VASSAR COLLEGE GRANTS OFFICE TABLE OF CONTENTS
Vassar College Grants Office ___________________________________________________ 0 I. Mission ________________________________________________________________________ 0 II. Staff__________________________________________________________________________ 1 III. Administrative Procedures for the Preparation of Proposals and Implementation of
Grant-supported Projects ____________________________________________________________ 1 IV. Locating Funding Sources and Preparing Your Proposal ____________________________ 3 V. Proposal Budget Preparation _____________________________________________________ 5 VII. Post-Award Grant Administration ______________________________________________ 11 Appendices _________________________________________________________________ 12 APPENDIX A. Faculty Research Grant Sources ______________________________________ 12 SEARCHABLE DATABASE _____________________________________________________________12 FEDERAL FUNDING ___________________________________________________________________12 NON-FEDERAL FUNDING ______________________________________________________________13 LEAVE FUNDING SOURCES ____________________________________________________________14 APPENDIX B. Tips for Writing Successful Proposals __________________________________ 16 APPENDIX C. Institutional Sign-Off Form___________________________________________18
Vassar College Grants Office
The Grants Office assists faculty members in securing research funds from external sources and works with the senior officers of the College and the faculty to secure and administer grants for the College’s institutional needs (for example, curricular initiatives, student services,
scholarships and capital projects). Faculty interested in securing funding for research projects, equipment or curricular revision and enhancement should contact the Office at an early date for assistance in identifying funding sources and preparing proposals. Any formal application for funding must be reviewed by the Grants Office and approved by the Dean of the Faculty. The Office provides guidelines, application forms, and the College’s sign-off form. It also provides assistance with proposal development, budget calculations, compliance issues,
renegotiation of budgets with the funding agency, and establishment of segregated accounts and payroll approvals relating to grant personnel.
The Grants Office provides staff support for the Committee on Research, which makes awards from internal college funds to support faculty research (Please see Section B. III in the Faculty Handbook).
James M. Olson, Director of Corporate, Foundation, and Governmental Relations, x 5376, jaolson
Amanda Thornton, Director of Grants Administration, x 5309, amthornton
Dionne Jackson, Assistant Director of Corporate, Foundation, and Government Relations,
X 7092, dijackson
Mary Elizabeth Griffith, Administrative Assistant, x 5490, magriffith Ellen McGuire, Administrative Assistant, x 7652, elmcguire
III. Administrative Procedures for the Preparation of Proposals and Implementation of Grant-supported Projects
The following procedures are outlined in section B. III of the Faculty Handbook:
A. The applicant should first consult with the department chair both to alert the chair of the intention to apply for external funding and to determine whether any aspects of the proposed research could impede other functions in the department.
B. The applicant may then work with the Grants Office in locating potential sources of support. The directors and staff will assist the applicant in making contact with potential sponsors, in securing appropriate guidelines and application forms, in developing strategies for the project budget, in understanding compliance regulations, and in providing other kinds of requested technical assistance (see Section IV, below).
C. Having clearly identified funding source(s), the applicant may proceed with the preparation of an application in consideration of the terms, conditions, funding limitations and other restrictions of the sponsoring organization and Vassar College (please see the check list on the Vassar Grant Transmittal Sign-off Form, Appendix D).
D. When the application is complete, the applicant should forward one copy of the proposal packet (draft narrative, final cover sheet, final budget pages, other signature pages) and the sign-off form to the department chair for review and signature. In addition to signing off on the grant application, the department chair may send a separate recommendation to the Dean of the Faculty concerning the application.
E. The applicant should then forward the proposal packet and the sign-off form to the Grants Office, which will be responsible for circulating the proposal to all other signatories. That office will review the application for compliance with the guidelines of the sponsoring organization. The Office of the Dean of the Faculty will review the proposal for its
appropriateness to the academic mission of the College. Financial officers will review the project budget for consistency with the fiscal standards of the College. The applicant should initiate this internal review process by dropping off completed materials at the Grants Office seven working days before the application deadline.
