Skip to main content

Welcome to SRA's Develop & Submit Proposal page! Here, we hope to give an overview of the resources available and process of developing your proposal, reviewing your proposal at SRA, and submitting your proposal to the sponsor.

If the funding for which you are applying is coming from a U.S. public source (federal, state, or local government, including flow-through through private organizations), please contact the Pre Award Grant Officer for your department found here . If the funding is private (directly from a non- or for-profit organization) or from a foreign government/entity, please contact the FSU Research Foundation

Regardless of the funding source, all proposals are submitted through RAMP which can be accessed through the myFSU Portal.

For more information, please feel free to contact us!

Do you have a great idea? Check out the funding opportunities page for just a few opportunities that can fund your great idea. This listing is by no means exhaustive. You are encouraged to seek funding from other sponsors not listed on this page.

There are a variety of funding resources available to FSU faculty. The Council on Research and Creativity (CRC) offers eight internal funding programs. The Office of Research Development (ORD) provides access to Pivot, a searchable funding database that includes over 28,000 opportunities, both private and public funding.  The Office of Research also publishes a newsletter with funding announcements and news related to research. Looking for private foundation funding? The FSU Foundation provides access to the Foundation Center Online. They can also assist with managing gifts coming into the university. The Office of Faculty Development and Advancement assists with fellowships and award nominations.

Some opportunities are limited to a certain number of proposals per institution. See the limited submissions listings to confirm that the opportunity for which your are applying is not already taken by another PI. Please be aware that the list is not comprehensive. If you plan to apply to a limited submission opportunity that is not listed, please contact the Office of Research Development (ORD) immediately.

Have you found a program that could fund your idea? It's time to develop your proposal!

Before you begin writing your narrative, you may want to find some examples of successfully funded proposals, particularly for the grant you are applying to. The Office of Research Development (ORD) provides FSU faculty access to a database of successful proposals. Your departmental grants analyst can assist with budgeting, or either the departmental liaison in either Sponsored Research Administration (for U.S. government funding) or the FSU Research Foundation (for private/non-profit/foreign government) can advise. The ORD offers a curated library of grant writing articles and books, as well as access to Research Development & Grant Writing News. Regarding compliance issues, the Office of Compliance has a website that serves as a portal for the different compliance issues you may have. ORD staff can review your narrative from a non-specialist perspective and can identify and ask other faculty members with relevant field or funding agency experience for additional reviews. The Office of Faculty Development and Advancement can review fellowship or award applications as well as find references or referees. Finally, if the grant you are applying for is a limited submission proposal, make sure to check the Limited Submission website to find the internal deadline.

Once the budget has been developed and the narrative and other proposal documents have been drafted, the proposal will be routed for departmental and SRA approval in FSU's electronic research administration platform, RAMP, which can be accessed through the myFSU portal.  There are how-to guides in the Grants module Help Center for creating funding proposals, creating budgets and more. RAMP also serves as a system-to-system submission portal for Grants.gov proposals that use the federal SF424 application package.

It is the PI's responsibility to prepare all required proposal components and submit them to SRA via RAMP for review before submission to the sponsor. As you are preparing your proposal, please be aware of SRA's three working day policy. SRA requires a "complete proposal" be approved by the department and routed to SRA via RAMP by 9:00 AM at least three working days prior to the sponsor's deadline. This allows SRA enough time to complete a full compliance review on all proposals submitted on behalf of FSU.

SRA welcomes notification before the three day deadline. We are also happy to review draft versions of proposal documents before the three day deadline.

Every sponsor has different proposal requirements. No matter the requirements, there are certain components that must be submitted to SRA for review which constitute a "complete proposal."

