is eligible to submit proposals through ORSP?
Only tenured/tenure-track faculty members and MPP Directors
are eligible to submit proposals for extra-mural funding
in advance of the proposal deadline should I contact ORSP?
| Please contact ORSP as
soon as you know you are going to submit a
proposal. You must notify ORSP AT
LEAST 3 weeks before your deadline, so that
we can ensure we will have the staffing resources available
to work with you (For all Grants.gov submissions, an
additional week is required). Your first step is
to complete our on-line PI
Checklist, which provides the information we will
need to complete your budget. If you have any questions
about filling out this form, please contact Jackie White,
PreAward Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org
ORSP and SFSU registered with Grants.gov for electronic
|Yes, ORSP and SFSU are fully registered
do I contact about my budget?
After you submit the PI
Checklist, you will be contacted by the Proposal
Preparation Specialist who will complete your budget.
|What is SFSU's
multi-year Facilities and Administrative (indirect cost)
State University has a multi-year Facilities and Administrative
(indirect cost) rate agreement with the federal government.
This agreement specifies the F&A cost rates to be
applied to awards from federal and non-federal sponsors.
The agreement is dated November 3, 2005, and is effective
through June 30, 2010.
specified in the agreement are as follows:
for on-campus research is 53.0%; for on-campus instruction,
53.6%; for other on-campus sponsored activities, 28.6%.
for off-campus research, instruction, or other sponsored
activities is 26.0 percent.
to these rates occur when a funding agency places a
cap on the F&A rate. In this case, ORSP must have
written guidelines from the funding agency stating that
there is a limit on F&A costs.
If you would like to discuss any
variance from the above rates, you must speak directly
with Alison Sanders, Director for Research
and Sponsored Programs (email@example.com
SFSU Indirect Cost Agreement (pdf format)
need to contact the Dean or Chair of my department?
We strongly advise that you contact both. If there
is any costsharing or costmatching required in your
grant, you will need approval from the Dean. In addition,
release time must also be approved by your Dean.
does my budget have to be completed?
Budgets should be completed one week before the submission
deadline. At this time, we should also have all supporting
documents, such as biosketches, C.V.s, resources, etc.
does the narrative of my proposal have to be completed?
|The narrative should be submitted in
final form to the Proposal Preparation Specialist no later
than two days before the submission deadline.
receive help editing my proposal?
|Barbara Ustanko is the Proposals Editor
at ORSP. Her services include providing feedback on proposal
drafts and copyediting proposals for clarity and persuasiveness.
She may also assist with compiling appropriate background
statistics, developing charts and tables, and drafting
supplemental materials such as letters of support and
memoranda of understanding, depending on your specific
needs and the amount of lead time available.
I know if my grant is funded?
|It is most common for granting agencies
to contact the Principal Investigator. The National Institutes
of Health and National Science Foundation have online
systems that notify the P.I. and our office. Some granting
agencies do not notify ORSP, so you should contact Alison Ng (firstname.lastname@example.org
or 405-4226) when you receive notification of funding.
Many agencies will also send reviewers' comments to you.
We would appreciate receiving a copy of those comments
for our files. These copies will also help us to assist
you if you decide to resubmit an amended proposal.
happens next when my grant is funded?
|You will be connected to a Grants Administrator
to work with who will set up an account for you. This
person will be your contact for accounting and personnel
information. (See post-award
I request a no-cost time extension for my project?
|Under Expanded Authorities, most no-cost
extension requests on federal awards may be approved by
the grantee ("grantee-approved" no-cost extension).
Most agencies require that the grantee notify them about
no-cost extensions prior to the expiration of the award
(anywhere between 90 day to 10 days prior to the end date).
Requests for no cost extensions are either submitted via
the agency's online system or email, post or fax, depending
on the agency's requirements.
