December 31, 2017, Grants.gov will officially retire the legacy PDF application package as a method to apply for a federal grant.
University's PINS record recommendation
Carefully follow the procedures required by the funding agency and allow adequate time for College and University reviews.
So that we may better align with the University’s PINS record recommendation and satisfy our sponsor’s requirement for an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) signature, a PINS record is required for an AOR signature for all types of external submissions.
- Proposal Budgets/Justifications: Do Not send proposal budgets and justifications via email for review. Our office will not review any budgets or justifications without the proper PINS record being completed and routed.
- Proper PINS Records: The PINS records should contain at least the following: budget, justification, cost sharing commitments, waiver/reduction of F&A and if applicable, the request for proposal (RFP). This will allow the faculty member to continue working on the science/technical portion.
- Four (4) Business Days for Processing All Proposals: However, we require seven (7) business days if they are being submitted via Grants.gov. If we are not granted the proper processing time, our office will not be responsible for any missed deadlines or incomplete proposal packages. We understand about occasional rushes and quick turnarounds, but this should be the exception and not the norm.
- University Operating Schedule: Our office hours are basically 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. We will work with our faculty within reason. If the University is officially closed, so is our office.
It is advantageous to have a PINS record in place because it enables us to better monitor and track all activity. This also allows the Principal Investigator (PI) to have a record of those initiatives in which they have expressed an interest and to monitor and track cost share that may have been committed.
It will also be beneficial in the event the PI is invited to submit a full proposal, making the internal paperwork task straightforward since we can simply clone the pre-proposal/white paper PINS record and make updates as needed.
Additionally, the PINS record provides an alert to our office as to the forthcoming activity, which is always welcomed so that we may prioritize and staff accordingly.
- Embedded terms and conditions
- Budgeting requirements of labor hours or labor rates
- Cost share
- Publication restrictions
- Export controls
- Intellectual Property (IP) issues or governing law
- Research: Separately budgeted scholarly or scientific investigation or inquiry; to study thoroughly.
- Instruction: Training or teaching activities (other than research training), including the development and distribution of curriculum in a matriculated setting such as at the University or for K-12 education. It does not include the development of training materials for a project otherwise in the Public Service or Extension domain — that would fall under Other Sponsored Activities.
- Other Sponsored Activities: Programs and projects that involve the performance of work other than instruction and research. Examples of such programs and projects are health service projects and community service programs.
- Editable Budget: SPARCS requires an editable budget to be uploaded in all PINS records, except NSF FastLane submissions, at the time of College approval. This will enable the SPARCS negotiator to make minor adjustments to the budget when working with a sponsor, thus eliminating the need for the change to go back to the PI, Department, and College.
- Statement of Work and Budget: All proposals must contain a separate Statement of Work and budget. Even if the sponsor does not require a budget, the PINS record must include an internal budget for account setup. A budget is an estimated financial representation of the proposal’s Statement of Work. Enough detail should be provided in the budget to demonstrate that the University’s costs are fair and reasonable, allocable and consistent. If the budget does not show enough detail, please provide a separate budget justification.
- Three-Day Workshop: If you have a three-day workshop or an event for a short duration, it is recommended you make the actual Period of Performance 180 days to allow for both pre-award and closeout.
PINS Proposal FAQ
You will want to include instructions to SPARCS if needed. Provide instructions that include anything specifically needed or expected. For example: include instructions if SPARCS is to send a specific agreement (i.e. SPA, PSWO) or if they are to contact the sponsor first before sending an agreement or the sponsor has requested certain terms (i.e., payment terms, deliverable schedule, etc.). Also provide the detail contact information (full name, title, mailing address and phone number).
This should not be checked when the proposal comes with a fully executed award or an MOA. Instead these should come with instructions to SPARCS that a fully executed award is included and ready for award. The same with STTR/SBIR proposals or other types of proposals with an industry direct sponsor and federal prime sponsor unless our industry sponsor has already been selected for funding.
One of the differences with the STTR type initiative is that it addresses specific technology research and more rules regarding IP issues. Hence, in the instance of an STTR application, you would ask yourself:
- Is there going to be any background IP used in this project, either NC State background IP or the sponsor’s background IP? If so, the background IP needs to be identified.
- Will there be any new technology developed from this project?
- Did we secure the sponsor’s contact information (P-O-C, address, phone number, email)? This will be necessary for SPARCS that draws up the AOR agreement.
