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                                                   TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................................................... 2
INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................................................... 2
  THE GRANTSMANSHIP PARTNERSHIP ......................................................................................................... 2
  RESEARCH AT THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY ......................................................................................... 2
  USING THIS MANUAL EFFECTIVELY ........................................................................................................... 3
PART 1       GENERAL INFORMATION AND POLICIES ............................................................................... 4
  PRINCIPLES GUIDING SPONSORED PROGRAMS AT TCNJ ....................................................................... 4
  ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES ..................................................................................................................... 4
  PRE-AWARD POLICIES ..................................................................................................................................... 5
    TCNJ Pre-Award Policies .................................................................................................................................. 5
    Federal Pre-Award Policies ............................................................................................................................... 7
  Post-Award Policies ............................................................................................................................................... 9
    TCNJ Post-Award Policies ................................................................................................................................ 9
    Federal Post-Award Guidelines and Regulations ............................................................................................ 11
PART II PRE-AWARD PROCEDURES ........................................................................................................ 13
Preparing and Submitting a Proposal.................................................................................................................. 13
  GENERAL PRE-AWARD INFORMATION ..................................................................................................... 13
    Characteristics of Successful Proposals ........................................................................................................... 13
    Definitions........................................................................................................................................................ 14
  GETTING STARTED ......................................................................................................................................... 16
    The Idea ........................................................................................................................................................... 16
    Identifying Funding Sources ............................................................................................................................ 16
    Working with Collaborators ............................................................................................................................ 19
  PREPARING THE PROPOSAL ......................................................................................................................... 20
    Initial Contact with a Sponsor.......................................................................................................................... 21
    Developing the Proposal .................................................................................................................................. 21
  PROPOSAL SUBMISSION AND FOLLOWUP ............................................................................................... 31
    Sponsor Review ............................................................................................................................................... 32
    The Award/Declination Letter ......................................................................................................................... 32
PART III POST AWARD PROCEDURES ...................................................................................................... 34
  PLANNING ......................................................................................................................................................... 34
    AIM Meeting ................................................................................................................................................... 34
    Quarterly Expenditure Forecast ....................................................................................................................... 34
    ACCOUNT SET UP/WEB ACCESS .............................................................................................................. 35
    Funding Agency and Regulatory Guidelines ................................................................................................... 36
  PROJECT MANAGEMENT ............................................................................................................................... 37
    Sources of Funds .............................................................................................................................................. 37
    Uses of Funds ................................................................................................................................................... 37
  CLOSING THE GRANT ..................................................................................................................................... 45

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                                          THE GRANTSMANSHIP PARTNERSHIP
Grantsmanship at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) is a partnership between and among the faculty, staff,
administrators, and the Office of Academic Grants and Sponsored Research (OAGSR). Each party makes
unique, critical contributions to a partnership strives to foster an intellectually vibrant environment by seeking
external resources from public and private agencies and foundations in support of their academic and scholarly

Faculty and staff bring a vast store of knowledge and skill pertaining to their discipline and the particular
academic or research project they seek to advance. This expertise goes beyond scholarly knowledge of the area
to include related information about professional organizations, leaders in the field, networking opportunities, and
the like. Deans, chairs, directors, and other administrators offer leadership, expertise and resources.

The Office of Academic Grants and Sponsored Research (OAGSR) provides the necessary infrastructure to
promote scholarship at TCNJ. The dual purpose of this office is to (a) inspire and sustain high expectations
within the campus community regarding external grants; and (b) provide direct support of fund-seeking and
funded activities to enhance research and learning.

In this capacity, OAGSR offers a “one-stop-shop” for grant and research administration including guidance for:
project idea conceptualization; identification of funding sources; project budget preparation; review of draft
proposals; and official approval of all proposal requests for academic grants and sponsored research. For Post-
Award, OAGSR reviews and accepts awards on behalf of the institution; sets up accounts for awarded proposals;
reviews and approves grant expenditures, monitors program implementation timeline and required fiscal and
technical reports; officially closes-out accounts or awards at the end of the project period; and ensures TCNJ’s
compliance with a variety of federal and state regulations. In addition, OAGSR develops and refines college
policies that affect sponsored projects. Some of the services offered by OAGSR are now available on-line at OAGSR intends to automate most of its services and processes for access and use

                                 RESEARCH AT THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY
TCNJ faculty members embrace the teacher-scholar model exemplified by serious and continuing commitment to
scholarship that complements and enriches teaching of the first order. The College recognizes a range of
scholarly projects, including disciplinary research, applied research, pedagogical research and artistic expression.

For TCNJ faculty, teaching is the primary function of a faculty immersed in the most current knowledge in their
fields through basic and applied research and scholarship. Research and scholarly work of the faculty is infused
into teaching, directly and/or indirectly, in an unlimited variety of ways.

As the TCNJ community strives to achieve its ambitious goals of becoming a national exemplar in all of its
programs, and as state support diminishes, obtaining funding from federal, state and private agencies becomes
critical in attaining those goals. The Office of Academic Grants and Sponsored Research continues to contribute

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to support the efforts of the faculty and staff and to provide leadership in developing ever new avenues for

                                          USING THIS MANUAL EFFECTIVELY
The Office of Academic Grants and Sponsored Research seeks to assist faculty researchers, principal
investigators, project directors, and support staff by providing useful information through the Grants Policies and
Procedures Manual. It is designed to provide current guidelines, policies and procedures to faculty and staff
seeking external support, and for managing awards following College policy and in compliance with federal and
state laws, rules and regulations. It can be printed and used as a desk reference, and it can also be used as an
online reference with active links to important documents and information.

The manual is presented in three parts: Part 1) General Information and Policies, 2) Pre-Award Procedures
(including Proposal Preparation and Submission), and 3) Post-Award Procedures (Award Receipt and
Administration). Because many topics cross these organizational boundaries, they are cross-referenced with links
provided to other sections of the Manual in which the topic is discussed. In addition, links are provided to forms
and other important documents it references.

Each part contains links to laws, regulations, policies or guidelines available on the World Wide Web.
Additionally, OAGSR expects to complete or revise topics and sections throughout the year, so users are
encouraged to refer to the manual often for the most current information.

We are interested in your comments and suggestions as users of the manual. Please e-mail your questions,
problems you have encountered, topics you would like included in the future, or other comments to

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                  PART 1          GENERAL INFORMATION AND POLICIES

The College of New Jersey is guided by and adheres to the following guiding principles:

1. External funds are awarded to the institution and not the individual. Only the Board of Trustees has the legal
authority to apply for and accept grants, contracts and agreements on behalf of the College. This role has been
designated to the President, the Provost, and the Vice Provost for Research and Faculty Development.

2. As official recipient of awards, The College of New Jersey is obligated to and will comply with all applicable
state and federal laws, rules and regulations governing institutions of higher education and recipients of public
support. Generally, federal regulations are followed in the administration of grants, unless the specific funding
source requirements are more restrictive, in which case the more restrictive regulation is followed.

3. The Principal Investigator (PI) (or the lead PI, where there is more than one) on a sponsored program is solely
responsible for every aspect of the project. Therefore, the PI is expected to know or become knowledgeable
about all regulations guiding the project and for ensuring that the commitments made to the funding source are
fully met and in compliance with all applicable regulations.

4. Grants are prepared and administered with the concern for accountability to the funding agency in mind.
Therefore, from the earliest proposal planning stages to the close of the funded project, careful records are kept to
document meticulous compliance with the specifications of the funding source and all applicable regulations.

5. TCNJ is generally guided by federal regulations for all grants, regardless of funding source, except where the
funding source regulations are more stringent.

                                    ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Each member of the grantsmanship partnership has predictable roles and responsibilities. At The College of New
Jersey, those roles are as follows:

The (Lead) Principal Investigator (PI) of a grant will:

         Serve as the primary authority of the grant and will have ultimate responsibility for every aspect of grant
          preparation and award implementation;
      Prepare, revise and implement the grant budget with approval from OAGSR and the funding source;
      Become knowledgeable, with assistance from OAGSR as needed, about all pertinent funding sources,
          college, state and federal regulations and policies.
      Implement and manage the project within the scope authorized by the sponsor;
      Authorize all expenditures of grant funds;
      Accurately report time and effort of project personnel
      Direct the technical/programmatic aspects of the project;
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          Assist OAGSR in preparation of fiscal reports;
          Prepare and submit all technical or programmatic reports on time.

The Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI), or non-lead PI, will:
    Assist the PI in the preparation and implementation of a grant and in carrying out the roles of the PI listed
    Have secondary authority and responsibility in the grant.

The Office of Academic Grants and Sponsored Research will:

          Help faculty and staff learn how to identify potential sponsors;
          Assist in securing application packets and program announcements;
          Serve as a liaison with external funding agencies;
          Provide editorial assistance and critique the project narrative (allow sufficient lead time for review and
          Assist in planning and preparing the budget;
          Facilitate obtaining and approve matching funds from institutional sources;
          Provide official institutional signatures on all proposals and other grant-related documents;
          Copy and collate the required number of copies; package and either mail or provide 24-hour courier
           delivery of proposals (with lead time);
          Nominate faculty and staff to serve on review panels, review boards, study sections, and ad hoc review
          Negotiate Pre-Award and post-award budgets with technical and fiscal agency officers;
          Sponsor informational grantsmanship workshops;
          Review and execute contracts and other grant-related agreements;
          Conduct AIM (Award Implementation and Management) meetings for new award recipients;
          Set up grant accounts;
          Serve as the intermediary between the project director(s) and the funding agent for the purpose of
           negotiating changes in the project budget, modifying (reallocating, increasing, or decreasing) funds,
           extending deadlines, and other items primarily administrative in nature;
          Authorize payment of all grant expenditures;
          Approve all grant-related hiring;
          Ensure compliance with agency, college, state, and federal guidelines and regulations;
          Prepare fiscal reports.

                                            PRE-AWARD POLICIES


Facilities and Administration (F&A), sometimes referred to as Indirect Costs, are those expenses related to
research that cannot be easily identified with a particular sponsored project, instructional activity, or other
institutional activity. TCNJ regularly negotiates with the federal government to determine the rate to be charged.
The current federally-approved F&A rate is 65% of salary and wages.
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It is TCNJ policy to charge the federally-approved F&A rate as a normal element of every proposal budget,
unless it is disallowed by the sponsor.


As a way of demonstrating institutional commitment to a scholarly activity, sponsoring agencies often require
some percentage share in the costs of the proposed project. There are two types of cost sharing: voluntary and
mandatory. Voluntary cost sharing is the support provided by the institution based upon institutional goals and
commitments irregardless of the requirements of the funding source. Mandatory cost share is the amount and
type of institutional support specified by the sponsor.

TCNJ voluntarily shares in the costs of reassigned time and equipment in support of scholarly activity at the
College. These are described below. The Vice Provost for Research considers the potential significance of the
proposed scholarly activity to the overall mission of the institution and the academic or interdisciplinary unit
when recommending and/or approving mandatory institutional cost share.

Policies to Support Scholarly Activities (PotoSSA) represents a group of related Pre-Award and Post-Award
policies that were developed to provide support for faculty scholarship, curricular projects and college academic
programs assisted by external funds. They include Pre-Award policies concerning reassigned time designated for
cost sharing, and Post-Award PotoSSA distribution (see p. 10).


As a general rule, the institution voluntarily shares in the cost of a proposed scholarly activity at the rate of one
(1) course of reassigned time per academic year. With the Transformed Schedule, this one course is
automatically built into the schedule for all faculty members. In addition, the institution also provides support in
the form of reassigned time of up to one course per year to principal investigators who successfully compete for
SOSA. This internal award may be applied as the institutional cost share if the proposed project to an external
sponsor is similar to the one awarded through SOSA.

