1. Develop Concept Paper
Individuals planning to submit a proposal to a funding agency may find it useful to first develop a concept paper or whitepaper. A concept paper helps identify the intended specialization area and subsequently, appropriate funding sources. This document also allows the individual to obtain feedback from colleagues regarding project’s uniqueness, feasibility, writing style, formatting and budget. A Grant Proposal Template can be found under the Forms page
2. Contact OSPFD
Timely communication with the UW Oshkosh Office of Sponsored Programs and Faculty Development (OSPFD), along with your department chair and college dean, will ensure a smoother submission process. It is strongly recommended that individuals planning to submit a proposal contact the OSPFD and also notify their department chair and dean as soon as possible before submission. If OSPFD staff are notified early of your intent to submit, they will be better able to assist you with meeting sponsor requirements and performing a thorough internal review.
The final version of the research proposal must be submitted to OSPFD a minimum of 5 business days prior to the sponsor’s deadline to ensure a full internal review of the proposal can be performed. Our staff can also schedule a face-to-face meeting with you to provide guidance and useful information as you begin the proposal development process.
Contact us at:
Phone Number: (920) 424-3215
3. Institutional Requirements & Guidelines
Internal Review Process
Standard procedure outlines that an internal review of the proposal be conducted by OSPFD staff prior to submitting the proposal packet to the sponsor. This is known as the internal review process and is documented on the Internal Review Form (IRF). All requests for extramural support that involve the University’s name and/or resources must be approved through an internal review process prior to submission. This includes both grant proposals, agreements, and contracts. Proposals submitted without University approval have a smaller chance of being accepted by granting agencies and, if they are, the University is under no obligation to comply with any commitment of its resources.
The PI is responsible for completing the Internal Review Form (IRF), obtaining PI/PD, Department Chair and Dean Signatures, then submitting to OSPFD, along with the proposal, budget, and budget justification for internal review. Staff in OSPFD will perform a full review of the packet and will then circulate for signature to the Grants Accountant, Provost/Vice Chancellor, Grants Director, and the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). If OSPFD staff have suggested revisions to the budget or budget justification, the PI will be notified and asked to modify the document(s) as necessary. The PI will need to resubmit the revised documents prior to OSPFD circulation for signatures.
Final version (revised) documents, along with the fully-executed IRF, are submitted to OSPFD a minimum of five (5) full business days prior to the sponsor’s deadline. This allows OSPFD staff time to work with the PI to compile the application and submit the proposal to the sponsor early.
If your proposal involves human or animal subjects, biohazardous materials, or recombinant DNA, you will need to obtain approval by the approprate oversight committee and/or complete additional forms following the information found on the Research Compliance page
In addition to the internal review, individuals are also required to complete the Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) disclosure form and training through CITI Program prior to submission in order to meet federal and institutional requirements for reporting FCOI. This is a requirement for any PI (and their senior Personnel) who are requesting federal funding.
Additional information on our institutional FCOI policy can be found here:
For questions regarding institutional requirements, the internal review process, or financial conflict of interest requirements, please contact the Sponsored Programs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (920)-424-3215.
4. Meeting Sponsor Funding Requirements
Sponsor instructions and requirements for submitting an application for an external funding opportunity will be found on the sponsor’s Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) (i.e. Solicitation, Request for Proposal (RFP)). For example, the FOA for a federal sponsor may be found by searching Grants.gov by agency, solicitation number, or keyword. The PI can download the application and instruction packet directly from the website. The individual planning to submit a proposal to the agency should review the FOA, along with any documents provided in the Federal Register, and be familiar with what forms, appendices or other documents are required as part of the submission packet. It is the responsibility of the PI to ensure they maintain compliance with the requirements and guidelines outlined in the FOA.
In addition, some sponsors may also have an application guidelines or instruction document that the project team may need to obtain to ensure they meet all submission requirements. Sponsors such as NSF and NIH have these documents available to the submitter and expect they will be followed. See the Guidance Document section for the most current version of these documents .
5. Write the Proposal
While writing your proposal, pay particular attention to the methodology, budget and budget justification sections. Some reviewers may even prefer to start a review by looking at the budget justification document before the proposal narrative, therefore, it is highly recommended individuals provide a strong, organized, and clearly explained budget justification that aligns with the categories asked in the budget. Also, do you provide a measurable timeline for your project aims/goals? It is crucial that you review and become familiar with the sponsor’s proposal requirements outlined in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) or other sponsor-provided guidelines. Following the sponsor’s requirements for proposal development will increase the likelihood your proposal will be accepted for review and subsequently reviewed favorably.
