R&GA Budget Related FAQ
  1. Where can I find information about and help in creating my budget?
  2. My Program Officer has asked me to submit a revised budget, what do I do?
  3. What are facilities and administrative (F&A) costs (indirect/overhead)?
  4. How do I handle subcontracts in my proposal?
  5. What happens if my expenditures exceed my awarded budget?
  6. Can I charge administrative and clerical costs to my sponsored project?
  7. Who owns equipment purchased from sponsored funds?
  8. Can sponsored equipment be transferred from RMU to another institution?
  9. What is the appropriate salary to budget for graduate students, research assistants, etc.?
  10. When is a proposal considered to be off-campus and therefore subject to the lower F&A cost rate?
  11. Can I travel (domestic or international) without prior approval from sponsoring agency?
  12. My award has ended and I am ready to do my closeout. Who can help me with my closeout?
  13. Who prepares my project’s Financial Reports?
  14. What is Cost Sharing (matching)?
  15. What can be used as cost share, other than salary and cash?
  16. How do I decide on the indirect rate for my project?
  17. Where can I find the Institutional information I need to complete my application?
  18. What are RMU’s Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Rates?
  19. What is the Research Financial Conflict of Interest Policy (RFCOI)?

Frequently Asked Questions

Budget Related Questions

  1. Where can I find information about and help in creating my budget?
    Research & Grants Administration has created multiple budget templates to assist you in the formation of your budget. These templates are for internal use only and do not replace any agency-required forms. The templates can be found here.
  2. My Program Officer has asked me to submit a revised budget, what do I do?
    Contact Research & Grants Administration who will then get you in touch with Financial Operations. All revised budgets or other agency-requested changes must be reviewed and approved by the Research & Grants Administration and Financial Operations.
  3. What are facilities and administrative (F&A) costs (indirect/overhead)?
    Indirect Costs (also known as overhead or facilities and administrative costs or F&A) are costs that are not readily assignable to a specific contract or grant. These are costs such as building and equipment use charges, utilities, general administration, sponsored programs administration, and departmental administration. RMU has a policy on how this cost is shared between School (40%), RG&A (40%), and Financial Operations (20%).
  4. How do I handle subcontracts in my proposal?
    Federal agencies require the same information from the subcontractor's PI that is required from the lead institution's PI. Each subcontract should be properly identified in your proposal and proposed budget before submission to the agency. If the proposal is accepted by the agency, please contact Research & Grants Administration to understand how they are handled.
  5. What happens if my expenditures exceed my awarded budget?
    This cannot happen and is not acceptable. Overages must be covered by school’s operating budget. The Financial Operations sends you financial report every quarter (you may also generate reports in UNIT4 at any time). Please monitor these reports. If you have any questions, please contact Financial Operations.
  6. Can I charge administrative and clerical costs to my sponsored project?
    Yes, if these items have been approved by the agency, i.e., they were budgeted.
  7. Who owns equipment purchased from sponsored funds?
    The agency decides ownership of equipment purchased with sponsored funds. Some equipment remains with the sponsor; sometimes title is given to the recipient institution.
  8. Can sponsored equipment be transferred from RMU to another institution?
    Prior approval and agreement among the officials of the universities involved and the agency are required before equipment can be transferred.
  9. What is the appropriate salary to budget for graduate students, research assistants, etc.?
    The PI should discuss this with Financial Operations.
  10. When is a proposal considered to be off-campus and therefore subject to the lower F&A cost rate?
    If more than 50% of the project is performed off campus, the F&A rate for off-campus may be used. Please refer to F&A Cost Rate.
  11. Can I travel (domestic or international) without prior approval from sponsoring agency?
    Travel is allowable if identified in the agreement, i.e., it has been budgeted. Travel must be specifically related and identifiable to the sponsored program. University travel policies and procedures must be adhered to. Travel costs that exceed the approved budget by 10% or $500, whichever is greater, must be approved by the sponsor. Written prior approval for international trips must be received in advance of each trip even if included in the approved budget unless the requirements have been waived by the agency.
