Cost Accounting Standards Policies and Procedures

Proposal Development
Julie Wammack
May 2, 2012
Steps for Proposal
 Find funding that matches your research
Read the agency documents – RFP, agency
guidelines, etc.
Prepare proposal
Obtain institutional approvals
Submit the proposal to SRS
Contact SRS – ASAP
Establish a working relationship with the
administrator who will process your proposal
Administrator provides agency-specific
Questions about the proposal process can be
3-day submission policy
Documents needed for SRS
PI Responsibilities/SRS Responsibilities
Review ALL Proposal Documents
 Funding Announcement –
RFP, Program Solicitation, Bid, BAA
 Application Instructions
 Agency Guidelines
 All these documents provide information pertinent to
your proposal
These instructions must be followed or you risk the
proposal being rejected for non-compliance
Request for Proposal (RFP)
Program Description
Award Description
Eligibility (Limited Submission?)
Funding Limits
Deadlines – Due Dates for Submissions
Review/Evaluation Criteria
Award Administration
 Reporting requirements, etc.
Natl Endowment of the Humanities
Challenge Grants – Deadline 5/2/12
 Institutions that support research, education, preservation,
and public programming in humanities disciplines are
eligible to apply for an NEH challenge grant; institutions may
apply for only one NEH challenge grant in a calendar year.
The federal portions of NEH challenge grants have ranged
in recent years from $30,000 to $1 million
Successful applicants will be offered a matching grant;
recipients must raise three times the amount of federal
funds offered
Challenge grant funds, federal or nonfederal, may not be
used for . . . recovery of indirect costs . . .
Applicants are encouraged to submit a letter of intent and a
preliminary draft of the full narrative section of the
application. . .
Prepare the Proposal Application
 Download the application forms from the
agency website or upload the proposal
documents for, Fastlane or other
sponsor-specific electronic submission
 Check with the SRS to see if they handle any
of the required forms
 Fill-out forms in the application and attach
items that must be included
(Abstract, Project Narrative, Budget, Budget Narrative,
Biosketch, Current/Pending Support, etc.)
Standard NSF Grant Application
Project Summary – 1 page
Project Description (narrative) – 15 pages
Budget/Justification (3 pages)
Biosketches – 2 pages – specific format
Current/Pending Support
Data Management Plan
Postdoc mentoring plan if requesting support for
a postdoc
SRS Internal Documents
Transmittal Form
Scope of Work
Budget Justification
plus All other agency-required documents
NOTE: Proposal must be submitted to SRS in
ready-form for submission
Transmittal Form
Funding Announcement/Request for proposal
(RFP) or solicitation number
Proposal due date and project performance period
Name of PI/Co-PIs and departments involved
Distribution of the indirect costs between the
participating departments
Special commitments
Items that may need further review or certifications
 FSU must provide certain assurances,
representations, and certifications when
proposals are submitted or when accepting
an award
 Special Certifications may include
Animal subjects
Human subjects
Hazardous chemicals
Use of the FSU Marine Lab facilities
Institutional approvals
 Attach the entire agency application including
the RFP, with the Proposal Transmittal
 Route to all PI’s for signature
 Route to all associated Chairs and Deans for
 Route to Sponsored Research Services for
Submitting Transmittal
via OMNI
 OMNI proposal submissions include the
same information as a hardcopy proposal
submitted with the Proposal Transmittal Form
You attach the items electronically in the OMNI
You can route the proposal electronically
You can track approvals electronically
No running around
Electronic records are available 24/7
Submission Policy
 3 Day Rule -
The Vice President for Research
instituted a policy effective on February 1, 2006,
that states that a proposal must be submitted to
Sponsored Research Services (SRS) by 9am
three working days prior to the Agency deadline
You may work on the technical narrative until 9am
on the day of submission
SRS needs ample time to review the proposal and
institutional commitments
Subcontracts or collaborations are also subject to
this rule
SRS Internal
the previous Wednesday at 9 A.M.
the previous Thursday at 9 A.M.
the previous Friday at 9 A.M.
Monday of the same week at 9 A.M.
Tuesday of the same week at 9 A.M.
*Saturday and Sunday are not business days and do not count towards the
3-day rule. You should treat Friday as the deadline, so the internal
proposal deadline is Tuesday of the same week at 9 am.
*Some agencies move weekend and Federal holiday due dates to the next
business day – but it needs to be verified by the sponsor.
What Happens at Sponsored
Research Services
 Review the RFP
 Review the complete proposal for conformity
with the RFP and FSU policies and
 Review special commitments that are being
 Make sure all parties have approved the
 Check the budget and budget justification
Budget Development
1. Direct Cost Categories
2. F&A/Indirect Costs or “overhead”
3. Cost-sharing
4. C.A.S. exemption items
Direct Costs
 Direct costs are those costs that can be
identified specifically with a particular
sponsored project, an instructional activity, or
any other institutional activity, or that can be
directly assigned to such activities relatively
easily with a high degree of accuracy.
