R&GA General FAQ
  1. Who is eligible to serve as Principal Investigator?
  2. Who do I contact if am interested in exploring grant opportunities?
  3. If I decide to submit a proposal, who do I need to notify?
  4. What is the “Intention to Apply”? And when do I send this out?
  5. Where can I find the “Research Grant Proposal Development and Submission Process” diagram?
  6. Does RMU provide Grant Writing support?
  7. Where can I find new sources of funding?
  8. What documents are required to submit a proposal?
  9. How do I route a proposal?
  10. Who submits the proposals?
  11. What do I do once I receive the award document from the sponsoring agency?
  12. What if I receive a check from the sponsoring agency?
  13. Who is the Assistant Provost for Research & Graduate Studies? How can I reach him?
  14. Who do we contact in Financial Operations? How can I reach her?
  15. Where is the Research & Grants Administration office?
  16. Does the Research & Grants Administration offer grant related workshops?
  17. Does the Research & Grants Administration publish a newsletter?
  18. What is the Research & Grants Expo? When is it held?
  19. Where can I find RMU’s Guidelines for Faculty Grant Proposals and Contracts?
  20. Who is McAllister and Quinn? What do they do?
  21. Who creates my grant account?
  22. What is the difference between Grant, Contract and Gift?
  23. What is a support letter? How do I get a support letter for my grant application?
  24. What is a collaboration letter? How do I get a collaboration letter for my grant application?

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  1. Who is eligible to serve as Principal Investigator?
    Tenured and tenure-track faculty members are qualified to serve as Principal Investigator. Members of the University’s professional staff may also serve with the approval of the appropriate Chair(s), Dean(s), and Provost. Deans, department chairs and other administrators may serve, especially if it is specifically required by the agency. However, senior administrators should limit their cumulative effort to no more than 10%.
  2. Who do I contact if am interested in exploring grant opportunities?
    If you would like to explore grant opportunities please contact the Research & Grant Administration (R&GA). Provide any information that you have such as a concept paper or a short write up about your ideas. This will allow the Research & Grant Administration to see what is currently available in your concept area. The R&GA will then schedule a meeting to discuss options.
  3. If I decide to submit a proposal, who do I need to notify?
    As soon as you contemplate submitting a proposal for funding, you should inform your Department Head and Dean. Provide any information that you have such as the RFP or Program Announcement. This will allow your department head and Dean to understand the opportunity. Once your Department Head and Dean agree on your intention, please contact the R&GA to review the guidelines for any unusual requirements and to get you on the schedule.
  4. What is the “Intention to Apply”? And when do I send this out?
    The formal part of the University's internal process begins with the Principal Investigator (or Project Director) sending an email with subject line “Intention to Apply” to his/her Department Head and Dean with the following contents (body of email or as attachments):
    1. Brief Project Summary
    2. Funding Agency & submission Deadline
    3. Project Timeline
    4. Potential Impact on University Responsibility
    5. Request for Proposal (RFP or solicitation). A valid link would be sufficient.
    Once the Department Head and the Dean both approve the “intention to apply” email, the Principal Investigator (or Project Director) should forward the email to the R&GA with all of the above documentation for review and approval. At this time, the R&GA will commit resources to assist the Principal Investigator (or Project Director) in developing a compelling proposal.
  5. Where can I find the “Research Grant Proposal Development and Submission Process” diagram?
    Click here for this diagram.
  6. Does RMU provide Grant Writing support?
    RMU provides full and partial grant writing support. Please contact Research & Grants Administration.
  7. Where can I find new sources of funding?
    Funding sources can be researched through federal agencies Grants.gov, nsf.gov, NIH.gov and a number of other federal, state, and foundation websites. A smaller set of opportunities are also available in this website under “Grant and Fellowship Opportunities”.
  8. What documents are required to submit a proposal?
    Requirements differ by grant agencies. Please refer to the RFP or solicitation of the grant opportunity. At RMU we will need your proposal, budget (in spreadsheet format), and budget narrative to route your proposal. In addition, agencies require support letters, collaboration letters, and bio-sketches. Some agencies also request institute 501 (c) (3) information, current annual report and/or certified financial statements.
  9. How do I route a proposal?
    The standard process is to your Department Head, your Dean and then to the R&GA. Please refer to the page on the “Proposal Submission Process” at RMU.
  10. Who submits the proposals?
    Research & Grants Administration will assist with preparing proposals for submission. Some proposals will be submitted by Research & Grants Administration in the presence of the Principal Investigator. Some proposals are submitted by the Principal Investigator after getting approval from Research & Grants Administration.