F. The Grants Office will inform the grant applicant as soon as the internal review has been completed.
G. Although Grants Office personnel can provide assistance, the applicant will be responsible for mailing or electronically submitting the final application to the sponsoring organization and for providing a copy of the final proposal to the Grants Office.
H. If the original budget must be renegotiated with the fund source prior to final award, the applicant must consult with the Grants Office before submitting the revised budget to the funding organization.
I. When the final award letter is received, the grant recipient should send a copy of the letter to the Grants Office and work with the directors to establish a grant budget in the College’s accounting system and to prepare a schedule of salary remuneration for grant personnel, if applicable. From that point forward, the grant recipient should work directly with Lora Gannon, the grants accountant in the Controller’s Office, on all financial transactions and financial reports.
J. In cases where there is a significant change in salaried personnel on the grant and in cases where there is a request for an adjustment in excess of 10% on any line item of expense, the project director must consult with the Grants Office to ensure compliance with the funder’s grant policies and the College’s financial standards. In most instances, internal written justifications will be required for the rebudgeting and, as necessary, prior approvals of the budget adjustment will be required from the fund source.
K. Grant recipients should carefully review their fiduciary responsibilities for program reports and financial reports to the sponsoring organization as outlined in the award letter. The timeliness and quality of those reports may affect both the faculty member’s and the institution’s ability to secure further support from the funding organization.
This series of pre-award and post-award procedures does not preclude informal discussion of project plans at any time between the applicant and other faculty colleagues and administrative officers of the College.
IV. Locating Funding Sources and Preparing Your Proposal
To begin your search for funding sources, please consult Appendix A in this manual. In addition, Vassar subscribes to two grants databases:
SPIN http://www.infoed.org/new_spin/spinmain.asp IRIS (http://www.library.uiuc.edu/iris/
You may access these databases from any campus computer. Please contact the Grants Office for assistance in using these databases.
The Grants Office provides updated information (including imminent deadlines) on grant sources to all faculty by means of email "Grants E-Bulletins" during the academic year. Please make an appointment with a member of the Grants Office staff (Diana Altegoer for humanities, arts and non-quantitative social sciences; Jim Olson for science, mathematics, quantitative social science, and education) to review your research plans and needs.
Tips for writing your proposal are provided in Appendix B. With sufficient lead time, the Grants Office staff will be pleased to review your proposal, check for compliance with Vassar policies, help in the interpretation of grant guidelines or instructions, and assist in the preparation of the budget. The Grants Office can provide or help you obtain information on Vassar's computing services, library resources, scientific equipment, and campus facilities. An Institutional Fact Sheet containing basic information about the College is updated each year and is available from the Grants Office (please see Appendix C).
The following information is often required for grant applications: 1. The following codes are available from the Grants Office:
•Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
•Federal awardee authorization code
2. The following financial documents are available from the Grants Office:
•A letter that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, stating that the IRS has
determined that Vassar College is a not-for-profit organization pursuant to section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code
•Audited financial statement.
•Current Vassar College operating budget 3. Legislative Districts:
•41st New York State Senate District, represented by Steven Saland
•97th New York State Assembly District, represented by Joel Miller.
V. Proposal Budget Preparation
A. Salary Calculations. Please also consult Section B, III of the Faculty Handbook. 1. Faculty
a. Summer Grant Salary
In applying for external funding, faculty may seek summer salary. Such requests should assume a nine-month academic salary (the 12 monthly payments currently received by faculty are a personal and administrative convenience). Thus, each month of summer research represents 1/9 of the salary base. Support may vary according to the scholar’s degree of
commitment to the project (e.g. 25%, 50%, 100% effort) and the duration of the research activity (e.g. 1/9, 2/9, 3/9). It is appropriate to reflect a salary increase of 5% for each year of effort on a multi-year project.
In some cases, fund sources have established a maximum level of summer salary support (e.g. NSF allows 2/9 at 100% effort). Other funding
organizations have a predetermined flat research stipend, regardless of the scholar’s salary base. In some instances, agencies have eliminated salary support as an eligible project cost. Consult with the Grants Office for further information.
b. Academic Year Grant Salary
If allowed by the funding agency and approved by the applicant’s chair and the Dean of the Faculty, grant salary may be used during the academic year to buy released time from teaching and other duties on a prorated basis.
