit and promotional rate increases. Generally, the department secretary and administrative support are not included. However, any individual specifically assigned to the project should be listed at the appropriate level of participation. It is appropriate to request summer salary support for academic year personnel. When requested, the amount cannot exceed 2/9th of the full-time previous academic year salary. Exceptions must receive prior approval from the provost. In all cases, summer salaries shown must be determined and approved in accordance with university policies. Proposal funds cannot be used to augment salaries beyond the university-approved rate. See Summer Appointment Policy.
All proposals submitted for funding must include fringe benefits. Fringe benefits, expressed as a percentage of salaries and wages, include items such as social security, state retirement, health insurance, life insurance, unemployment compensation and disability. Fringe benefit rates vary according to the personnel classification. However, average rates for different categories of appointment are used for assessing the charges to the grant or contract. Care should be taken to anticipate and provide for annual increases in the fringe benefit rate. Rates are updated annually. See Fringe Benefit Rates.
Identify as specifically as possible the types of consumable supplies needed for the project. List each.
Include the costs of specific equipment acquired for use in the project. Provide an explanation for the expenditure as well as listing the item and cost of each piece.
If your project requires computer time from an outside source, provide documentation of the approved rate for the time and the necessary supporting services. If the proposed work includes the purchase or use of computer hardware or software, it is important that the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Information Services review the proposal to ensure that the technology and/or software can be supported on campus.
Student stipends can only be requested on training grants.
Space and Facilities
If the proposed work requests funds to build a facility, remodel or rent space, the budget must include a detailed explanation of these costs. The basis for this item will be estimates you receive from the director of space management. If the work is off-campus, the budget should include rent, utilities, custodial care and other costs that may be incurred.
Where supporting funding agency regulations permit, the budget should include appropriate amounts for miscellaneous costs such as telephone, fax, freight charges, equipment maintenance, rental service contract charges, postage, etc.
The Board of Regents has mandated that we must request the maximum indirect cost rate, which the funding agency will pay, up to our federally negotiated rate. Indirect costs are expressed as a percentage of the salaries, wages and fringe benefits. They provide reimbursement of expenses incurred in conducting or supporting the project. Extramural proposals must request indirect costs to cover expenditures such as administrative costs and maintenance of physical facilities and utilities that are not readily identified with a specific project. The current rate is 40% of salaries, wages and fringe benefits. Some federal agencies (e.g. NSF and NIH) will pay the full rate for most of their programs. Others will pay a smaller rate. For example, the US Department of Education typically pays 8% and the US Department of Agriculture will pay 30% of total direct costs. A few federal agencies, most state and local agencies, and virtually all private foundations refuse to pay any indirect costs at all. Be sure to read the guidelines carefully.
Indirect costs are usually divided into the following categories:
- General administration and general expense: accounting, payroll, purchasing services, administrative offices
- Sponsored project administration: personnel and other costs of offices whose responsibility is the administration of sponsored projects
- Plant operation and maintenance: utilities, janitorial services, routine maintenance and repairs
- Library expenses: books and staff
- Department administration expense: administrative costs at the college and department levels
- Depreciation or use allowances: for building and equipment, excluding building and equipment paid for by the grant
- Student administration services: student affairs, admissions and registrar office
Federal agencies generally require the university to demonstrate its participation in the total costs of any project supported by a research grant. Flexibility is allowed in determining how the university shares in the cost of a project. However, since the cost sharing is audited, it should be limited to contributed faculty salaries, related fringe benefits and indirect costs whenever possible. The university can supply cash, services or facilities to match the percentage of the grant. Some agencies have established minimum cost sharing guidelines for research grants.
The proposal should summarize all of the principal investigator's current and pending extramural support. The information should include the sources of support, the project title, amount funded, and the budget period.
References should be selected carefully. Generally, references discussed in the proposal should be included. A reviewer will be interested in assessing the relevance of the listed studies to the proposed project.
The principal investigator is responsible for preparing the proposal within university policies and agency guidelines. Early consultation with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is encouraged. It is the responsibility of the PI to secure all clearances listed below which apply to his/her project.
- Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act: The Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act-WEPA-requires each state agency to consider the environmental implications of all its proposals, and before proceeding with any major action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, to prepare a detailed statement concerning the environmental effects of the proposed action. When new technology or policy is proposed or recommended for implementation will significantly affect the environment or restrict future alternatives, the implementing agency must comply with WEPA requirements. Contact the Safety and Risk Management Officer, 608.342.1188 to assure all required reviews and approval of the research are obtained.