A request for exceptions to this general rule requires a compelling case presented by the principal investigator
and recommended for approval by the chair to the dean and to the Vice Provost and Provost. At a minimum, the
recommendation from the chair to the dean and from the dean to the Vice Provost must be based on the
significance of proposed scholarly work for the overall mission of the respective unit(s).

However, the maximum allowable reassigned time from all sources shall not exceed 75% per academic year.
That is, a faculty member may be reassigned to conduct scholarly activities but must teach at least 2 courses per
year. Since there may be a critical need for certain faculty expertise to teach selected courses in some
departments, it is expected that a request for all reassigned time should be discussed with and approved by the
department chair before proposals are prepared for processing and institutional approval. It is expected that
principal investigators on ten-month contracts will request full salaries from the sponsoring agency in the

In addition to reassigned time for research, SOSA also considers requests for reassigned time to develop and
submit competitive proposals to external sponsors. The institution will review the best approach to prioritizing
those SOSA applications.
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Cost Share for Equipment
As a general rule, the institution will voluntarily cost share proposals requesting funds for instrumentation at the
rate of 0.25:1 (25%) for the equipment to be purchased. Exceptions to this general rule will be made for specific
cases where the sponsor requires a 1:1 match, as in the National Science Foundation’s program on Course,
Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI).

As a recipient of Federal funds, The College is required to certify compliance with multiple laws and
governmental rules, regulations, and standards. Grant personnel are also required to comply with institutional
policies and procedures which implement state and federal laws and regulations governing research and scholarly
The following are TCNJ policies in response to federal regulations and descriptions of TCNJ status on various
federal compliance issues.

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) at The College of New Jersey is an appropriately constituted
administrative body established to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects recruited to participate in
research activities conducted by, or under the supervision of faculty, staff or students, or research activities by
non-TCNJ personnel who plan to recruit TCNJ students or employees as participants in their research. This
includes all projects whether unfunded, internally funded, or externally-funded through grants and contracts. In
accordance with The College of New Jersey policy governing the use of human subjects in research and the
Federalwide Assurance (FWA) (FWA00004576) maintained with the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services (DHHS), Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), all human subjects research conducted by or
under the auspices of The College of New Jersey will be performed in accordance with Title 45 Code of Federal
Regulations, Part §46 (45 CFR §46).

The IRB is charged with the responsibility and authority to approve, require modification in, halt unapproved or
non-compliant research, periodically monitor the progress of long-term records, or disapprove all research
activities involving humans that fall within its jurisdiction. It reviews research, training and other activity
protocols involving human subjects to ensure compliance with College and federal regulations and principles.
Investigators must obtain approval of the IRB prior to beginning a research project or expending funds on a grant
or contract.

The Guidebook of Policies and Procedures for Research Involving Human Subjects, found on the web at, provides detailed information on policies and regulations
pertaining to research with human subjects as well as procedures for obtaining approval to conduct the research.

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews protocols for the care and use of vertebrate
animals used for teaching and/or research purposes at the College of New Jersey. This includes all grant
proposals involving research with live vertebrate animals submitted for federal funding which require the filing
of a Special Assurance with the Department of Health and Human Services. It also includes all requests for the
College of New Jersey mini-grant funds, released time, or sabbatical leaves for research purposes involving live
vertebrate animals.

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The College of New Jersey’s policy on use of animals as research subjects or in instructional exercises is found at

Applicants for financial assistance from any federal agency are required to certify, among other things, that
neither it nor its principals are presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or
voluntarily excluded from covered transactions by any federal agency. TCNJ certifies that it is not a debarred or
suspended institution.

Information about the College policy on the illegal use of drugs and alcohol by its employees as it pertains to the
Drug-Free Workplace Act can be found at
All College employees, as a condition of employment, must notify The College within five days if they are
convicted of violating any criminal drug statute while on campus. Such notice must be given to the immediate
supervisor and to the Office of Human Resources. In addition, if the employee is directly or indirectly engaged
in the performance of a federal grant or contract, the Vice Provost for Research must give notice of the
employee’s conviction to the applicable federal agency.

Some grant applications ask the applicant to certify that it is not delinquent on the repayment of any Federal debt.
TCNJ is not delinquent.

This law was signed on October 23, 1989, and imposes prohibitions and requirements for disclosure and
certification by applicants on using appropriated funds, other than profits from a Federal contract, for lobbying
Congress or any Federal agency in connection with the award of a particular contract, grant, cooperative
agreement or loan. TCNJ does not lobby with restricted funds and a disclosure form SF-LLL is not generally
required in applications.

TCNJ recognizes and has addressed the need to establish safeguards to prevent employees, consultants, or
members of governing bodies from using their positions for purposes that are, or give the appearance of being,
motivated by a desire for financial gain for themselves or others. Significant financial and personal interest is not
limited to salaries and payments. It can also include holdings of principal investigators and key research
personnel (i.e., those responsible for the conduct and reporting of research results), their spouses, and dependent
Two policy documents were developed at TCNJ: The College of New Jersey Code of Ethics Pursuant to the New
Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law, located on the web at and the Statement on Ethics for Employees of
The College of New Jersey, located at A disclosure form must be filed by
the PI if there is a potential conflict of interest indicated in the application.

Both NIH and NSF require all recipient organizations to comply with agency rules and regulations, establish
administrative policies and procedures to meet the requirements, and report annually on possible misconduct in
research and scholarly activities. TCNJ's policy on misconduct, found at (under
menu heading Research Compliance), meets this requirement.

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                                          POST-AWARD POLICIES


Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A). The recovery of facilities and administrative costs (also known as
indirect costs) from sponsored activities is normally allowed based on the approved institutional negotiated rate
with the cognizant federal agency. Until Fiscal Year 2002, 100% of recovered F&A costs went to The College’s
general funds. As an incentive for faculty, departments, and schools to develop and submit competitive proposals
to external sponsors and to promote other scholarly activities, the recovered F&A costs are now allocated as

College (general funds)……………………………………………………………….20%
Academic Affairs…….……………………………………………………………….20%
Academic Grants & Sponsored Research…………………………………………….10%

School ……....…………………………………………………………………..…….30%
Department or Unit ……………..…………………………………………………….20%
Interdisciplinary Centers/Institutes (IU)……………………………………………....50%

If a faculty in a department submits a proposal through an IU, the School will get 15%, the department will get
10% and the IU will get 25%. All program/project incomes (over and beyond costs) from academic enterprises
shall be disbursed at 50% to the unit and 50% to the Administration. The specific purposes for which these funds
may be used are identified in the section named “Uses of Funds” below.


When a faculty member receives an internally sponsored grant (e.g. reassigned time via SOSA), The College
pays the regular base salary for the faculty and, in most cases, pays additional cost to hire an adjunct professor to
assume the duties given up by the faculty. In this case, there are no salary savings to The College. There is
additional cost to The College to hire adjuncts. Salary savings are realized when the cost of the reassigned time
is recovered from an external sponsor in the form of a grant or award. If the replacement cost (e.g., for an
adjunct) is less than the budgeted base salary for the faculty, then the difference is the salary savings. The
allocation of salary savings will be as follows:

College (general funds)……………………………………………………………….20%
Academic Affairs…….……………………………………………………………….20%
Academic Grants & Sponsored Research…………………………………………….10%

School ……....…………………………………………………………….……..……30%
Department or Unit ……………..…………………………………………………….20%

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The specific purposes for which these funds may be used are identified in the section named “Uses of Funds”
below. The disbursement schedule to the respective units is based on realized savings. At the end of every
semester, the deans will be asked to provide an estimate of projected salary savings respective schools and
departments for the following semester. The Vice Provost for Research validates the estimates based on the
previous year contracts and awards and the historical trend. These estimates are submitted to the Provost for
approval and presentation to the cabinet. The respective accounts will be credited as follows:

September 1 (at 60% of estimated savings)
January 2 (at 100% of estimated savings) based on projected savings through May 30

At the end of every academic year, the Vice Provost compiles and submits a comprehensive report to the Provost
and cabinet members on use of funds and total realized salary savings.


Approved activities for use of PotoSSA funds are limited to the following:

Travel to a professional conference (except mini-grant)
Purchase of materials and supplies
Purchase of equipment (except mini-grant)
Support of research, scholarship, or creative activities
Support of student research
Data collection and analysis
Professional consulting on specific scholarly activity
Manuscript Publication costs
Patent fees


Equipment, as defined by the College, is any tangible item with a unit acquisition cost of $3,000 or more.

In general the Federal government requires that all equipment requests with a unit acquisition cost of $3,000 or
more receive prior approval from the funding agency. This prior approval should be obtained through one of the
following formats: (1) the sponsor funds in accordance with the proposed budget; (2) a written request to the
sponsor to purchase unbudgeted equipment.

Once approval is obtained and the item of equipment has been purchased and received at the College, the PI and
his/her department assume the responsibility for the care and maintenance of the equipment. TCNJ tracks each
item and OAGSR must be informed of any changes which may occur in the use, condition, or location of the

Ownership of equipment is determined by the sponsor's requirements as stated in the award document.
Frequently, the College receives title to the equipment but has certain restrictions on the use and disposition of
the item extending for as much as a full year beyond termination or conclusion of the sponsored activity.


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TCNJ is responsible for documentation retention of all expenditures incurred on its accounting system, in
accordance with Internal Revenue Service and other federal regulations. Multiple-year awards require that
records for all years be retained until after project completion and audit.

The College is required to maintain official records for a period of three years following final payment by the
sponsor, until the federal direct cost audit is completed for the fiscal year in which the project expires, or for three
years after submission of a final report. Principal Investigators may be called upon to provide additional or
missing supporting documentation requested by auditors.

CFR: The Code of Federal Regulations
The Code of Federal Regulations is a codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal
Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. The CFR is available online and
in a paper edition through the Government Publications Office (GPO) Superintendent of Documents Sales

The CFR is divided into 50 titles which represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. Each title is divided
into chapters which usually bear the name of the issuing agency. (See: Alphabetical List of Agencies Appearing
in the CFR-- extracted from the January 1, 1998, revision of the CFR Index and Finding Aids -- pp. 1001-1009.)
Each chapter is further subdivided into parts covering specific regulatory areas. Large parts may be subdivided
into subparts. All parts are organized in sections, and most citations to the CFR will be provided at the section

Federal Acquisition Regulation's (FAR) Home Page
The Federal Acquisition Regulations System is established for the codification and publication of uniform
policies and procedures for acquisition by all executive agencies.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars
The Office of Management and Budget, working cooperatively with federal agencies and non-federal parties,
establishes government-wide grants management policies and guidelines through circulars and common rules.
These policies are adopted by each grant making agency and inserted into their federal regulations. Relevant
circulars include:

A-21, "Cost Principles for Educational Institutions" (dated 5/19/98)

A-110, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education,
Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations" (dated 11/19/93, amended 8/29/97)

A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations" (dated 6/24/97)
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                                          PART II   PRE-AWARD PROCEDURES
                                          Preparing and Submitting a Proposal

Grantsmanship is a strategic, organized process to obtain external financial resources for the work of an
individual, group or formal unit of the College. It includes development of an idea, finding appropriate funding
sources to support the idea, developing a proposal (making the case to the potential funding agency to fund your
idea), and ensuring College approval and support of the proposal.

