POLICIES AND PROCEDURES RELATED TO SUBMISSION AND ADMINISTRATION OF RESEARCH AND SPONSORED PROJECTS PROPOSALS AND AWARDS (7/17/2020)

WSU has established a set of policies and procedures to guide the sponsored project proposal submission and award acceptance processes, as set forth in Chapter 9 of the WSU Policy Manual. These policies and procedures are in the process of being updated and revised. In the interim, we wanted to remind you of the following: 

1. PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR STATUS. Investigators named on a project must have Principal Investigator (PI) status to submit a proposal. Pursuant to WSU Policy 9.23 (Eligibility to Serve as Principal Investigator),

A. all full-time WSU faculty, regardless of rank or tenure status, are eligible to serve as a PI on a sponsored project; provided they meet sponsor qualifications;

B. WSU staff and adjunct faculty may serve as the PI on a sponsored project with approval from their Chair and academic college Dean or Center Director, provided they meet sponsor qualifications

PI status is not usually granted to individuals who are not employed by WSU, but if there are compelling reasons for requesting this status for such individuals, then a request from the hosting department or center for “project-specific” PI status must be made at least three (3) working weeks (15 working days) prior to the deadline for submission of the proposal. All non-WSU project-specific PI requests must be approved by Associate Vice President of Research (or his/her designee).

PRE-AWARD SERVICES. All proposals for funding submitted on behalf of WSU investigators must be submitted through the Office of Research Pre-Award Services to ensure that appropriate compliance reviews have taken place, that budgetary information requested by the sponsor is correct, and that any contractual terms or other conditions specified unilaterally by the sponsor that may be inconsistent with University policy have been identified. If the solicitation requires the applicant organization be a 501(c)3, the Office of Research – not the individual PI - will coordinate with the WSU Foundation.

Pre-Award Services is responsible for analyzing the solicitation, completing the representations and certifications, coordinating the proposal, helping to prepare the budget, confirming sub-contractual commitments, facilitating the review of any solicitation or subsequently contractual requirements, submission of any exception letters, preparing agency application forms, assembling the proposal, implementing the review and signature process, and transmitting the proposal package to the agency. 

2. TIMING OF SUBMISSIONS. Complete proposals must be submitted to the Office of Research by 9:00 a.m. three (3) business days prior to the sponsor due date for electronic proposals and five (5) business days prior to the sponsor due date for non-electronic proposals. Proposals that include cost share commitments or request waivers require additional time and should be submitted at least ten (10) business days prior to the sponsor’s deadline.  Proposals are generally processed as received and investigators are encouraged to contact the Office of Research early in the process. Proposals that are received late may not receive a full review and are not guaranteed to be submitted on time to the sponsor.

3. AUTHORIZATION. The Office of Research is charged with proposal approval for externally funded programs, negotiating grants and contracts, and award management. Note: NO PI, nor any other official of the University, is authorized to commit University resources to the conduct of research, training, or service without receipt of authorization from the Office of Research. Departments and units within the University are not legal entities and therefore should not and cannot be parties to agreements.

4. SPONSORED PROJECTS vs. GIFTS. WSU researchers can receive external support for their research from multiple sources, including sponsored projects and gifts. It is the University’s responsibility to properly classify these funds in order to ensure appropriate management of these funds and compliance with all regulations and terms and conditions. The determination as to whether a specific award should be treated as a sponsored award or a gift is made by the Office of Research in consultation with the WSU Foundation.

The following definitions are used as general guidelines when determining whether an award is a sponsored project or a gift.

A gift is a voluntary contribution of money, equipment, or other property of value made to the University, for which the contributor receives no bargained-for benefit, and requires nothing in exchange beyond recognition (in some cases) and assurance that the intent of the contribution will be honored. Although a donor may place some restrictions on the use or disposition of a gift and may require a report that demonstrates that the donor’s wishes have been met, these terms do not make the gift a sponsored project. All gifts to the University are processed through the WSU Foundation.

