Research administration is comprised of many facets and serves as a central resource to support the research community at UD by providing guidance and stewardship for the researchers and administrators on all campuses.
Our mission is to provide excellent administrative support to investigators in their pursuit of research and other scholarly activities while ensuring compliance with federal, University and private sponsor regulations, terms and conditions.
It takes time and effort to develop a successful proposal — in fact, proposal success rates average 20–33%, depending on the field. Funding agencies reject half the proposals they receive because the applicant did not follow instructions or the proposal did not match the funding program.
However, the rewards for garnering research funding can be great, enabling you to explore new frontiers, instruct your students in the conduct of research, and yield new discoveries and knowledge of benefit to society. Use these resource to get started.
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All proposals submitted to external sponsors from the University of Delaware, regardless of the amount, source of funding or the type of project must be reviewed and approved by the Research Office in accordance with UD policy External Sponsorship and Grant.
In order for a proposal to be submitted, a proposal record must be created in the UD grants module system in order to originate a proposal approval form to route for approval of the proposal submission.
After receipt of a new sponsored award or continuation from a sponsor, the Research Office will prepare the award for spending. We work with departments and PIs to finalize project budgets, setup backend access and prepare your award to.
Setting up your files at the beginning of an award will help to keep you organized throughout the life of the award and make close-outs and audits a much simpler task. You may find it useful to set up a PROJECT ID folder to track transactions. Subfolders for each budget category or type of transaction allow you to further organize your transaction backup documentation.
When a new purpose is set up by the Research Office for a new project, a copy of the Research Office Chart of Accounts Notification is sent to the PI and department account administrator or department representative (this varies by department). This document is a valuable resource for you to retain to help you in administering your award. The Purpose, Project, Contract, and Proposal IDs are all listed. You will need these IDs to run queries and track your transactions. Validate the accuracy of this report and discuss any discrepancies with the Research Office.
Administrator Directory Search
The University of Delaware is committed to supporting efficient and compliant award management. It is a shared responsibility of the PI, department, college and core offices to ensure that the award is set up in a manner to best support understanding of award conditions and University policies, meet sponsor expectations for deliverables and prior approvals, and meet financial controls and reporting requirements of the Sponsor.
Each award has unique terms and conditions and the best way to manage an award is to understand the requirements for each.
All federal sponsored awards and many non-governmental sponsors and University policy are based on 2 CFR 200, otherwise known as Uniform Guidance or the UG. These rules are the fundamental basis for most sponsored projects requirements in place at UF.
Many Federal Grants fall under the “Research Terms and Conditions”. Your award will specifically identify if it falls under the Research Terms and Conditions. These conditions provide additional flexibility to UF.
The two main considerations when transferring to another institution are whether the investigator’s funded projects remain at the University under the direction of a new investigator, or whether the funding is transferred to the new institution where the project is then continued. As all sponsored funding is formally awarded to the University and not to the PI, the University must be involved in any decision to transfer funding to another institution.
Investigators who resign from the University of Delaware have several options to consider if they have sponsored funding.
In addition, new faculty coming to University of Delaware who intend to continue their active sponsored research will have similar considerations.
It is very important to contact your Research Office as soon as possible to discuss these considerations and next steps to ensure a smooth transition.
Subawards are awards provided by a pass-through entity to a subrecipient for the subrecipient to carry out part of a Federal award received by the pass-through entity. It does not include payments to a contractor or payments to an individual that is a beneficiary of a Federal program. A subaward may be provided through any form of legal agreement, including an agreement that the pass-through entity considers a contract.
When UD’s Proposal Includes a Subaward for an Investigator at Another Institution
ITEMS REQUIRED FROM SUBRECIPIENTS FOR A UD PROPOSAL:
- Look up the institution in the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse database located at: https://fdpclearinghouse.org/organizations
- Obtain the items listed in the applicable table below, depending on whether or not the subrecipient institution is a member of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse (see below for explanation).