Staff in the OSPFD are available to schedule a face-to-face meeting with you to discuss the basics of developing your proposal. A meeting request can be sent to email@example.com or by visiting the OSPFD main page and completing the Request Form.
6. Budget Development
Below you will find information on useful budgetary development items.
Cost Sharing & Matching Funds
Cost sharing is that portion of total project costs that are paid from sources other than the sponsor. Typically, cost sharing is a concept used to signify recipient’s willingness to share in the project’s expenses. Some agencies make a distinction between “cost sharing,” “in-kind” and “matching.” Generally, all these terms refer to the sharing of costs not charged to the sponsor. A cost share can include cash contributions, donated services or facilities. Some sponsors have mandatory Cost Sharing included as a proposal requirement and the FOA or solicitation will outline the Cost Sharing requirement(s). Other agencies, such as the NSF, do not allow voluntary Cost Sharing and therefore proposals should not include voluntary Cost Sharing as a line item. Under federal research proposal, voluntary committed cost sharing is not expected or requested in the solicitation/FOA. It cannot be used as a factor during merit review, but may be considered if it is both in accordance with the federal sponsor’s regulations and specified in a notice of funding opportunity.
Indirect Costs (a.k.a “overhead” or F&A) are expenses incurred by the University which are not directly related to your project. These include general administration expenses, building maintenance and operation, equipment depreciation, grant administration expenses, library expenses, and departmental and college expenses.
- Extramural grant proposals must request for reimbursement of indirect costs consistent with agency policies. Indirect costs are a real cost to the University, whether the financial support is from general or program revenue sources. The inclusion or exclusion of indirect costs cannot be used as a bargaining point to secure extramural support. Indirect cost rates are periodically negotiated by the University of Wisconsin System and the federal government for federal programs.
- UW Oshkosh indirect costs are calculated only on salary, wages + fringes for any UW Oshkosh personnel listed in the budget and budget justification.
- The Uniform Guidance (C.F.R. 200), federal cost principles, also allow a primary institution to apply their indirect rate to the non-lead institution’s salary, wages + fringes, up to $25,000. This allows the primary institution cost recovery for administration of the collaborative award.
- Negotiated cost rates effective July 1, 2012 (until amended), are as follows:
- On-campus rate: 38.5% of all salaries, wages, and fringe benefits
- Off-campus rate: 13% of all salaries, wages, and fringe benefits
Note: The off-campus rate applies if more than 50% of the project is performed off-campus in facilities not owned or rented by the University.
Job titles are formal titles assigned to designate types of duties performed by an employee and assign specific wage range.
Specific job codes are assigned in order to enter the title in the HRS payroll system.There are three (3) main titles used for student employment:
– Student Help (94870)
– Student Help Intermediate (94871)
– Student Help Advanced (94872)
The job titles listed below require prior approval from Human Resources:
– Student Help Residence Hall (94873)
– this is only used by Residence Life for Community Advisors paid via lump sum
– Student Help Special (94874)
– this is only used if unique position requiring special hours tracking; paid via lump sum
The pay rate (hourly wage) is determined by the degree to which the expected duties of the position fall within the scope of each title.
Job Title: Student Help
HRS Job Code: 94870 Wage Range: $7.25 to $9.25 per hour
Work is performed under fairly close supervision. Procedures and tasks are well established. Decision making is limited. The consequence of error is minimal to correctable. Accountability and scope of operation are low to moderate. Work is frequently reviewed. No leadership role assigned to the worker. No previous skill or technical knowledge is required. Training takes place on the job.
– “Being there”
– Tasks and duties are routine
– Accountability is minimal
– Procedures are well established
– Errors are corrected with ease
– All/most of work done is reviewed
Job Title: Student Help Intermediate
HRS Job Code: 94871 Wage Range:$7.90 to $12.00 per hour
Work that requires, for a portion of the time, some independent judgment, and initiative, and/or previous skill or technical knowledge.
– Errors are correctable
– Accountability is increasing
– Scope of work reaches across department
– Few unpleasant/undesirable tasks hence little difficulty in finding people to do the job
– Work is reviewed periodically
– Procedures are general, worker must exercise some judgment
– Easily acquired skills
– Generous supply of workers with the required skill, specialized knowledge or experience is available
Job Title: Student Help Advanced
HRS Job Code: 94872 Wage Range:$8.90 to $17.00 per hour
Work that requires, for a major portion of the time, some advanced or specialized knowledge, skill or ability.Work that may involve some supervisory responsibilities; Includes graduate students and duties in teaching or administration requiring advanced discipline, skill or knowledge.