Indirect Costs - F&A - Overhead
 Indirect costs are those that are incurred for
common or joint objectives and, therefore,
cannot be identified readily and specifically
with a particular sponsored project, an
instructional activity, or any other institutional
FSU’s Indirect Cost Rates
Indirect Cost Rates are applied depending
on the following:
 Type of Agency
 Location of Project (on/off campus/Mag
 Type of Project
 Solicitation
Budget – Types of Projects
 A systematic study directed toward fuller scientific
knowledge and understanding gained of the subject
 The teaching and training activities of an institution
Other Sponsored Activity
 This includes programs and projects which involve
the performance of work other than instruction or
organized research
F&A Bases - MTDC
 Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) consists of all
salaries and wages, fringe benefits, materials,
supplies, services, travel, and subgrants/subcontracts
up to the first $25,000 of each subgrant/subcontract
 MTDC excludes equipment, capital expenditures,
charges for patient care, tuition remission, rental
costs of off-site facilities, scholarships, fellowships,
and the portion of each subgrant/subcontract in
excess of $25,000
 Typically applied to federal-funded projects
F&A Bases - TDC
 Total Direct Costs (TDC) – consists of all
direct costs
 FSU policy - exclude matriculation from F&A
 Typically applied to non-federal funded
Sample Budget
Total Direct
Indirect Costs
Total Requested
$ 3,000
$ 2,000
$ 3,000
$ 2,000
$ 6,500
Cost Sharing
• Costing sharing or matching is that portion of project
costs not borne by the sponsor.
• A cost sharing commitment means any cost sharing
included and quantified (e.g., % of effort and/or dollar
amount) in the proposal budget, proposal narrative or
award document. The award document may incorporate
the commitment directly or by reference to the proposal.
Commitments must be authorized by the
department chair, dean and Division of Sponsored
Research prior to submitting the proposal.
• Project enhancement means describing "resources that
are available" for the project but are not quantified in the
proposal budget, narrative or other documents. This is 25
not considered a cost sharing commitment.
FSU Cost Sharing Policy
• The policy of the University is to make a cost sharing
commitment only when required by the sponsor or
by the competitive nature of the award and then to
cost share only to the extent necessary to meet the
specific requirements of the sponsored project.
• Should a PI have reason to request an exception to
this policy, his or her chair or director must approve
the request. The PI will then forward it for approval to
his or her dean, or to the University official who
oversees the PI's unit;
• Requires VPR approval, also.
• Cost sharing is approved at the proposal stage.
Salaries & Wages
Include faculty, technicians, post-docs,
graduate students, & other personnel who are
assigned to the project
NOTE: for Federal projects administrative &
clerical personnel normally fall within the
indirect costs category and cannot be charged
as “direct costs”
Fringe Benefits
 Faculty/A&P/USPS
 Retirement
 Health Insurance
 Social Security & Medicare
 Worker’s Comp & Unemployment
 OPS Students
 Worker’s Comp & Unemployment
(*Grad students - salary supplement for health insurance)
 OPS Non-students
 Medicare
 Worker’s Comp & Unemployment
 Terminal Leave Pool
 Outside individuals with expertise and skills
that will add value to project
 Costs are usually listed in terms of daily rate
 Consultants are typically paid in the form of a
 Consultants never listed in the salaries &
wages section and faculty & other FSU staff
should not be listed as consultants
• Items costing $5,000 or more with a useful life of 1 year or
• Items costing below $5,000 are considered
materials/supplies and should be identified on that line
• Equipment should be detailed in the budget justification
• Equipment requests should only include those items
needed to complete the project
Equipment – A-21
(3) "Special purpose equipment“
means equipment which is used only for
research, medical, scientific, or other
technical activities. Examples of special
purpose equipment include
microscopes, x-ray machines, surgical
instruments, and spectrometers.
*Can be charged as a direct cost
Equipment – A-21
(4) "General purpose equipment“ means
equipment, which is not limited to research,
medical, scientific or other technical activities.
• Examples include office equipment and
furnishings, modular offices, telephone
networks, information technology equipment
and systems, air conditioning equipment,
reproduction and printing equipment, and motor
• Cannot be charged as a direct cost
Agency Specific Guidance
National Science Foundation (NSF)
 Allowable items ordinarily will be limited to research
equipment and apparatus not already available for
the conduct of the work. General-purpose
equipment, such as a personal computer and
office furnishings, are not eligible for support
unless primarily or exclusively used in the actual
conduct of scientific research.
Department of Energy (DOE)
 Allowable items ordinarily will be limited to scientific
equipment and apparatus not already available for
the conduct of the work.
Agency Specific
• General-purpose equipment (e.g., personal computers and/or
commercial software) valued at or above $5,000 is not
allowable as a direct cost unless specifically approved by
the NASA Award Officer.