A sponsored project is a transaction in which there is a specified statement of work with a related, reciprocal transfer of something of value (i.e., data, results, intellectual property, mandatory report, etc.). Sponsors typically provide funding for sponsored projects on the basis of a specific project or research plan or statement of work and budget, for a specified period of time. The plan typically involves an identified University researcher or group of researchers as the project leader(s), and specified goals and objectives, as well as the methodologies and approaches to be used. Many sponsored projects are awarded following a competitive application process.

Sponsored projects are awarded through various mechanisms such as grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, commercially-sponsored grants and contracts, demonstration projects, and other instructional grants and contracts. All funding provided by U.S. government agencies, at the federal, state, or local level is sponsored project funding.

5. CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Prior to submitting any proposal, all employees must have on file a current Conflict of Interest Disclosure (see WSU Policy 3.04). Failure to accurately complete a conflict of interest disclosure may result in employment action including, but not limited to, restrictions against submitting research proposals. The annual COI disclosure form can be found under the “Employee Required Training” tab on myWSU.

Note: WSU is in the process of updating conflict of interest policies, procedures, and disclosure requirements. Those policies, procedures, and disclosure requirements are expected to launch in Summer 2020. This may require you to re-submit any disclosures, even if you have a current disclosure on file. 

6. STUDENT PARTICIPATION. All sponsored projects (except services agreements) over $25,000 per year are required to include students on the budget. Departments with a PhD program should budget at least one (1) PhD level Graduate Research Assistant on their project based on at least $25,000 annually plus tuition. Exceptions must be approved by the Associate Vice President for Research or, if absent, the Executive Vice President and Provost.

7. COMPLIANCE. All research and sponsored projects affiliated with WSU must comply with federal, state, agency, and institutional guidelines. This includes compliance in several areas including, but not limited to: animal care and use, human subjects, export control, biosafety, data control, and research integrity. 

8. PROCEDURE FOR EXECUTION OF CONTRACTS AND COMMITMENT OF UNIVERSITY RESOURCES. All university employees are expected to abide by the memo issued on April 8, 2019, regarding procedures for execution of contracts and commitment of university resources.

What is the first step that should be taken in preparing a grant proposal?

Contact the Office of Research staff via email at proposals@wichita.edu as soon as you have decided to apply for funding. At a minimum, your email should contain the solicitation/program number (or link/copy of the announcement), the name of the agency you are applying to, name of the PI and the due date for your submission. 

Once your email is received, a member of the Pre-Award Team will be assigned to assist you and you will be contacted.  We will then begin working with you on developing a budget, preparing your proposal package and completing the  Proposal Routing Form which is required to be signed by various individuals on campus prior to proposal submission.

In order to ensure ALL proposals are submitted on-time, internal due dates have been established as part of our proposal submission policy.  Internal due dates are five (5) working days prior for non-electronic submissions and three (3) working days prior for electronic submissions.  Additional time is required for proposals that contain cost share/match or involve collaborations/subawards with other institutions.

Our Pre-Award Team is here to answer all of your pre-award questions, guide you through the proposal process and make your life easier!

Who is authorized to sign grant proposals and agreements?

The Office of Research is charged with the responsibility of approving proposals for externally funded programs, negotiating grants and contracts, and managing awards. No faculty member, nor any other official of the University, is authorized to commit University resources to the conduct of research, training, or service without receipt of authorization from Office of Research.  (WSU Policy 9.03)

How long does the signature routing process take on proposals and agreements?

The timeline for signatures varies greatly depending upon who must sign the specific document. For proposals, it is best to allow at least five working days for the signature process. Some agreements do not have a deadline for return and should just be sent to the Office of Research as soon as they are received.  All proposals and those agreements where funds are coming into the University require a completed proposal routing form in order to process.  This form must be received by the Office of Research with signatures from the PI, Department Chair, and College Dean.  Research staff will obtain the remaining required signatures.

Who is the Authorized Institutional Official?