This chapter is designed to guide faculty and staff through the process of developing a competitive proposal, and
to make the application process as smooth as possible. The OAGSR staff is ready to assist in the grantsmanship
process and has many resources in place to provide the support needed to submit a grant proposal. The Pre-
Award Specialist will provide support for this process and assists in the use of Office resources, such as GENIUS
and SMART (assistance in finding funding sources, and more), and ERSPA (Electronic Research and Sponsored
Programs Assistant), a homegrown electronic proposal development and management program.

                                          GENERAL PRE-AWARD INFORMATION

Winning proposals:

          Start with a good idea that the potential PI (Principal Investigator) is excited, even passionate about;
          See funding sources as partners in realizing that idea;
          Are written with the proposal reviewer in mind;
          Are clear and direct, making it easy for a reviewer to follow;
          Include clearly defined objectives, goals, or hypotheses;
          Are written as a persuasive document , incorporating general rhetorical principles of persuasion;
          Follow the RFP (Request for Proposals) meticulously;
          Respond to each item in the Proposal Review Criteria section of the application guidelines, if they have
           been provided. The proposal writer should consider adapting review criteria from major sponsor
           application guides (such as NSF) when specific criteria are not provided by the sponsor.
          Are developed with enough lead time to thoroughly describe the project. An early start is the key to
           ensuring that a proposal has the best possible chance of success.
          Are frequently discussed with a program officer from the funding agency. Whenever possible, discussing
           the basic concepts of the proposal and strategies for approaching the funding agency improve chances for

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Pre-proposal (preliminary proposal; pre-application) – Solicited or unsolicited, a brief presentation by the PI of
goals, methods, personnel and budget submitted to a funding agency. Pre-proposals are used by funding agencies
to determine the eligibility of the applicant and the suitability of the proposed project for support. The pre-
proposal is usually in letter form for private agencies and can be an abbreviated form of the standard proposal
format for public agencies. Unsolicited pre-proposals must include a statement that it is not an official offer and
TCNJ reserves the right to submit a full proposal prior to award.

New - A project proposed to a sponsoring agency for the first time.

Non-competing continuation –A request of support for a second or subsequent budget period within a previously-
approved project period.

Renewal – A continuation of a project for which the proposal submission is competitive.

Supplement – A request for funding for a new idea related to a funded project, for expansion of the project's
scope, or for special purposes which may enhance the progress of the research, such as purchasing a piece of
equipment or to support undergraduate and minority students.


The type of award mechanism to be utilized is determined by OAGSR based on the requirements of the award,
regardless of what it may be called by the Sponsor in the application or award documents. PI’s should consult
with the Pre-Award Specialist.

Contract – A legally binding agreement to provide expertise to conduct research, training, or other service.

Cooperative Agreement – Legal document that transfers money, property, services or anything of value to the
recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose. Substantial involvement is anticipated between the sponsor
and the recipient during performance of the activity.

Grant - The purpose of a grant is to request funds from a public or private source to support research, training,
outreach, or service.

Subaward (subcontract, subgrant) - A document written under the authority of, and consistent with the terms and
conditions of an award (a grant, contract or cooperative agreement), that allocates a portion of the research or
substantive effort of the prime award to another institution or organization.


Budget Period – Usually 12 months, one or more budget periods make up the Project Period (see Project Period

Cost sharing - Cost sharing is a contribution, mandatory or voluntary, of cash or services provided by the grantee
institution or a third-party to the overall costs of a sponsored project. If cost sharing is required by the funding
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agency (mandatory cost share), the level and type of contributed support are generally specified in program
guidelines or application instructions.

Cost sharing commitments are not normally made in a proposal unless required specifically in the program
announcement. The percentage of the mandated cost share and the potential significance of the proposed
scholarly activity to the overall mission of the institution and the academic or interdisciplinary unit will be
considered by the Vice Provost in recommending and/or approving institutional cost share. (See PotoSSA policy,
p. 8)

Direct costs - Direct costs are those costs that can be specifically identified and charged to a particular project or
program, such as salaries and benefits of project personnel, travel, equipment, services, and supplies.

Equipment – Often otherwise defined by a funding agency, for TCNJ purposes, equipment is defined as a
tangible article that has a useful life of more than 1 year and an acquisition cost of $3,000 or more.

Facilities and Administrative costs - Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs, sometimes referred to as Indirect
Costs, are those expenses related to research that cannot be easily identified with a particular sponsored project,
instructional activity, or any other institutional activity. These costs are classified under two broad categories:
Facilities (depreciation and use allowances, equipment, operation and maintenance, and library expenses) and
Administrative (general, sponsored projects, departmental, and school administration, and student administration
and services). (See PotoSSA for TCNJ F&A policy, page. F&A is normally an element of every proposal
budget, unless it is disallowed by the sponsor. The current negotiated rate at TCNJ is 65% of salaries.

Fringe benefits - Fringe benefits are direct costs associated with salaries and wages and include the following
items: FICA (Social Security); retirement; insurance for medical, dental, life, unemployment insurance, long-
term disability and employee liability coverage; and worker's compensation.

Project period - The total time approved by the funding agency for a supported project, including any extensions
approved by the institution or the funding agency. The project period consists of one or more budget periods
which are usually 12 months each.

Stipend - A payment made to an individual to provide for the individual's living expenses during the period of
training or education as part of the grant. A stipend is not for services rendered; it is not salary or wage, subject
to income tax withholding or FICA/Medicare taxes, although the value of a stipend may be taxable as income.


Fiscal Year (FY) - A 12-month period for which annual accounts are kept. TCNJ's FY is July 1 to June 30. The
federal government's FY is October 1 through September 30.

Instrumentation – Equipment

Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI or PD) - The individual designated by the grantee institution to direct
the project or activity being supported by the grant and who is responsible and accountable to the institution for
the proper conduct of the work.

Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                   15                                               Revised 8/6/2004
Program/Project Officer - A sponsor's designated official responsible for the technical, scientific or
programmatic aspects of the award, including monitoring progress and working with PIs on project-related

Reassigned Time – Time and effort for an employee is temporarily reassigned from normal duties to other
approved assignments such as, for faculty, research or administrative duties.

Research – Systematic study of an idea directed toward new and/or more complete knowledge and understanding
of a particular subject.

Service/Outreach – Providing services to students and to the community at large.

Training – Providing teaching and learning experiences.

                                            GETTING STARTED

Successful grant seeking begins with a good idea. The idea can manifest itself as a research, scholarly, or artistic
project, an educational program, or a service initiative. The search for funding sources represents the beginning
of an important interactive process in which a well-developed idea provides the basis for identifying potential
funding agencies. At the same time the process of reviewing funding opportunities can contribute to new ideas
and/or a more focused project. The project should align with the mission and goals of the department, school and
the College. It is helpful to think of the search for a funding source as the search for a partner with a mutual goal.
This concept of sponsor-as-partner defines the writer’s perspective as the proposal is developed.



SOSA is the mechanism used at TCNJ to provide internal support for faculty research and scholarly work.
Alternate Assignment for 1 course per year is awarded competitively on either a sustained (three-year) or annual
basis, defined as follows.

Sustained support applies to those teacher-scholars who have an established record of publications, performances,
or exhibitions, and who have received recognition in their respective fields. Teacher-scholars who receive
sustained support are eligible to have 1 course of their workload assigned to scholarly activities on a continuing
basis. This form of support may be renewed every three years through the competitive SOSA process.

Some established scholars may receive annual support, but annual support also includes two other categories of
teacher-scholars: those who are in the process of establishing a record of publications, performances, or
exhibitions, and are building a reputation in their respective fields; and those scholars who do not have a
sustained record of scholarship in recent years but who wish to reactivate scholarly activity.
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Full-time faculty members, including librarians, are eligible to apply for SOSA.
Recipients of academic year alternate assignment may not accept overload course assignments.
Individuals are not eligible to receive both a sabbatical leave and any other SOSA award during the same
academic year.

Those individuals who are not given scholarly support in one year may reapply the following academic year or
any year in the future.

Types of Eligible Scholarly Activities
Research All research (disciplinary, applied, pedagogical) is communicated to the academic community through
such means as articles in professional journals; published books, editions, textbooks, chapters; original papers for
conferences or professional societies; lecture recitals; service as editor or reviewer of scholarly works or
proposals; proceedings of conferences, panels, or meetings; published manuals or handbooks to accompany texts,
instruments, or equipment; software; electronic media.

          Disciplinary research: a contribution to knowledge in the field, whether through presentation of newly
           derived data or original critical interpretations of existing information.

          Applied research: the development and/or evaluation of solutions to practical problems.

          Pedagogical research: new insights and methods for transmitting knowledge to students.

Creative Endeavors These include original works of art, creative writing, drama, documentary, music, dance,
graphic design, digital arts, and architecture. They are presented to the public through performances, shows,
original compositions, sound or visual recordings, publications, displays or exhibits, and may be submitted for
juried evaluation by peers in the respective fields. Activities may include participation on panels, in discussion
groups, seminars, or workshops, or crating exhibitions.

Professional Activity Professional activities as a consultant or practitioner are considered scholarly activity when
they involve the creation, rather than application, of knowledge and impact significantly on one's discipline.
These activities demonstrate professional recognition of one's scholarship at least at the local level and may
include such work as original research when consulting for an outside organization, creating national standards
for an accrediting organization, designing curricula for national or regional use, etc. Documentation of
professional activities may include written evaluations by peers or professional organizations.

Major Grant Application Preparation Preparation of applications for highly competitive, major grants (in support
of scholarly/creative/professional activities as described above) requiring extensive pre-proposal work.

For the SOSA Application, go to the Academic Affairs website at and scroll
down to Research & Faculty Development.


Every year, the Office of Academic Affairs sets aside a pool of funds to be awarded competitively to conduct
scholarly work sponsored by the institution through reassigned time, as in SOSA, or sponsored by the individual.

Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                    17                                            Revised 8/6/2004
A maximum of one mini-grant award of up to $1,000 per applicant per year is awarded. The proposal and award
timeline is:

Submission: November 15 (for spring semester); May 30 (for fall semester)
Notification of Awards: December 15 (for spring semester); June 30 (fall semester)

Requirements The minimum requirements to compete for a mini-grant include:

          A completed application
          A Profile on Genius/Smarts

Uses of Mini-Grant Funds Approved activities for use of mini grant funds are limited to the following:

          Purchase of materials and supplies
          Support of research, scholarship, or creative activities
          Support of student research
          Data collection and analysis
          Professional consulting on specific scholarly activity
          Manuscript Publication costs
          Patent fees

Contact your dean for applications and additional information about Mini-grants.



In order to provide easily accessible funding information for faculty and staff at TCNJ, the College has obtained a
membership subscription to InfoEd's SPINPlus. SPINPlus is a Web-based subscription package that bundles
Sponsored Programs Information Network (SPIN), Global Expertise Network for Industry, Universities and
Scholars (GENIUS), and SPIN Matching and Researcher Transmittal System (SMARTS). Collectively, this
system provides effective support for developing sponsored programs.

SPIN is a funding opportunities database (with over 10,000 programs) designed to provide up-to-date information
on current federal and non-federal program announcements. It allows users to search the database using
keywords and other criteria.

GENIUS is a database of profiles or expanded curriculum vitae of scientific and scholarly expertise that is
accessible institutionally and/or globally (based upon individual preference) through the World Wide Web. The
profile categories will assist us in compiling institutional data on scholarship, and all individual information is
kept confidential.

SMARTS is an electronic transmittal service whereby InfoEd will match an individual’s GENIUS profile against
the funding opportunities offered through SPIN and e-mail the results on a daily basis.

