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Getting Research Grants 101 Almost everything you need to know about how to submit a proposal.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting Research Grants 101 Almost everything you need to know about how to submit a proposal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting Research Grants 101 Almost everything you need to know about how to submit a proposal

2 How We Can Help PSC Services Available Pre-award assistance Editorial services Library services Data services Administrative services

3 Pre-Award/Proposal Preparation Services Who we are and what we do Who we are: Kerri Cross and Edward Evans What we do: Provide limited assistance on searching for FOAs. Assist with reviewing FOA for the admin/non-technical pieces. Answer questions about UM and federal budget regulations. Provide budget guidance and consultation including preparing draft budget and justification. Coordinate with subcontracting agencies. Prepare and assemble proposal components. Complete and route internal ISR & UM forms (e-PAF) for internal review and approval Develop timeline to ensure on-time proposal submission. Submit completed proposals to the University for review and forwarding to sponsors. Contact staff early and often for assistance.

4 Three-Step Process 1. Find Funding Sources 2. Prepare & Submit Proposal 3. Complete Follow-Up Tasks

5 STEP 1 Find Funding Sources

6 Finding Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) Talk with your mentor and other faculty about where to apply – often your best sources of information. Join salient listservs Join internal DRDA e-mail groups (NIA, NSF, etc.) via Consult internet-based sources directly: For all federal grants, go to, the government portal for finding and submitting grants. Foundation sites (e.g., Corporate or agency sites (e.g., Individual sponsor sites (e.g., Use U-M grad library grant-seeking resources ( Consult with PSC Pre-award Support.

7 Internal vs. External Funding Internally Funded Research – small funding from sources within UM (e.g., PSC, Rackham, OVPR, Ford Poverty Center, RWJ through SPH) Typically announcements are sent via listservs or posted on websites. May require departmental approval/acknowledgement when submitting proposal (PSC would need to sign off on proposal). If unsure about what to do, please contact PSC Pre-award Support (Kerri or Edward) whenever you think you may submit an application for internal funding. Externally Sponsored Research – outside funding mechanism (e.g., NIH, NSF, other universities, foundations) UM has a formal process for submitting proposal to the sponsor. You must contact PSC Pre-award Support prior to submission.

8 Internal Sources Internal sources are often a good way to get preliminary results before applying for a larger external grant. PSC Small Grants Program include: Hermalin, Freedman, Mueller and Weinberg Funds as well as PSC internal funds. UM Small/Pilot Grants include: OVPR, Ford Poverty Center, UM-GHRT, RWJ through SPH (see attached list for the most common).

9 Common External Sources Non-Federal Sources Foundations - Sage, Robert Wood Johnson, WT Grant, Sloan. Organizations/Corporations – World Bank, Brookings, American Cancer Society. Diverse instructions for proposals. No standard indirect cost rate. Shorter review process.

10 Common External Sources (cont) Federal Sources NIH and NSF provide most of PSC’s externally funded grants. NIH (NICHD, NIA, etc.) - Submit electronically via e-Research Proposal Management (e-RPM) to (some applications still on paper). NSF – Submit through Fastlane Proposals are governed by federal regulations. Indirect costs are applied (standard rate is 54.5%). Review process can be lengthy.

11 Common NIH Funding Mechanisms See overview at: Research Grants R01 – Investigator-Initiated Grants. R03 – Small Research Grant. Typically $50,000-$100,000 DC over 1-2 years. R21 – Exploratory/Development Research Grant. Typically does not exceed $275,000 DC over 2 years. PSC proposals are generally funded by one of two NIH institutes: National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) or National Institute on Aging (NIA).

12 Common NIH Funding Mechanisms (con’t) Career Development and Training Awards See for more detailed information K01 – Mentored Scientist. See specific Institute for types of applications accepted. Typically junior-level researchers. K02 – Independent Scientist Award. Support for newly independent scientists for 3-5 years. K99/R00 – Pathways to Independence Award. Typically a 2-3 year mentored period and then 2-3 years as an independent researcher. T32 – Institutional Research Grant. Supports graduates and postdoctoral research trainees. Various other funding opportunity announcements are released periodically – e.g., NIH New Innovator Award.