- Hazardous Waste: UW-Platteville must adhere to the US Environmental Protection Agency-EPA-regulations, which establish minimum requirements for documentation, storage and shipment of hazardous waste. For questions regarding hazardous waste contact the Safety and Risk Officer, 608.342.1188 or the chair of the Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials Committee. See Appendix for the committee.
- Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC): The UW System policy regarding the use of animals states that all animals used for teaching, research and other activities on campus or on campus real estate, shall be used and cared for according to the principles stated in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals regardless of the species or source of funds used to conduct teaching, research or other activities. If the proposed project involves the use of animals, the PI should contact the chair of the ACUC regarding compliance with these regulations. See Appendix for the ACUC committee.
- Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB): If the proposed project anticipates the use of human subjects, the PI must prepare a research protocol and abstract and submit it to the chair of the IRB. Contact the OSP for the name of the chair. This requirement extends to all research involving human subjects regardless of the source of support. See Appendix for the IRB committee.
- Radiation Materials Safety: Research requiring the purchase, possession or production of radioactive materials is subject to the provisions of the UW-Platteville license under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. All investigators are responsible for adhering to the requirements for training, sign posting, and good laboratory practice as specified in the license. Specific details are available from the Safety and Risk Officer, 608.342.1188.
- Biological Safety: All required reviews and approvals for biological research or handling of biological materials are obtained from the Safety and Risk Officer, 608.342.1188. Biological materials are any plant, animal or microbiological organism, or any substance derived from these organisms-including recombinant DNA molecules-that are the subject of research or are ancillary reagents or indicators employed for the investigation. For biosafety purpose, chemicals that are biologically active such as carcinogens and mutagens, or toxic are included in the definition.
University Assurances of Compliance
The US Congress enacted legislation called the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-690, Title V, Subtitle D). This statute requires contractors and grantees of federal agencies to certify that they will provide a drug-free workplace for the performance of work under such federal contracts and grants. The university will make a good faith effort to maintain a drug-free workplace for all sponsored program activity. See the Drug-Free Policy.
Patents are property rights that enable the patent owner to exclude others from making, using or selling technology covered by the issued patent claims. Many things are patentable, including plants, animals, and software if they meet the criteria of being non-obvious to one skilled in the invention art to which they pertain and possess novelty and utility. In the United States, the life of a patent is measured from its filing date and currently extends 20 years from that date. PI's who believe they have a potential patent or invention should contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for further information on patent procedures. It is the responsibility of the PI and the dean or director to assure that agreements entered into with federal agencies or certain private agencies, are followed with respect to reporting and handling inventions and patents. The UW System has affirmed a consistent policy on intellectual property that fosters its mission to discover and disseminate knowledge. Simply stated, the basic policy has been, unless terms and conditions to the contrary are imposed by the project sponsor and accepted by the investigator, all rights to intellectual property resulting from university affiliation remain with the investigator/inventor/creator. The UW System does not claim any interest in employee inventions. UW System policies and procedures governing patents are found at the web site and in the General Administrative Policy Papers 2-Financial Administration of Extramural Support and 34-Patent Policies and Reporting Requirements.
UW System institutions are often directly involved in the development of copyrightable instructional materials, because they provide substantial public resources to support their creation and production. Institutional involvement is likely to expand substantially with the increased use of information technology in the creation of multimedia instructional materials and distance education course offerings.
The UW System does not assert a property interest in materials that result from the author's pursuit of traditional teaching, research, and scholarly activities. The creation of materials such as theses, scholarly articles, journal articles, research bulletins, monographs, and books occurs, in most circumstances, as an integral part of the author's position as a UW System employee. In those cases where substantial institutional resources are provided to support the development of instructional materials, however, the UW System may assert ownership or other property interests that should be addressed through specific agreements with the authors and producers of the materials.
The policies of the funding agency must be followed when copyright material is developed under any extramural project. See the copyright policy.
It is the policy of the university that software developed by faculty shall be the property of the author unless the material is prepared under limitations of extramural grants or contracts that explicitly stipulate otherwise; the material is created by a person given an assignment to do so; or, the material is prepared under a university agreement that specifically states otherwise.
