Frequently Asked Questions by UD Faculty Researchers

I have this great idea – are there grants for it?

The University subscribes to Pivot, a funding database that includes funding opportunities from all government and a staggering number of private institutions. There is no fee to use Pivot, and if using the database on campus no log-in is required. For assistance with setting up an account, call the Contracts and Grants Office at 229-2919.

What is the approval process to apply for grants at UD?

All proposals need a Proposal Processing Form (PPF) before they can be submitted. This form needs to be signed by your chair and your dean, so don’t wait until the last minute to fill it out! Final approval on the grant application comes from the Director of the Contracts and Grants Office who is authorized to sign on behalf of the University.

Do I have to use the Contracts and Grants Office to apply for grants? Why can’t I just submit on my own?

Almost all funding requests to federal, state, and private agencies need to be sent through the Contracts and Grants Office (CGO).  In rare instances where that is not the case, the CGO will work with the individual researcher to submit the grant application. Remember, a PPF must be filled out for every proposal for outside funding.

My grant is due in 5 days – can we still send it in?

The CGO makes our best effort to submit every proposal before the deadline. While we understand that sometimes an opportunity comes at the last minute, the strongest proposals are those that have been under development for a number of months.

How do I create a budget?

The CGO can help you create a budget for your proposal. Generally, you want to think about how much time it will take to accomplish the project (this is often budgeted in months), if you would like students to get support, whether travel funds are necessary, and what materials, supplies, and equipment you need. If other schools or businesses are involved, be sure to contact our office early so we can get subcontract agreements set up. The CGO will calculate current fringe benefit and indirect cost rates and will finalize the budget before submission of the grant application.

What are indirect costs and how do they apply to my grants?

Indirect costs, also called facility and administrative costs, cover the “indirect” costs of doing research, including administrative costs, such as the costs of the Contracts and Grants Office, and facilities costs, including keeping the buildings clean and the lights on. Some indirect costs go back to the school you belong to; check with your dean to learn more about how indirect costs are handled in your unit.

What is release time and how does it work?

Sometimes you may want to reduce your teaching load in order to have more time to spend on a project during the academic year. To do this in a grant, you can “buy yourself out” of a class. This means that the grant will cover the cost of one course, and the University will find someone else to teach that class. Be sure to check with your chair to make sure that they have someone who can cover your class.

Can I earn summer pay by working on grants?

If you are on a 9 or 10 month contract, yes, you can earn summer pay by working on grants. You can only earn up to the 12-month equivalent of your salary, however. Some granting agencies, like NSF, cap salary on a project at 2 months a year.

If I win a grant, are there restrictions on how I spend the funds?  What are they? 

Funds spent out of the project account need to be spent on the project. Specific restrictions will be laid out in your agreement from the sponsor, so check there and or with the Contracts and Grants Office.  If during the course of the project you discover you need to rebudget, contact the Contracts and Grants Office. If you have any questions about your current project budget, please ask for permission, not forgiveness!

My grant has cost sharing on it! (What is cost sharing?)

Cost sharing occurs when the full cost of the project is not covered by the grant. This can happen when the RFP requires matching funds, or when there is a cap on indirect costs. Cost sharing ordinarily does not affect the ability for a proposal to be submitted, but talk with your chair and dean to ensure that cost sharing funds are available.

Can you write my budget justification?

We can help, but only you can explain what you will do on the project and the need for the specific materials, travel, and equipment. Our office has developed a template to aid you in this process.

Whats our tax ID/DUNS/etc number?

Please call the Contracts and Grants Office at 229-2919.