The Vice President for Research and Economic Development, John Tomblin, PhD,  and Executive Vice President & Provost, Dr. Richard Muma, PhD, MPH, PA-C are the authorized institutional officials for WSU.

Can I submit my own proposal to the funding agency?

No, only the Office of Research can submit your proposal to a funding agency/sponsor. WSU reserves the right to decline awards resulting from unapproved proposals.

I’m a student, do I need to go through the Office of Research to submit to a funding opportunity?
 

Student Opportunities that SHOULD come through our office:

  • WSU will be receiving funds from the opportunity  (WSU Foundation would be involved if it was strictly a gift)
  • WSU is providing a letter of commitment obligating any funds, space, equipment, staff time, etc…
  • WSU is providing any type of cost share or cost match (in-kind or cash)
  • WSU must register and/or affiliate the student in a system like eRA Commons, NSPIRES, EERE, Research.gov in order to submit to the opportunity
  • A WSU faculty member or staff is required to serve as the PI or Mentor.

 Student Opportunities that DO NOT HAVE TO come through our office:

  • WSU will not be receiving or managing funds
  • No WSU commitments are involved
  • No WSU acknowledgment, approval or permissions is needed
  • Awards, scholarships and the like…
Should I submit my proposal early?

Yes!  Most agencies will accept your application thirty days prior to the posted due date.  In fact, some proposals never make it to the reviewer’s desk due to errors that could easily have been caught and fixed if the application was submitted early.  Investigators should be thinking early in terms of days not hours.

Where can I find information on our current university rates?

Current university rates can be found on our website.  These rates are updated yearly and should be used when preparing your budget.  Please work with a member of our Pre-Award Team early in the process to develop your budget – proposals@wichita.edu.

Are there any grant search engines available to locate funding sources?

Yes. WSU subscribes to Pivot . You may visit our External Grant Opportunities webpage or our Internal WSU Grant Opportunities webpage for additional information. You may also access the federal grant search engine at Grants.gov.

If you need assistance with searches, contact the Office of Research Pre-Award Team at proposals@wichita.edu

If my grant proposal involves the use of human subjects and/or animals, whom shall I contact?

To contact the Institutional Review Board (IRB), please visit our website or send an email to irb@wichita.edu.

To contact the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC), please see our website or email IACUC@wichita.edu.

What are F&A or indirect costs?

OMB Circular A-21 which lists the Cost Principles for Educational Institutions gives the following definition of F&A costs:

“Definition of Facilities and Administration. F&A costs are broad categories of costs. "Facilities" is defined as depreciation and use allowances, interest on debt associated with certain buildings, equipment and capital improvements, operation and maintenance expenses, and library expenses. "Administration" is defined as general administration and general expenses, departmental administration, sponsored projects administration, student administration and services, and all other types of expenditures not listed specifically under one of the subcategories of Facilities (including cross allocations from other pools).”

WSU's federally negotiated F&A rate is 48% of Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC).  MTDC consists of all salaries and wages, fringe benefits, materials, supplies, services, travel and subgrants/subcontracts up to the first $25,000 of each.  MTDC excludes equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, student tuition remission, rental costs of off-site facilities, scholarships, and fellowships as well as the portion of each subgrant/subcontract in excess of $25,000.   (F&A Rate Agreement)

WSU’s policy is to collect full indirects when allowed by the sponsor.  If a sponsor has a policy or an announcement limits the collection of indirects, we will use that rate.  If in doubt, we will call the funding agency.  Waivers must be approved by the Department Chair, College Dean and Vice President for Research.

What is Cayuse424 and why should I use it?

Cayuse424 is a system to system web based program to assist in proposal development and submission.  Cayuse424 has a sophisticated validation program that can help prevent submission errors, can be accessed from any computer with internet access and is user friendly.  Please contact proposals@wichita.edu to get training or get started or to determine if a particular proposal can be submitted through Cayuse424.

What happens once my proposal is funded?