Note: AOR agreements are no longer processed by the SPARCS office as a RUSH due to the risk associated with the University. Proper time is needed to research the existence of background IP and seek OTT’s guidance on the background IP.
- In the budget justification, clarify that NC State does not currently possess the equipment* being requested at any site/location on campus.
- In the instance of fabricated equipment, identify if the equipment is currently being manufactured by a company.
- If yes to (b), then compare the amount you are requesting from the sponsor for NC State to fabricate the equipment vs. the manufacturer’s purchase price or lease of the same equipment.
- For fabricated equipment, indicate the component listing and whether these price estimates are based upon catalog prices, vendor quotes or past experience purchasing similar items.
- Indicate if the equipment will be fully dedicated to the research project or if it will be prorated.
- State in your budget justification that NC State requests approval to retain title to the fabricated/purchased equipment (in this instance, we do not charge F&A on the fabricated/purchased equipment).
- If a grant includes equipment and/or if we are charging equipment to a grant, you will want to be sure at the time of award to secure a CAMS number for that equipment.
- If we initially proposed an equipment grant and later purchased items that would be considered supplies, you will need to adjust the F&A fee accordingly.
This information is not meant to stand alone as it is important to be familiar with and incorporate University, State, Federal and Sponsor guidelines when it concerns equipment purchases or fabrication.
Additionally, the current use rate that is provided by Eric Sills, OTT, i.e., $700/$750 for 1 TB of storage centrally maintained by NC State University, has expired. Contracts and Grants is in contact with Sills to develop a current rate that will be acceptable by the University and meet federal guidelines.
Therefore, if you elect to include these fees in your proposal, not only will you need to defend the costs to the extent that it is considered an unlike circumstance, but also need to state in the justification that these fees are contingent upon the University developing an acceptable user rate that meets federal guidelines.
NCSU Libraries: Data Management Planning for Researchers at NC State
- Subcontract: Completes tasks which enhance the scientific research goals and outcomes of the project. Provides analysis and offers suggestions regarding the research itself. The organization will contribute work and/or deliverables with little direct guidance from NC State University. The subcontractor is subject to compliance requirements of the program.
- Consultant: The task is to be accomplished through the efforts of one person (who is an established consultant) or by an established consulting firm. The task is singular in nature and is to be accomplished over a relatively short period of time. Generally, who is an individual who is not using any institutional or organizational facilities and is acting as a direct agent.
- Vendor: Performs services only (does not provide analysis or discretionary judgment) such as lab testing, report printing, website design, etc., that are part of regular business operations and are available to many different purchasers or customers.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
eRA Commons ID/Password
Faculty who wish to apply for NIH funding must have a current/valid User ID. Please contact Laurinda Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org with a cc to Pat Hayes at email@example.com with any eRA Commons requests. Please be sure and let us know of any prior NIH support. We would need the IC and the serial number of said support.
Avoiding Common Errors
Going through the final checks will help you avoid errors and successfully submit your application! For additional help avoiding common errors check out our Annotated Forms with field-by-field tips on completing electronic grant application forms.
Internal Forms, Templates and Agreements
As a reminder, when one requests a Pre-Award Contract and Grant account, in addition to the financial risks, there may be risks associated with export controls identified within the sponsor’s terms and conditions and made available to us at the time of award notification. For example, if the sponsor prohibits us from employing the services of a foreign national on a research project, we may not be aware of such restrictions until after the award is received and the terms and conditions are reviewed/approved by the University. Therefore, it is recommended that we consider these potential risks, in addition to the financial risk, and proceed with caution at the time the Pre-Award Contract and Grant account is established.Pre-Award Form (PDF)
NC State Research Development Office (RDO)
The RDO can assist faculty in finding research funding for individual, collaborative and cross-disciplinary research funding.
• New Funding Opportunities
• Current Limited Submission Opportunities
• Internal Funding Programs
• Scholar Awards
• External Funding Agencies
• Funding Databases + Search Tools
• NC State Grants.gov Portal
Go to the RDO website to subscribe to Funding Opportunity Listserv
Grants.gov is focused on improving access to services via the Internet. It is currently the single access point for over 900 grant programs offered by the 26 federal grant-making agencies, allowing organizations to electronically find and apply for competitive grant opportunities.
Search for grants at Grants.gov
Pivot - Community of Science
Locating and securing research funding is becoming increasingly competitive as funding opportunities are limited and the number of researchers vying for those dollars continues to grow. The Pivot website connects funding and research expertise.
Find funding opportunities at pivot.cos.com