Grants Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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Answers to the grants questions we hear most from faculty and staff.

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Grant Routing & Review Policy

Yes, proposals should be to Grant Services & Analysis no less than 7 working days prior to the sponsor’s deadline. Proposals are reviewed as quickly as possible in the order that they are received.

Grant Services & Analysis makes every possible attempt to review the proposal in the time frame provided, however there are no guarantees that proposals received after the School deadline will arrive on time to the sponsor.

The administrative shell is reviewed prior to approval. For specific information please see our Routing Medical School Proposals and Routing Non-Medical School Proposals information for what items are required and reviewed.

We need a signature for their institutional commitment – while this may be acceptable in a few different formats, the preferred method is to use the Letter of Commitment to Establish Subrecipient Agreement-Form 1, as this form covers all of the FCOI regulation requirements that are now in effect for many sponsors.

We also need to see their detailed budget pages, and any administrative pages submitted on their behalf. These may include the subK budgets, Key Personnel listings, and resources.

Budget/Justification Issues

Under the University negotiated contract, a GSRA may have only a 0.5 FTE or 50% effort to do research, while the other 0.5 FTE or 50% effort is assumed to be spent in course work. The university HR system will show the GSRA employment FTE as 0.5. Therefore, if 0.5 FTE is spent on research, then the research is considered 100% of the university appointment. When entering salary in detailed budget pages, list the stipend (university compensation rate), along with 100% University effort or 6 calendar months.

If only a portion of the GSRA’s time is spent on the project, divide the dedicated FTE (for instance 0.3 FTE on a project) by 0.5 for the effort % to represent or multiply the FTE spent by 12 months for the calendar months.

The salary requested on the budget format may appear incorrect, even when it is accurate. The following sentence may be added to the justification for clarification:

“GSRAs have a .5 FTE appointment at the University and the base salary reflects the reduced appointment.”

In addition to this statement, if the PI feels compelled to explain the employment arrangement in the justification, there are a few options that are approved by the Medical School:

“X will devote 100% of her appointment to this project. Under University of Michigan policy, GSRAs are contracted appointments of 6 calendar months.”

“X will devote 6 calendar months, which is equal to full time research effort for a GSRA.”

“X will spend his full university appointment, which, under GSRA contract, is 6 calendar months.”

Additionally, tuition is required when the GSRA has a minimum of 0.25 FTE, or 50% of a 0.5 FTE university appointment, dedicated to a project. If the GSRA is on multiple projects, then tuition may be shared in proportion to the effort spent between the projects.

NIH Proposals - General

This is listed on the NIH Website.

The SF424 instructions on the NIH Website.

On the ORSP website under Frequently Required Proposal Data.

These answers directly impact the Medical School ranking in the NIH rankings. The ‘Division’ should always be ‘Medical School’ for our faculty. The ‘Department’ should be the PI’s primary department even if they are submitting through the university on a center/unranked department organization code or department ID.

Yes, the abstract is required to be included on the PAF. We are interested in retaining a record of the proposed science (at least in overview) to be completed, not in the actual box being completed on the form page.

The University’s definition of Senior/Key Personnel is: “PI/PD and other U-M employees who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive way, whether or not they receive compensation or devote specific effort levels to the activity.” Note: the decision of who participates on the project as senior/key will be at the discretion of the Principal Investigator.

NIH doesn’t recognize the titles ‘Collaborator’ or ‘Co-PI’. NIH requires one person to have overall responsibility for the project as stated in their Grant Policy Statement; therefore, Co-PI is unrecognized. Only one person should be labeled the PI.

To replace the term Collaborator, NIH would like either ‘Consultant’ or ‘Co-Investigator’ to be used, depending on the level of input into the science, not necessarily the level of effort. Generally a participant may be labeled a co-investigator with 0% effort if they significantly impact the direction of the science. Similarly, a participant may be labeled a consultant with stated effort, if they are contributing expertise that they would use on any other project and not significantly impacting the direction of the research.

The Medical School expects that detailed budget proposals will be budgeted using the actual salaries of those participating (even though they may be over the cap) in case the cap changes prior to award. A notable exception may be when there is a direct or total cost cap on the proposal request. In that case, it may be better to intentionally use the cap as financial resources are specifically limited.

Please remember that either way you must be consistent across all UM investigators on a proposal (either all should be budgeted at the cap or all should be budgeted at actual).

You must have a biosketch for every person listed as senior/key personnel.

They are limited to 4 pages in length.

The Biosketch should include the following:

  1. Personal Statement
  2. Positions and Honors
  3. Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications
  4. Research Support (both ongoing and completed) – please note no dollars or effort should be listed on the Biosketch

Please visit our NIH Specifics, Tips & Tricks page for more information.