Sign-Up Procedures
Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                      18                                         Revised 8/6/2004
      Go to the OAGSR web site and click on Funding Opportunities from the menu at the left. Scroll down to
       SPINPlus (GENIUS, SMARTS, and SPIN) and click. This will bring you to the InfoEd Office menu.
    Click on GENIUS/SMARTS (SPIN is also available at that menu selection site), then on Create New
    Select The College of New Jersey from the drop down menu, and click continue.
    Complete the requested entries from name to password and click submit.
    A profile summary page will appear.
    A partial profile of basic user information can be completed initially, with additional information added at
       a later date. Social security number is not required, but may be included at the user’s option.
    Initially, at least 15 keywords must be chosen. This may be edited later.
    Upon completion of information entry, click save, and then log out.
Within 2 days of submission, the profile will be validated and e-mail notices will begin the next day.

Anyone having difficulty with this process should call the Pre-Award Specialist in the Office of Academic Grants
and Sponsored Research at extension 3255. Once registered, a user is free to revise the personal information and
search for funding opportunities directly through SPINPlus.


The following are the most widely used agency listservs. The agencies send our grants announcements,
deadlines, and other news about the agencies to all subscribers. Subscription information is available at the url
listed for each.
NIH Guide
NSF Newsletter

In addition, most professional organizations disseminate information pertinent to members of the field (including
grant announcements) through similar e-mail lists.

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) is a government-wide compendium of federal programs,
projects, services, and activities which provide assistance or benefits to the American public. It contains financial
and non-financial assistance programs administered by departments and establishments of the federal
government. Federal contracts, by PL-95-224, are Procurement, not Assistance; therefore, there are never any
CFDA numbers issued for contracts. A grant from the United States Agency for International Development
(AID) or other US State Department activities for foreign assistance will also not have CFDA numbers.

Proposals for collaborative projects usually involve faculty from more than one institution and are subject to the
same policies and procedures as single-institution proposals. When a portion of the project is going to be carried
out at another institution or organization (third parties), a subcontract or subagreement between the prime grant
recipient and the third party is required in order to ensure compliance with sponsor requirements. The third party
is required to provide the necessary resources to conduct the work, including providing an investigator at the
Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                     19                                           Revised 8/6/2004
work site to oversee the project activities. Costs normally associated with third party effort could include: labor,
employee benefits, materials and supplies, travel, equipment, subcontracts, consultants, other direct costs, and
indirect costs. The lead institution should be so designated based on its substantive role in carrying out the
project's activities and its assumption of overall administrative responsibility for the project.

For any collaborative proposal, evidence of institutional approvals in the application is important for proposal
review. Letters of endorsement and signatures of authorized officials from participating institutions are helpful
for indicating to the funding agency that collaboration has been established at the time of proposal submission;
that all parties are fully aware, and in approval, of the content of the study and the institution's commitment to the
project; that the budgetary request is consistent with institutional policy and negotiated rates; and that award
negotiations between collaborating institutions and the funding agency will be facilitated. When TCNJ is the
prime or lead institution on a collaborative proposal, all collaborator letters and approvals must be submitted to
OAGSR for final TCNJ clearance of the proposals. TCNJ budget must request facilities and administrative
(F&A) costs at the current federal negotiated rate, whether TCNJ is submitting as the prime institution or as a

A proposal with subagreements generally has a prime budget for the lead or prime institution which includes
subagreements for the other participating organizations. The total direct and F&A costs, listed as a single
amount, for each subaward agreement must be included in the prime budget. In addition, separate detailed
budgets for each subrecipient should be attached to the prime budget. Subrecipients are generally allowed to
include F&A costs at their organization's negotiated rate when full F&A is allowed by the funding agency. When
F&A is restricted or disallowed by the funding agency, the subrecipients must follow the agency’s application
(RFP) requirements.

If TCNJ is the prime institution with subrecipients on its budget, the other institutions must submit an approved
work statement and timeline, signed itemized budget with justification, and a signed letter of intent to TCNJ for
inclusion in the proposal. A signature from the authorized institutional signatory of the subrecipient institution is
required on both the letter of intent to collaborate and on the budget prior to including the budget and other
documents in a TCNJ proposal. Specific instructions for potential subawardee organizations are available from
the Pre-Award Specialist at OAGSR.

If TCNJ is the subrecipient on a proposal submitted by another institution who is the lead, the TCNJ portion of
the proposal, along with TCNJ Proposal Routing Form, must be reviewed and approved by OAGSR prior to
submitting the materials to the prime institution for inclusion in the proposal. All required agency forms, budget,
work statement or proposal narrative, and other proposal sections for TCNJ must be approved by OAGSR before
submission to the prime institution.

Once an award is received, the prime grantee institution will enter into a written agreement with each

                                          PREPARING THE PROPOSAL
A proposal is a formal request for financial support from a specific sponsor for a research, instructional, or public
service project. It identifies a need or a problem and offers a persuasive plan to resolve it. A good proposal
recognizes and addresses the values and goals of the funding agency, and justifies the claim with appropriate
data. A well-crafted proposal presents a detailed, systematic plan for implementing the idea, which usually
Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                  20                                               Revised 8/6/2004
includes specific and measurable goals and objectives, a work plan and timeline, biographical sketches of the key
personnel, an appropriate, transparent budget, and a strong evaluation plan.

Preparation begins with a thorough understanding of the sponsor’s mission and goals; and it includes
communicating with OAGSR from the earliest stages onward in order to tap all available resources.

Contact with a sponsor prior to the submission of a formal proposal can be beneficial. An investigator may
initiate contact to confirm research interests by e-mail, a telephone call, office visit, letter of intent (a brief outline
of the project emphasizing the methodology, objectives, and importance of the project), or preliminary proposal.
Initial contact can help an investigator determine a sponsor's funding interests.

A sponsor may request that a letter of intent or a preliminary proposal be submitted. These introductory
submissions give the sponsor enough basic information about a project to make preliminary recommendations to
the proposer, without having to make a formal commitment. The letter of intent or preliminary proposal goes
through the regular TCNJ Routing process (using ERSPA) so that the chair, dean, and Vice Provost are informed.

Proposal format is usually determined by a sponsor's guidelines. The major federal agencies have general
guidelines available in print and online (see the list below with links to common sites). An investigator should
download the online version or request a print copy of the application guidelines from the sponsor.

Most federal and state agencies, and many private agencies, in addition to their general funding areas, solicit
proposals on predetermined areas of need through publication of Request for Proposal (RFP) or similarly named
document (RFA). The RFP requirements normally take precedence over the generic requirements for a funding
agency; however, often, both must be followed. It is very important that the guidelines be followed precisely.
Most agencies will not even consider a proposal that is incomplete or late.

In addition to basic proposal content and format instructions, most RFPs include a section outlining the review
criteria that will be followed by reviewers. To ensure a competitive proposal, carefully review and respond to
every item in the review criteria section of a proposal preparation guide. This will help you to target your
proposal directly to the concerns of the reviewers.

At this point, the PI should use ERSPA (described in the next section) to notify OAGSR of her or his intent to
submit a grant proposal. The Early Notification Form will give OAGSR the preliminary information needed to
prepare to support your proposal submission.

If no guidelines or application forms are available from the sponsor, the proposal format in the Proposal
Components section below can be used as a guide.


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The OAGSR and the Department Application Development Team (DADT) of Information Technology at TCNJ
have collaborated to develop our own electronic proposal development and grant management system, ERSPA.
By using ERSPA, a prospective Principal Investigator (PI) can receive automatic guidance in preparing and
submitting a proposal to an external sponsor. It is a tool that allows users to inform chairs, deans, and OAGSR of
intentions to submit a grant, assists users in preparing proposal budgets, and routes proposals through the
approval process that includes the chair’s, dean’s, and OAGSR’s approvals.

The Pre-Award functions include the Early Notification Form, Budget Template, and Proposal Routing Form.
Post Award options presently include an interactive format for the completion of TCNJ Sponsored Programs
Outcomes (SPO) report.

All TCNJ employees can log in using their regular system login and password. Once logged in, first-time
ERSPA users should select Registration and register on ERSPA. Previously registered users can continue to the
Main Menu items.

To log in, go to: (We recommend using Internet Explorer.) Upon logging
in, the main menu screen will appear:

                                         Register             Login             Help

                  Welcome to the Electronic Research and Sponsored Programs Assistant!

                                                         Pre-Award Options
                                                        Intent to Submit a Proposal
                                              View/Delete Your Submitted Early Notifications
                                                     Fill Out/Edit a Budget Template
                                                     View/Delete a Budget Template
                                                      Submit a Grant Routing Form
                                                  View All Previously Submitted Grants

                                                        Post-Award Options
                                            View Sponsored Programs Outcomes Options (SPO)

We strongly encourage all users to complete the Early Notification Form when they are just beginning to get their
thoughts together for a proposal they intend to submit. All of the information available at the time of completion
should be entered. The URL is especially important.
Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                             22                                Revised 8/6/2004
The Early Notification Form is the mechanism by which the chair, the dean, and OAGSR are notified of the PI’s
intention to submit a proposal. In situations where there is a limit to the number of proposals that can be
submitted, it is in the PI’s best interest to submit an Early Notification early.

A budget is best developed along with the concept of the proposal and during the writing of the proposal
narrative. When a prospective PI keeps the budget in mind while writing the proposal narrative, the budget is
more likely to adhere closely to the intentions of the project.

Developing the Proposal Budget
The prospective PI uses the budget template to develop a draft budget. A new budget can be created by clicking
on Fill Out/Edit a Budget Template. If the PI has already completed the Early Notification Form, most of the
information from that form will transfer directly onto the budget template. The template is organized into budget
categories common to most grant budget requirements and serves as a budget checklist for the PI to ensure that
all important budget categories have been considered.

Basic information about the College such as fringe benefit rates and F&A (Facilities and Administration, a.k.a.
Indirect Costs) rates are built in and automatically calculated, as are projected salary increments for subsequent
budget years. The prospective PI can reset these rates in the header if a different rate must be used for a
particular proposal. Viewing options allow the budget to be viewed and printed in summary form or itemized

When working in a budget category, information is entered by clicking on Add Row. While working within each
row, the Tab key should be used after each entry, tabbing to the end of the line. Doing this enables ERSPA to
compute totals using the information that was entered, and save the information. Once a draft budget is prepared,
the Submit button should be clicked, and this will send the budget to OAGSR for preliminary budget approval.

In working with the budget template, it is advisable to complete Year 1 before generating the budgets for
subsequent-years. It is easier to modify the subsequent years than it is to create each year from scratch. The
displayed next-year’s budget is a duplicate of the first-year budget, except that it reflects projected salary
increments. To add a year, simply click on Add Year to end of Current Budget. The user can then go in and edit
appropriately for the budget year being developed.

Developing the Proposal Narrative
The prospective PI develops the proposal using his or her own word processing files. Upon completion, the
proposal file(s) is attached to the Proposal Routing Form for review by the chair, dean, and OAGSR. We
strongly recommend that the prospective PI works with the Pre-Award Specialist who can provide assistance in
reading the manuscript for consistency, clarity, and responsiveness to funding guidelines. Early drafts are

As soon as the budget is given preliminary approval from OAGSR, the prospective PI will receive an e-mail
notice. At that point, the Proposal Routing Form can be completed by clicking on Submit a Proposal Routing
Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                  23                                             Revised 8/6/2004
Form on the Pre-Award menu. There will be very little additional information required on the Routing Form
based on automatic entries from the Early Notification and budget. The budget will automatically be attached.

After completing the remaining entries, the proposal files should be attached. This is accomplished by browsing
local files on the user’s computer. Once the proposal has been attached, the Routing Form can be submitted. The
proposal will route electronically, first to the chair, then to the dean, for approval. After they have both approved,
it comes back to OAGSR for final approval. The PI will receive an e-mail notification of the proposal acceptance
or denial at each stage.