Once a proposal is funded by an agency, Research experts in compliance and contracts review the award documents and process for signature.  This process can take longer than expected as it may involve negotiation of terms & conditions acceptable to the University.  During this process, a member of the Pre-Award Team assigned to your award will keep you informed and will work with you to finalize a budget.  Once all signatures are in place and you have approved the budget, your award will be passed to the Post Award Team for setup.  The Post Award Team will provide you with your Banner number, usually within five business days.

Can I get a No-Cost Extension for a project funded by NSF, NIH, ARO, AFOSR, NEA, NEH, DOE or Dept. of Ed?

Yes!  If this is the first no-cost extension on a project sponsored by one of these federal agencies, the Principal Investigator/Program Director must send an email to amy.delgado@wichita.edu at the Office of Research, requesting the no-cost extension (NCE).  The Office of Research will review your request and notify you when it is approved.  The email should contain the following information:

  • PI name
  • Department
  • Telephone #
  • Sponsor Name
  • WSU Grant/Fund #
  • Award Title
  • Current Expiration Date
  • Requested Termination Date
  • Justification for the Extension

If this is NOT the first no-cost extension, the Principal Investigator/Program Director should write a letter to the Program Officer stating the reason why the extension is necessary. The letter should clearly indicate the sponsor’s award number and the requested expiration date.  The letter should be forwarded to proposals@wichita.edu for submission to the sponsor who will either approve or deny the request.

Can I get a no-cost extension for my FAA Cooperative Agreement or projects funded by FAA, ONR or DOD?

The Principal Investigator/Program Director should write a letter to the Program Officer stating the reason why the extension is necessary. The letter should clearly indicate the sponsor’s award number and the requested expiration date.  The letter should be forwarded to proposals@wichita.edu for submission to the sponsor who will either approve or deny the request.

Can I get a no-cost extension on my Subaward/Subcontract?

The Principal Investigator/Program Director should write a letter to the Program Officer stating the reason why the extension is necessary. The letter should clearly indicate the sponsor’s award number and the requested expiration date.  The letter should be forwarded to proposals@wichita.edu for submission to the sponsor who will either approve or deny the request.

Can I get a no-cost extension for a Non-Federal Award/Contract?

Yes! The Principal Investigator/Program Director needs to send an email to amy.delgado@wichita.edu requesting the no-cost extension. The Office of Research will review your request and notify you when it is approved. The email should contain the following information:

  • PI name
  • Department
  • Telephone #
  • Sponsor Name
  • WSU Grant/Fund #
  • Award Title
  • Current Expiration Date
  • Requested Termination Date
  • Justification for the Extension
How do I know if my Grant has been set up yet?

Once your grant has been set up in Banner by the Post-Award Team, Principal Investigators are notified via email of their Grant Number.  Any questions regarding a new Grant set-up should be sent via e-mail to Sarah.hunt@wichita.edu or amy.delgado@wichita.edu.

How do I know if invoices have been sent out for payments?

Invoices are generated based on the terms outline in the award documents.  To check on the status of a specific invoice, please send an email to marsha.olson@wichita.edu.

What is my Org number?

Any questions regarding new Org numbers should be sent via e-mail to sarah.hunt@wichita.edu or amy.delgado@wichita.edu.

Where can I go to find out the current balance on my Grant?

Sign into myWSU and click on the “Grant” Icon to the upper right of the screen between the A-Z Index and the EmpHelp. If you have a more specific question, please send an e-mail to sarah.hunt@wichita.edu or Kathy.riker@wichita.edu.

Where can I go to find out the current payroll balance on my Grant?

Sign into myWSU and click on the “Grant” Icon to the upper right of the screen between the A-Z Index and the EmpHelp. Look for the Salaries and Fringe categories, and the available budget column should be the balance. If you have a more specific question, please send an e-mail to researchpayroll@wichita.edu.

Who can help me with a payroll projection?

Inquiries regarding payroll projections should be sent via e-mail to researchpayroll@wichita.edu.