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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a sponsored project?
  2. What are the benefits of writing a grant?
  3. How can I find funding opportunities?
  4. How far in advance should I submit my proposal to OSR?
  5. Why is institutional review and approval of grants or contracts required?
  6. Who can submit an application for a grant or contract?
  7. What are the different kinds of proposals?
  8. How long does it take to prepare an application?
  9. Whom do I contact when my proposal involves the use of human subjects and animal subjects?
  10. What are the duties of a principal investigator?
  11. What if the sponsor rejects my proposal?
  12. How can I find out why my proposal was rejected?
  13. What are the current fringe benefit rates?
  14. What are the current Indirect Cost, or Facilities and Administrative, rates?

What is a sponsored project?

Sponsored projects are research; training; and instructional projects involving funds, materials, or other compensation from outside sources under agreements which include terms that bind the University to a line of scholarly or scientific inquiry; the involvement of a line-item budget; require financial reports; require the award to be subject to external audit; require the return to the sponsor of unexpended funds; and terms that provide for the disposition of property that result from the activity.

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What are the benefits of writing a grant?

Essentially, a grant can help in many ways in an academic career: accomplishment of a research project of special interest; development of curriculum vitae and accomplishments for promotion and tenure consideration; development of a network among professionals with similar interests; attracting additional resources, such as equipment or students; providing opportunities for graduate or undergraduate students to participate in a funded project and to pursue research interests of their own; obtaining funding for research that will lead to an article or book; building a reputation in a field of interest; adding to the accumulated knowledge of a particular field of study; making an important breakthrough in an academic or scientific problem; gaining experience in managing a project, people and a budget; etc.

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How can I find funding opportunities?

The University Office of Sponsored Research disseminates information on external support for research, training, and scholarly activity to the academic community. The Office has access to summaries of research interests of federal agencies, private foundations and health organizations. Application forms and guideline materials are also available. The office maintains a database of faculty research interests (for those faculty who have registered) to match faculty interests with funding opportunities as they are announced. Sponsored Programs Information Network (SPIN) Plus is a subscription database service that indexes funding programs (e.g., research grants, fellowships, publication support, sabbatical support, curriculum development, etc.) from over 6,000 government, private, and nonprofit funding sources worldwide. LIU maintains an active subscription to SPINPlus which can be directly accessed from anywhere on campus. To access SpinPlus please visit: spin.infoedglobal.com/Home/GridResults

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How far in advance should I submit my proposal to OSR?

The deadline for receipt of complete, final proposals is 7 working days prior to the sponsor's receipt date or sponsor's postmark date. This deadline also applies to proposals which are submitted to sponsors via electronic means as these proposals often require detailed editing on the part of the Office of Sponsored Research. This deadline provides adequate time for reviewing the proposal, obtaining necessary institutional endorsements, photocopying, and mailing to the sponsor. All proposals require the endorsement of Directors or Deans before final submission to the Office of Sponsored Research. Applications should be submitted only in their final form and individual sections should not be forwarded to OSR as completed.

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Why is institutional review and approval of grants or contracts required?

When applying for funding, the proposal is made on behalf of Long Island University unless restricted by the sponsoring agency to individual (not organizational) applicants. The University is the official recipient of the grant funds and is fiscally liable for the appropriate expenditure of funds and for ensuring that the terms and conditions of the grant or contract are met programmatically. The University also must respond to fiscal and programmatic audits by the funding agency. It should be noted that many sponsors of research projects will not make awards to individuals. The authorized institutional official for Long Island University is the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President's signature on a proposal is an indication that the University will comply with all applicable terms and conditions of award and attests to the fact that the administrative, fiscal, and scientific information in the proposal is true and complete and in conformance with governing Federal and organizational requirements. The University is not obligated to honor or accept grants or contracts that have not been reviewed by the appropriate office(s) and that have not received institutional approval and signature.

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Who can submit an application for a grant or contract?