The chair’s approval on the Grant Routing Form confirms the following:
the proposal is appropriate within the discipline;
the proposal is in keeping with department mission and goals;
reassigned time, if applicable, is approved;
all cost-share items listed for the department are committed by the chair; should the grant be awarded, those
monies will be moved from the departmental account to the separate cost share account set up for that grant

The dean’s approval on the Grant Routing Form confirms the following:
the proposal is in keeping with department, school and TCNJ mission and goals;
reassigned time, if applicable, is approved;
all cost-share items listed for the school are committed by the dean; should the grant be awarded, those monies
will be moved from the school account to the separate cost share account set up for that grant project.

The flowchart below summarizes the entire pre-award process on ERSPA.

                             Early Notification
                                                          Early                             Email
                                  PI                   Notification                  (Chair, Dean, OAGSR)

                            Budget and Routing Form
                                                                                           Email                        OAGSR
                                   PI                 Budget                     (Chair, Dean, OAGSR)            Preliminary Approval

                                                 Email                                                                Email
                                                                                                                 (PI, Chair, Dean)
                                          (Chair, Dean, OAGSR)             (with proposal & budget)

                                           Chair                       Email                                                Email
                                          Approval               (PI, Dean, OAGSR)                                    (PI, Chair, OAGSR)

                                                   OAGSR copies and
                                             mails proposal if final proposal
                                            arrives at OAGSR at least 5 days                                               OAGSR
                                                   before the deadline                              Email
                                                                                             (PI, Chair, Dean)
                                                     PI copies and mails

Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                                                24                                                  Revised 8/6/2004

Below is an outline of the most common elements of grant proposals and some suggestions for their preparation.
This section can be used as a template to create a proposal when specific guidelines have not been provided by
the funding agency, or as a guide in completing parallel sections when using specific agency guidelines. For
those working from agency guidelines and/or an RFP, first and foremost, we recommend a careful reading of the
application and instructions. The language is usually thoughtfully chosen to guide the applicant in a specific
way. It is crucial to pay particular attention to page limitations and budget instructions.

I.         Cover Sheet/Title Page
           The title page includes the following information:

Select a title that is descriptive of the project; expresses the end result of the project, not the methods; describes
benefits to clients; and is short and easy to remember.
        B. Sponsor Name and Address
        C. TCNJ Name, Address, Telephone Number, e-mail address
        D. Name, Department, Address, Telephone Number, e-mail address of Principal
E. Duration of Project with Start and End Dates
        F. Amount Requested
        G. Submission Date
        H. Institutional information.
        I. Signature of Principal Investigator
        J. Name and Title, and Signature of Authorized Institutional Representative (Vice Provost for Research).
All grant applications and proposals must have the signature of the Vice Provost for Research. The Vice Provost
for Research signs grant proposals only after the budget has received preliminary approval and the Proposal
Routing Form has been completed (see ERSPA). The Proposal Routing Form, approved by the chair and dean
(or their equivalents) must be received at OAGSR at least five (5) business days before the proposal deadline in
order to allow sufficient time for proposal review, including time needed to ask and answer questions about the
proposal, address concerns, finalize negotiation of College commitments, and make any necessary changes in the
proposal before the deadline.

II.        Proposal Narrative

A. Abstract or Project Summary. The abstract or summary and the title of the proposal are the first items a
program officer or reviewer will read. This is usually between 50 and 2000 words long.
The abstract is a condensed description of the project, stating clearly and concisely the significance of the project,
project goals and objectives, and the plan for accomplishing them. If the sponsor funds the project, the abstract
may be used for reporting or publicity purposes. Therefore, the abstract should stand alone as an independent
document, and it should be directed toward the intelligent general reader rather than toward experts in the field.
Make no references in the abstract to other portions of the proposal such as figures, tables, charts, or the

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The abstract should give readers a favorable first impression. Sponsors begin evaluating projects based on the
main idea. A program officer may determine priorities for the agency’s proposal review or assign the proposal to
a specific panel or set of reviewers after reading only the abstract. Thus, the abstract is very important.

B. Table of Contents. The Table of Contents can make the proposal coherent by showing the organizational
pattern and how the various sections of the proposal are related to one another. And effective Table of Contents
will help reviewers find specific information without scanning the entire document.

It should include the major divisions of the narrative as well as major subdivisions of the project description such
as: Summary of Previous Work, Statement of Proposed Project, and Methods or Procedures. Read the agency’s
proposal review criteria to find the specific information they will look for in the proposal. Use the Table of
Contents and topical headings to make sure that information is easy to find.

       C. Introduction/Statement of Purpose. What problem or issue is addressed by this project? Why is it
important? The introduction should be used to reinforce the connection between the applicant's interests and
those of the sponsor. The introduction should be interesting and brief, offer statistics, statements, and/or
endorsements to support credibility in the project area, lead logically into the problem statement, and emphasize
anything unique or unusual about the project.

        D. Needs Statement or Impact of the Study. Who will benefit? Document the compelling need of the
prospective client population, or through a review of the research, justify the need for research in the intended
area of this proposal. Describe why this proposal and project staff are uniquely suited to solve this problem.

       E. Description of Project. The project description explores the general background of the current or
previous research. It also describes the approach to be used in the performance of the project, which should
convince the reviewers at the funding agency that the procedure has been carefully worked out and that it will
succeed. The inclusion of a realistic project timetable indicates careful planning.

The narrative (often technical) must be a concise and coherent explanation of a research or training plan which
has specific and reasonable goals. It should establish the significance and objectives of the proposed work, its
relation to the larger field of which it is a part, the rationale and suitability of the methods to be employed, the
abilities and qualifications of the investigator(s) and institution, and a procedure for evaluating the progress and
outcomes of the project.

               1. Goals and Objectives. Goals are the overall accomplishments the proposal expects to achieve.
Objectives are measurable and/or observable steps the project will take to close the gap between needs and goals.

                 2. Methods. This section should be a detailed description of the research protocol or project
activities. It should include many of the following, as appropriate:
    o describe program activities in detail and explain how they fulfill objectives
    o describe the sequence and interrelationship of activities
    o describe planned staffing of the program and assignment of responsibilities to specific individuals
    o describe the subject/client population and method of determining selection
    o present a reasonable scope of activities, stating specific time frames for completion
    o make reference to the cost/benefit ratio of the project
    o include a discussion of risk (why the success of this project is probable)
    o describe the uniqueness of the methods for each part of the project

Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                  26                                               Revised 8/6/2004
             3. Project Timeline/Planner. This is the time-management chart or plan that spells out how, when
and by whom each objective and every activity of the project will be carried out.

        F. Bibliography. A listing of references cited in the body of the proposal should appear at the end of the

G. Facilities and Equipment. This section of the proposal should itemize all accessible facilities and all
equipment pertinent to the project. One possible way of organizing this section is to itemize, and annotate if
necessary, facilities and equipment based on accessibility. Include a list of items requested for sponsor purchase
and a list of resources available to the project at the College. Include resources such as the amount and kinds of
studio, laboratory, and office space; field resources; library resources; greenhouse space; controlled environment
facilities; computing equipments and services; and animal care facilities.

H. Evaluation. This is a critical, often ignored section of the proposal. Evaluation of the project often includes
both formative and summative evaluations. All evaluations should be based upon project objectives and should
be written in sufficient detail. It is often advisable to use external evaluators (sometimes it is required).

        I. Dissemination. Possible means of dissemination include mailing or publishing the final report to the
field; newsletters; sponsoring seminars or conferences on the topic; speaking at national or international
conferences; production of films, videos, and slide/tape presentations.

Curriculum Vitae.
Curriculum Vitae for all key personnel should be submitted with every proposal to indicate their background,
professional interests, research capabilities, and publications.

IV.     Budget
The budget section of the proposal generally includes the budget and accompanying justification, and should
reflect a reasonable estimate of the expenses necessary to conduct the project. The budget is a vital part of your
proposal because agencies evaluate proposals based on funding requests and how well the budget matches and
supports the proposed project plans.

    A. Create the budget first on ERSPA. The ERSPA budget template serves as a category checklist, it provides
all necessary TCNJ rates (fringe, F&A, etc.), and it calculates automatically.

    B. Budget Components and Effective Budget Preparation

         1. Direct Costs. Costs incurred obviously vary from project to project. But, the following categories are
often included.
    a. Salaries and Wages. Using the Budget Template in ERSPA, list salaries and wages for all positions,
indicating for each individual the percentage of time allocated to the research project and the amount of salary or
wage to be paid from the grant. Make separate entries for academic year and summer for all personnel who are
compensated on an academic year basis. All personnel involved in the project, whether faculty, professional
staff, clerical, or student research assistants, must be paid in accordance with college salary and wage guidelines.
For more information about categories of personnel and salary ranges, contact the Pre-Award Specialist in
OAGSR (X3255). For positions for which personnel have not been appointed, use the average salary for that
specific rank or category.
Project personnel may not be paid more than the College rate. In other words, the total allocation of time to
College duties and the sponsored project may not exceed 100%, nor may the monthly compensation for all duties
Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                  27                                             Revised 8/6/2004
exceed 100% of the College salary rate. Payment of faculty summer salary is allowable as long as total
College/sponsored project work time does not exceed 100% (based on a 40-hour, 5-day work week) and the
payments do not exceed 20% of the preceding academic year salary.
     b. Fringe Benefits. Funding agencies allow for payroll assessments such as Federal Insurance Compensation
Act (FICA), Workers’ Compensation, insurance benefits, and retirement expense. These rates are calculated
automatically by the ERSPA budget template and changed annually.
     c. Consultant Services. If your project requires consultants (calls for expertise of a well-defined natures for a
fixed period of time), estimate their fees and travel expenses separately from the Salaries and Wages section. The
general policy is to obtain written verification of the consultant’s willingness to serve on the project. If you have
not chosen your consultants when you are preparing the budget, you should include appropriate, competitive rates
for services to be rendered. Consultant fees cannot exceed what the individual can command in the public
It is often difficult to determine whether certain outside services needed by a grant project should be treated as a
consultant or as a subaward. The following list of criteria was developed to assist in distinguishing between the
use of a Consulting Agreement or a Subaward:
(1) Consulting Agreement
a) Given to independent individual contractors or consulting organizations for professional services
b) Tasks are specific, well-defined and of limited scope
c) A hired service
 (2) Subaward (see procedures for subawards below)
     a) Given to colleges and universities, other institutions and organizations
     b) Usually has a partnership role, even when it is a small one
     c) Often has more autonomy in the completion of the work, within the parameters of the agreed-upon work
plan, timeline, and budget
     d. Permanent Equipment. List each major item of equipment. Permanent equipment is defined as an item
with a value greater than $1,000 with a useful life expectancy of one year or longer. Describe each equipment
item and list the item’s estimated cost including freight charges and installation costs, based whenever possible
on a 90 day price quotation. Specify the manufacturer and the model number. The departmental Information
Technology liaison must be contacted for all computer-related equipment.
    e. Expendable Supplies. Categorize and itemize in this section supplies and expendable equipment.
Allowable items will ordinarily be limited to research equipment and apparatus not already available for the
conduct of the work.
    f. Travel. Follow the ERSPA budget template to indicate the type and extent of travel that may be required to
perform the project. Separate travel costs into Domestic and Foreign. Consult agency instructions for allowable
travel methods and costs and for definitions of foreign and domestic travel. Foreign travel generally requires
special permission from the funding agency and requires clear and convincing justification. In most cases, travel
to professional meetings may be included when such meetings are justifiably related to the project, such as
dissemination of results.
    g. Publication Costs. Indicate and itemize costs for copying, reprinting, duplications, plate preparation or
publishing. Include any publication costs connected with dissemination and evaluation. It is generally viewed
favorably by reviewers to suggest publication in a journal that has an outstanding reputation because of the
quality of the merit review process. Check journal page charges and reprint rates for a correct and current
    h. Other Direct Costs. Since budget requirements vary from agency to agency, items included in Other Direct
Costs are defined as those costs that fit in none of the other categories for a particular agency. Other direct costs
may include space rentals away from the College, service charges, equipment rental, maintenance contracts,
library acquisitions, communications (telephone, mail, fax), and subcontracts.