NSF Awards - The first no-cost time extension is considered
a "notification" and can be approved by the
grantee (SFSU). If the PI needs additional time beyond
the first extension, a second no-cost time extension
is considered a "request" and must be approved
by NSF. Both notifications and requests for a no-cost
extensions on NSF awards must be submitted by the Principal
Investigator (PI) via Fastlane. When submitting the
request in Fastlane, the PI should include the information
outlined in the bulleted section below.
NIH Awards - If no-cost extensions are allowed on the
particular award, a link for "extension" is
posted in the "status" area of the NIH Commons
90 days before the end date. Once the link is posted,
ORSP can submit the request. To initiate this request,
the PI should submit a request to his/her ORSP Grants
Administrator (GA) with the information outline in the
bulleted section below.
All Other Awards - Requests for a no-cost extension
to agencies other than NSF and NIH must be submitted
in writing (e-mail or memo) by the PI, to the ORSP Grants
Administrator for review/approval. The Grants Administrator
will review and then forward to the Post-Award Manager
for final review and approval. Once the request is approved
by ORSP, it will be forwarded to the agency. Requests
for a no-cost extension should include:
- Justification for extension, including progress
to date. The following reasons are acceptable:
- Additional time beyond the established expiration
date is required to complete the project.
- The extension is necessary to permit an orderly
phase out of a project that will not receive continued
- Length of extension requested
- An estimate of funds expected to remain unobligated
on the scheduled expiration date
- A plan for how the funds will be used during the
Please note: Requesting additional time simply to spend
down remaining funds is not considered a reasonable
justification for a no-cost time extension. Normally
no-cost extensions do not exceed twelve months and only
in exceptional cases will more than one extension be
approved by the agency.
delays in receiving a grant award or in getting a contract
fully executed for my project but need to start doing
the work. Can a project be set up so that I can start
|Fund Advances, in the past known as
Pre-Award Spending accounts, provide Principal Investigators
(PIs) with an opportunity to initiate sponsored research
projects and begin incurring project expenses prior to
institutional acceptance of an award from an external
There are two types of Fund Advances:
- Pre-Award Spending Account - Used to create an account
for the purpose of incurring pre-award costs up to
90 calendar days prior to the award start date. This
applies only to federal sponsors that allow pre-award
spending. All terms and conditions of the award apply
to pre-award expenditures.
- Advance Account - Advance Accounts may be used to
- an account for a new grant for which the award
letter has not yet been received
- an account for the new budget year of a continuing
- an account for a contract which has not yet
Requests for Fund Advances must be approved by both
the college Dean and the Associate Vice President (AVP)
for Academic Affairs. In many cases, the Dean and AVP
of Academic Affairs will approve a request for a fund
advance because of an established relationship with
a sponsoring agency and/or because the sponsor has indicated
a high degree of confidence that the project will be
Advance Accounts will be established for 120 calendar
days. Extensions of advance accounts beyond 120 calendar
days must be approved by the Dean and the Associate
Vice President of Academic Affairs.
Fund Advance policy and procedure
Fund Advance Request Form
The PI should obtain the College Dean's approval on
the Fund Advance Request prior to submitting the form
to his/her Grants Administrator in ORSP. If available,
the PI should attach any supporting documentation that
would be helpful to the Dean and ORSP in making a determination
to support the request. Supporting documentation may
include copies of communication with the sponsor, a
list of projects that have been recommended for funding,
and/or a short history of the project and the nature
of the relationship with the sponsor.
a procurement card for my ORSP project(s). I would like
to change my default* project number and/or add/delete
a project number to the GE P-card online system. How do
I do this?
|SFSU's procurement card office requires
that all requests to change the default project number
and to add or delete project numbers from the GE systems
be approved by the ORSP Grants Administrator for the project.
Please send all requests for changes in the GE system
to the Grants Administrator assigned to your project.
Once the GA has reviewed and approved the request, s/he
will forward the request to SFSU's p-card office in Fiscal
Affairs. These types of requests generally take 3-5 business
days to process.