All faculty and professional staff are able to submit proposals with appropriate institutional approvals for research or educational support to agencies and organizations outside the University. Students seeking support where the proposals requires an institutional endorsement must submit the application in the name of the major faculty advisor.

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What are the different kinds of proposals?

A proposal for a new project or a new direction in research that has not been funded before is a NEW proposal. It competes with all other new proposals and is evaluated in all areas pertinent to the sponsor. A proposal for a RENEWAL competes with other proposals for approval and funding, even if it is a project that has been funded before, but in this case it will also be reviewed on its progress during the period of the original award. A proposal that has been approved for funding for more than one year, but requires an annual submission for a non-competing review, is called a CONTINUATION. A continuation is reviewed for evidence of progress and adherence to the original proposal before the allocation of money is made for the next year. A SUPPLEMENT is made to an existing grant during the funding period and usually does not require competitive review.

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How long does it take to prepare an application?

One of the most persistent problems for Principal Investigators is the timing of proposal preparation. The answer varies by type of proposal and experience of the Principal Investigator. A proposal to develop a new direction in research takes considerably longer to prepare than a renewal or resubmission. Principal Investigators with proven track records may allow as much as 6-8 months to prepare a major new proposal; anything less, they insist, cuts down the chances that the proposal will be acceptable and funded. A renewal proposal for an ongoing project. however, may be put together in 4-6 weeks. Obviously, Principal Investigators must be constantly thinking of the next upcoming deadline.

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Whom do I contact when my proposal involves the use of human subjects and animal subjects?

In accordance with Federal and State Law, the University is mandated to review and approve research (sponsored or unsponsored) and educational activities that involve human subjects or vertebrate animals. The Assistant Vice President for
Sponsored Research reviews such activities for compliance with relevant policies and procedures. Investigators should contact the IRB Administrator or the Office of Sponsored Research if they require assistance and/or information regarding the various applications and approval processes.

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What are the duties of a principal investigator?

The Principal Investigator (PI; may also be known as program director or project director, PD) is the individual designated by the grantee responsible for the scientific or technical aspects of the grant and day-to-day management of the project. The Principal Investigator must have a formal appointment with the applicant organization. The PI is a member of the grantee team responsible for ensuring compliance with the financial and administrative aspects of the award. He/she works closely with designated officials within the grantee organization to create and maintain necessary documentation, including both technical and administrative reports; prepare justifications; ensure that support of research findings is appropriately acknowledged in publications, announcements, news programs, etc.; and comply with organizational as well as sponsor requirements.

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What if the sponsor rejects my proposal?

Very few researchers have all their proposals funded. Rejection should never be seen as condemnation of the Principal Investigator, the project, or the proposal. In just about every round of proposals to any agency, more are rejected than accepted, and the goal is to substantially reduce your chances of rejection. The "Golden Rule of Rejection is Recovery." Not only recovery from the psychological blow but recovery of any information that can improve your chance the next time, whether for the same project or subsequent projects. The same review process exists when the proposal is submitted for the second round.

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How can I find out why my proposal was rejected?

Most sponsors, especially federal agencies, will provide the Principal Investigators with copies of the internal reviews and comments. For example, the National Science Foundation will send verbatim copies of all reviews to Principal Investigators. It must be recognized that funding depends on the reviewers' comments, the level of resources available to the funding agency, and the number of proposals received. It is often the reviewers' comments that provide the most information and insight as how a proposal or project might be revised and have its chances of funding increased.

Reviewers' comments are not normally provided to institutional officials, even when requested. Reviewers are selected from the scientific community with the understanding that their names will not be disclosed in association with their reviews and their reviews will be provided ONLY to the Principal Investigator. Principal Investigators are encouraged to contact the funding agencies directly to obtain information on any unfunded proposals.

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What are the current fringe benefit rates?

Please see the Facility and Administrative Costs page.

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What are the current Indirect Cost, or Facilities and Administrative, rates?

Please see the Facility and Administrative Costs page.

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