Normally, each course of released time is calculated as being equal to 1/5 of the faculty member’s annual salary.
Academic year grant support may also be used for unpaid leaves or to extend sabbatical leaves. Faculty are strongly encouraged to seek outside support during sabbaticals in order to help defray the costs to the College. Academic year grant income, in combination with contractual salary, may not exceed 9/9 at 100% effort.
Faculty who wish to seek grant support for research projects during the academic year should discuss such plans well in advance with their
department chair and with the Dean of the Faculty. They should also consult the Grants Office. Grant applications that include such support must have the approval of the Dean of the Faculty.
c. Research Income Disclosure
Faculty are expected to provide full disclosure of all sources of research support—actual and pending—as part of the grant application. Many fund
sources require such information and, in the case of federal agencies, it is common practice to have interagency discussions of “level of effort” and “research relatedness” for any single scholar whose research is support by several agencies.
Faculty may, with appropriate disclosure, apply to multiple funding sources for the same project, but they will have to choose only one in the case of multiple letters of award. For further information, consult the Grants Office. 2. Academic Administrators and Other Staff
Academic administrators and other college staff participating in grant-funded research may ordinarily seek extra remuneration only if their appointments are less that 12 months per year and less than full-time. Each month of grant effort represents 1/12 of the annual salary base.
Under special circumstances, full-year, full-time employees may petition for the use of grant funds to buy released time from normal responsibilities to the College. The administrator or staff person must have the approval of his or her supervisor at the time of application and in advance of participation in the remunerated project activity. 3. Short-term Grant Personnel
All appointments to research positions on external grants are subject to the hiring and employment standards of the College and must comply with federal employment regulations and any special provisions mandated by the fund source.
While Vassar encourages funding for noncontinuing personnel who will bring creative efforts to a successful research enterprise, the College is under no obligation to maintain the services of short-term grant personnel beyond the funding levels and defined project period of any research award.
Depending on the scope and nature of the research agenda, a faculty member may hire research personnel in a variety of different capacities. These include senior research personnel, technical and clerical personnel, and student researchers. Grant funds must provide all salary and benefits, as well as meet the recruiting costs for each position.
Senior research personnel normally will hold an advanced degree in the field of research and will have suitable professional experience for carrying out independent research tasks. Prior to official appointment, the faculty project director supply curriculum vita for the appointee so that a letter of appointment and a contract can be generated. For further information, consult the Grants Office.
Technical and clerical personnel ordinarily will demonstrate sufficient background and prior experience to perform duties assigned by the faculty project director. The faculty member must provide, to the Director of Human Resources, sufficient
corresponding grade level at the College. For further information, consult the Director of Human Resources.
Student researchers ordinarily will be chosen for the educational relevance of the research to their program of study and their demonstrated aptitude in performing research tasks. It is the responsibility of the faculty project director to verify the student’s employment eligibility and financial aid status with Karen Ehlers, Director of Student Employment. Academic year wages should be equal to or higher than the research assistant hourly rate determined annually by the Student Employment Office.
In 2004-05 the hourly rate for students is $6.50 for a maximum of 8 hours/week for a first-year student; 9 hours/week for a sophomore; and 10 hours per week for juniors and seniors.
Summer wages should be prorated, in terms of the weeks of employment, in
accordance with the College’s summer research programs in the sciences (URSI) and in the humanities and social sciences (Ford Scholars). URSI and Ford student’s stipends are $3,200 for 10 weeks. The URSI and Ford Scholars stipends cover the student's summer earnings requirement (defined by the Financial Aid Office) as well as room and board. For further information about a student’s eligibility, consult with the Director of Student Employment.
B. Fringe Benefits
1. Faculty and Administrative Personnel
Based on the College's current agreements with federal agencies, the prevailing composite fringe benefit rate is 30.8% on all continuing faculty, administrative, technical and clerical salaries. At a minimum, faculty must request 7.65% for FICA.