13 NSF Funding Opportunities NSF has multiple funding opportunities (see Typically PSC proposals fall under the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) organization. Specify primary program announcement you are submitting to. Secondary unit can be added for consideration.

14 STEP 2 Prepare & Submit Proposal

15 Applying for Funding – It’s not you, it’s the Regents! Individual researchers do not apply directly for outside funding. Rather, the Regents of the University of Michigan submit an application on behalf of the researcher(s). Awards are almost always made to the University of Michigan (with rare exceptions). In most cases, a proposal must go through a specific review and submission process before it leaves UM.

16 Two Tracks: Scientific Content and Admin Shell Scientific Content – PI has primary responsibility. Includes abstract, research plan, human subjects section, literature cited. Admin Shell – PSC Pre-Award staff take the lead. Includes budget and ISR & UM internal approval forms (e-PAF, ISR Project Summary).

17 Preparing/Submitting the Proposal How can PSC assist you, the PI? Will answer questions and provide consultation on your proposal submission Provide assistance with budgeting and the administrative components of the submission Remember - Contact us early and often for assistance.

18 Preparing/Submitting the Proposal What do you, the PI, need to do? Contact Program Officer with questions and/or applicability Contact Kerri ( or Edward (edevans@ Provide draft budget or listing of proposed personnel/efforts and proposed non-salary items needed to complete project. Review FOA with Pre-Award Staff to highlight items that need action. Review proposed budget with Pre-Award staff to ensure it meets FOA guidelines.

19 Preparing the Budget Budget justification can be drafted by PSC Pre-Award staff for editing by the PI, or PI can send budget draft to be tweaked by staff. PI will review and edit draft budget, consulting and discussing changes as needed with staff. This is often an iterative process. Once budget is finalized, staff will complete necessary internal paperwork for PI and UM approvals.

20 What can your budget include? Read FOA for specifics of what sponsor allows or disallows regarding the budget. The following are typically allowed: Salary for PI and research staff Fringe benefits (health insurance, retirement benefits, FICA tax, etc. PSC uses avg. 28%) Travel costs Consultant costs Data collection costs Subcontracts/sub awards Other necessary project costs (e.g., personal computer, duplicating, express mail, conference calls) Admin support costs, depending upon project’s scope and size

21 What should your budget exclude? Read FOA for specifics of what sponsor allows or disallows regarding the budget. The following are typically not allowed: General office supplies (pens, paper, etc.) Postage (stamps) Hosting Books and periodicals Admin/clerical salaries (in some cases)

22 What are indirect costs? (aka Overhead, Facilities & Administrative Costs) Indirect costs (IDC) are the real costs of University operations not readily assignable to a particular project. At PSC, IDC support infrastructure – i.e., PSC support services, ISR services, University centralized services, lights, heat, buildings, etc. FOAs will typically specify allowable indirect cost recovery rates. IDC recovery rates vary by award type and by sponsor. The current federal rate is 54.5% of direct costs. Foundations and other non-federal entities have IDC rates varying from about 0% to 20%.

23 What if sponsor’s allowable IDC rate is less than 15%? ISR policy requires that proposals derive indirect cost recovery totaling 15% of direct costs. If a sponsor’s IDC rate is 0%, then 15% of the proposal’s direct costs must be budgeted for Service Personnel. If a sponsor’s IDC rate is 0-15%, then the sum of the allowable IDC and Service Personnel must equal 15% of direct costs. Service Personnel is budgeted as a direct cost to support ISR/PSC central functions such as payroll, accounting, purchasing, grants management, etc. In summary, consult PSC Pre-Award Support for assistance in determining Service Personnel costs in budget.

24 Preparing Scientific Content and Admin Shell While working on the proposal budget, PI should continue to develop scientific content of proposal: research plan, literature review, human subjects section, etc. Pre-Award Support staff will work with PI to finalize administrative proposal components: biosketches for key personnel, facilities description, subcontractor packages, consultant letters, etc.