Space and Facilities
If the proposed project will require 1) reassignment of space or facilities currently assigned to some other use; 2) additional university space; 3) rental of off-campus space; 4) remodeling, the PI should consult with his/her dean and the Director of Space Management. This must be done regardless of the source of financial support.
If the proposed project involves the services of university personnel overseas, the PI should submit an informational copy to the Director of International Programs.
A UW-Platteville Transmittal Form must accompany all proposals for extramural support for Sponsored Projects. The form is available in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, 5th Floor Pioneer Tower, 608.342.1456 or in the Quick Links section of the Home page. Signatures on this form must be obtained from the chair of the PI's department, dean of the college, director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the Provost and Vice Chancellor. At minimum it is advised to include an abstract and the budget when routing the Transmittal Form for signatures. When applicable, additional signatures may be required from either the chair of the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects, the chair of the Animal Care and Use Committee, or the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Information Services. The completion of the transmittal form assures that appropriate officials have reviewed and approved the proposal in accordance with university and supporting agency regulations and it provides a record of the transaction. See transmittal form.
Financial Disclosure Form
The completion of the financial disclosure form is essential for compliance with NSF and HHS requirements. Grant proposals cannot be submitted to federal agencies unless this form is completed, signed by the department chair and dean and forwarded along with the proposal to the ORSP. This form should be updated throughout the year if circumstances change. Interests in for-profit businesses where payments received are greater than 5% or $10,000 of the total ownership, by the PI and his/her immediate family, must be disclosed. See Financial Disclosure form.
Review and Approval
The department chair, college dean, director of ORSP, and the provost must review and approve the proposal BEFORE it is submitted to the funding agency. The appropriate administrators must review proposals involving more than one department, school, college or UW System institution. When a campus committee review is required, additional time may be needed to process proposals. This may be an additional 3 to 4 weeks in some cases. When animal use or human subjects are involved in the project, approval from the chair of the Animal Care and Use Committee or Institutional Review Board is required before it is submitted to the ORSP. Proposals are due in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs TEN working days BEFORE the agency's deadline.
- Department Chair shall: a) review the proposal to assure that faculty and staff time commitments are reasonable and compatible with department workloads, present and planned; b) determine that the percentages of time and salaries are accurate; c) agree that the space, facility and service requirements are within the department's present capability, if not, then specifically provided for in the proposal.
- Dean, Director or designated official shall: a) review the proposal for completeness; b) confirm that space, services and support requirements have been adequately provided for and responsibility will be accepted for assuring the availability of matching or cost-sharing funds in the proposal's budget; and c) confirm that the project budget, salary rates, job titles and classifications are reasonable and appropriate. This review will also determine the commitment of the college or school to the long-term support of project personnel or the program that may evolve from the project.
- Director of Research and Sponsored Programs will: a) review the proposal for conformity and compliance with agency, UW System and UW-Platteville policies; b) review the budget to assure that fringe benefits and indirect costs have been included and are accurate; c) coordinate and secure proposal signatures from the provost; and d) send the approved proposal to the agency for funding consideration.
- Provost and Vice Chancellor shall: a) confirm that the proposal has been reviewed and approved by the appropriate administrators; and b) review the proposal for completeness, and compatibility with university plans, policies and regulations.
- Chair of Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects: if the proposed work includes any involvement of human subjects (this includes all questionnaires) you should prepare and submit a research protocol to the chair of the IRB. The chair will determine if an exempt, expedited, or full board review is required.
- Chair of Animal Care and Use Committee: if the proposed work includes involvement of animal subjects, you should prepare and submit a research protocol to the chair of the ACUC. The chair will determine if an exempt, expedited, or full board review is required.
- Assistant Vice Chancellor of Information Services: when the proposed work includes the purchase or use of any computer hardware, software or networking protocols, the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Information Services must review it. He/she will assure that the technology and/or software can be supported on this campus.
Deadlines: Campus, Receipt and Postmark
The PI must allow sufficient time for on-campus processing of proposals. Proposals must be submitted to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs TEN working days BEFORE the agency's deadline. When an internal review is required, proposals must be submitted to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs 3 to 4 weeks BEFORE the agency's deadline. Review responsibilities assigned to deans, directors, and the provost are of such a nature and extent that "walking a proposal through the various offices" will be possible ONLY in the most exceptional circumstances. PI's will be responsible for contacting the chair, dean, director of ORSP and the provost to determine their availability when walking a proposal through.