*Purchases made using a procurement
card are posted to a default project number which is assigned
by the cardholder when they apply for the card. To assign
charges to an alternate project, the cardholder must login
to the GE online system to code the purchase to the intended
the difference between a vendor, sub-recipient (sub-contract
or sub-award), independent contractor and special consultant?
|OMB Circular A-133 provides the definitions
below to distinguish vendors from sub-recipients. The
information on independent contractors and special consultants
is taken from SFSU's Special Consultant-Independent Contractor
Hiring Procedures Practice Directive 156 and can be found
- provides goods and services within their normal
- provides similar goods and services to many different
- operates in a competitive environment
- provides goods and services that are ancillary to
the Federal Program
- has its performance measured against whether the
objectives of the federal program are met
- has responsibility for programmatic decision-making
- has responsibility for adherence to applicable federal
program compliance requirements
- uses the Federal funds to carry out a program of
the organization as compared to providing goods and
services for a program of the pass-through entity
- determines who is eligible to receive what Federal
financial assistance within the program
An independent contractor:
- is not a current CSU or State employee
- is engaged in a distinct occupation, profession,
business, or trade not regularly a part of University
- agrees to do a specific piece of work for an agreed
- provides services to non-University clients
- supplies his/her own tools, materials and work space
- is not hired as an employee of SFSU
- is not subject to the compliance requirements of
the Federal Program
A special consultant:
- is an individual hired as an employee of SFSU to
work under general direction to complete a professional
assignment which requires the consultant's particular
knowledge, ability or expertise
- is paid based on a daily rate (SFSU minimum $88
per day; maximum $1,042 per day. Refer to the CSU
Salary Schedule, Class Code 4660)
- is appointed when no other appropriate CSU classification
the Principal Investigator's (and/or project staff's)
role in closing out a project?
|The Principal Investigator (PI) should
work closely with the Grant Administrator during the last
several months of the project to ensure an orderly closeout.
The PI will:
- Inform the Grant Administrator if a request for
a no-cost extension will be submitted to the agency.
- Submit all transactions (invoices, travel claims,
reimbursement requests, etc.) no later than 45 days
after the end date of the project.
- Close any open purchase orders (including blanket
POs) within 45 days following the end date of the
award (unless the sponsor requires a financial report
sooner than 90 days).
- If the project has recurring expenditures (i.e.
telecom or rapid copy), the PI needs to provide a
new project number for charges beyond the end date
of the current project.
- If the PI or one of the project staff holds a procurement
card (p-card) that is being charged to this project,
please provide a new project number. If the PI does
not have any other funding, ORSP will notify the Procurement
Card Office to terminate the card(s).
- Ensure that all payroll appointments associated
with this award do not extend beyond the end date
and that all time sheets and absence reports for individuals
employed by the project are forwarded to ORSP Personnel
by the end date of the project.
- Send a hard copy or electronic copy of all final
technical/programmatic reports to ORSP to ensure compliance
with the term and conditions of the award/contact.
- Confirm that all cost sharing requirements have
been met, if applicable.
- Review and approve the final financial report and/or
invoice prepared by Fiscal Affairs.
- Principal Investigators should make sure that all
employees (salaried and hourly staff) turn in monthly
Absence Reports in a timely manner, and that sick
and vacation leave is accurately reported.
- When employees claim sick and/or vacation leave,
this is a CREDIT to the grant.
- If Absence Reports are not turned in to ORSP in
a timely manner, or leave time is not accurately reported,
this can result in inaccurate financial statements
submitted to the funder. When leave is not recorded,
the grant is not credited, and the funder may be overcharged
- PI's may NOT ask employees to claim sick and vacation
leave time in order to secure a credit to the grant.