2. Short-Term Grant Personnel
For grant-funded personnel working on projects more than six months, the project director should request at a minimum FICA and medical insurance for the short-term employee (please contact the Grants Office for assistance in calculating this figure). Full benefits at the prevailing College rate of 30.8% may be requested if the fund source includes benefits as an eligible project cost.
The prevailing fringe benefit rate for students is 7.65%. This represents the College's obligatory contribution to FICA.
Students participating In the URSI and Ford Scholars programs are exempt from the FICA requirement because these research projects have direct
educational relevance to their undergraduate programs of study. C. Travel Costs
Please calculate automobile mileage at 37.5 cents per mile. Where possible, please attempt to reserve air travel at economy class with 14-day or greater advanced booking.
Federal agencies require that international air travel normally take place on U.S. airlines. Price quotations may be secured online or from a travel agent (for example, Hooker Avenue Travel, 454-1600).
D. Equipment Costs
For projects requiring the purchase of new equipment, please contact the Purchasing Office at x 5841. Please identify the name of the equipment, special features, and possible vendors so that Purchasing can respond with appropriate cost estimates, including shipping, insurance, and related costs.
For projects requiring the purchase of computing equipment, please consult with the Computing and Information Systems at x7220 on matters of compatibility, service, and maintenance.
E. Facility Costs
Some grant activities require alteration of space, changes in HVAC systems, or modifications of other utility systems. Please consult with your department chair and with Buildings and Grounds at x 7270 for feasibility, cost estimates, and code
regulations. F. Matching Funds
Some grant programs have formal matching requirements; that is, Vassar must provide a portion of the project costs. Please consult with your department chair on possible sources of matching funds in your departmental budget. The Office of the Dean of the Faculty has limited funds available to provide matching support for faculty research grants. Please contact Robert Suter, Associate Dean of the Faculty. The Grants Office will help interpret matching requirements.
G. Indirect Costs
Indirect costs reflect the true costs colleges and universities incur in providing facilities, equipment, utilities, maintenance, administrative time, and other resources necessary for a productive environment.
For proposals submitted to federal agencies (e.g. NSF, NIH, NEH), Vassar has negotiated an indirect cost rate of 60.8% of salaries and wages. (This rate was determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). This rate applies to projects
conducted on-campus. If your project is conducted off-campus (that is, at facilities not owned by Vassar College), the rate is 17.8%. (For projects conducted both on- and off-campus, use the rate where the majority of the work will be done.)
Indirect costs are applied only on direct salaries and wages exclusive of fringe benefits. Vassar does not request indirect costs on such expenses as travel, supplies and
VII. Post-Award Grant Administration
After a grant has been received the principal investigator should meet with Grants Office personnel to discuss any sponsor-required budget modifications, the establishment of a grant account, and procedures for salary disbursement to project staff members supported by the grant. After a grant account is in force, the principal investigator should consult with Lora Gannon in the Controller's Office (logannon; x 5893) for any specific questions regarding the financial status of the grant account.
Reporting requirements should be closely followed. For research projects, faculty members are responsible for the preparation and timely submission of reports to funding agencies. In the case of institutional grants, Grants Office personnel will monitor reporting requirements, gather information on the implementation of the project, and coordinate the writing and submission of reports.
During the life of the grant faculty members should contact the Grants Office if they anticipate changes in the scope, duration, or budget of a project. In some cases, it may be necessary to receive permission from the sponsoring agency.