A campus deadline indicates a proposal needs to be reviewed by one of the campus committees such as the Academic and Institutional Research Committee or the Improvement of Learning Committee. Their review will add additional time to the 10 working days and could be 3 to 4 weeks BEFORE the agency's deadline. A receipt deadline means the proposal must arrive at the agency by the date indicated in the guidelines. It should be submitted to the ORSP ten working days BEFORE the receipt deadline. A postmark deadline means the proposal may be mailed on the date given in the request for proposal(s). Again, the PI is responsible for submitting the proposal to the ORSP ten working days BEFORE the postmark deadline. You must show proof of mailing by providing a) a legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark; b) a legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service; c) a dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier; or d) any other proof of mailing.
The average lead time interval between the submission of a proposal and the award from federal agencies is from three to eight months. Grants from UW System and private foundations vary from 8 to 12 weeks or longer. PI's should take this into consideration when planning to submit proposals. This is particularly important when a multi-year grant is being submitted.
When budget modifications or revisions are required, a letter of explanation and the transmittal form must accompany the submission. The chair, dean or director, the director of Research and Sponsored Programs and the provost, must review and approve the budget modification.
Negotiations with the Funding Agency
The UW-Platteville Office of Business Affairs, and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs or the provost negotiates with the funding agency about the terms and conditions of the grant. The Assistant Chancellor for Business Affairs is the designated negotiating agent for UW-Platteville. The PI is not authorized to negotiate terms and conditions on behalf of the university. All letters or telephone calls related to grants and contracts should be forwarded to the extramural accounting coordinator, the director of ORSP, or the provost.
Research agreements with private foundations, corporations and companies will be negotiated using the UW-Platteville Standard Research Agreement. See Standard Research Agreement.
When a grant is received, the PI takes on the responsibility of administering the project, purchasing, hiring personnel, project coordination and writing the final report. This section will provide general assistance for the administration of grant funds.
Accepting the Award
When a grant is awarded, notification is in the form of a letter sent from the funding agency to the provost, PI, or business office. The original award letter (not a copy) is sent to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs along with a budget. PI's should make a copy for their file. In all cases, official acceptance of funds on behalf of the Board of Regents of UW System is required. The accounting office provides the official signature of acceptance and assigns a university account number.
The Principal Investigator, operating within the policies of the university and assisted by the appropriate administrative officials is responsible for the day-to-day administration and direction of the grant. He/she should have a copy of the proposal, and will receive a copy of setting up accounts form and the account number from the extramural accounting coordinator. When accepting the award, the PI should be aware of the grant or contract terms and conditions and pay special attention to budget limitations, patents or inventions, intellectual property considerations, copyrights, safety, security and when the final reports are due.
The PI is expected to maintain close liaison with the dean or director and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs throughout the life of the grant. Any changes in the scope or direction of the study or the initial budget should be communicated to these offices. If a modification becomes necessary, copies should be submitted to the appropriate campus administrators.
- Records: A separate account is established for each UW-Platteville grant. All financial transactions, receipts, encumbrances, payments and balances will be tracked on this account. PI's will access accounts via the website address given in the account notification letter and are expected to keep accurate records in their department to monitor budget expenditures, which may not be exceeded without agency approval. Some grants require supplementary records that will be defined in the grant or contract terms and conditions or published in agency regulations.
Budget Modification: Supporting agencies have specific requirements for and restrictions or deviations from the approved budget. PI's are responsible for complying with the terms and conditions. When prior approvals for budget modifications are required, a written request should be routed to the supporting agency via the dean, director, the ORSP and the provost. Budget modifications are sometimes sent by the supporting agency to the PI who is responsible for sending copies to campus administrators.
- Carryover Funding: Sponsoring agencies and organizations have different policies about unspent funds at the end of a budget period in a multi-year grant. PI's should find out what their granting agency requires so the funds won't be jeopardized. Some agencies request that unobligated funds be returned or subtracted from next year's award UNLESS a carryover has been approved. A request to carry over funds is usually included in the renewal proposal. If not, a request should be sent through the proper channels to the sponsor with an explanation of why the residual exists and how it will be used during the next budget period. The PI, who has contacted the funding agency at least two months BEFORE the end of the grant should initiate the request to carryover funding.