Table A Table B MEMBER OF FDP Expanded Clearinghouse* NOT A MEMBER of FDP Expanded Clearinghouse*
- Provider Category Determination Worksheet
- Scope of Work
- Budget Justification
- UD Subrecipient Commitment Form signed by Authorized Official from the subrecipient institution
- Contact Info in Attachment 3B Subrecipient contact page 1
- FFATA Info in Attachment 3B page 2
- Subrecipent institution’s indirect costs (F&A) rate agreement
- Include the above items as Attachments to the proposal in the UD Financials Grants System
When UD is a Subrecipient in a Proposal Being Submitted by Another Institution
- Look up the other institution in the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse database located at: https://fdpclearinghouse.org/organizations
- If the institution is a member of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse:
- Attach a completed UD FDP Letter of Intent to the Attachments Tab of the UD proposal when routed for internal approvals, to be signed by the Research Office Contract and Grant Administrator.
- Do not complete a Subrecipient Information form for the other institution. If they request that you do, politely remind them that UD is a member of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse (other institution can obtain UD’s data from the Clearinghouse).
- If the institution is not a member of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse:
- Attach a completed UD non-FDP Subaward Cover Letter to the Attachments Tab of the UD proposal when routed for internal approvals, to be signed by the Research Office Contract and Grant Administrator.
- The other institution may request that we complete their Subrecipient Information form.
Federal Demonstration Project (FDP) Expanded Clearinghouse Participation
- Who determines if the other institution is a member of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse?
- The Department Administrator or PI looks up the other institution in the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse database when preparing the proposal.
- Where do I get a user ID and password for the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse?
- You do not need a user ID or password to be able to access the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse data.
- How do I let the Research Office Contract and Grant Administrator know that the subaward institution is a member of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse?
- Attach the other institution’s FDP-style Letter of Intent to the UD Financials Grant proposal.
- Do I need to send UD’s Letter of Intent template (LOI) to the other institution for them to complete?
- Maybe. Member institutions are likely to have their own institution’s LOI to use for proposals with other member institutions. However, you can send them UD’s LOI to use as a sample if they ask for one.
- Does the other institution’s Letter of Intent (LOI) need to follow the same format as UD’s FDP LOI?
- No, but, it should provide essentially the same project-specific information, it should not request completion of data that can be obtained from the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse, and it should be signed by the Authorized Official for the subrecipient institution.
- What do I do if another FDP Expanded Clearinghouse member institution asks me to complete their Subrecipient Commitment Form?
- Politely inform them that UD is a member of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse and that you will provide them with a signed FDP Letter of Intent instead.
- When UD is a subrecipient under an institution that is not a member of the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse, can I send them a UD FDP Letter of Intent?
- Who uses the Letter of Intent (LOI)?
- The LOI is intended for internal use to represent institutional endorsement of the proposed subaward budget and scope of work by the Subrecipient’s Authorized Official. It is not designed to meet any specific sponsor’s proposal requirements, although it may be used in the proposal submitted to the sponsor if desired. The wording of the LOI may be altered slightly to add sponsor-specific requirements if it is acceptable to both institutions.
The last step in a grant or contract’s life cycle, whether cost reimbursable or fixed price, is project closeout. The key feature to any closeout is the on-time submission of all technical, financial, and other required reports to the sponsor.
Typically final reports of federal awards are due no later than 90 days after the expiration date of the award. Final reports for NSF and NIH awards are due 120 days after the expiration date of the award.
For non-federal awards (i.e. state, industry, non-profits), the closing procedures vary, depending on the policies of the sponsor. Most often, final reports have a shorter timeline than the federal rule.
Guides and Grant Resources
This information is designed to assist departmental research administrators — professionals who work with researchers in their unit and with contract-and-grant experts in the Research Office in establishing, maintaining, and closing out research awards. If you are seeking guidance on developing a proposal and its budget, please see the Proposal Guide.