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 2. Facilities and Administration (F&A or Indirect Costs). F&A charges to a sponsored project reflect a carefully
calculated estimate of the true cost to the College of research and sponsored projects. Based on negotiations with
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the F&A costs rates are established at regular 3-year
intervals. TCNJ uses a Salary and Wage Basis for calculation of F&A. F&A is automatically calculated on the
Budget Template of ERSPA. The negotiated rate agreement and the date of the agreement are often required for
submission along with the proposal. The full negotiated F&A rate is included in the budget, except when it is
restricted or disallowed by the sponsor.

3. Cost Sharing. TCNJ policies on cost sharing can be found in Chapter I. When cost sharing is required for a
project, documentation of the cost share is necessary and must be approved in advance of the submission by the
department chair, the dean, and the Vice Provost for Research. The use of direct costs for cost sharing purposes
requires the written consent of the College. The exact source of the cost share must be identified and the person
responsible for authorizing its use must approve the commitment.

     C. Other Budget Considerations

Is each category of expenditure that was described and justified in the narrative itemized in detail? Does it match
the Project Timeline/Planner?
Is any unusual expenditure in the narrative (e.g., use of a helicopter for local travel) explained?
Will the reviewer understand how the totals for each category (eg., PI at 25% time @ $60,000 = $15,000) were
If some items are unusual, and the agency form permits, is the budget keyed to pages in the narrative?
Is each college contribution to the project (including indirect cost on cost share portion of budget) itemized?
Was the budget objectively reviewed to determine that the request is a sufficient, but not excessive, sum for each
expense category to permit the project to be properly executed?
Were the cost-share contributions discussed with those responsible for specific cost share contributions and
approved by them? (The Proposal Routing Form should accommodate this.)

V. Compliance Issues
Federal regulations stipulate that institutions applying for federal funds assure the appropriate federal agency that
certain conditions and policies are in place at the applicant institution. Federal funding is at risk college wide if
individuals do not comply with these assurances. Questions regarding the assurance process may be addressed to
OAGSR. Some of the most common compliance issues include:

Human Subjects. The use of human subjects in a research proposal must be reviewed and approved by the
Institutional Review Board (IRB). This is accomplished by submission of a human subjects protocol to the IRB.

Protocol approvals must be obtained either before the proposal is submitted or before a deadline set by the
sponsor. IRB information can be obtained online at the OAGSR web site or by contacting IRB chair, Dr. Jay
Hoffman at

College policy requires that the use of human subjects in research regardless of funding (College funds, gifts,
federal, etc.) must receive IRB approval prior to the PI initiating the research.

Animal Welfare. Proposals which involve the use of live vertebrate animals, regardless of the funding source,
must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Prior to proposal
submission, an initial contact must be made with the Chair of the IACUC Committee, Dr. Andrew Leynes
( Review IACUC policies and procedures online through the OAGSR web site.
Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                  29                                              Revised 8/6/2004
Bio-Safety. Proposals and laboratory teaching activities which employ the use of recombinant DNA (which are
not exempt from NIH guidelines), infectious agents, teratogens, mutagens, carcinogens, biohazards, hazardous
waste, and radioactive material must be reviewed by the TCNJ Occupational Safety Specialist, Mr. Brian Webb.
Contact him at for information.

Radiation Safety. Anyone considering the procurement, use and/or disposal of radioactive material and other
sources of ionizing radiation, lasers, and other non-ionizing sources of radiation must contact Mr. Brian Webb,
Occupational Safety Specialist, at

Audits. TCNJ undergoes an A-133 audit annually; the College will furnish a funding agency a copy of the annual
audit if the agency so desires. The College’s independent audit is also available to a funding agency upon
request. Contact the Pre-Award Specialist in OAGSR.

Some agencies require that special forms be signed and submitted with an application assuring the College’s
compliance with certain regulations. The following checklist reflects TCNJ’s status with regard to the most
frequently included assurances.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504          yes
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973                  yes
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972                 yes
Age Discrimination Act of 1975                yes
Misconduct in Science assurance filed annually                 yes
Delinquent on federal debt            no
Debarred or suspended                 no
Drug-Free Workplace                   yes
Lobbying with federal funds                                    no

Call the program officer at the sponsoring agency for assistance in developing a proposal. Generally, their role is
to provide information, interpretation, and guidance to prospective PIs. They work to ensure that each proposal is
submitted to the right program and that each gets a fair read.

Obtain sample proposals; now some can be found on the web.

Pay attention to criteria frequently used in rating proposals and applications, in particular:

Significance. Why should this project be funded and undertaken? What are the broader impacts of this project?
Be specific.

Clarity of conception and methodology. Is this the best way to meet project goals? Are the methods clear and do
they lead directly to accomplishing the goals and objectives?

Avoid using jargon. Use a direct, active writing style. Use short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs as
much as possible. Reviewers are usually reading many proposals, and they appreciate clarity.

Proofread carefully.
Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                   30                                           Revised 8/6/2004
Letters of recommendation should be carefully planned. People who write the letters must have first-hand
knowledge with the project staff and work to be done. It is preferable to avoid people who are overseas. When
requesting a letter, it is advisable to send a copy of the proposal (or a brief description) to the letter writer and tell
her or him specifically which aspects of the work the letter should address. Ask the person to speak to the
question of significance and to include specific comments. Sending an outline of the points to be covered, a draft
or a sample letter to work from is often helpful.

Proposal Evaluation Checklist

____ Is the title page complete, and is the person who will act as correspondent clearly designated with accurate
title, address, and telephone number?
____ Does the table of contents list accurate page references for each section of the proposal as well as major
____ Is your abstract a true summary, written in plain English? Does it exclude any citations to other sections of
the proposal?
____ Do you clearly establish that your project is needed?
____ Is the need for the proposed activity relevant to the funding agency’s priority areas?
____ Are the objectives of the project true objectives? Are they sharply defined yet sufficiently detailed?
____ Are the objectives of the project realistic, capable of being achieved and measured?
____ Are the size, scope, and duration of the project sufficient to secure productive results?
____ Are your qualifications and experiences adequate to carry out the proposed project? (Sometimes in
negotiations between the College and the funding agency your original plans can grow or shrink beyond your
capabilities or interests).
____ Are the qualifications and experiences of your personnel adequate to carry out the proposed project?
____ Are College and area resources and facilities adequate?
____ Is the proposed plan of operation sound?
____ Are the budget and professional narrative consistent?
____ Is the commitment of all involved parties evident? Are letters of commitment in the appendix? Is cost
sharing stated both in the proposal narrative and the budget?
____ Are the uses of money clearly indicated in the proposal narrative, itemized in the budget, and explained in
the budget justification section?
____ Have all budget figures and totals been checked for accuracy?
____ Have provisions been made for adequate evaluation of the project’s effectiveness and for determining the
extent to which you accomplish your objectives?
____ Have you made provisions for disseminating the results of the project and for making materials, techniques,
and other project output available to the public?
____ If appropriate, is there a clear statement to continue the project after external funding ends?
____ Have you followed all directions given in the agency’s application outline, including those for required
proposal length?
____ Have all College and agency prior approvals been obtained?

                                      PROPOSAL SUBMISSION AND FOLLOWUP

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After the completed proposal and accompanying proposal budget have received final OAGSR approval, the
proposal is ready for submission to the sponsor. Reproduction and mailing of the proposal will be done by
OAGSR, if the completed proposal is received at least five days before the deadline. Regardless of the mode of
delivery--courier service, U.S. Postal Service, or in-person delivery by the PI, it is advisable to obtain a dated

In general, large foundations and federal agencies review proposals at three specific levels: (1) independent ad
hoc reviews by several investigators; (2) meetings of standard review panels; and (3) evaluation by chief
administrators or boards of directors. These levels are incorporated into two basic review systems: internal
review and external review. Obviously, an awareness of the type of review and the criteria for evaluation will
contribute to your ability to write a successful proposal.

INTERNAL REVIEW When an agency’s own staff of full-time, trained personnel is responsible for the
technical review of proposals, the agency is said to have internal proposal review. These personnel, called
program officers, determine which projects will receive funds by considering each proposal’s excellence and
suitability to the agency’s program needs. Several levels of administrators within most agencies must also
approve those proposals selected for funding. Sometimes internal reviewers seek outside opinions from other
agency scientists, other agencies, and universities.

EXTERNAL REVIEW When the evaluation of proposals is conducted by professionals not within the agency’s
employ, the agency is said to have external proposal review. External review is often referred to as peer review
since reviewers are chosen from different parts of the country and from special segments of the population of
scholars in a particular field.

External reviews may be conducted through the mail or e-mail (reviewers selected by the agency are mailed or e-
mailed the proposal for evaluation), through meetings (reviewers meet with agency and staff several times a year
to evaluate proposals that have been circulated prior to these meetings), or through a combination of these two
methods. External reviewers advise the agency on the appropriateness of the budget and make recommendations
for funding; however, final funding decisions often rest with agency officials.

A significant amount of time can pass between the submission of a proposal and announcement of funding
decisions (up to six months is not unusual). Receipt of proposals is frequently acknowledged by a postcard or
letter which may specify an applications identifier or processing number. If such an identifier has been assigned,
any correspondence with the agency should include the identifier.

An announcement of the expected decision date may be a part of the guideline for application or may be
communicated with the acknowledgement of receipt of the proposal. Before contacting the agency to inquire on
the status of your proposal, consult with OAGSR. Frequent or improper communication with an agency
regarding the status of a proposal can lessen the chances of funding and give the prospective sponsor a negative
impression of the College.

When any communication is received from the agency, regardless of whether an award has been received or the
proposal has been denied funding, OAGSR should be notified as soon as possible. Such notification is necessary
for the award to be formally accepted or to initiate a search for another funding source. Copies of all
Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                 32                                              Revised 8/6/2004
communications should be sent to OAGSR for inclusion in the official College master file of the proposal and
documents relating to it, including correspondence, and letter of award or denial.

WHAT TO DO IF AN AWARD IS MADE. In some cases, projects are approved with no modifications to the
budget or to the project plan. In other cases, the project director is asked to submit a revised budget (which may
require a revision of the project plan) or a revised project plan (which may require a revised budget). Contact
OAGSR for assistance in meeting the agency’s requests. All revised project plans or budgets require OAGSR
approval before they are submitted to the sponsor.

When notification of an award is received, OAGSR must be contacted IMMEDIATELY and the original award
notice sent to our office. The Office of Academic Grants and Sponsored Research arranges for formal acceptance
of the award, sets up the Award Implementation and Management (AIM) Meeting with the PI, and begins
processing the appropriate forms to set up the grant account. Even when a proposal has been funded, reviewers’
comments should be requested from the sponsoring agency. These comments provide valuable information on
strengths and weaknesses of the project. Finally, the PI should thank the sponsoring agency and keep the agency
informed of progress in implementing the project by completing all required reports in a timely manner.

WHAT TO DO IF A PROJECT IS DENIED FUNDING. The PI must notify OAGSR and send a copy of the
letter of denial so that the file is current and alternative sources of support can be investigated. The PI should
also contact OAGSR to discuss the situation. Frequently, a proposal is declined, not because of any defect or lack
of merit, but because the agency received a large number of excellent proposals requesting an amount of funding
greater than the amount available.

