Category Archives: Grants Administration


NSF and NIH new bio sketch guidelines

NSF and NIH have implemented new biographical sketch guidelines.  The new templates can be found on the Sponsored Programs Office website at the following locations:  http://www.mtu.edu/research/references/pdf/NSF-biosketch-sample.docx and http://www.mtu.edu/research/references/pdf/NIH-biosketch sample.docx.  Please use these updated templates and guidelines when preparing your NSF and NIH proposals.


Industrial F&A Rate

Effective immediately, Michigan Tech will begin assessing the uncapped facilities and administrative cost rate [currently 63%] to all industrial sponsored proposals. As always, Sponsored Programs will consider requests to reduce the assessed F&A rate when cost share is required on a project, when there are concerns about cost-competitiveness of a proposal, and when the project has a maximum total cost – the form for requesting such a reduction is at http://www.mtu.edu/research/administration/sponsored-programs/pdf/IDCreduct_waiver.pdf.

Federal pass through funding will continue to be assessed the appropriate federal rate, and all proposals previously submitted with the capped rate will be grandfathered at the rate at which they were submitted.


Graduate Student Estimating Tables for Proposal Budgets (FY10)

The graduate student estimating tables for stipend levels and tuition and fee rates has been updated.  These rates are to be used in proposal budgets to external sponsors.  You can find the tables at Sponsored Programs Budget Estimating Tables.

These rates are effective immediately.


National Science Foundation Proposal Submission Change

The Sponsored Programs Office would like to inform you of the following proposal submission change. Due to an expected increase in Grants.gov submissions relating to the processing of Recovery Act proposals, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has authorized agencies to use alternative methods for proposal submission and acceptance.

Effective immediately, new funding opportunities issued by NSF will exclusively require the use of FastLane to prepare and submit proposals. NSF plans to revise existing funding opportunity documents to reflect this change and to remove all active application packages from Grants.gov APPLY. Updated NSF information about available funding opportunities will be posted to Grants.gov FIND.

Once you have identified your grant opportunity, be sure to carefully read the instructions to ensure you are following proper submission procedures for that application, even if you have applied before. Grants.gov will still be the one place to find all available federal grant opportunities and all opportunities will include specific application instructions, including instructions for submitting applications outside of Grants.gov.

These agencies will be accepting some or all applications outside of Grants.gov: Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Education (DOED), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Treasury, Department of Transportation (DOT), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Air and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Please pay close attention to the grant announcements and application instructions for these agencies.

Detailed instructions regarding the technical aspects of proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/.

If you have any questions contact the Sponsored Programs Office at 487-2226.


Grants.gov Proposal Submission Problems

The electronic proposal submission system named Grants.gov has numerous system performance issues and one affecting Michigan Tech is extremely slow server response time when submitting proposal applications. Institutions across the nation are experiencing this same issue. At Michigan Tech alone we had 3 proposals in the last two weeks that we were unable to submit due to slow server response time. This issue of slow response time is beyond the control of staff in the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO).

At a national meeting representatives from NIH said that there is not a quick fix to the slow server response time and that institutions need to plan accordingly and submit their proposals early. They also encouraged institutions not to wait until the day the application is due to submit their proposal but to instead submit early to ensure a successful application.

The SPO procedure for proposal submission states, the complete proposal and all applicable internal paperwork (i.e. transmittal sheet, budget, cost share forms, etc.) are due to the Sponsored Programs Office 48 hours prior to the submission deadline. At minimum we strongly encourage all faculty and staff to adhere to the 48 hours prior to submission deadline. We recommend the complete proposal and applicable internal paperwork be in the Sponsored Programs Office 72 hours prior to the submission deadline for Grants.gov applications.

If you have any questions about Grants.gov please contact SPO at 487-2226. Below are a few tips to help with Grants.gov applications.