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Effort Certification is defined as the reporting and confirmation of an employee’s time spent conducting any University activity, expressed as a percentage of the total institutional compensated based time — Institutional Based Salary (IBS). The University of Delaware has an online Effort Certification System. Training documents related to Effort and the Effort Certification System are available here.
Employees must review, and if correct, certify their total effort on all sponsored projects for each effort-reporting period. Effort supporting a sponsored project but not funded by the sponsor is considered cost share. Please see the University’s effort reporting policy and procedures here for detailed explanations and instructions.
UD's research enterprise depends on funding from federal and state agencies, private foundations, organizations, and industry. The University's electronic Effort Certification System is the principal means of verifying that salaries and wages charged to or contributed to a sponsored project are fulfilled in a manner consistent with the award documentation and compliant with the federal regulations for which the University is held accountable.
If you need assistance in identifying your effort administrator, please see the Department Administrator Directory within our Staff Directory. To learn more about administering the effort certification process in your department, check out these training opportunities.
Effort training is available on the Research Office website here and through ConnectingU. New grant administrators must attend the next available “Introduction to Effort Administration” class. The class is offered throughout the year – at a minimum in March and September. Log-in to ConnectingU for course times and to enroll.
Effort Training Material Effort Online Training Material
Billing to sponsors and cash received from sponsors is handled by the Research Office. Cash and Billing transactions can be viewed in the Financials queries. It is important to note that cash received prior to the Grants and Billing modules going live in July 2004 is reflected differently than cash that has been received after 7/1/2004. To view all cash received for a Project, it may be necessary to run all three cash queries to get a total.
GMQ_CASH_NOT_PS_BILL Cash received outside of PS Billing — This query gives all Cash received outside of the Billing module.
GMQ_CASH_PS_BILLED Sum of PS billing activity — This query gives you all Cash received as a result of a Billing in PS module.
GMQ_CASH_THRU_2002 Total Cash as of 7/1/02 — This query gives you a total of all cash received prior to 7/1/02 (prior to Financials go-live date).
Budget Justification Templates Budget Salary Caps F&A RatesFringe Benefit RatesSalary IncrementsTuition Rates
Cost-ShareCost-share is defined as funds committed for the project that are not budgeted from grant funds. Some examples include equipment, personnel effort, and tuition. If there are cost-share commitments, contact the departments or colleges that have committed funds. Some cost-share will require companion Purposes; others may be tracked using cost-share Speedtypes or UD Userfields. We will go into more detail on different ways to track cost-share transactions in the section on Maintaining Your Award. The cost share policy can be found here. If the cost-share is from a third party, contact the source and outline requirements for documentation so that you can report these transactions along with the internal cost-share expenses. Specific guidance on cost-sharing in relation to federal grants is in the OMB Circular A-110, Subpart C.23 or UG Subpart D.
Associate Vice President, Research Administration
- NSF Proposal Preparation and Award Administration – 9-3-2020
- NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide – 9-3-2020
- Fixed Fringe Rate Agreement Announced – 7-2-2020
- Tagging COVID-19 Research Costs
- Allocating Sponsored Expenditures to Temporary Purpose Codes
- Participant Support Costs: Post-Award Monitoring
- NSF Bio Sketch and Support Document Format Webinar
- eRA Enhancement: Two Factor Authentication Login Option Coming to eRA Modules
- NSF-approved Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support Formats
Principal Investigators Eligibility
Principal Investigators and Co-Principal Investigators have primary institutional responsibility for providing scientific/technical leadership and administrative and financial management of sponsored projects. As such, the University has designated the following personnel as eligible to serve as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on sponsored projects*
- All full-time faculty regardless of academic rank
- Visiting faculty/visiting scientists during the time they draw salary support for the performance of the sponsored project through the University
- Adjunct faculty during the time they draw salary support for the performance of the sponsored project through the University
- Full-time, academic non-administrative professionals in classified positions at or above Level 31E
- All full-time postdoctoral fellows* and researchers
