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USDA Proposal Development. What will be covered in this presentation?  Getting started with –Registration –Adobe compatibility.

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Presentation on theme: "USDA Proposal Development. What will be covered in this presentation?  Getting started with –Registration –Adobe compatibility."— Presentation transcript:

1 USDA Proposal Development

2 What will be covered in this presentation?  Getting started with –Registration –Adobe compatibility –Finding Opportunities in –Downloading the application package  Preparing an application  Submission process  Post-Submission

3 Getting Started  Registration – OSPRA has registered in on behalf of the University. PI’s do not need to register in order to download and prepare an application package.  Adobe compatibility - A compatible version of Adobe Reader is required (Adobe Reader 8.1.2 or higher is recommended) for anyone who will participate in the preparation of the proposal. offers a tool that will verify whether you have an acceptable version of Adobe installed on your computer. The link to this tool is: gTestOnly.jsp

4 Getting Started  What is the SF424 (R&R)? –Stands for Standard Form 424 – Research and Related –Is a combination of separate forms focusing on the many aspects of a proposed grant –Is used government-wide  Used by 15 different Federal agencies  Based on overall needs of the agencies, not tailored to specific agencies, funding opportunities or grant programs  Agency-specific forms are allowed where appropriate

5 Getting Started  The applicant must complete the application using the package attached to the specific Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).  Sample forms or forms from other FOA’s should not be used.

6 Getting Started  Finding Opportunities –Funding opportunities may be found on the sponsor’s website. For USDA, that is –In addition, funding opportunities that will be submitted via may be found on the website (

7 Preparing an Application Components of USDA Application Packages Include: Mandatory Documents –SF424 (R&R) Cover –Project Performance Site Locations –RR Fed/NonFed Budget –Research and Related Other Project Information –Research and Related Senior/Key Person Profile –Research and Related Personal Data –CSREES Supplemental Information

8 Preparing an Application  Optional Documents (are required if applicable) –Research and Related Subaward Budget (Total Fed + Nonfed)

9 Tips for a Successful Submission  Review the Request for Application (RFA) thoroughly before beginning.  Consult the NIFA Application Guide and application guide.  Complete the SF 424 R&R cover sheet first – it populates fields in several other forms.  Make sure to complete all mandatory documents and fill in all mandatory (yellow) fields. In addition, make sure that all fields that are mandatory to the sponsor (but not are completed.  Hover over help is available for many fields.  Do not recycle previously submitted applications or use sample applications.  Make sure that all attachments are in PDF format and the file names contain no special characters (e.g., #,@,$) or blank spaces.  Provide OSPRA with the final version of the application at least five business days prior to the deadline (preferably more).

10 Preparing an Application  Let’s complete an application!

11 Preparing an Application  An application package can either be accessed through the USDA-CSREES website or directly through Assume we know the opportunity we want to apply for and the Funding Opportunity Number is USDA-NIFA- ICGP-002836. Open the website and select, –Apply for grants –Enter FOA –Download the application package  Save the package to your desktop.

12 Preparing an Application



15  Review the solicitation and make note of specific requirements such as; –Deadline (day and time – most USDA proposals are due at 5:00 EST) –Funding Caps –Limited Submissions –Indirect Cost Recovery –Allowable Costs –Other solicitation-specific Requirements  Refer to the NIFA Application Guide for guidance in preparing the application in

16 Preparing an Application  Application Filing Name: We prefer that you use the PIs name (last name_first name), agency name and deadline date. This makes it easier for OSPRA to identify it when the first validation e-mail is received from Mandatory Forms  SF 424 R&R: Complete this form first in order to populate fields in subsequent forms. All yellow fields are mandatory.

17 Preparing an Application  R&R Project/Performance Site Location(s ) –Enter Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois as the organization name. –The primary performance site is normally the UIUC campus. The official site for UIUC is:  506 S. Wright Street  Urbana, IL 61801-3620 (the entire nine digit ZIP code is required) –Enter the Congressional district of the primary project/performance site. –List all additional performance sites.  If there are subcontractors on the proposal, you will need to obtain their DUNS numbers.