For unsolicited research proposals, other support is not submitted. There is a possibility that in response to a particular RFA, the instructions may ask for it specifically. All other times are when directly requested by NIH, generally when Just-in-Time information is requested. Please visit our NIH Specifics, Tips & Tricks page for more information.

We look for any commitment of space. We double check that it is appropriate and that it matches what is listed and signed for on the PAF. We ensure that the ‘Scientific Environment Contributing to the Success of the Project’ statement is present for all NIH or PHS applications following the SF424 form set.

  • Equipment- defined as something in which the cost is equal to or greater than $5,000 and has a useful life of greater than 2 years
  • Tuition
  • Each subcontract after its first $25,000
  • Patient care
  • Alterations & renovations
  • Rental space

Any costs (direct and indirect (F&A)) over $25,000 are excluded through the life of the project. That means UM only collects indirect (F&A) costs on the first $25,000 of each subcontract, not the first $25,000 each year.

NIH Modular Proposals

NIH proposals with activity codes R01, R03, R15, R21, R34 and have direct costs that request $250,000 or less in every year. Also, it may be required on proposals in which the particular RFA announcement asks for a modular budget. Visit the NIH website for more information.

Other than presentation of the budget forms and justification, all aspects of the submission are like the traditional NIH proposal. Modular budgets are $250,000 or less direct costs per year- requested in up to ten $25,000 modules. NIH expects proposals that have fairly consistent charges to average all 5 years to come up with a consistent module request for each of the 5 years. In some cases, exceptional purchases (equipment, additional personnel, etc.) may cause proposed costs to spike or dip in particular years. In these cases, the number of modules requested may be different over the 5 years, but an Additional Narrative Justification is necessary to explain the variation in the modules.

All of the administrative shell components need to be submitted for review. The only difference between the review of a modular proposal and the review of a categorical proposal are the budget and justification pages.

A modular proposal may include up to three justifications. 

  1. Personnel Justification - should include the name, title, calendar months devoted, and role on the project for all participating personnel.
  2. Consortium Justification – if the proposed project includes a subcontract the consortium justification must include the estimated total costs for each year rounded to the nearest $1,000, whether the subcontract institution is foreign or domestic, and the personnel from the subcontract site that are participating (name, title, calendar months, and role).
  3. Additional Narrative Justification – if the requested budget requires additional justification such as variation in the number of modules requested, or explanation of exclusions applied to the F&A base calculation they should be included here in their own document.

On modular proposals, indirect (F&A) cost calculation exclusions should be listed under the notes section on the PAF so that the department, school, and ORSP are aware of your cost considerations.

NIH K Awards

K Awards are part of the career award series, unlike a regular research award series (R). The application form set and budget pages differ between K and other research awards. K awards require an institutional commitment letter. The biosketch for the candidate on K awards is modified compared to the regular biosketch. K awards require that other support is submitted for mentors at time of application, but regular research awards use just-in-time concepts for other support. Please visit our NIH Specifics, Tips & Tricks page for more information.

eRPM & PAF

Maybe – when added as administrators they can access the PAF and enter information regarding their faculty (such as adding the appropriate space for their investigator).

Disclosure status of any investigator that has been added to the PAF can be viewed in eRPM by clicking on the ‘View Disclosure Information’ link under Manage Data on the left side of the project home page, or by clicking on the contacts tab of the project workspace.

Anyone can apply for funding as long as two things are true:

  1. The person meets the eligibility criteria of the sponsor
  2. The department will support the person to apply (including providing the requisite time, space and other resources required in the proposal)

Anyone that has an independent faculty appointment as dictated in the Standard Practice Guide is eligible to hold a PAF. At the Med School, we routinely recognize anyone with one of the following titles:

  • Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Assistant Professor
  • Clinical Professor
  • Clinical Associate Professor
  • Clinical Assistant Professor 
  • Research Scientist
  • Associate Research Scientist
  • Assistant Research Scientist
  • Research Investigator

The Principal Investigator, sponsor applicant, primary mentor, any other participants that meet the University’s definition of an investigator, and/or anyone listed as senior/key personnel on the sponsor’s application.

The University’s definition of an Investigator is:

“The Principal Investigator (PI) or Project Director (PD), Participating Investigators, Senior/Key personnel (as identified by the institution in a proposal or sponsor report), and any other individual identified by the PI/PD as responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of the research (i.e., not simply working on, or engaged in the project).”

eRPM will electronically route the PAF to the appropriate approvers based on the information entered into the PAF. Those units that would be included are listed below:

  • The PI’s department regardless of the PI’s effort
  • All other departments who have a faculty member with effort on the project
  • If any of these participating faculty members are from a department outside of the Medical School, that respective school’s Dean’s Office
  • All departments with space on the PAF must have someone authorized approve

IRB approval expires one year from the approval date.