- Under exceptional circumstances documented in writing, other qualified individuals may be designated as a PI. Such designation requires the approval of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation, and must be endorsed by the chair of every unit and the dean of every college in which the research project is to be performed. If granted, this PI designation is limited to the proposed research project under consideration, i.e. it does not afford blanket status to serve as a PI on other proposals. To qualify for an exception, the following criteria must be met:
- Only individuals identified to the external sponsor as a PI or CPI in the submitted proposal need to have the PI eligibility approval form completed
- The proposed research must be a programmatic priority of the University
- There must demonstrably be no qualified member of the UD faculty who is capable of serving or available to serve as the PI
- The proposed PI must possess the academic and experiential qualifications that are prerequisite to service as a PI at UD, and his or her participation as the PI must be demonstrably necessary for the successful funding and execution of the research project
- The proposal PI must enter into a signed contract with the University assuring that (a) the work will be conducted in accordance with the high standards of quality expected of all PIs; (b) the PI will comply with all University policies relating to the conduct of research; and (c) the research project will be conducted consistent with all federal laws, rules, and regulations relating to the conduct of research
- Completion of the Research Office PI approval form and submission of a curriculum vitae (CV)
Process for submission of PI Eligibility Form:
- Form should be completed and all signatures obtained
- CV must be included with form
- Email the completed form and CV to your Contract & Grant Specialist who will obtain the required Research Office approval signature
- Contract & Grant Specialist will return executed form to department administrator
* Principal Investigator/Co-Principal Investigator status may be rescinded for cause.
*A PI approval form is required to permit postdoctoral fellows to serve this role
If an exception is made to make someone an eligible PI and that person isn't a full-time University employee, the chair or dean must be a co-PI on all proposals for that person.
Retired Faculty Serving as Principal Investigators
Some faculty members wish to continue their research programs after retirement from the University, but do not qualify for status as principal investigators because they are no longer full-time UD employees. Retired faculty members may apply for PI status using the existing Research Office PI approval form.
If the request is approved, retired faculty members may serve initially as co-PIs on proposals with a full-time faculty member as PI (this would typically be the department chair or another senior faculty member). If the proposal is funded and the retired faculty member is hired to work on that grant, he or she may then serve as the PI during the life of the grant. At the time of hiring, the retired faculty member may be appointed to an appropriate professional staff position (such as, for example, senior research fellow), but under no conditions may be re-hired on the faculty (as, for example, a research professor).
Graduate Students as Principal Investigators
The Research Office acknowledges the importance of permitting graduate students to lead sponsored projects where appropriate. There are several sponsors who offer pre-doctoral grants whereby the work is conceived of and carried out entirely by a graduate student. In these cases, a faculty member is identified as a mentor and oversees the project nominally. (examples: NASA: Harriett G. Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship Program (JPFP), NIH: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships (F31) to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, NIH: Predoctoral Training at the Interface of the Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences, DOE: The National Methane Hydrates R&D Program - Graduate Fellowship Program).
To that end, the eligible PI approval form may be used at the time of proposal routing to permit the graduate student to have this role. Also, please have the department administrators ensure the graduate student’s supervisor code is associated with a chair and dean code. This will allow the proposal approval web form to be routed appropriately. The required completed form must be sent to the Research Office at least ten (10) working days before the deadline for submittal of the proposal to the funding agency.
There are still other sponsors for whom the need for submission and approval from an Authorized Representative of the University is not required. The student may submit these applications directly to the sponsor without coordination with the Research Office or a PI eligibility form (examples include: NSF Fellowship, Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships for Achieving Excellence in College and University Teaching).
If there are questions concerning which type of funding the grad student is applying, contact the Research Office for guidance.
Responsibilities of a Principal Investigator
Serving as a Principal Investigator (PI) at the University of Delaware brings significant rewards and confers concomitant responsibilities. PIs are responsible for the intellectual direction of research and scholarship and for the education and training of students. In carrying out these critical tasks, PIs are also responsible for compliance with laws and regulations that touch on all aspects of the research enterprise.