Appendices APPENDIX A. Faculty Research Grant Sources
SEARCHABLE DATABASES -- Please access through a Vassar computer SPIN http://www.infoed.org/new_spin/spinmain.asp. IRIS http://www.library.uiuc.edu/iris/ FEDERAL FUNDING Grants.gov
A new, growing on-line clearing house for all federal agencies. Department of Education
http://web99.ed.gov/GTEP/Program2.nsf Environmental Protection Agency
http://es.epa.gov/ncer/ National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Humanities http://www.neh.gov/grants/index.html NEH Fellowships
http://www.neh.gov/grants/guidelines/fellowships.html NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes
http://www.neh.gov/projects/si-university.html NEH Summer Stipends
http://www.neh.gov/grants/guidelines/stipends.html National Institutes of Health
http://www.nih.gov/ NIH AREA Program
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/area.htm NIH Forms and PHS 398 Guidelines
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html#forms National Science Foundation
CAREER (Early Career Development)
http://www.nsf.gov/home/crssprgm/career/start.htm Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement
Research in Undergraduate Institutions and Research Opportunity Awards http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/crssprgm/rui/start.shtm
Major Research Instrumentation
http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2004/nsf04511/nsf04511.htm NSF Guide to Programs
http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?gp National Research Council – Office of International Affairs
http://www4.nas.edu/oia/oiahome.nsf U.S. Department of Agriculture
http://www.csrees.usda.gov/fo/fundview.cfm?fonum=1112 U.S. Institute of Peace
http://www.usip.org/ NON-FEDERAL FUNDING
American Philosophical Society
http://www.amphilsoc.org/grants/#details DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation http://www.dreyfus.org/
CUR Summer Fellowships
http://www.cur.org/UGSF.html German Marshall Fund
IREX – International Research and Exchanges Board http://www.irex.org/
http://www.lindberghfoundation.org/ NATO – Scientific Environmental Affairs
National Council for Eurasian & East European Research http://www.nceeer.org/
Petroleum Research Fund
http://www.chemistry.org/portal/a/c/s/1/acsdisplay.html?DOC=prf%5cindex.html Research Corporation
http://www.rescorp.org/ Spencer Foundation
LEAVE FUNDING SOURCES American Antiquarian Society
http://www.americanantiquarian.org/longterm.htm American Association of University Women
http://www.aauw.org/fga/fellowships_grants/index.cfm American Council of Learned Societies
http://www.acls.org/ American Philosophical Society
http://www.amphilsoc.org/grants/sabbatical.htm Consortium of Humanities Centers & Institutes
DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) http://www.daad.org/
http://www.folger.edu/academic/fellows.asp Ford Post-Doctoral Fellowships for Minorities
http://www7.nationalacademies.org/fellowships/fordpost.html Fulbright Hays Faculty Research Abroad
Fulbright Program – Council for Int’l Exchange of Scholars http://www.cies.org
Getty Grant Program
http://www.getty.edu/grants/research/scholars/index.htm Guggenheim Foundation http://www.gf.org/ Howard Foundation http://www.brown.edu/Divisions/Graduate_School/howard/ Huntington Library http://www.huntington.edu/ResearchDiv/Fellowships.html Institute for Advanced Study
IREX – International Research and Exchanges Board http://www.irex.org/
Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov
National Council for Eurasian & East European Research http://www.nceeer.org/
National Endowment for the Humanities – Fellowship Program http://www.neh.gov/grants/guidelines/fellowships.html National Humanities Center
http://www.nhc.rtp.nc.us/ National Research Council
http://www4.nationalacademies.org/pga/rap.nsf New York Public Library
http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/scholars/fellowship.html Newberry Library
http://www.newberry.org/newberryhome.html Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
http://www.radcliffe.edu/index.php Rotary International Foundation
http://www.rotary.org/foundation/educational/un_teach/index.html Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture
http://www.nypl.org/research/sc/scholars/applicationa.html Smithsonian Institution
http://www.si.edu/ofg/ Social Science Research Council
http://www.ssrc.org/ Woodrow Wilson Center
APPENDIX B. Tips for Writing Successful Proposals A. Getting Started
•Before you begin, know the project for which you seek funding. Display knowledge, background, current information about the project or related field(s), its significance in the discipline, and the relationship of this research to your previous scholarship.
•Choose funding agencies whose priorities fund projects similar to the one you are
•Do not limit your funding search to one source.
•Look for all available information about funding source and proposal guidelines. Check eligibility, average size of awards and maximum amount available, previous awards, proposal requirements and format, deadlines, evaluation criteria and process.