25 What is the Administrative Shell? The Admin Shell consists of several forms that are needed for internal UM review and approval of your proposal. PI works with Pre-Award staff to provide: Final Budget Notes/Justification Project Summary/Abstract (draft is OK) If applicable, PSC will work with subcontractors to gather needed approved budgets, sponsor forms etc. PSC will prepare: Itemized Budget (budget turnpike) and ISR Summary e-PAF - Proposal Approval Form Sponsor Budget Forms

26 Electronic Submissions Process, Fastlane, foundations & others Register in NIH Commons and/or Fastlane to submit electronically. NIH Commons: see for registration information Fastlane: e-mail to request registration Incorporate time before electronic submission deadline for PSC, ISR, and DRDA to review/approve admin shell. In general: 10 business days prior to due date (excluding weekends/holidays), admin shell must be finalized and is due to ISR Proposals and Contracts 7 business days prior, admin shell is due to DRDA 5 business days prior, final electronic proposal file (all pieces) must be uploaded Pre-Award staff will work with you to develop a timeline that ensures your proposal is submitted by the sponsor’s due date.

27 What are PI responsibilities when submitting via e-RPM? PI is responsible for providing all required technical pieces of the proposal (Project Summary, References, Project Narrative, Human Subjects Section, etc.) in the required format (NIH requires PDF files). Pre-Award staff will specify components needed and by when. Generally, staff will handle all the admin and budget pieces, while PI will provide all the technical pieces. PI is responsible for adhering to agreed-upon timeline for electronic submission. Pre-Award staff will upload proposal components into the electronic application and forward to DRDA for submission.

28 What are PI responsibilities when submitting directly via other on-line system or e-mailing directly to sponsor? Other on-line systems typically include Fastlane, ProposalCentral, sponsor website, or e-mail directly to sponsor). Fastlane - PI is responsible for submitting all required sponsor docs to admin staff & staff can/will upload into Fastlane and notify DRDA. DRDA submits to NSF. Other on-line systems and e-mailing proposal to sponsor, generally PI is responsible for uploading and submitting application to sponsor. Submission can only happen once UM has approved the proposal. Request that a copy be sent to admin staff for our files and to upload into the UM system. PI is responsible for adhering to agreed-upon timeline for electronic submission.

29 What are PI responsibilities when submitting on paper? PI is responsible for providing all required technical pieces of the proposal (Project Summary, References, Project Narrative, Human Subjects Section, etc.) in the required format—see separate notes. Pre-Award staff will handle copying and routing of proposal to DRDA (in most cases). PI is responsible for adhering to agreed-upon timeline for paper-based submission. If PI needs the maximum amount of time to complete proposal, s/he takes the responsibility of copying and sending proposal to sponsor

30 STEP 3 Complete Follow-Up Tasks

31 What remains to be done after proposal submission? For NIH proposals submitted via, review full final application in NIH Commons within 2 days. Check for errors. Provide final electronic copy of full proposal to PSC pre-award staff for our files. In NIH Commons, get proposal score and review Summary Statements (aka “pink sheets”) about 6 months after proposal is submitted (actual range 2 to 9 months). Determine if revise/resubmit is necessary Complete IRB application if proposal receives fundable score. If NIH requests Just in time (JIT), admin staff will assist with assembling and submitting requested documentation. Sponsor may request additional information or forms be completed or signed before an award is made. Contact pre- award staff if the need arises. We can assist.

32 A Final Note: What does NIH look for in a proposal? With the goal of improving public health, NIH funds as many of the best proposals it receives, given total available funding, for scientific research projects deemed salient to the RFP. NIH’s Peer Review System evaluates each project for its merit. Investigators’ proposals are not funded simply because they are established or well known. In general, the scientific quality of a project is the factor that determines whether it is funded. But proposing elegant science is not enough. To get a fundable score in peer review, you must also have the means to accomplish the work. NIH peer reviewers will assess whether you and your institution have the expertise and resources to complete the proposed project. Are the PI and other key personnel qualified to do the work? Does the institution have equipment and personnel to support you? Will your institution allow you enough time to accomplish the research?

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