  11. What do I do once I receive the award document from the sponsoring agency?
    Please inform Research & Grants Administration and if requested forward your award document to Research & Grants Administration.
  12. What if I receive a check from the sponsoring agency?
    Please contact Research & Grants Administration so that your check can be immediately processed. The check will be forwarded to Financial Operations for receipt and deposit.
  13. Who is the contact for Research & Grants Administration?
    Sushil Acharya is the Associate Provost for Research, Graduate Study & International Programs. He can be reached via email at acharya@rmu.edu and via phone at 412-397-4023. His office is located in Patrick Henry 217.
  14. Who do we contact in Financial Operations?
    Julie DeVuono is the Grants and Accounting Manager. She can be reached via email at devuono@rmu.edu and via phone at 412-397-5265. Her office is located in Revere Center 103.
  15. Where is the Research & Grants Administration office?
    Research & Grants Administration office is in Patrick Henry. Please contact Lisa Nauman for more details. She can be reached via email at nauman@rmu.edu and phone at 412-397-6227. Her office is located in Patrick Henry 210.
  16. Does the Research & Grants Administration offer grant related workshops?
    Yes. The Research & Grants Administration periodically offers the following information sessions:
    1. What it takes to be a Principal Investigator: This session focuses on the programmatic, compliance, and administrative/fiscal responsibilities of the PI.
    2. Searching for Funding: This session focuses on exploring grant opportunities and understanding how to identify appropriate funding agencies.
    3. Preparing Project Budget: The project budget is considered the financial expression of your project and it needs to be carefully written and adequately justified. This session focuses on project budgeting.
    An email notification is sent out to all faculty and administrators when sessions are scheduled.
  17. Does the Research & Grants Administration publish a newsletter?
    Yes. The Research & Grants Administration newsletter is called ACHIEVE. It is published every spring and features RMU research and researchers.
  18. What is the Research & Grants Expo? When is it held?
    This is an annual event held at RMU’s Sewall Center to promote research at RMU. Researchers present research posters and discuss their research with faculty, staff and students. It is held in the 2nd week of March.
  19. Where can I find RMU’s Guidelines for Faculty Grant Proposals and Contracts?
    The Guideline is available at research.rmu.edu.
  20. Who is McAllister and Quinn? What do they do?
    To support proposal development activities, RMU has been working with McAllister & Quinn LLC (M&Q) since 2013. In addition to writing and reviewing proposals, M&Q conducts grant writing workshops, serves as an information source, conducts information sessions on specific grants, and provides coaching for faculty in writing compelling proposals.
  21. Who creates my grant account?
    Financial Operations creates accounts (in UNIT4), tracks grant expenditures, indirect costs and salary release reimbursement allocations, and reports quarterly to PI on budget expenditures. At any time during the project duration, the PI can also use UNIT4 to generate project reports.
  22. What is the difference between Grant, Contract and Gift?
    Please refer to this PDF.
  23. What is an institutional grant commitment/support letter? How do I get a support letter for my grant application?
    A grant support letter is a letter indicating that your research proposal is supported by your administrators. Support letters are intended to show department/college/university support that will be available to the project, without providing specific dollar amounts that could be construed as auditable cost sharing by the sponsor. General statements should be made to convey university support towards the project. The letter should contain general statements such as:
    1. “The University will provide offices, labs, and administrative space as necessary for the accomplishment of project deliverables.”
    2. “SEMS has several labs that will be utilized for the proposed research.”
    3. “Several graduate students within the department will be providing basic research support to the researchers during the life of the project.”
  24. Depending on the grant agency, you will need one or multiple grant support letters. These letters are from your Department Head, your Dean, the Provost, and the President. Please talk to the Research & Grants Administration before you approach your administrators for grant support letters. It is also important that you finalize your project title and project goals before you request a support letter, you draft the support letters, and give enough lead time for the administrators to review and sign the support letters. Depending on the administrator, your letter may need to provide details like resources support, time support, etc. Refer to the grant agency guidelines for determining if you need a support letter or not and the format you need it in.
  25. What is a collaboration letter? How do I get a collaboration letter for my grant application?
    A grant collaboration letter is a letter indicating that your research proposal is supported by individuals and agencies that you are partnering with. These letters need to specifically state in what areas of your project you will be collaborating. Details need to be listed. At times, specifics need to be provided. Please talk to the Research & Grants Administration before you approach your collaborators for collaboration letters. It is also important that you finalize your project title and project goals before you request a collaboration letter, you draft the collaboration letters, and give enough lead time for your collaborators to review and sign the collaboration letters. Refer to the grant agency guidelines for determining if you need a collaboration letter or not and the format you need it in.