EXTERNAL GRANTS: APPROVAL PROCESS
Faculty are encouraged to write proposals to secure external funding to support research and sponsored projects for the university. The dean in each college and the Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects are assigned the responsibility for distributing information about opportunities and helping individual faculty or departments with proposal development.
All grants must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate administrators. This approval is in no way designed to discourage the grant process, but rather to keep officials informed as to the intent and to plan for the receipt of funding. For grants, the university, not the grant writer, is the fiscal agent and durable equipment purchased under the grant becomes the property of the university, unless specified by the agency's guidelines.
The Development Office in University Advancement is the initial contact for all GCSU grant writers when preparing a proposal for submission to private corporations, individuals, and foundations. The development staff can assist the interested faculty member and provide guidance in tailoring the proposal to a specific funder. In addition, he/she may be able to assist in formalizing the proposal or concept, as well as provide advice on additional funding sources.
The approval mechanism for all external grants is the Grant Approval and Budget Summary form, which is submitted and routed electronically for review and approval http://info.gcsu.edu/4dLink/4DCGI/GrantProposal/approvalquestion.html. All grants submitted on behalf of a faculty member, department, college, or the university must use this form. The initiation of the form rests with the project director and/or grant writer who completes the form, answers the appropriate questions, and submits the form. The Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects will be notified and coordinate the review and approval process, keeping the grant writer informed of the proposal's progress.
Please note that the university approval process has the potential to be time consuming. Be certain to allow at least five (5) working days between finishing the proposal and the date it must be mailed to the sponsoring agency. If less than five working days are allowed, the meeting of agency deadlines cannot be guaranteed.
Once the grant proposal has been reviewed and the internal grant form has the required approvals, a complete copy of the grant application and proposal should be forwarded to the Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects, GCSU's reporting office.
Indirect Cost Policy
The federally negotiated and approved rate (currently 26% of MDTC) should be used to calculate indirect costs and overhead expenses for grants. Acknowledging that sometimes it may not be possible or prudent to charge the approved rate, the university recognizes that some flexibility in the indirect cost policy is required. Therefore, a discretionary reduction in the indirect cost rate may be allowed under certain circumstances. In order to justify a rate lower than the negotiated rate, the administration may require input from the principal investigator and the program officer for the funding agency and, when justified, the indirect cost rate may be reduced to a minimum of 8%.
If the minimum eight percent indirect rate is charged, then the entire amount collected will be allocated to the Faculty Research Program. Any indirect costs collected above the 8% will be equally divided and distributed to fund additional grant resources, services, and workshops, and to support the research efforts of the departments and colleges who receive the grant awards.
Award Notification or Rejection
At the time of receipt of grant approval or denial, send a copy of the granting agency's approval notification to the Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects. If the grant request is denied, send a copy of the letter of notification, along with the reviewer's comments, to the Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects.
Copies of the final grant approval document, including budget, are to be furnished to the Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects. The information will be shared with the appropriate offices involved in the post-award and implementation process.
After receipt of the approved grant and grant budget, the Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects will request Financial Services to establish the appropriate accounts to capture the necessary data to provide proper reporting. A single individual (usually the grant director) will be designated as the signatory on the account and will be responsible for generating Grant Budget Progress reports and reconciling the budget on a monthly basis. The request for an account will be made in writing with copies to the grant director, department chair, college dean, associate vice president for extended university, and budget director.
Financial Services will assign a set of account numbers to capture budget, expenditures, encumbrances (obligations), and communicate this information to the project director and the Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects.
The Project Director should prepare a calendar of anticipated and/or required events. The beginning and ending dates of the approved grant should be adhered to unless an approved extension is received and communicated as necessary.
This calendar could be as simple or complex as required. Example:
- Grant beginning date (this is the date specified on your approved grant).
- Deadline for expenditures or formal obligations (at least 60 days before ending date).
- Deadline for draft of fiscal report (see "End of Grant Period" section below).
- Grant ending date (this is the date specified in the grant).
- Submission of final program report as requested by the granting agency.
A grant distribution list should be prepared that is project specific. It is to include any office that should receive information regarding the active grant. This grant specific list is to be developed by the Project Director in coordination with the Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects. Such a list could include but is not limited to:
- Project Director
- Department Chair
- Academic Dean
- Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects
- Associate Vice President for Extended University
- Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
- Director of Budgets
- Vice President Administrative Services & Campus Operations
Any and all proposed modifications of an approved grant are to be made through the program officer with appropriate university and grant approval and/or concurrence.
It is the responsibility of the project director to copy, on a need-to know basis, the grant distribution list found the "Communication" section above.
End of Grant Period – Closeout
A program narrative is the responsibility of the project director and must comply with the requirements of the granting agency and the university.
The project director is responsible for providing a draft copy of the fiscal report to Financial Services for reconciliation with the official university records. The draft of the fiscal report is to be submitted thirty (30) days prior to the required reporting date. Any differences are to be resolved between the project director and the comptroller. A final fiscal report is prepared by Financial Services and returned to the project director to be submitted with the final report to the granting agency. Dependent on the agency's reporting requirements, the project report and the financial report may be submitted separately.
The final report is prepared by the project director. This final report is comprised of the combined fiscal and narrative program reports with documentation required by the guidelines of the granting agency. A copy of the final report should be filed with the Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects and Financial Services. Copies of all final report(s) should be sent to those offices identified in the "Communication" section above.