As you review a Request for Proposal (RFP) or Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), pay close attention to the following sections to determine the suitability of submitting a grant application:
Eligibility: This section will explain the type of entities eligible to submit a proposal, the limitations on the number of submissions (if any), and the eligibility requirements of the Principal Investigator and any Co-Investigators. Carefully review the eligibility requirements for the institution, as well as the Principal Investigator. In some cases, solicitations may limit the number of proposals that can be submitted on behalf of an institution. In this case, special consideration is required by the deans to determine which project will be approved for development and submission to the Sponsor. Otherwise, it is ‘first come-first served’.
Funding Availability: This section will indicate the amount of funding available for the project. In many cases, there may be a minimal limit, as well as a maximum limit. Review carefully for any specific annual budget limitations too (i.e., maximum per year is $150K).
Cost Share Requirements: In some cases, a sponsor may require cost share to be included within the project. Be certain to review and verify any specific cost share requirements because cost share calculations are very diverse among federal agencies and may be based on a percentage of total project value, total funding awarded or some other pre-determined method. Cost share included within any project will require disclosure on the NKU routing form.
Indirect Cost Limitations: In some instances, a sponsor may prohibit or limit indirect charges allowed within a proposal. If the prohibition or limitation is stated within the solicitation document, then NKU will honor that request and there is no need for the PI to seek an exception to the F&A rate utilized. In cases where there is a limited F&A rate provided which is lower than the published NKU rate, then the allowed rate is to be applied to Total Direct Costs. When utilizing the official approved negotiated F&A rate of NKU, then that rate is to be applied to Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC).
Letter of Intent: Some sponsors may require a Letter of Intent (LOI) as part of the submission process. A letter of intent is usually due to the sponsor 30 or more days prior to the submission deadline for full proposals. In some instances, an LOI may be submitted directly to the sponsor by the PI. Pay close attention to any solicitations requesting a letter of intent so the proper submission procedures are followed. Failure to do so may jeopardize the submission of a full proposal.
Pre-Proposal Requirements: This section will provide instructions related to any pre- proposal documents required to be submitted. In many cases, a sponsor may require a pre- proposal submission prior to determining if a full proposal is warranted. The individual requirements of a pre-proposal vary from agency to agency. So, it is vital that the PI review any pre-proposal requirements and submit the requested documents as instructed.
Note: Sometimes a pre-proposal submission may not require the creation of a routing form. If you are uncertain, please contact your RGC Grants Administrator.
Proposal Requirements: This section will stipulate the specific elements required of the proposal document. Pay careful attention to the requested format and outline structure of the proposal. Some agencies require very specific conventions for file names, project titles and signature requirements. Any required authorized signatures will be provided by the RGC office. NOTE: Principal Investigators do not have authority to enter into any grants or contracts on behalf of the University.
Special Conditions: Any special conditions or requirements will be stipulated within the solicitation document. Please note that an agency’s solicitation document for a specific funding opportunity takes precedent over the agency’s general guidelines. Therefore, it is important to identify any special conditions required of your submission. The PI, if uncertain, should contact the RGC Grants Administrator for interpretation of any of these special requirements during development of the proposal.
The Office of Research, Grants and Contracts
Northern Kentucky University
100 Nunn Drive, UC 405
Highland Heights, KY 41099
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