1. The Funding Proposal Smartform in RAMP-Grants;

2. The Proposal Budget Smartform in RAMP-Grants, with the detailed budget justification uploaded as an Attachment to the Budget Smartform;

3. Scope of Work (accurate yet rough version of the technical portion of the proposal is acceptable at this stage), uploaded as an attachment in the Funding Proposal workspace;

4. Requests for internal approvals (e.g., request to overmatch, subcontracting out more than 75% of the award) with appropriate departmental, chair, and dean approvals, documented as Ancillary Reviews in RAMP-Grants;

5. Subrecipient or Contractor Determination Form for entities to whom you wish to issue an outgoing subaward;

6. Committment letters from entities to whom you wish to issue an outgoing subaward;

7. Sponsor's RFP (a.k.a., solicitation, program announcement, guidelines);

8. Other application documents required by the sponsor (as applicable); AND

9. Proof of conflict of interest training completion and financial interest disclosures, as applicable.  If subcontractors, consultants, or collaborators are designated as investigators by the PI, proof of their completion of training and disclosure is also required.

The final scope of work and any updated proposals documents should be submitted to SRA by 9:00 AM of the sponsor's deadline. This gives us some time to handle any unanticipated submission issues.

The proposed budget should be directly related to the proposed project. The budgets for all federally funded projects must conform to the requirements listed in 2 CFR 200 (Uniform Guidance) and the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS).

Salary:

List all personnel employed at FSU. Do not include non-FSU employees, such as personnel at other organizations or consultants. Each person’s role on the project should be identified.

All personnel (with the exception of undergraduate students) should be budgeted using a percent of effort or person-months. Do not use an hourly rate to build your budget. Undergraduate students may be budgeted using an hourly rate.

Examples:

Time Period

Annualized Base Salary

% Effort

Calculation

Project Cost

July 2015 – June 2016

$80,000

10% FTE

$80,000 x 10%

$8,000

Summer 2016

$80,000

2 months

$80,000 / 12 months * 2 months

$13,333

When entering the Salary Requested percentage in the RAMP proposal budget, divide the months paid/months appointed to determine the percentage.  For example, if a PI is working 2 summer months, and has a 9-month appointment, 2/9 = 22% salary.

When working with a budget period less than one year, first determine the percentage of a full year that is included in the budget period (for example, a six-month budget period would be 50% of a year).

Multiply the percentage of the year by the number of months appointed.  For a 9-month appointment, 50% would be 4.5 months.

Then divide the number of months worked by the adjusted budget period appointment to determine the salary requested:

2 months worked/4.5 (adjusted budget period appointment) = 44% salary of a 6-month budget period entered as RAMP Salary Requested.

On federally funded projects, salary for administrative or clerical type work is considered an indirect cost and is generally not allowed to be charged as a direct cost unless certain requirements are met. These include the following:

• the services are integral to the project/activity,
• the individuals can be specifically identified with the project/activity,
• such costs are explicitly included in the budget and the budget is approved or prior written approval is received from the Federal awarding agency, and
• the costs are not recovered as indirect costs.
 
The budget justification should detail how each administrative or clerical position is integral to the project and should be written in compliance with the specific award’s terms and conditions.
If budgeting for multiple years, it is recommended that you include a cost of living increase of 3% per year.

Fringe Benefits:

Fringe benefits for all personnel are calculated as a percentage of their salary. Please see the Facts Sheet for current rates.  In the RAMP proposal budget, this also needs to include health insurance considerations.  To determine the FB%, you can either use the FSU_SRAS_RAMP_FRINGE_BE_CALC query in OMNI HR or manually calculate the percentage.  To manually calculate the percentage, separately calculate the applicable fringe and applicable health insurance, then divide the sum of the two by the applicable salary amount.  

For Example:

If a PI has a 9-month appointment for $75,000 a year and is working 2 academic months on a project, she would have $16,500 in applicable salary.

If her fringe rate is 21.476%, her fringe amount would be $16,500 x .2146 = $3,540.90.

The target RAMP FB amount is applicable fringe plus applicable health insurance, $3,540.90 + $2,304 = $6,844.90.

The FB% is determined by dividing the FB amount by applicable salary, $6,844.90 / $16,500 = 41.48%.

Health insurance is budgeted based on whether the employee has individual, spouse, or family health insurance. Health insurance should be prorated based on the employee’s percent-effort or person-months on the project. See the Facts Sheet for the current rates.

If a faculty member has a 9-month appointment and only summer months are requested, health insurance should not be budgeted.