The letter of denial should be read carefully, searching for reasons why the proposal was not accepted. Will the
agency allow a re-submission? The chances of success increase statistically with each re-submission.

When a proposal is denied funding, reviewer comments and assessments are especially important in improving
the proposal and preparing it for re-submission. If they are not provided, the PI can write or call the agency and
request them. Reviewers’ comments should be analyzed carefully and the revised proposal should respond to the
reviewer comments appropriately.

Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                 33                                             Revised 8/6/2004
                                          PART III POST AWARD PROCEDURES
Congratulations on winning a grant award! The OAGSR guides faculty and staff through the external and
internal regulations and policies governing grant awards. We have the expertise and resources necessary to help
the PI (Principal Investigator) use the award wisely and in compliance with the terms of the proposal, contractual
agreements, and all appropriate regulations. Part III of the GPPM provides detailed procedures for implementing
the grant award, including Planning, Award Management, and Closing the Grant.

Planning and managing a grant requires reliable information and careful coordination and cooperation between
and among the PI, the OAGSR, and the funding source. Because any failure to adhere to pertinent rules and
regulations can result in the termination of the award by the funding agency or disallowed expenses (requiring the
College to replace the disallowed funds), good planning is essential. The PI is responsible for ensuring that the
work of the project is carried out as proposed and that the funds are expended in accordance with sponsor
requirements, College policies and procedures, and federal and state laws. OAGSR supports the PI in carrying
out those responsibilities by providing information, guidance, and approval throughout the term of the grant.

This section discusses two mechanisms that are in place to facilitate responsible, transparent grant
implementation: the AIM meeting and the Estimate of Expenditures by Quarter Form. It also provides guidance
in accessing and monitoring the People Soft Account set up for your grant and a listing of the most commonly
used funding agency and regulatory guidelines. As part of the effort to plan for the implementation of a grant
award, the PI is encouraged to review Part I of this manual for Principles Guiding Sponsored Programs at TCNJ,
Roles and Responsibilities, and general internal and external policies guiding sponsored research.

Immediately upon acceptance of an award by TCNJ, someone from the OAGSR will contact the Principal
Investigator (PI) to set up a date for an Award Implementation and Management (AIM) Meeting. The meeting is
designed to review PI responsibilities in carrying out the grant and College resources available to support the PI.
The PI will meet the people from OAGSR who will guide him or her in the various aspects of award
management, including planning and program implementation, establishing and managing the grant account,
hiring, procuring products and services, and reporting.

The PI should plan to bring the completed Quarterly Expenditure Forecast, the PeopleSoft Chartfield numbers for
any cost share committed to the project, and other pertinent documents. The PI may invite key personnel who
will be instrumental in the administrative and financial aspects of the grant.

Estimates of expenditure forecasts by quarter are used to assist PIs to expend grant funds in a timely manner,
comply with the terms of the award, and ensure that all funds are utilized before the project ends. The PI
completes the Estimate of Expenditures by Quarter Form before coming to the AIM meeting. This form will be
reviewed quarterly against the web reports. Any significant variances will be discussed with the PI so that
appropriate adjustments can be made.
Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                 34                                             Revised 8/6/2004
In completing the form, provide amounts expected to be expended in a given quarter for each general account
category. A new Expenditure Projection Form needs to be completed for each new year of the project.

The grant budget is usually finalized and confirmed at the AIM meeting. Once OAGSR has all of the necessary
account information, the Grant Administrator will set up the grant account on PeopleSoft.

For grants with cost share requirements, a separate, cost-share chartfield will also be set up. Cost share funds will
be moved from the department, school, OAGSR, or other unit PeopleSoft chartfield committed to providing the
cost share to the project cost share chartfield. The PI is responsible for providing OAGSR with the specific
PeopleSoft chartfield numbers from which cost share funds will be pulled. This information is needed before the
grant account can be set up and before grant expenses can be charged.

Once the grant account is established, the PI can check the status of the account at any time by accessing the Web
Report. Instructions are provided below. Before every expenditure or reallocation, the PI must check the web
report for that account to see that there are sufficient funds to conduct the transaction desired. The web report
should be checked periodically also, to reconcile the postings and ensure that they match your records.

    Launch Netscape (MS Internet Explorer may not work)
    Navigate to the TCNJ Budget and Finance Website
    Click on Financial Web Reports on left hand side of web page
    Login (using regular e-mail username and password); click OK
    Next page will be titled FINANCIAL REPORTS, REPORT MENU
    To the right of Select a Report from the List select:
             For grants accounts, Grants Budget Status Report, or
             For Enterprises, Budget Status Detail Report
    Click submit
    Go to the drop down arrow ( ) to the right of BLANK on the PROJECT/GRANT row, select
    Go to BUDGET_PERIOD row, select the budget year
    Go to OUTPUT FORMAT row, select View or Print Format
    Click submit

For a more detailed online tutorial, go to the Budget and Finance website, click on Workshops and Training on
the menu, then go to Online Tutorials and click on Grant Budget Status Tutorial.

Occasionally, modification of an award in terms of project scope or budget is necessary. Such modifications or
amendments require prior approval from the funding agency, and each agency has specific requirements for
obtaining approval. Consult the award documentation for details. Proposed changes in project scope or budget
must be processed through OAGSR.

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With a good project plan, the need to reallocate funds on a grant budget should be minimal. However,
occasionally unexpected circumstances arise that require moving funds.

Reallocation Forms can be downloaded here. Before completing the Reallocation Form, the PI should

     o check the Web Report to ensure that there are sufficient funds in the account, and
     o review the proposal, award, and sponsor regulations to determine reallocation limits and/or requirements.

The completed reallocation form is submitted to OAGSR for approval and submission to Budget and Finance.

We recommend that the PI establishes a systematic record-keeping system for the project. These records should
be reconciled periodically (we recommend monthly) with the web report.

In order to effectively manage a grant project, it is essential for the PI to carefully review the policy and
procedural requirements of the funding agency. She or he should also review the award instrument for terms and
conditions attached to the award.

Most funding agencies fall into one of three categories: federal, state and/or local government, private. Many
agencies publish a procedural manual or guide to be used agency-wide. Federal agency-wide manuals most
frequently used by TCNJ faculty and staff include:

US Department of Education Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR)

National Science Foundation Grant Policy Manual [nsf02151] Posted July 15, 2002

National Institutes of Health, Office of Extramural Programs, Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants

National Institutes of Health, Office of Extramural Programs, Grants Policy and Guidance

The most commonly used state regulations include:

NJ Department of Education Grant Management website

NJ Department of Education Grant Recipient’s Manual for Discretionary Grants

For the government-funded projects, in addition to the specific award agreement and agency-wide manuals,
general state and federal policies and procedures are in effect in grant awards. The federal regulations in the
following documents guide grant activity at both state and federal levels.

Circular No. A-21 -- Cost Principles for Educational Institutions

OMB Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations

Federal Acquisition Regulation's (FAR) Home Page
Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                  36                                             Revised 8/6/2004
OMB Circular A-110, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of
Higher Education, Hospitals and Other Non-Profit Organizations"

                                                 PROJECT MANAGEMENT

After a grant award is made, the funds are received at the College in several different ways. Some agencies send
lump sum portions of the entire award at intervals during the period of performance. More frequently, monies
come to the College on a cost reimbursement basis, usually after an invoice or electronic report is sent from the
College to the funding agency delineating expenditures during the funding period (usually quarterly or monthly).

Most of the funds are electronically “drawn down” from the funding agency and deposited directly into the
appropriate TCNJ account. Many of the award payments arrive in check form.

The flow chart below delineates the procedures to be followed to deposit (transmit) payments received by the
College in check form. Because many grants also have Enterprise programs associated with the grant, transmittal
procedures for both grants and Enterprise programs are included.

                                                 PI Receives

                             Enterprise                        Grant Payment from

                                                                PI prepares the Daily
                          PI prepares Daily
                                                               Transmittal Form and
                       Transmittal Form and
                                                               sends it with the check
                       sends it with the check
                                                                  to OAGSR; note
                        to Student Accounts,
                        Green Hall. PI sends
                                                                  Number. Please
                       copy of Transmittal to
                                                                  contact OAGSR
                         OAGSR.                                regarding checks that
                                                               are not from sponsors.

This section provides guidance for expending grant funds. It explains procedures for hiring and/or payment to
grant personnel; procedures for purchasing equipment, supplies and other items; travel regulations; procedures
for setting up and monitoring subawards; and project reporting requirements.

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Even though most procedures to expend grant funds are almost the same as those followed for the expenditure of
College funds, there is one major difference: all grants expenditures must be approved by OAGSR before
payment can be made.

Use control-click to access hyperlinks.               38                                           Revised 8/6/2004
                                     Expenditures Flow Chart
                          Principal Investigator/Project Manager Authorizes Expense
         (PI references Proposal, Award, Sponsor Requirements, Expense Forecast, & Web Reports)

                                All documentation to OAGSR for Review & Approval
      (OAGSR references Proposal, Award, Sponsor Requirement, OMB Circulars, Expense Forecast, & Web Reports)


 Hiring of               Purchases                               Travel              IT related                Internal               Hiring
  Faculty,                                     Purchases                            purchases go               Services             Consultants
                        over $2,500,
 Staff, and              Purchase                under                              through Jeff            (Conference &
 Students.                                      $2,500,                               Philburn
                        Order (PO)                                                                             Meeting
Approved by                                                                       (philburn@tcnj.e
                       (Competitive             Quick                                    du)                Services, Boise,
  OAGSR                     bids               Payment                                                        Telephone,
                         required.)           (QP) Form                                                       Graphics,

                                                                                                               PI &            Complete Consultant
    Faculty            Complete PO             Complete QP         Complete        IT determines if
                                                                                                                               Authorization Form,
   Complete             and Send to             and Send to         Travel        the purchase is IT         OAGSR             send to OAGSR for
   Time and              OAGSR                   OAGSR              Request            related                                   review/approval
     Effort                                                        and Send                                    view
    Forms                                                             to          If IT related, IT will    payment on       After approval,
                         OAGSR                   OAGSR             OAGSR
                       approves and            approves and
                                                                                prepare documentation,      Web Report     complete Consultant
                                                                                PI will Sign and send to                      Contract/PO
   Staff –             sends to B&F            sends to B&F                              OAGSR
Employment                                                         OAGSR
Authorization                                                      approves     OAGSR will review and                          Invoices signed by PI
   Form                    B&F,                B&F, Accounts
                                                                  and sends          sign, an email                             and sent to OAGSR
(New Employee            Purchasing            Payable process                  confirmation will be sent                        with summary of
Search                  requests bids             Payment           to B&F           to PI, IT, B&F                                deliverables
Authorization)                                                   “T” number
                      B&F, assigns PO#,         PI & OAGSR        assigned        B&F sends email to                              Consultant
  Students            orders goods, sends                                         PI, IT, OAGSR w/                              Evaluation Form
  are hired                                    view payment                                                                     sent in with last
                           PO to PI                                                   PO Number
                                               on Web Report                                                                        invoice
  through                                                           Actual
   Career              PI receives invoice,                        Expense          PI signs invoice                             PI & OAGSR
  Services            approves (notes PO#                        recorded on     confirming receipt of
                                                                                                                                view payment
                        & PG#), sends to                                          equipment, sends to
                                                                    Travel                                                      on Web Report
 Graduate                                                          Expense              OAGSR
 Assistants                                                       Form and
 are hired             OAGSR approves,
                                                                    sent to      PI & OAGSR
                         sends to B&F,
  through               payment is made                            OAGSR         view payment
 Graduate                                                                           on Web
  Studies               PI & OAGSR                               PI & OAGSR         Report
                      view payment on                            view payment
                         Web Report                                 on Web
Use control-click to access hyperlinks.                                39                                                            Revised 8/6/2004


Faculty Reassigned Time
When the award is received, faculty names and the amount of reassigned time are
recorded in the Post Award database. Every semester, a listing of faculty with reassigned
time for that semester is confirmed by OAGSR with the Effort Certification Form (see
Time and Effort Reporting).

