This page contains information on submitting a proposal through CSU, the relevant internal forms that may accompany the proposal, information on preparing a budget, and more related to proposal preparation.
When you are ready to submit your proposal for University Approval, be sure to follow these steps:
- Inform the SPRS offices (Parker Hannifin Hall, 2nd Floor. Ext. 3630) that you intend to submit a proposal externally. You should also tell SPRS the deadline date for submission of the proposal to the grant agency.
- You will complete the proposal through the Cayuse Grants Management System. In addition to the narrative, this includes attaching all agency-required/internal forms and a detailed budget to the completed proposal.
- Once you are finished preparing your proposal, approval signatures will be routed through the Cayuse system in the following order:
- (1) Project Director(s),
- (2) Department Chair/Center Director,
- (3) Fiscal Officer,
- (4) Dean.
- All nonscientific parts of the proposal (budgets, current and pending support, bibliography) must be routed and approved by the appropriate personnel and received in SPRS three (3) days prior to the due date. No exceptions will be made to this rule. To meet this deadline, faculty should inform their chair/dean two weeks in advance of intent to submit the proposal; more time may be needed if cost sharing or multiple colleges are involved.
- PIs can make changes to the scientific part up to the last day. However, it is risky to wait until the last day as SPRS cannot guarantee "glitches" in the system will not exist on either the sponsor's end or SPRS' end, resulting in a denied proposal.
- SPRS reviews the proposal to ensure that CSU administrative regulations have been followed before collecting the remaining endorsements and forwarding the proposal to the funding agency.
On December 26, 2014, the Office of Management and Budget released the "Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards," commonly known as the Uniform Guidance, or 2 CFR 200, or UG. The Uniform Guidance consolidates and makes consistent the administrative requirements, cost principles and audit requirements formerly included in eight separate circulars. For universities and other institutions of higher education, the Uniform Guidance replaces OMB Circulars A-21, A-110, and A-133.
Pre-award/Proposal Preparation Information
Proposals submitted to federal sponsors for projects with start dates beginning on or after December 26, 2014 should follow the guidelines provided below.
Cost Sharing or Matching (Section 200.306 and Appendix I 2.C.)
The Uniform Guidance clarifies cost share requirements as follows:
- Funding announcements must state whether there is required cost sharing, matching, or cost participation without which an application would be ineligible
- If cost sharing is not required, the announcement must explicitly say so
- Voluntary committed cost sharing (institutional cost share proposed but not required) is not expected in federal research proposals and cannot be used as a factor during the merit review of applications or proposals, but may be considered if it is in accordance with Federal awarding agency regulations and specified in a notice of funding opportunity. Criteria for considering voluntary committed cost sharing and any other program policy factors that may be used to determine who may receive a Federal award must be explicitly described in the notice of funding opportunity.
Charging Administrative/Clerical and Programmatic Salary Costs (Sections 200.413 and 200.430)
The UG states administrative salaries are allowable and can be direct charges if all of the following requirements are met:
- Administrative and clerical salaries are integral to a project or activity, and
- Individuals involved can be specifically identified with the project or activity, and
- Such costs are explicitly included in the budget or have prior written approval of the federal awarding agency, and
- The costs are not also recovered as indirect costs
The ‘major project’ requirement in A-21 is eliminated, but the allowable, allocable and reasonable standards still apply. Administrative salaries may be considered integral to a project when the level of service needed is identifiably above and beyond that which is provided on a routine basis by the department.
Direct Charging Computing Devices (Section 200.453)
Computing devices are allowable as a direct cost if the devices are essential and allocable, but not solely dedicated, to the performance of a federal award:
- Computing device must be necessary and reasonable for the performance of the work, but it need no longer be used exclusively for the project
- The device must be charged to the project in some manner that reasonably relates to its use on the project
- PI/department should retain documentation as to how the purchase met these criteria
Participant Support Costs (Sections 200.75 and 200.456)
Participant support costs means direct costs for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences, or training projects.
- Participant support costs are allowed on projects with an educational component, if included in the proposal budget or with subsequent sponsor approval.
- Sponsor approval is also required to rebudget funds from participant support costs into another category
- Participant support costs are excluded from the F&A base
F&A Rates to be used (Section 200.414)
The Uniform Guidance clarifies that an entity’s negotiated F&A rates must be accepted by all Federal awarding agencies:
- A Federal awarding agency may use a rate different from the negotiated rate for a class of Federal awards or a single Federal award only when required by Federal statute or regulation, or when approved by a Federal awarding agency head or delegate based on documented justification
- Notices of funding opportunities must include the policies relating to indirect cost rate reimbursement
- Pass-thru entities must honor subrecipients’ approved F&A rates. If subrecipient doesn’t have a federally negotiated rate, a 10% MTDC de minimus rate can be used.
- SPRS Fact Sheet - Useful data to help complete application cover sheets and budgets (indirect rate, fringe rate, tax id number, etc).
- Course Buyout - How to calculate faculty release time for the Academic Year (AY).
- Summer Salary - How to calculate your summer salary.
- Per Diem and Mileage Rates - How to determine travel costs.
- CSU F&A Rate Agreement - A breakdown of the University's indirect rates.