Equipment:

Equipment is any item that costs more than $5,000 and has a useful life of over 1 year. Equipment costs are excluded from the MTDC F&A base.

Travel:

Travel expenses for conferences, workshops, or other such research meetings that are necessary to carry out the project are generally allowable direct costs. These costs include transportation (airfare, mileage, etc.), lodging, ground transportation, registration fees, and per diem. Travel budgets should be divided into domestic travel and foreign/international travel.

All budgeted travel must conform to FSU's travel policies.

Other Direct Costs:

Tuition:

Per FSU policy, all graduate students paid by the project must have tuition budgeted or covered by another source. See the Facts Sheet for the current rates.

Tuition is excluded from TDC and MTDC F&A bases.

Materials and Supplies:

Supplies that are directly related to the project are generally allowable as direct costs. General purpose office supplies (paper, toner, pens, staples, etc.) are indirect costs and should not be budgeted as a direct cost unless justified.

Materials and supplies should be itemized. Give the number and approximate unit cost of each item.

Publication Costs:

Costs for publication of research results in professional journals as a part of the project dissemination plan are generally allowable as direct costs.

Consultant Services:

A consultant is generally an expert advisor who is paid for his or her time at a fixed rate. Consultant costs are allowable as direct costs as long as it directly benefits the project.

If the consultant is an employee of another university, be certain that the consultant is following his or her home institution’s consulting policy. Generally, employees of other institutions should be budgeted as a subaward.

Subawards and Contractors:

When FSU passes federal funds to another organization, it is FSU’s responsibility to make the determination whether the relationship is that of a subaward or a contractor. Please see the Subaward or Contractor/Vendor Determination Guide to assist you in making this determination.

The amount of each subaward over $25,000 is excluded from the MTDC F&A base.

See the Subawards vs. Contractors section of this website for more information.

In the RAMP proposal budget, subawards are not included.  Instead, use the Create Subaward activity in the proposal budget workspace to add the subaward separately. RAMP will then add the FSU budget to any subaward budget for consideration of the entire proposal amount.

Rent:

Rent is generally an allowable cost when work is being performed in a space that is not owned by FSU. Rent is excluded from the MTDC F&A base and usually indicates that one should use an off-campus F&A rate.

Other:

Other costs not mentioned above can be budgeted as a direct cost as long as they are allowable, allocable, reasonable, and consistently treated.

Participant Support Costs:

Generally, participants are recipients of a training or service provided at a workshop, conference, or other short-term instructional or information-sharing activity. Travel, subsistence, stipends (but not for employees), and tuition (training grants only for non-payroll trainees) may be budgeted for participants.

Participant support costs are excluded from the MTDC F&A base.

See also FSU’s policy on Participant Support Costs.

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs:

F&A recovery is the means by which FSU obtains a portion of the expenses associated with supporting the research of its faculty.

The appropriate rates and bases depend on the sponsor, location, and purpose of the project. See the Facts Sheet for the current F&A rates.

FSU uses two bases to calculate indirect costs – Total Direct Costs (TDC) and Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC). Only tuition is excluded from the TDC base. The following is excluded from the MTDC base –

  • Equipment 
  • Capital expenditures
  • Charges for patient care
  • Student tuition remission
  • Rental costs of off-site facilities
  • Scholarships and fellowships
  • Participant Support Costs
  • The portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000

Example:

 

MTDC

TDC

Direct Costs:

 

 

Salary & Fringe

$100,000

$100,000

Travel

$5,000

$5,000

Equipment

$10,000

$10,000

Tuition

$10,000

$10,000

Supplies

$5,000

$5,000

Publication Costs

$1,000

$1,000

Participant Support

$5,000

$5,000

Direct Costs Subtotal:

$136,000

$136,000

Exclusions:

 

 

Equipment

$10,000

Not excluded

Tuition

$10,000

$10,000

Participant Support

$5,000

Not excluded

Total exclusions:

$25,000

$10,000

F&A Base:

$111,000

$126,000

F&A (54% MTDC)

$59,940

 

F&A (10% TDC)

 

$12,600

Total Costs (Direct Costs + F&A):

$195,940

$148,600

See FSU’s policies on Direct/Indirect Costs and Indirect Cost Recovery.