– Accountability may include work done by others
– Leads others in work (2-3 people, less than 50% of time)
– Errors may result in problems, but correctable
– Scope of operation reaches other work units both horizontally and/or vertically
– Work is reviewed occasionally
– Supply of workers with the required skill, specialized knowledge or experience is limited
– Skills and knowledge required more complex
Fringe Benefit Rates
Wisconsin Statutes Sec. 20.865 requires that fringe benefits applicable to salaries and wages paid from grant funds shall be charged to such grant funds. Fringe benefits are a real cost to the institution, whether the financial support is from general or program revenue sources. Thus, all budgets submitted to extramural sponsors must contain a line item for associated fringe benefit costs.
- For some awards from UW System Funds (Fund 102, 115 or 190 accounts): Fringe benefits will be charged at actual cost. The negotiated fringe benefit rates below may not apply to UW System grants. For more information, proposers should consult with OSPFD staff.
- For all awards from federal, state (non-UW System) and private sponsors (Fund 133 or 144 accounts): UW System annually provides fringe benefit rates by category of employee. When assessing fringe benefit costs to an extramural account, the rates in effect for the current fiscal year must be applied to the actual salary amount expended regardless of the rates funded by the sponsor or the actual costs of fringe benefits for any specific employee.
Current and upcoming fringe rates are found below:
|Employee Category||Effective 7/1/17|
|University Staff (Classified Staff)||66%|
|Limited Term Employee (LTE)||50%|
|Project, Teaching & Research Assistants||24%|
|Research Associate (Graduate Assistants) & Interns||12%|
|Ad Hoc Program Specialists & Undergraduate Assistants||11%|
|Undergraduate Student Employees||4%|
Several options are available for payments on a grant project. They include Compensation for Additional Service (CAS), Reassigned Time and Overload.
Compensation for Additional Service (CAS) a.k.a. Summer Pay
Summer salary is typically paid as Compensation for Additional Service (CAS), which represents an extension of contract to add one or more new calendar period(s) outside of a faculty member’s normal 9-month contract.
CAS is restricted to 22.2% per fiscal year. Institutional CAS generally is awarded in increments of 11.1% per month, not to exceed two summer months per PI of base salary (for the equivalent of one-month full-time equivalent work).
Note: CAS payments in excess of 22.2% of base salary require approval by the Provost and Vice-Chancellor.
Reassigned time constitutes a portion of faculty workload that is reassigned from teaching during the academic year to work on a sponsored project. Typically, reassigned time is calculated in terms of a percentage of teaching load, using student credit hours (SCH) as the unit of measure. A 3-credit hour course-equivalent reassignment, therefore, would be calculated at 12.5% of academic year base salary if the faculty member taught a full course load of 24 SCH.
Budgeting for replacement costs, rather than the full share of salary reassigned to the sponsored project, is strongly discouraged. Please confer with the Office of Sponsored Programs and Faculty Development prior to using this mechanism in a grant or contract budget.
Reassigned time is not normally an option for instructional academic staff. Please consult with the Office of Sponsored Programs and Faculty Development in such cases
Overload payments are for work of an unusual, short-term and non-recurring nature. The additional work requirements create a workload exceeding 100% of the employee’s time. There is a $12,000 limit on the amount a full-time employee may earn as “overload” per calendar year. Federal rules normally do not permit payment for work in excess of 100% of one’s assigned workload. Use of the overload pay mechanism for grant-related work is strongly discouraged, and should only be used with approval from the Office of Sponsored Programs & Faculty Development.
Grants vs. Gifts
GRANT: A sum of money given to an entity to carry out a specified purpose. Associated with institutional commitments such as tracking, effort reporting, completing annual or quarterly financial and/or scientific reports, etc.
GIFT: A gift is defined as a contribution with no tangible reciprocal benefit to the donor, and the institution is not required to provide financial or progress reports to the gifter.
To see a comparison of grants versus gifts, click here.
Helpful Budget Preparation Forms
- Simple State Budget Template (Coming Soon)
- Simple Federal Budget Template (Simple Federal Budget)
- “Title Definitions (UW System) for unclassified Staff” (Title Definitions-Unclassified Staff UW System)
Title definitions for unclassified staff in UW System can be found at the link above. For PIs planning to budget for project personnel salaries or wages, please use this document to determine the appropriate title for each individual. Titles will drive appropriate fringe rate to use for each person.
NOTE: Titles for students can be found starting on page 74 (“Employees in Training”)