18 Preparing an Application  Research and Related Budget (Total Fed and Non-Fed) –A separate detailed budget must be prepared for each year of support requested. On the top of the last page of each budget period, there is a “Next Period” button that will advance you to the next budget period. –A cumulative budget will be generated for the total project period. –All of the required fields must be completed (i.e., those fields that are highlighted and noted with a “*”). If no funds are being requested for a required field, enter “0”. –Round to the nearest whole number.

19 Preparing an Application  A. Senior/Key Person – allows eight as separate named individuals on the form. Additional senior/key persons may be added in an attachment. –UIUC senior/key personnel only –Should be charged in proportion to their effort on the project –The base salary may be left blank, if desired –Effort must be included, even if unpaid, and should be represented in person months  B. Other Personnel –Postdocs, Grad Students and Undergrads: Only the number of personnel is required –Provide more detail in the budget justification –Consultants should not be included in this section

20 Preparing an Application  C. Equipment –Equipment is defined as an item of property that has an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more. –Each item of equipment should be listed separately and justified in the budget justification. –General purpose equipment is generally not allowable.  D. Travel –Domestic travel includes travel to Canada, Mexico and US possessions.

21 Preparing an Application  E. Participant/Trainee Support Costs –Participant costs are the costs associated with conference, workshop, or symposium attendees who are not employees of the applicant or a subawardee. Trainee costs are the costs associated with educational projects that support trainees (pre-college, college, graduate and post graduate).

22 Preparing an Application  F. Other Direct Costs –1. Material and Supplies  Categories less than $1,000 do not have to be itemized. –2. Publication Costs –3. Consultant Services  The names and organizational affiliations of all consultants, along with a description of the services to be performed should be provided in the budget justification.  University of Illinois employees may not be budgeted as consultants.

23 Preparing an Application 4.ADP/Computer Services  Specialized computer services that specifically benefit the project may be budgeted. General desktop support are considered to be included in our F&A pool and should not be budgeted. 5.Subawards/Consortium/Contractal Costs 6.Equipment or Facility Rental/User Fees 7.Alterations and Renovations 8. through 10. Other (specify) includes,  Human subjects  Animal use  Tuition remission

24 Preparing an Application  H. Indirect Costs –Indirect Cost Type  Enter the type of base (TDC less tuition remission) –Indirect Cost Rate – 28.2% (USDA only) –Indirect Cost Base – enter the amount of TDC less tuition remission –Funds Requested ($)  I. Verify Total Direct and Indirect Costs –Cognizant Agency – enter ONR, Linda Shipp, 703- 696-8559  J. Fee – make no entry  K. Budget Justification-the following budget categories must be justified, where applicable: equipment, travel, participant/trainee support and other direct cost categories.

25 Preparing an Application R&R Subaward Budget  Annual budgets, including a justification, are required for each subcontractual arrangement.  The name of the organization and the DUNS # are required fields.  The subaward/consortium box should be checked.  All mandatory (yellow) fields must be completed.  The file must be a PDF document.  The budget may either be completed by the subcontractor or you or your departmental staff. If the subcontractor is completing it, they need to have a compatible version of Adobe installed.

26 Preparing an Application  If the budget is being completed by the subawardee organization, –On the R&R Subaward Attachment(s) form, press the “Click here to extract the R&R Subaward Budget Attachment” button to download the form. –Save the budget attachment using the first 10 letters of the subawardee organization’s name as the file name. –E-mail the saved document to the subawardee. –Advise the subawardee to return a statement of work and the completed budget component, including justification. –Review the budget to ensure compliance. –Attach the budget to one of the blocks provided on the form.

27 Preparing an Application  Research and Related Other Project Information 1-6 - respond as applicable 7.Project Summary/Abstract – approximately 250 word document 8.Project Narrative – attach document prepared in accordance with the RFA 9.Bibliography & References Cited 10.Facilities and Other Resources 11.Equipment 12.Other Attachments

28 Preparing an Application  R&R Senior/Key Personnel Profile –All senior/key personnel should be included, even subcontractors and key consultants. –The project role must be selected from the drop down list for all participants except the PD/PI. –Attach Current and Pending Support for all Senior/Key personnel, even if no funding is being requested for them.  The proposal being proposed should be included. –A biographical sketch (limited to two pages) is required for all key personnel.

