Initial Considerations

Do you know what your Sponsor is looking for?

  • Have the correct forms been identified?
  • Are the proper institutional identification numbers, applicant name, and address being used?
  • Are you aware of formatting requirements imposed by the sponsor such as page limits and font size mandates?
  • Does the proposal include attachments such as biographical sketches, current and pending reports and certifications and assurances to be completed by OSP, etc.?
  • Are sponsor expectations clearly defined to determine if you are applying for a gift or a grant?

Gift or Grant Determination Table

 GiftsGrants/Contracts
Defining CharacteristicsGifts are irrevocable and the funder does not have any right to reclaim funds for any reasonTypically have a defined period of performance and termination rights. May include the right to audit how the funds were spent. May require return of unexpended funds at the end of the project period.
Applicability of Terms and ConditionsGifts are given without the expectation of any return benefit, and contain virtually no contract or terms and conditions.The sponsor stipulates terms relevant to one or more of the following: confidentiality, publication, copyright, patent rights, liability, insurance, regulations, allowable costs, subcontracting or any other type of contractual term.
Scope of work limitationsGifts can have a broad general intent but do not contain a specific scope of work.The funding is intended to support specific University personnel salaries in order to accomplish the specific scope of work; including the testing or evaluation of proprietary products.
Deliverables and Right to Audit Spending Do not have a specific scope of work with milestones and deliverables nor a right to audit spending.Terms or expectations of the sponsor include: the ability to audit records; reporting of work progress and specific milestones; and detailed technical report of research results.
Period of PerformanceGifts do not specify a period of performance.Specified period of performance is prescribed, or termination is at the discretion of the Sponsor.
Return of FundsGifts are given with no expectation to return unspent funds.Unexpended funds may be required to be returned at the end of the stated period of performance.

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Are you collaborating with others?

  • Are the collaborators internal to SU or external (third party) entities?
  • Will the thrid party engagement be in the form of a subrecipient or as a contractor?
  • Is the role of each collaborator clearly established to avoid misunderstanding and potential disputes?
  • Will a third party be contributing cost share?

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Space, Funding and Risk Considerations

  • Have requirements for space or specialized facilities (e.g., secure facilities) been discussed with the Department Chair, Dean or Director?
  • Other than for cost sharing, have requirements for commitment of institutional funds been brought to the attention of the Department Chair, Dean or Director ?
  • Have proper precautions been identified to mitigate actual risks or potential risks of the proposed project?

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Budget Considerations

  • Will required costs normally recovered through the F&A rate, such as office supplies, postage, and telephone costs be explicitly budgeted and justified in the proposal budget?
  • Will overload or extra service compensation (excess compensation to be paid during the faculty member’s on-duty period) for consultation across departmental lines, in addition to faculty member’s normal workload be included?
  • Does the budget conform to any limitations imposed by the sponsor (e.g., salary caps, prohibitions on the purchase of equipment, F&A limits, etc.)?
  • Are the proper fringe and F&A rates being used?
  • Is cost sharing required?
  • Refer to the Budget Development section for assistance.