  • For Adobe applications, you must use Adobe version 8.1.2 or newer.
  • The system is slower in the afternoon. It is best to submit applications in the morning.
  • For NIH proposals, even though it makes it through Grants.gov, it could experience errors once received by NIH. If this happens, the application needs to be fixed and resubmitted through Grants.gov within two days.

Sponsored Programs Accounting Needs to Expand Index Numbers

Due to the increase in sponsored funding projects over the past few years, we are running out of E2XXXX numbers to assign to sponsored projects.

Therefore, Sponsored Programs Accounting needs to expand the index nubmers to include “E4XXXX” index numbers for sponsor accounts.  Cost share accounts will now include “E5” index numbers and mimic the associated “E4” sponsor account.  For example, a sponsor account index E40101 would have a cost share index of E50101.  Graduate Assistance Cost Share will remain “E3” accounts.

If you have questions regarding this change, please contact Tammy LaBissioniere at the sponsored programs accounting office at 7-2244.


NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide – revised

The National Science Foundation has posted to its website a revised version of the /NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide/ (PAPPG, NSF 09-1) that will be effective for proposals received on or after January 5, 2009. A Summary of Significant Changes is posted with the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). ( http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf09_1/gpg_index.jsp)

In this revision, NSF has addressed the COGR/AAU request for greater flexibility in charging salary by changing its compensation policy “to no more than two months of [senior project personnel] regular salary in any one year.” The prior limitation to summer salary has been eliminated. If additional time is needed, NSF requires that “any compensation … in excess of two months must be disclosed in the proposal budget, justified in the budget justification, and must be specifically approved by NSF in the award notice.”


Bayh-Dole Act

Ownership of inventions created at Michigan Tech that are the result of efforts conducted under an externally funded project are always dictated by the terms of the contract under which that funding was provided. While the contract terms for projects funded by industry, state governments, and foundations can vary, the invention ownership terms of federally sponsored projects are always the same as defined by federal law.

The Bayh-Dole Act was enacted into law in 1980 and specifically allows universities to retain ownership of inventions that result from federally funded research. Since its enactment, this law had a significant impact on both the economy and state of technology of the United States by encouraging investment in the commercial development and ultimate public dissemination of federally funded, university based innovations.

As stated in 37 CFR 401.14, an invention means, “any invention or discovery which is or may be patentable or otherwise protectable under Title 35 of the United States Code”. The legal standard is any invention or discovery “conceived OR first actually reduced to practice”.

Federal research sponsors are increasingly encouraging university research funding recipients to comply with the Federal Bayh-Dole Act reporting requirements by disclosing all inventions conceived or first actually reduced to practice using federal funds. While many federally sponsored inventions meet the requirements for patentability by being new and not obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art and licensing industry statistics demonstrate that relatively few have all the necessary characteristics for commercial viability. Recently however, federal agencies have been reminding institutions that Bayh-Dole requires the reporting of all inventions that may be patentable regardless of how likely they are to be commercially viable.

Some funding agencies appear to be moving in a direction of using disclosure rates, in part, to demonstrate the value of federal research programs. While commercial outcomes produce the most compelling of these arguments, the overall volume of potentially patentable inventions is also being used as a leading indicator of the potential impact of public investments in research.

Michigan Tech’s invention disclosure form can be downloaded from http://www.ted.mtu.edu/. Draft manuscripts, presentations, and other written materials are acceptable as attachments to the invention disclosure to simplify completion and filing. University researchers that have questions about completing and submitting the form or about federal reporting requirements can contact Robin Kolehmainen at 7-1927 or rakolehm@mtu.edu.


Graduate Student Estimating Tables for Proposal Budgets.

Research and Sponsored Programs has updated the graduate student estimating tables for stipend levels and tuition and fee rates. These rates are to be used in proposal budgets to external sponsors. You can find the tables at http://www.mtu.edu/research/references/facts-figures/pdf/gratable.pdf. These rates are effective immediately.