  12. My award has ended and I am ready to do my closeout. Who can help me with my closeout?
    The closeout process for sponsored programs awards is a post-award activity and is handled by Research & Grants Administration and Financial Operations. Please contact Research & Grants Administration
  13. Who prepares my projects Financial Reports?
    Financial Operations will prepare your projects internal Financial Reports every quarter. External reports are prepared by Financial Operations but are reviewed and approved by the PI before they are submitted.
  14. What is Cost Sharing (matching)?
    In Federal Regulations, cost sharing is defined as project costs not borne by the sponsor. The University shares in the cost of a sponsored program whenever there is a difference between the total cost of performing a project and the funding provided by the sponsor.
    Either Direct Costs or Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Costs may be shared. Cost sharing consumes scarce resources and also places a heavy administrative burden on the University since it must be extensively documented. Cost sharing by the University must be identified as either "In-kind" or "Cash Match". Please talk to your Department Head, and Dean, as well as Financial Planning & Analysis representative (Shaina Marshall) prior to pursuing an opportunity requiring cost sharing.
  15. What can be used as cost share, other than salary and cash?
    In Federal Regulations Cost sharing is defined as project costs not borne by the sponsor. The University shares in the cost of a sponsored program Cost sharing that is required by some sponsors (such as EPA) is called mandatory cost sharing. Cost sharing included in proposals that is not required by the sponsor is referred to as voluntary cost sharing. However, it is the University's policy not to volunteer cost sharing. Once cost sharing has been included in a proposal and that proposal has been accepted by the sponsor, the University has an obligation to provide the cost sharing proposed, regardless of whether it was mandatory or voluntary. The terms required or committed cost sharing are used to describe this obligation. Please talk to your Department Head and Dean as well as Financial Planning & Analysis representative (Shaina Marshall) representative prior to pursuing an opportunity requiring cost sharing.
  16. How do I decide on the indirect rate for my project?
    The indirect rate is determined by: (1) Type of Project (i.e. Instruction, Research, Other Sponsored Activity etc.) and (2) Agency Guidelines. Financial Operations will assist you in identifying the right rate for your proposal. The University’s Federally negotiation rates are:
    1. On-Campus rate: 35.7% of Total Salaries, Wages and Fringe Benefits
    2. Off-Campus rate: 17% of Total Salaries, Wages and Fringe Benefits
  17. Where can I find the Institutional information I need to complete my application?
    The administrative information necessary to complete a grant application are as following:
    1. DUNS Number: 044304152
    2. EIN/TIN: 25-1120678
  18. What are RMU’s fringe benefits rates?
    1. Faculty or Faculty Administrator Academic Year Salary (nine-month contract) 30%
    2. Faculty or Administrator Summer Salary (nine-month contract) 8%
    3. Faculty Administrator (twelve-month contract) 30%
    4. UG/G Research Assistant (academic year) 0%
    5. UG/G Research Assistant (summer) 8%
    6. Part-Time Faculty 8%
    7. Other professionals – full time University employees 30%
    8. Other professionals – part time University employees 8%
    9. Other professionals – not University employees per contract
    For more information, contact Financial Operations
  19. What is the research Financial Conflict of Interest Policy (FCOI)?
    FCOIs are defined as significant financial interests that could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting of your funded research. They arise when a secondary objective could affect the performance of a person’s primary mission. Conflicts of interest are not inherently wrong; they are a normal part of our existence. They must be managed so that objectivity in research is maintained. RMU has a FCOI policy that must be signed by the Principal Investigators when submitting a proposal.
    This policy has been created to identify and address financial conflicts of interest in research and grants activities. This policy provides guidelines to maintain truthfulness and abide by the highest ethical standards regarding financial conflicts of interest in research and grants activities. This policy is meant to increase the awareness of faculty, staff, students and trainees of the potential for conflicts of interest and inform them on how these conflicts of interests can be avoided or properly managed to uphold the highest levels of integrity.
    This policy applies to all grant funds but more specifically to anyone requesting funding or working on a grant funded by federal PHS agencies or the National Science Foundation (NSF).