Office of Sponsored Projects
Funding Your Idea
Once you have formulated your research idea the next step is to find an appropriate funding source for it. There are several funding sources; these include both internal and external sources.
Here is a brief list:
1. Federal or State Funding Agencies
a. Federal Agencies
b. University Systems. In our case it is the Chancellor’s Office
5. Wealthy Individuals may fund areas that they have a particular interest in.
Once you identify the funding source, you must make sure that there is an excellent match between your idea and the mission of the funding agency. In future newsletters we will talk about additional considerations before you start developing your proposals. Please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Sponsored Projects if you would like to learn more about any of the above funding sources.
UTPA has recently subscribed to a new and a very user friendly database to search for funding opportunities for your proposal ideas. The software is called PIVOT. You can very easily set up your account to begin searching for funding opportunities. You may access the video related to setting up your account here, or you may contact the Office of Sponsored Projects for assistance.
Please note that the Office of Sponsored Projects has launched an online Power Point workshop in Blackboard about finding funding sources. You can access this workshop at the OSP Online Training Page or by accessing it directly through myUTPA. You will need to call the Office of Sponsored Projects at 665-5004 to register for the certification workshop . You may also submit a funding search request online.
National Science Foundation Announcement
NSF recently announced that the Transformative Undergraduate Education in Science (TUES) will not be releasing solicitation for this spring and summer 2013 due to budget cuts. However, the NSF full proposal deadlines for similar programs are:
- Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) is August 28, 2013.
- NSF Scholarship in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) is August 13, 2013.
- Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation is October 4, 2013.
- If you are considering developing a limited submission proposal, please visit the Office of Sponsored Projects website for guidelines for submission. This would allow the office to work with you to facilitate your efforts in developing the proposal
Communication with Program Officer
Please note, when you receive communications from a Program Officer for additional information, it is often an indication that the Program Officer may be considering recommending your proposal for funding. Please contact the Office of Sponsored Projects at your earliest convenience about this communication. This will allow the staff to work with you to facilitate and guide your communication with the Program Officer. Oftentimes the Program Officer may want to renegotiate the budget before an award letter is issued. Any revised budget should be developed in collaboration with the OSP staff. They can guide you on what can and cannot be done in the revised budget to comply with the agency requirements. This saves time in the negotiation process and also leaves a positive impression about the PI and about the university on the Program Officer. Note that the Program Officers can only make recommendations for an award; they cannot issue an official award notification. The Business Affairs division at the agency issues the official award notification.
If you are working on a new proposal and are in the process of developing the budget, you may contact OSP to help guide you on the fringe benefit rates for various categories of job classifications. Once the award is set up, soon after you fill positions, quickly check the exact fringe rates charged to your account and reconcile to ensure that you will have sufficient funds in the approved budget to meet the project obligations as originally outlined. If not, you may seek approval for a revised budget from the agency. The Office of Sponsored Projects will be able to guide you on how to proceed with this process. This must be addressed early on in the life of the project.
Office of Research Compliance
Institution Review Board
For your convenience the new electronic IRB application submission process that has been implemented can save a significant amount of time in the application review and approval time. The IRB applications should be submitted directly to the IRB portal at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a time sensitive application related to a grant award, it is advisable to make arrangements with IRB a couple of weeks in advance before the application submission. This will alert IRB of the need and the IRB will coordinate the application submission with you. Always review the IRB website for the required documentation that is needed to submit a complete application. You may access information regarding what is required for a complete application at the IRB web pages. Feel free to contact IRB at 956-665-2093if you have any questions or drop an e-mail to email@example.com.
Time & Effort Reporting
On all sponsored projects, UTPA is required to comply with time and effort reporting. So who is responsible to certify the time and effort? The agencies require all PIs or the Project Directors to certify their own time and effort and also of all individuals compensated for their time and effort on the project. What are the consequences of not certifying? It can result in a freeze on sponsored projects until the certification is completed. To learn more about this requirement you may visit the Time & Effort website.
Responsible Conduct of Research
Effective January 2010, all NSF and NIH grant awards require documentation for compliance with Responsible Conduct of Research training. The Office of Research Compliance offers online training through the CITI group via ORC’s webpage. On the Responsible Conduct of Research page, find the link to Training, then create a user name and a password to access this training. Be sure to select UTPA as your affiliated institution. It is important to note that NIH and NSF require substantial face-to-face discussions about the various aspects of responsible training in addition to the online training. These face-to-face discussions must also be documented. These requirements apply to all faculty, research personnel, and students engaged on the project. Learn more at Responsible Conduct of Research. Please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Research Compliance within the Office of Research at 665-8991 if you have any questions regarding RCR. Note that these RCR requirements apply to all research, scholarly and creative activities regardless of whether it is funded or not.
An export involves the transfer or transmission of oral, written information, or visual disclosure or shipment of federally controlled commodities to a non-U.S. entity or individuals including students and visiting scholars regardless of where they are located. The university is required to make sure that any restricted technology or information is not disclosed, transferred or transmitted. The same applies to such acts within the U.S. to foreign nationals. This is referred to as “deemed export.” If you have any questions related to export controls, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Research Compliance at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go get additional information at the Export Controls web page.
We welcome your comments and suggestions. Send them to email@example.com or you may call 965-665-2889
For additional resources you may visit the new website of the Office of Research