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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's About Proposals

(See also the Sponsored Projects Manual Series I, Proposal Writing Guide for additional information.)

Where can I find program announcements and solicitations?

Please visit the Office of Research web site to locate program announcements and solicitations. If you need assistance, please contact us at

Where can I get agency application kits and forms?

The Office of Research, Sponsored Research Administration, maintains a wide variety of application forms and instructions. Feel free to check with us before requesting forms from the sponsoring agency.

What is the current indirect cost rate?

See F&A (Indirect Cost) Rates on the Facts Sheet.

When do I use the off-campus indirect cost rate?

The Off-Campus rate will apply where more than 50% of the project as a whole will be conducted in facilities not owned or maintained by FSU.

What is excluded from the indirect cost calculation?

Our normal indirect cost rate is calculated on the Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) base. MTDC is defined as total direct costs excluding the following: equipment (5**** series of object codes ending in odd numbers only; i.e., OCO); alterations and renovations; the portion of each subgrant and subcontract in excess of $25,000, regardless of the period covered by the subgrant or subcontract; rental of space and maintenance costs of rental space (43**** series of object codes); or student support costs, i.e., tuition, fees, stipends, fellowships, and scholarships (499099 or 74**** series of object codes).

What are the current fringe benefit rates?

Fringe benefits and Health Insurance rates on the Facts Sheet.

The agency only has $50,000 available for my project, but I need $75,000 to do the work. What can I do?

It is recommended that you reduce the scope of work to a level that can be supported by the amount of agency funds available. It is University policy to include only the amount of cost sharing in the project budget that is required by the agency. For further information on cost sharing, please refer to Series I of the Sponsored Projects Manual, Section 3-13.

When do the Investigator Financial Disclosure Rules apply (Item #19 on the Proposal Transmittal Form)?

The Investigator Financial Disclosure Rules apply to each and every proposal submitted to the Public Health Service or the National Science Foundation. They do not apply to any other agency at this time. Florida State University's Policy and Procedures for Investigator Financial Disclosure for Contract and Grant Applicants may be obtained from the appropriate grants administrator in Sponsored Research Administration.

What internal forms do I need to get my proposal approved?

The original and one copy of the proposal must be submitted to Sponsored Research Administration with a Proposal Transmittal Form for Sponsored Projects. This form is available on our Forms page.

How many days do you need to review my proposal?

We ask that you give us as much time as possible to review the proposal and we will do everything we can to see that no deadlines are missed. You are encouraged to fax or e-mail your draft budgets/proposals to the appropriate grants administrator in Sponsored Research Administration for review prior to preparing the final product.

Who is responsible for copying and mailing a proposal?

The principal investigator (or his/her designee) is responsible for copying and mailing the approved proposal.

What do I send to the agency?

Most funding agencies have specific guidelines on what to submit. The Proposal Transmittal Form is an internal document and should not be sent to the agency. The grants administrators in Sponsored Research Administration can help you determine what is needed if you have questions.

FAQ's About Awards:

I've been told my proposal has been approved. When can I get a budget number?

A budget number will be assigned when Sponsored Research Administration receives a fully-executed award document, along with certain internal forms that may be required. The grants administrator can inform you of the appropriate internal forms needed.

I have been told that my grant won't get here for another month but I want to start buying my equipment (start my appointment papers) now. What can I do?

In certain circumstances, arrangements can be made to establish a budget number for the project in advance of receiving a fully-executed award document. Contact the appropriate grants administrator in Sponsored Research Administration to discuss your options.

Why does it take so long for some of my contracts to be approved but not others?

Sponsored Research Administration is responsible for reviewing, negotiating, and accepting awards on behalf of the Vice President for Research and the University. Awards are thoroughly reviewed to make sure that the University can legally comply with the terms and conditions, and that those terms and conditions do not place unnecessary risk or burden on the University. We will do everything we can to get the agreement finalized as quickly as possible.

What can I buy with my grant funds?

The terms and conditions of your award govern what costs are allowable. In most cases, allowable costs are determined in accordance with OMB Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions. Check with the appropriate grants administrator in Sponsored Research Administration for specific concerns.

My grant ends in two months. How can I get an extension?

The procedures for requesting a no-cost, time extension depends on the terms and conditions of your award. Contact the appropriate grants administrator in Sponsored Research Administration to discuss your options.