•Speak with a program officer, previous reviewers, and successful colleagues so you begin the process armed with as much information as possible.
•Outline the details of the proposal before you begin to write – narrative, timetable, methodology, budget, personnel, and institutional commitment.
•Know the literature and use references to strengthen the need for funding your project. B. Suggestions on Writing
•Base the proposal on a good idea that fills a gap in the knowledge of your discipline.
•Be realistic --- Ask for as much funding as you really need to support the period of time
in which you can successfully complete the research.
•Use language that is straightforward, concise, and direct. Be sure that you clearly and completely outline the project.
•Explain the urgency/timeliness of your work.
•Explain why YOU are the person to complete this research, i.e. provide evidence that the project can be completed successful by you.
•Read the guidelines carefully. Then read them again. After you have completed the proposal, read them once more.
•Follow the directions COMPLETELY. Some proposals demand type sizes, margins, page numbers in particular places etc.
•If appropriate, describe effective dissemination.
•If appropriate, describe a credible evaluation plan.
•Be sure that your audience can understand your proposal. Write specifically to the reviewers and/or program officers who will read your proposal.
•Be honest. State what you expect to be the outcomes, what pitfalls or alternative approaches could arise and contingency plans you might investigate.
•Use terminology correctly – e.g. Goals and Objects: 1) Objectives are specific,
measurable outcomes – promised improvements in the situation you described in the need statement; 2) Goals are broad statements of what you want to do. They cannot be
•Make sure that you are consistent and that figures and/or text in the narrative, budget, and abstract all say the same thing.
•Use a style that displays your competence, your excitement for the work, and the importance and timeliness of the project;
•After you have completed the narrative and the budget, write the abstract and create a title. It is important that these components represent the entire proposal. Since it is the first thing the reviewer and/or program officer will see, be sure it is accurate, describes your proposal, and reflects the goals, objectives and importance of your research.
•The abstract or proposal summary: May be the first (or only) thin a funding agency reads; it must be clear and concise; it should describe who you are, the scope of the project, and should give the project cost.
C. Getting the Proposal Out the Door
•Understand that the first draft needs revision. Get help. Ask colleagues within and beyond your discipline to review it. Ask your grants director to edit.
•Check deadlines carefully. Do not confuse “postmarked by” with “must be received in this office by.” Know that deadlines are not negotiable.
•Make sure that your institution is aware of your proposal application and is prepared to sign-off on it. If institutional commitment is a component, get appropriate cover letter stating intent.
•Use the guidelines as a checklist and make sure everything in the proposal is included, in order, and sent to the correct address.
•Make enough copies (after institutional signatures) to send to all who have been involved in the process.
SIGN-OFF TRANSMITTAL FORM
Principal Investigator:___________________________________ Phone:_______________ Other Vassar Faculty:_________________________________Department:______________ Project Title: ___________________________________________________________ Project Period: From:__________ To:__________ Sponsoring Agency:_________________ Total $ Requested:_____________ Total $ Requested from Vassar College:______________
Does this project involve any of the following? Comments YES NO
1. Matching funds (list pages in the proposal that outline the match)
2. Cost sharing (list pages in the proposal that outline the cost share)
3. Released time for faculty 4. Leave of absence
5. Hiring of additional staff 6. Human subjects
7. Laboratory animals 8. Recombinant DNA
9. Additional space, remodeling or construction 10. Radioactive substance:
acquisition/maintenance/disposal 11. Toxic waste disposal
12. Summer salary
13. Student/faculty travel abroad
14. Acquisition of computing hardware/software (if so, sign-off by VP for CIS is required, below)
1. _____________________ ___/___/___ 4. ______________________ ___/___/___
Principal Investigator Dean of the Faculty
2. _____________________ ___/___/___ 5. ______________________ ___/___/___
Department Chair V.P. for Computing & Information Services
3. _____________________ ___/___/___ 6. _______________________ ___/___/___
Grants Officer Controller
7. _______________________ ___/___/___