- No Cost Extension: PI's are advised to contact the sponsor via telephone prior to writing the letter requesting a no cost extension. They should request a no cost extension to extend the termination date of the existing award. The letter must be signed by the PI and sent to the provost for approval. A copy is sent to ORSP. The PI is responsible for writing the letter requesting an extension and attaches any documentation requested by the funding agency. The request should explain the need for an extension and a brief statement about how residual funds will be used. At the minimum the sponsor must receive the request at least 30 days before the termination date. Some agencies require 45 days.
- Supplemental Funds: Requests to supplement awards should be treated as a "mini proposal". A budget showing how the funds will be spent and an explanation of why they are needed must be included in the request. The dean or director's approval is necessary before the request can be transmitted via the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the provost to the sponsor.
- Project Charges: Charges on grant accounts must be for approved expenses as indicated in the project budget and in accordance with university policy. University order forms and purchase requisitions with the assigned account number clearly displayed must be used for expenditures.
- Purchasing Procedures: Follow regular university purchasing policy for all purchases with grant funds. If you are unaware of the purchasing procedures, check with the purchasing office, the department secretary or the ORSP.
- Salaries: Salaries and wages are administered according to state and university personnel policies. PI's should be familiar with the current policies for hiring faculty, academic staff, classified, LTE and student employees. Information is available on the UW-Platteville web site or from the university personnel director at 608.342.1176. Federal grants require compliance with federal anti-discrimination statues.
- Travel: State and university travel regulations govern travel on project funds. International travel and related subsistence will be reimbursed according to the terms of the grant or contract. Some agencies specify a maximum dollar limit per day for room and board. Project accounts should not be charged in excess of the maximums. A Travel Expense Report, TER, is generated via computer to report expenses for travel. The PI will sign the TER and forward it to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for approval and signature by the director. A copy will be placed in the PI's file. The director will forward the TER to the business office for processing.
- Equipment: Equipment purchased on grant project funds is owned either by the university or the sponsor. Terms and conditions are spelled out in the award documentation. In either case, the PI is responsible for equipment purchased with grant monies and must account for all items periodically and at the end of the project.
- Changes in the Research Plan: Major changes in the research plan that constitute a redirection of the statement of work in the original proposal should be discussed with the sponsor's technical representative. A letter regarding the changes should be approved by the dean or director and sent to the sponsor with a copy forwarded to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the provost.
- Change of Principal Investigator: If an individual is unable to continue as a principal investigator on a project, university and agency approval is required BEFORE a new project director can be designated. Contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
- Transferring the Grant or Contract to Another Institution: When a PI is terminating his/her employment with UW-Platteville and requests a transfer of grant funds to another university, specific approval MUST be obtained from the university AND the sponsor. Normally research funds transfer with the PI, while equipment grants stay with UW-Platteville. A copy of the written request and the sponsor's reply must be forwarded through the appropriate administrative channels.
- Program Income: Federal regulations require the university to account for program income related to the project funded in whole or in part with federal funds. It is important that income generated from the sale of goods and/or services be re-deposited in the account. Prior agency approval is required before expending income generated from grant activities. Approval is generally obtained when the project is funded and is spelled out in terms and conditions of the award. Sales and income is a complex area that should be discussed with the accounting office.
- Reports: The PI is responsible for complying with all technical and scholarly reporting requirements and filing deadlines specified in the terms and conditions of the award. A copy of the final report is sent to the Office of Sponsored Programs and placed in the PI's file. The accounting office prepares financial reports and sends them to the sponsor, usually 90 days, after the project ends.
- Fringe Benefit Rates and Indirect Cost/Facilities and Administrative Cost Rates
- Glossary of Application Terms
- Internal Grants Cover Page
- Sample Proposal Budget
- Transmittal Form (updated 8/10/15)
- Financial Disclosure Form
- Budget Helper Spreadsheet
- UW-Platteville Drug Free Workplace Act
- Standard Research Agreement and Exhibit B
- UW-Platteville Summer Appointment Policy
- UW System General Guidelines Statement for Copyright, Ownership and Use of Instructional Materials
- Federal Indirect Rate Agreement
- Academic and Institutional Research Committee - AIRC
- Animal Care and Use Committee - ACUC
- Improvement of Learning Committee - ILC
- Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects