OSP - What We Do
Finding the right match between funding source and proposed project and thereby significantly minimizing the cognitive dissonance, is an important step in the proposal process. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has a team of highly experienced professionals to assist faculty, staff, and students in the successful identification and negotiation of all pre-award phase of extra-mural funding sources. Partial listing of some of the pre-award resources is presented below:
- Prospect Research – to include Publications and Sponsor Announcements – ORSP will request foundation, governmental agencies, and corporation guidelines and funding announcement for individualized use by Lincoln University stakeholders.
- Consultations, Technical Assistance & Workshops/Seminars – ORSP will provide professional development series - inclusive of individualized and group training and learning sessions on best practices in sponsored programs administration.
- Proposal Development/Review/Submission – ORSP staff will assist prospective and current researcher investigators in conversations with Program Officers of various funding agencies in proposal development by clarifying sponsors’ submission procedures and interpreting LU policies related to sponsored activities. Individuals are encouraged to consult with the ORSP staff at any time during proposal development. Assistance provided at an early stage can help avoid problems that might result in a sponsor’s rejection of a proposal or resolve issues that could delay acceptance of an award. It is particularly important to notify ORSP at an early date when responding to detailed proposal solicitations.
Given the complexity of some solicitations, it is not possible to anticipate every question that can arise during proposal preparation. However, the ORSP prepares for questions like: What certifications are required? How should subcontracts be budgeted and negotiated? What is “off-campus?” Is approval needed from an institutional review committee? Can sponsored funds be used for facility renovations?
Typical ORSP input to the proposal development process includes:
- High-level proposal editing and drafting assistance;
- Budget preparation and proper costing;
- Providing logistical support for items such as space and personnel
- Assisting the investigator in complying with any relevant special reviews;
- Coordinating documentation for subcontracts and/or consultants;
- Preparing certifications and representations for signature;
- Coordinating department chair/unit/Center director signature(s)
Once a grant has been awarded the grant must be mangaged. ORSP's Post-Award administration ensures successful management of this grant through the following:
Negotiation with Funding Agencies
ORSP reviews all award terms and conditions; in conjunction with the PD/PI to fully understand the technical aspects of the project. Award terms relating to cost principles, payment, property, intellectual property, legal issues, etc. are also reviewed by ORSP in concert with other individuals/Offices (e.g., Legal Counsel, Business Office – Special Projects.)
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs provides support and assistance to Project Director (PD)/Principal Investigator (PI) throughout the lifecycle of a grant. Once a grant has been awarded, the PD/PI, acting as an agent for Lincoln University, is responsible for managing the grant, and ensuring that award requirements are fulfilled in a timely manner.
In the course of the negotiation, the ORSP consults with the Project Director (PD)/Principal Investigator (PI), administrators, and other administrative offices as needed. The negotiation process ranges from a few days to several months. When negotiations are concluded, a Notice of Award is issued.
During the process, it is important to pay attention to some key factors, such as:
- Submission of Revised Budgets
- Standard Contract Terms and Conditions
- Contractual Obligations and Problematic Terms and Conditions
- Industrial Collaboration
- International Activities
- Nondisclosure and Confidentiality Agreements
- Notice of Award
PD/PIs are required to submit performance reports to federal, state and local agencies on the fiscal and performance status of a grant. Like financial reports, performance reports provide an indication of how the PD/PI is accomplishing the goals of the award. PD/PIs are expected to monitor the performance of all activities to ensure that time schedules are met, proposed work is completed and other performance goals are achieved. Performance reports should describe the following:
- Overall progress, including results to date and comparison of actual accomplishments with proposed goals for the period
- Current problems, favorable or unusual developments
- Work to be performed during the subsequent period
- Problems, delays, and adverse conditions that will materially affect the PI's ability to meet the project's objectives and time schedules to comply with the approved budget
Closeout of a grant is the process by which the federal, state, or local agency determines that all applicable administrative action and all required work on the grant have been completed by the grantee. The three key features of closeout are as follows:
- Submitting all final performance, financial and other required reports
- Adjusting the federal/state/local share of costs upward or downward, if necessary
- Settling any cash balances (An unencumbered balance of cash advanced to a grantee must be refunded or be reflected by an appropriate accounting adjustment. Similarly, if cash is owed, the federal, state, or local agency should make payments for any reimbursable costs.)
When a PD/PI has materially failed to comply with the terms and conditions of a grant, the agency may, upon notice to the grantee, suspend the grant. Suspension can be imposed on all or only a portion of a grant. Suspension is a temporary measure pending either corrective action by the PI or a decision by an agency to terminate the grant.
If a grantee fails to comply with the terms and conditions of a grant or to remedy a situation under suspension, a grant can be terminated in whole or in part at any time.