Time and Effort Reporting
Time and Effort Forms are provided by OAGSR and need to be completed by all
personnel working on grants (both faculty and staff). Time and Effort forms need to be
signed by the department chair or unit supervisor for faculty and by the principal
investigator for other grant personnel.

Summer Salary for Faculty
Summer salary for faculty is generally calculated at 10% per month of work, based on the
salary from the preceding year. The actual amount paid in a particular grant cannot
exceed the amount indicated on the grant agreement budget. Payment is spread over the
summer months. The Supplemental Payroll Authorization Form must be completed and
sent to the Grants Administrator in OAGSR for payment authorization and forwarding to
Payroll for payment.

To hire an employee on a grant, begin by completing the Authorization for Employment
form and submitting it to the OAGSR along with all supporting documentation. Once it is
approved in OAGSR the form is forwarded to Human Resources (HR) for processing.
HR will generate the offer letter and contact the employee (if necessary) regarding the
first day of employment. (HR orientation should be scheduled for this day.) The offer
letter with all new-hire paperwork will then be mailed out to the employee. Once those
forms are returned and the orientation is completed, the employee may begin work.
Payment for part-time employees is generated from the Supplemental Payroll
Authorization Form.

In the event that a grant position needs to be searched, the New Position Authorization
form must be completed first, and submitted to the Grants Administrator in OAGSR.
After approving the position, OAGSR will forward the form to the PI who will then
contact Human Resources and follow normal college new employee selection procedures,
including advertising, screening, and interviewing in order to identify the prospective
new employee. Contact the Office of Human Resources (HR) at x2622 for specific

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Once the candidate has been selected, the Authorization for Employment form can then
be completed and the procedures described above are then followed.

It is often difficult to determine whether certain outside services needed by a grant project
should be treated as a consultant or as a subaward. The following list of criteria was
developed to assist in distinguishing between the use of a Consulting Agreement or a

Consulting Agreement
   o Given to independent contractors (individuals) or consulting organizations for
       professional services
   o Tasks are specific, well-defined and of limited scope
   o The consultant role is that of a hired service and not a collaborator.

   o Given to colleges and universities, other institutions and organizations
   o Usually has a partnership role, even when it is a small one
   o Often has more autonomy in the completion of the work, within the parameters of
      the agreed-upon work plan, timeline, and budget

Once the determination has been made that a particular service provider is, in fact, a
consultant, these steps should be followed to process payment for that person.

     1. Complete the Consultant Authorization Form and submit it, along with the
        consultant’s vitae, to OAGSR for approval.

     2. After approval from OAGSR, the PI will complete the Consultant Contract and
        submit it to OAGSR for signature and transmittal to Budget and Finance to
        encumber the funds and assign a PO number.

     3. After work has been completed, the consultant will need to submit an invoice to
        the PI. The PI completes and submits four items to OAGSR: the Consultant
        Evaluation Form; the original invoice with the Project grant number, the PO
        number (from the Consultant Contract), stamped “Approved for Payment” and
        signed by the PI; a completed W-9 Form; and a copy of the completed work when

All positions need to be posted on the web for five (5) working days. The initial job
posting is done by completing the On-Campus Student Employment Job Posting Form on
the Web. (Job postings will be edited and posted online by Career Services within
approximately three working days.)

An advance request must be sent to Career Services for student employees/research
assistants who will be paid over $7.00 per hour and for student employees/clerical
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positions who will pay over $5.50 per hour. Please e-mail justification to Jim Cryan at

For step-by-step instructions for hiring student employees, click here to go to the Career
Services web site.

All goods and services are to be procured through the College’s Purchasing Department,
regardless of funding source. The only exception is that every purchase must first be
approved by OAGSR. Depending upon the nature and cost of the item, the PI will follow
one of these processes: NJ State contract, credit card, quick payment form method,
agency purchase order form method.

Proceed to the Basic Purchasing Guidelines page of the Budget and Finance Website for
all TCNJ procurement regulations.

Some computer-related equipment can be purchased on state contract, but all computer-
related equipment must be discussed with Jeff Philburn. All PCs, Printers, PDAs, etc.,
and anything that will be on the network needs to be discussed with Jeff Philburn, x2660, to determine support and compatibility.

Most office supplies can be ordered through the NJ State contract with Boise Office
Solutions. Simply go to the Boise website, request a login, then order online.

In the event that a Waiver of Advertising must be prepared, the PI must contact OAGSR
as soon as the purchase is identified so that the waiver is submitted properly and on time.
Before the budget item needing waiver of advertising can be purchased, the Board of
Trustees, at a regular quarterly meeting, must waive advertising on that item based upon
justification for waiver provided by the PI. The justification for waiver should arrive in
OAGSR at least one month prior to the scheduled Board meeting (see Board of Trustees
website for meeting dates). The justification should include the following:

PI Name and Grant Project Title
Description of service or item being purchased
Rationale for waiver of public advertisement
Number of vendors contacted (at least three if possible), including name and amount of
quote (if sole source, please identify)

Since only the Board of Trustees is empowered to award these contracts, it is important
that as much information as possible be submitted to assist them with their deliberations
and decisions.

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Processing forms for reimbursement of travel expenses related to a grant follows
essentially the same procedures followed for non-grant travel. They are as follows:

Review the grant proposal and award to make sure travel is approved by the sponsor.
Review TCNJ Travel Procedures at
Complete Travel Request/Faculty Absence Form [link]
After travel, complete the travel expense form [link]. Include the “T” number and
appropriate receipts.

When TCNJ is the prime recipient of a grant that has sub-recipients, a Subaward
Agreement is sent to the sub-recipients by the OAGSR. Subawards over the $19,500
threshold may be subject to Board Approval for Waiver of Advertising before the
Subaward Agreement can be completed. Contact OAGSR for determination.

The PI should provide the following contact information for both the PI and the
administrative contact of the subaward agency: name, title, address, telephone number,
and e-mail address. In addition, the PI provides OAGSR the Statement of Work and
Timeline, the subaward budget, and any other special provisions for the entire grant

OAGSR will prepare the subaward document in accordance with the terms and
conditions of the prime award and send two originals to the subawardee for signature.
Subawardees are requested to return both signed originals to OAGSR to countersign,
sending one countersigned original back to the subawardee. OAGSR is responsible for
all negotiations of the subaward and for any changes to the subaward document.

Modifications to Subawards

A subaward may be modified at any time within the period of performance.
Modifications can extend the period of performance, increase the amount, append
additional tasks to the Scope of Work, or modify other terms and conditions as

To initiate the modification process, the PI sends a written modification request to
OAGSR (new year of funding, no-cost extension, additional tasks, etc.). Relevant
attachments such as a new Scope of Work or new budget must be forwarded to OAGSR
along with the request to modify the subaward. OAGSR will prepare the subaward
modification document and obtain appropriate signatures.

Because considerable attention is focused on getting funding for a project and then on
implementing the project and meeting compliance requirements, it is easy to shortchange
an equally significant aspect of grantsmanship, reporting the progress and outcomes of
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the work to the College and to the funding agency. Careful, thorough reporting of grant
activity is an essential component of grant management. It documents the
accomplishments of the project; it assures responsible stewardship of external funds; and
it highlights the impact the project has had.

The College requires the Sponsored Programs Outcomes report (SPO) annually. External
sponsors usually require two types of reporting: technical (or programmatic) reports and
financial reports.

The PI completes the Sponsored Programs Outcomes report (SPO) for each year of a
grant project. It is due at the time of the annual or final (for one-year projects) report for
that project, or within 30 days of the end of the budget period.

SPO is an easy-to-complete interactive form that is accessed online. We recommend
accessing it through Internet Explorer. Go to
bin/dadt/cp/grants/ The entire report can be completed and submitted to
OAGSR online.

Once TCNJ has entered into an agreement with a sponsor, it is TCNJ's responsibility to
comply with all reporting requirements of that agreement. Funding agency reporting
requirements are normally included in the award document and are confirmed at the AIM
meeting. Financial reports are completed by OAGSR and reviewed by the PI.
Technical/programmatic reports are completed and submitted by the PI, with an
electronic or a paper copy sent to OAGSR. OAGSR will assist in mailing reports
received at least five days before the due date.

Program/Progress/Technical Reports
Sponsored programs usually require final (and sometimes interim or annual)
programmatic/technical reports from the PI. Annual reports document the progress to
date on a given project. The final report usually includes a detailed description of the
work performed, progress made, suggestions for future areas of study or involvement,
and any related publications that resulted from the sponsored activity. Most sponsoring
agencies have specific guidelines for the preparation and submission of reports.
Reporting requirement specifics, found in the award terms and conditions, are provided to
the PI at the AIM meeting.

Failure to submit the final technical report in a timely manner may jeopardize subsequent
funding and release of cash to the College. OAGSR will copy and mail reports received
at least three days before the due date. When submitted by the PI, a copy of the report
must be sent to OAGSR.

Financial Reports
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Revised 8/6/2004
A good financial report is simply an accurate, detailed itemization of every expenditure
made for the project. Draft interim and/or final financial reports for grants and contracts
are prepared by OAGSR and sent to the PI for the necessary corrections and approvals.
Once the draft report is approved and returned to OAGSR, the final interim report is
prepared, authorized on behalf of the College, and mailed to the sponsor. These reports
are audited every year through the College’s regular auditing process, and can be audited
by the external funding agency at their discretion.

On rare occasions, the work of a project will need to be extended beyond the project
period. In such cases, it is possible to request a No-Cost Extension from the sponsor.
Requests for No-Cost Extensions should be made to OAGSR at least 90 days before the
end of the period of performance of the grant. The request should include the name of
the PI, project title, ChartField number, project dates, and a clear and concise rationale
for the extension. If authorized by OAGSR, the Grant Administrator will request the
extension from the sponsor.

                                          CLOSING THE GRANT

All supplies, services, and equipment must be received and used during the project
period. Items received after the award period cannot be of benefit to the project, and
auditors routinely disallow charges for such items even if they were legitimate charges at
the time the order was placed. Place all orders for supplies and equipment will in
advance (60-90 days) of the account expiration date to ensure delivery and use prior to
that date. If you need additional time to complete reports or to acquire supplies, contact
OAGSR to inquire about a no-cost extension or to make other arrangements.

The closing of awards begins 30 days after the expiration date. OAGSR will freeze the
account, which prevents further expenses from being charged. The PI will be notified of
the freeze and sent a Rough Draft Financial Report. The PI should review this report and
indicate any necessary adjustments to expenses. Adjustments should be supported by
accompanying documentation. The rough draft financial report should be signed by the

The signed rough draft is returned to OAGSR by the College due date (usually about one
week after it was sent) so that the final financial report and/or invoice may be prepared
and sent to the sponsor by the required date. Typically, the final invoices/financial reports
are due 90 days after the award termination date. If a different time frame for the
submission of the final invoice/financial report is indicated by the award notice, then the
above process is adjusted accordingly.

The grant project file is officially closed when all reports (SPO, performance/technical,
and financial), have been submitted and the copies are on file in OAGSR.
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