*When building your budget, please round all costs to the nearest dollar.

See the Research Administration Manual (RAM) for a sample budget justification.

For more information on proposal budgeting, you can reference the Building Budgets module (ESP5) in the eSPEAR Certificate Series course in Canvas.

Some projects may require that costs normally treated as indirect costs be treated as a direct cost. The project must meet the definition of an exceptional circumstance and all costs must be specifically identifiable to a particular sponsored project, be reasonable, allowable, and allocable.

Such costs may include general purpose office supplies and software, postage, local telephone, etc.

Exceptional Circumstances:

  • Large, complex program
  • Extensive data accumulation, analysis, and entry
  • Making travel arrangements for large numbers of participants
  • Principal focus is the preparation and production of manuals, large reports, or books
  • Project location is geographically inaccessible to normal administrative services

Cost sharing or matching is that portion of project costs not borne by the sponsor. "Project enhancement" means describing available resources that are not quantified in the proposal. This is not considered a cost sharing commitment.

FSU's policy is to only cost share when required by the sponsor or the competitive nature of the award. Cost share should be budgeted only to the extent necessary to meet the sponsor's requirements. If the PI has a reason to request an exception to the policy, his or her chair and dean must approve this request.

All proposed cost sharing must be adequately documented. At the proposal stage, this documentation includes:

All proposed cost share must conform to the same requirements as the costs FSU requests from the sponsor. For federally funded projects and federal flow-through, this means all costs must conform the 2 CFR 200 (Uniform Guidance) and the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS). For example, general purpose office supplies generally cannot be committed as cost share as they are normally treated as an indirect cost.

University Contributions:

  • Unrecovered indirect costs (F&A): any difference between FSU's negotiated F&A rate and the rate funded by the sponsor. This is generally only available if the sponsor mandates the use of an F&A rate lower than FSU's negotiated rate.
  • Salaries and fringe benefits: paid from non-sponsored accounts and is documented through FACET
  • Other direct costs: paid from non-sponsored accounts

Please note: This is not an exhaustive list. If there are other costs you are considering to commit as cost share, please contact SRA for guidance.

Non-University Contributions (Third Party/In Kind):

  • Value of contributions (real property, equipment, supplies, etc.)
  • Value of goods and services directly benefiting a project

Third party contributors named in a proposal are required to submit a commitment form at the proposal stage and, periodically during the award period, documentation supporting the contribution to the project.

To comply with 2 CFR 200.330, FSU must determine whether services provided by a person or an entity in an award, whether it is a grant or contract to FSU, should be paid as a contractor/vendor or as a subrecipient.

Contractor/Vendor: Provides a service or good that is routinely provided to the general public and therefore is not unique to the project. Typically the organization is for-profit and not subject to federal compliance requirements. FSU issues a purchase order through the Purchasing Office for most contractors. FSU collects F&A on the total amount budgeted for a contractor.

Subrecipient: Performs activities that will have a significant impact on the total project with distinct deliverable for work that is unique to the project with minimal supervision from the PI at Florida State University. Generally a subrecipient will carry out an important portion of the federal program and can sometimes be considered a co-PI or partner in the project. FSU issues a subaward to a subrecipient through SRA. FSU collects F&A only on the first $25,000 budgeted per each subaward.

Requirements at the Proposal Stage

If you are proposing a contractor or subrecipient in your proposal, there are a few documents SRA will need to review before approving your proposal.

Contractor:

Subrecipient:

  • Subrecipient/Contractor Determination Guide
  • Letter of Intent signed by the subrecipient's authorized organizational official
  • Subrecipient-specific scope of work
  • Subrecipient budget and budget justification (sponsor-required format preferred)
  • Other sponsor-required documents (biographical sketches, current and pending support, etc.)

If your proposal is being submitted through an electronic portal that requires approval from or submission by FSU's authorized official, your proposal will be submitted by SRA. The PI is responsible for submitting proposals that are directly emailed, mailed, or hand delivered only after receiving approval from SRA. Please see the following links for more information on electronic research administration -