29 Preparing an Application  Research and Related Personal Data –This information is used only for tracking and statistical purposes necessary to meet the demands of the agency and will not be part of the review process. –Providing this information is purely voluntary.

30 Preparing an Application  Supplemental Information Form –1. Pre-populated –2. Enter program code name and program code from the RFA –3. Pre-populated –4. Additional Applicant Types – select 1862 Land-Grant University from the picklist –5. Check any applicable boxes –6. HHS Account Information  Does the legal applicant have a Department of Health and Human Services' Payment Management System (DHHS-PMS) Payee Identification Number (PIN) for CSREES awards? No  What is the DHHS-PMS PIN to be used in the event of an award? No entry required.

31 Preparing an Application  7. Key Words – enter the most relevant words which describe the proposed project.  8. Conflict of Interest list – attach a single conflict of interest (COI) file containing a COI list for each senior/key person included in the R&R Senior/Key Person Profile.

32 Preparing an Application  NRI Proposal Type Form – this form is ONLY for use by applicants when the form is included in the grant application package.

33 Submitting the Application REMEMBER: THE FINAL VERSION OF THE PROPOSAL NEEDS TO BE PROVIDED TO OSPRA AT LEAST FIVE DAYS IN ADVANCE OF THE DEADLINE  When the application is complete and ready to be submitted, –Click on “Check Package for Errors” on the first page of the application to ensure that all of the mandatory fields have been completed. Correct any errors that are identified. –Save the application. –Upload the application into Netfiles using the process described on the OSPRA website. –Send the transmittal form via the OSPRA portal ( “Contact OSPRA”) or fax the proposal transmittal form to 239-6830. –You no longer need to provide the original proposal trasnmittal form to OSPRA, but it should be retained in your unit for audit purposes.

34 Submitting the Application  Upon receipt of the transmittal form, the proposal will be assigned to an OSPRA proposal coordinator.  The coordinator will be in contact during the course of the review for clarification and/or revisions.  When the review is completed, the proposal coordinator will submit the application through

35 Post-Submission  Once the application has been submitted, will send a series of e-mail messages to the proposal coordinator who submitted the application to provide status information. 1.Submission Receipt: An email is sent indicating the application has been received by and is currently being validated. This e-mail is forwarded to the PI and departmental business contact by the OSPRA proposal coordinator. In this e-mail there will be a link that will allow you to track the status of your proposal. If your proposal does not appear, check back again later.

36 Post-Submission 2.Submission Validation Receipt: An email is sent indicating the application has been received and validated by and is being prepared for Grantor agency retrieval. 3.Grantor Agency Retrieval Receipt: An email is sent indicating the application has been retrieved by the Grantor agency. 4.Agency Tracking Number Assignment for Application: An email is sent indicating the application has been assigned an Agency Tracking Number.

37 Post-Submission  Another way to track the progress of your application is through the website. –Go to and in the “For Applicants” section, select “Track My Application” from the left side navigation from the home page. This will take you to the “Track My Application” page. –Once on the “Track My Application” page, enter up to five tracking numbers, one per line and select the Track button.

38 Post-Submission


40  Under the column header Submission Name/Files are a list of file names. Choose the application you wish to view the list of file(s) and attachment(s) submitted by selecting the link in the Submission Name/Files column. If your proposal does not appear, check back again later.

41 Remember…  OSPRA needs to be provided the application at least five business days before the deadline.  The entire proposal should be in its FINAL state when it is provided to OSPRA.  Don’t send the transmittal form to OSPRA until the proposal is in its final state. Receipt of the transmittal form is our cue that the proposal is final and ready for submission.  No registration is required on the part of the PI.  The program-specific guidelines should be obtained and carefully reviewed as soon as possible in advance of the deadline.  All attachments must be in PDF format.  A compatible version of Adobe must be used.

42 Reference Materials  OSPRA Website  Congressional Districts _congressional_districts  Electronic Application Information  application guide

43 Contact Information Penny Weaver, Assistant Director, OSPRA 265-7679, James Wade, Assistant Director, OSPRA 244-8212, (800)518-4726

44 Questions? Thank You!

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