Sick and vacation leave time must be used and reported
by grant-funded employees according to the provisions
of University policy and the applicable collective
is the process for transferring indirect costs collected
on ORSP projects to the colleges and departments?
|Once a year, after the fiscal year has
closed, fifteen percent (15%) of the total amount of indirect
costs charged to, and collected for, ORSP projects is
transferred to the colleges and departments.*
The 15% is divided in a 3:1 ratio between the department
and the college. Fiscal Affairs determines the total
direct cost expenditures on each sponsored project and
the amount of indirect costs recovered. Letters are
generated and sent to each dean and department chair
showing the total amount that will be transferred to
the account under their control. Fiscal Affairs then
completes the transfer of funds to colleges and departments,
usually in September of each year.
* There are some exceptions to this, generally related
to the indirect costs generated by projects associated
with a Center or Institute. Such exceptions are reviewed
and approved in advance by the Director of the Center
or Institute, the dean and department chair, as well
as the AVP of Research.
I find out what the balance of my project is?
|PIs and their designated staff can view
financial reports for their project by logging in to Fiscal
Affairs' online reporting system at: https://ids.sfsu.edu/fmsreport/
. The system is set up so that PIs and staff can log in
using their email addresses. Please contact your Grants
Administrator if you have trouble logging in and/or would
like to grant access to an assistant or staff member to
view the financial reports for your project(s).
does it take to process a student stipend request?
|Accounts Payable issues stipend checks once a month on
the 15 th of the month. Requests for student stipends
should be submitted to ORSP one month before the issue
date to allow time for the necessary review in ORSP and
Financial Aid. For example, if you would like to issue
a student stipend on September 15 th , please submit the
stipend request form to ORSP by August 15th .
Please note: Internal Audits review is also
required for stipend requests to foreign nationals, which
will increase the processing time. Please plan accordingly.
|Can a faculty member/PI sign agreements with sponsors for external funding?
|No, grants and contracts are awarded to the institution, San Francisco State University, on behalf of a PI or project director, not to the individual. Therefore, agreements and grant awards need to be signed by an authorized official in either ORSP (for grants) or Procurement (contracts/agreements; see memo from VP Leroy Morishta regarding campus contracting authority). Accordingly, all award letters and checks should be forwarded to ORSP when received to ensure proper recording and processing.
|I was awarded a grant/contract without submitting a formal proposal through ORSP’s Pre-Award unit – what is the process for getting the project set up in Post Award so that I can start spending?
|CSU Executive Order 890 requires that all proposals and budgets must be routed through the ORSP Pre-Award process and approved prior to being submitted to a funding agency. In the case that the proposal/budget was not routed through pre-award prior to being awarding, it will need to be routed and approved “after-the-fact” before the project can be set up in Post Award. PIs should submit a PI checklist to initiate the process. The PI checklist is on ORSP’s homepage at: (http://www.sfsu.edu/~orspwww/_preaward/_submit/pichecklist.html)
|What types of changes require prior approval from the agency for Federally-funded projects?
OMB Circular A-110, Section .25 (c) (1-8) requires that the university obtain prior approval for the following program or budget related reasons:
- Change in the scope or objectives of the project or program (even if there is no associated budget revision requiring prior written approval).
- Change in a key person specified in the application or award document.
- The absence for more than three months , or a 25 percent reduction in time
devoted to the project, by the approved project director or principal investigator.
- The need for additional Federal funding .
- The transfer of amounts budgeted for facilities and administrative (F & A) costs to absorb increases in direct costs, or vice versa, if approval is required by the specific Federal awarding agency.
- The inclusion, unless waived by the Federal awarding agency, of costs that require prior approval in accordance with OMB Circular A-21 "Cost Principles for Institutions of Higher Education."
- The transfer of funds allotted for training allowances (direct payment to trainees, i.e. stipends) to other categories of expense.
- Unless described in the application and funded in the approved awards, the subaward, transfer or subcontracting out of any work under an award. This provision does not apply to the purchase of supplies, material, equipment or general support services.