IACUC approval expires three years from the approval date.

A conflict of interest may arise when a faculty member at the University has significant financial or personal interest in the company that is funding the sponsored project. If they or anyone participating on their project has significant interest they are obligated to check yes on the conflict of interest statement on the PAF. The PI answers the question on behalf of all participants, so they should check with the others participating on the project prior to signing.

Also, any project that involves participation from an outside company or entity that is owned by a member of the University faculty inherently has a statutory conflict of interest under the State of Michigan law. Even though the PI or participating faculty does not have a direct conflict of interest, the PAF should still be marked Yes.

All lab/research space is required to be listed on the PAF. If all of the research is done in an office instead of a lab, that office space should be listed on a PAF. Only the designated space signers that are responsible for the space may sign. eRPM will automatically route the PAF to the authorized signer for the non-hospital space that is entered. However, you can view a list of authorized Medical School signers, for other schools check the Blue Pages.

Hospital space can only be authorized by the Clinical Department Administrator (CDA) of the department occupying the space. Hospital administration has provided only those CDAs with signature authority. In many cases the PAF does not automatically route to the CDA when Hospital space is listed. If that is the case, please upload an email from the CDA noting approval of the specific space listed on the PAF.

PHS System-to-System Electronic Proposal Submission

Grant Services & Analysis currently has the authority to submit only PHS system-to-system electronic proposals.

Grant Services & Analysis strives to submit shortly after receiving the finalization notice.  We submit proposals in the order they are received, barring any complications found during final checks. For more information please see our Submission Service Policy.

FCOI

For answers to FAQs regarding FCOI, please click the link to the University's FCOI FAQs page.

Access to Data Systems

To request access to M-STAT go to:
https://www.umms.med.umich.edu/appaccess/howtogetaccess.do

To request access to M-DASH go to:
https://www.umms.med.umich.edu/appaccess/howtogetaccess.do

To request access to the MSGrants Database, email Heather Offhaus at [email protected].

Post-Award

The primary responsibilities are to support faculty in the pursuit and conduct of research. Post-award responsibilities include but are not limited to: project setup, project management, financial analysis & reporting, and project close-out.

If you believe information on the PAN or PAC is incorrect you should contact the ORSP Project Representative for the project to request a correction.

Requests for a no-cost time extension are initiated by completing a Post-Award Change Request Form. Sponsor approval is almost always required for non-federal awards and federal awards not subject to the Federal-wide Research Terms and Conditions. For federal awards that are subject to Federal-wide Research Terms and Conditions, sponsor approval is only required for a second or later extension.

Please submit your request for Dean’s signature to [email protected] for review and approval.

If you need salary cap guidance please contact Grant Services & Analysis at 3-4272 for assistance.

It is best practice to complete project review and reconciliation on a monthly basis. Information is available by the 5th business day of the month for the previous month.

It is recommended projects are reviewed with faculty on a monthly basis. Information is available by the 5th business day of the month for the previous month.

M-Reports Summary of Projects Report provides a list of projects you are the Administrative Contact for when you use the ‘Project Administrator’ search function.

The Outstanding Receivables M-Report lists revenue due.

The Finance Yearly Trend & Finance Five Year Trend M-Reports both provide monthly categorical breakdown of expenditures.

The P/G Budget Status M-Report contains balance information.

The P/G Info M-Report lists the Administrative Contact (you will need to enter the parent PG which can be found in the title of the subaccount after ‘sub of’).

Although M-Pathways auto reconciles many General Ledger (GL) transactions that have been reviewed and approved you should still be reviewing and verifying the expenses are allocated correctly to the project and taking corrective action as needed.

If you find an erroneous charge on an account it must be corrected in the system.

The Human Subject Incentives Program (HSIP) coordinates payments for subjects participating in research. The HSIP office provides customer service for processing subject incentives while assuring compliance for tax purposes and IRB regulations while protecting participant confidentiality.

Contact Us

BMRC Bridginq Questions:
[email protected]
 

Grant Services & Analysis 
Phone: 734-763-4272 
Email: [email protected]

About Us
The BMRC (Biomedical Research Council) is a standing committee of the Medical School with a broad representation of the research faculty that helps select limited submission applicants in the health sciences, drive the bridging program, and advise MM leadership on trends in biomedical research.

The BMRC and BMRC bringing program are supported by the Grant Services & Analysis office, a unit of the Medical School Office of Research, where our mission is to foster an environment of innovation and efficiency that serves the Michigan Medicine research community and supports biomedical science from insight to impact.