• Any requested general-purpose equipment purchase valued at
or above $5,000 to be made as a direct charge under this award
must include the equipment description, an explanation of how it
will be used in the conduct of the research proposed, and a
written certification that the equipment will be used
exclusively for the proposed research activities and not for
general business or administrative purposes.
Supplies and materials related to the project
 Can be listed in budget as broad categories such as
glassware, chemicals or art supplies
Minor equipment costing < $5,000
 If the item is equipment costing $1,000 to $4,999 and
has a useful life of a year or more, then it is excluded
from the indirect cost base when calculating indirect
costs from Federal sponsors
NOTE: For Federal projects, routine office supplies are
normally treated as an indirect costs (paper, pencils,
post-it notes, etc.)
C.A.S. Exemptions
In exceptional circumstances it may be appropriate to charge F&A
costs directly to a sponsored project.
If the nature of a sponsored project requires an extensive amount of
administrative and/or clerical support or goods/services significantly
greater than the routine level provided by an academic department,
then the effort is deemed an exceptional circumstance and such
costs can be accounted for as direct costs.
An Exemption is REQUIRED to direct charge administrative and
clerical salaries and other administrative-type expenses.
In addition to meeting definition of exceptional circumstances, costs
must be specifically identifiable to a particular sponsored project, be
reasonable, allowable and allocable.
C.A.S. Exemptions
• CAS exemption must be approved in advance of
charges normally classified as F&A being charged
directly to a project – at the proposal stage
• Complete CAS form
• Submit to Director, Sponsored Research Services
NOTE: FSU (SRS) needs to approve the C.A.S.
exemption; agency approval is not adequate because
FSU is audited on these items
 Project-related travel is usually allowed and
may include trips to collect data, present
findings at a professional meeting, meetings
with program officers or collaborators, etc.
 Reimbursement of costs should be consistent
with FSU’s travel policy
 Most agencies (and SRS) require a break-
down of funds requested, such as airfare,
hotels, car rental, etc.
 Represents a collaboration of work by one or more
other institutions
 Costs for subawardee is presented in a separate line
item and should include both the subawardee’s direct
and F&A costs
 A subaward detailed budget should be included as
part of budget justification
 Subawardee’s F&A costs are calculated in
accordance with the subawardee’s negotiated F&A
rate agreement
 Contractual agreements for services or goods with an
outside party are not included in this category
Subawards / Subcontracts
If a collaboration is proposed we will need the
following from each collaborator
Letter of commitment from the Sponsored
Program Office (not PI)
Scope of work for their activities
Budget Justification
Other Direct Costs
 This category contains all other proposal
costs, i.e., animal per diems, publication
charges, graphic fees, matriculation,
communications, shipping, etc.
NOTE: Postage, local telephone, and
memberships are normally treated as F&A
costs on federal projects
 Matriculation costs (minimum of 9 hrs) should be
included for graduate assistants supported by the
 Graduate Matriculation Rate for 12-13 is $403.51/hr
or $10,895 for 27 hours (in-state)
 If matriculation costs are not included in budget, an
alternate source for paying must be identified (waiver
2 or 3 on transmittal form)
 FSU excludes matriculation from F&A calculations in
all proposals
Multiyear proposals should include a 15%
increase in matriculation costs annually
 Out of state matriculation is not an allowable
cost in most circumstances
 College of Engineering may apply out of
state rates to their proposals
 Certain training grants allow out of state
matriculation. Check the sponsor
 Fees are not an allowable cost unless
applying for a training grant
Submission to Sponsor
 Who is responsible for submission to the
agency or sponsor?
Hardcopy proposals = PI
Electronic proposals = Sponsored Research
Notice of Intent to Award
 The proposal has been sent off, and the
funding agency has now made a funding
decision . . .
Congratulations! The agency has
recommended funding for your project!
 Intent to Award may arrive in different forms
Letter to PI and/or Sponsored Research
Funding agency electronic funding mechanism
A grant or contract arrives in the mail
Agency Award Information
 This intent to award typically states the following:
 That your application has been selected for funding
 Next step requirements of the funding agency
Revised budget
 Scope of work
 Animal subject protocols
 Human subjects approvals
 Revision of time period for project
 Certifications
Anticipated start date of the award
NOTE: A grant or contract received in the mail also
requires some of the items listed above
Additional Information
 If new budget or scope of work is needed:
This typically occurs when a funding agency
reduces the amount being funded from what
you requested. If you are being funded a
significant amount less than requested,
typically your scope of work should be
You will need to work with Sponsored Research
Services and your department to obtain the
required approvals for your new budget and time
commitments to re-submit to the agency
Advance Spending
 Project set up in Advance - is the internal set-up of a budget
number from which you may begin work and start spending
 Request for Advance form can be found on
 Implications of an advance
Research / Personnel
 SRS looks at many factors
Anticipated award date
Agency pre-award spending regulations
Agency assurance of award
Department Guarantee of Advance Request

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