To ensure compliance with applicable rules, regulations, and contract requirements the University of Delaware requires all PIs to receive training in the financial management of sponsored projects. Developed for PIs already at the University, the University's training program focuses on stewardship of funds, mandatory reporting requirements and particularized training in the fundamentals of federal grant and contract accounting. PIs must complete mandatory training before the University will release project funding.
OMB Uniform Guidance
OMB Uniform Guidance Overview
The federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has made a major change to the underlying guidance by which university recipients of federal awards have operated for decades. OMB combined eight separate circulars, applicable to different types of grantee organizations, into a single document, "CFR Title 2, Part 200: Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards," commonly referred to as the Uniform Guidance (UG).
The three previous circulars applicable to universities are: A21 – Cost Principles for Educational Institutions, A110 – Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals and other Non-profit Organizations and A133 – Audits of States, Local Governments and Non-Profit Organizations. There are similar documents applicable to states, local governments and Indian Tribes. The UG includes portions from all of the previous documents as well as new sections and some deletions. While much of it is similar to the previous guidance, there is the potential for both major and minor changes to university recipients of federal awards. In addition, the OMB document is actually guidance to federal agencies and each granting agency must issue its own implementing regulations. While agency implementation plans were due to OMB in June, final versions have not yet been published.
The effective date is December 26, 2014 and is applicable to new grants and funding increments.
The UG encompasses a wide variety of compliance areas, including what constitutes an allowable charge to a federal award, what costs may be included in the Facilities and Administrative Cost Rate, minimum information required in funding announcements, information needed in equipment records, how long records must be retained, requirements for monitoring subrecipients, the frequency and minimum content of programmatic reporting and a host of other topics.
The University of Delaware must be compliant with the UG in order to remain eligible to receive federal awards. The University’s comprehensive implementation plan is described below. The University community will be kept informed of progress through this website, the research-admin listserv, the newly created UD Research Administrators E-Newsletter and topic specific trainings. Your participation and feedback is encouraged.
In preparation for the December 26th, 2014 implementation date, we have created working groups based on each of the subparts and the appendices. Each working group has a chair, as well as representation from colleges and central administration (including staff from outside of the research community for some parts). The groups are responsible for determining the impact of the new regulations to existing policy and process, creating new training materials and revising policies where needed, and ensuring broad and effective communication strategies. Work plans and other materials will be posted as they become available.
Office of Management and Budget
- The interim joint final rule implementing the Uniform Guidance (UG) is now available in Federal Register (Vol. 79, No. 244, Friday, December 19, 2014).
- OMB Policy Statements: Uniform Grant Guidance
- Uniform Guidance Crosswalk from Existing Guidance to Final Guidance
- Uniform Guidance Crosswalk from Final Guidance to Existing Guidance
- Cost Principles Comparison Chart -- 2 CFR Part 225 (A-87), 2 CFR Part 220 (A-21), 2 CFR Part 230 (A-122), and Final Uniform Guidance
- Audit Requirements Comparison Chart -- OMB Circular A-133 and Proposed Uniform Guidance Subpart F
- Definitions Comparison Chart
- Administrative Requirements Comparison Chart
Other Federal Resources
- COFAR's FAQs on Uniform Guidance 8/29/14
- COFAR's FAQs on Uniform Guidance 2/12/14
- NSF's Draft Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide
Council on Governmental Relations (COGR)
- COGR's response to the NSF implementation in the NSF PAPPG (July 1, 2014)
- Proposed FAQs with answers to OMB (June 26, 2014)
- COGR/COFAR Review: OMB Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (June 23, 2014)
- COGR/FDP White Paper on the Uniform Guidance (June 6, 2014)
- COGR Guide to the Uniform Guidance (April 24, 2014)
- COGR Implementation Plan for a Major Research University (April 24, 2014)
- COGR Preliminary Assessment - OMB Uniform Administrative Requirements (January 14, 2014)