FAQ

Q1. When should I use this office, and when should I contact Institutional Advancement?
Q2. What is a sponsored project?
Q3. How do I apply for a grant through this office?
Q4. What is the difference between a co-PI, a co-I, and a collaborator? 

Q5. What is the difference between a collaborator and a consultant?
Q6. What is the definition of cost sharing, and how does it differ from those of cost matching and in-kind funding?
Q7. I am charging salary to a sponosored project. Do I need to complete a time and effort report? If so, where can I get one?
Q
8.  What kinds of documents need to be routed? Letters of intent?  Pre-applications? Only complete applications? What about technical reports? 

 Q1.  When should I use this office, and when should I contact Institutional Advancement?
If you want to apply for any form of government funding, you should work with the grants office. This is true whether the sponsorship will be in the form of a grant, cooperative agreement, contract, or sub-award.  You should begin working with this office before submitting a letter of intent or pre-application.

If you are interested in a grant from the private sector, your are welcome to contact either your development officer or Heidi Davis, (504) 865-3086. The grants and development offices will work together to determine how best to meet your needs.

If you seek a traditional gift, endowment, or other form of donation from the private sector, you should contact your college development officer

Q2. What is a sponsored project?
By sponsored project, we mean an activity which is funded by a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement and for which there is a level of accountability to the sponsor that is characterized by three things: 1) a pre-defined work plan or scope of work, 2) a budget, and 3) reporting requirements. All government-funded projects are sponsored projects.  

Q3.  How do I apply for a grant through this office?
The protocol is described in under Submitting Applications. Please contact this office as soon as you decide to apply for funding. We are experts at planning and developing as well as submitting applications. The sooner we become involved in an application, the more we can contribute to its chance of success. Further, significant time is often required to secure institutional approvals, especially if course releases or cost sharing is involved. 

Q4. What is the difference between a co-PI, a co-I, and a collaborator?
While not all sponsors use these terms, the folloing definitions are generally accepted:  A co-PI is a co-director of the project, sharing leadership responsibilities with the other Principal Investigator(s). Co-Investigators (co-Is) and other collaborators contribute to the significant development of the project, but are not on equal footing with the PI(s). Often the terms co-I and collaborator are used interchangeably, but generally, the title co-I should be reserved for collaborators who devote at least 5% effort to the project. 

 Q5. What is the difference between a collaborator and a consultant?
A collaborator is an individual who contributes to the development of the project, whereas a consultant is usually a service provider who is not involved with shaping the project, but is performing routine services. 

Q6. What is the definition of cost sharing, and how does it differ from those of cost matching and in-kind funding?
Cost sharing and cost matching refer to the portion of project costs not borne by the sponsor. Often these terms are used interchangeably. When a distinction is made, the term cost sharing is used to describe the general situation in which the university bears a portion of the project costs, and the term cost matching is used in the more specific situation in which the university’s share is required by the sponsor (see mandatory cost sharing below). In-kind funding refers to contributions other than cash and to contributions from third-party sources. Examples of the former are a project leader devoting academic year effort to a project without the university charging his or her salary to the sponsor, and the sponsor paying for only a portion of the indirect costs associated with the project. 

Forms of Cost Sharing/Matching

  • Mandatory cost sharing is required by sponsors, either by the program solicitation or according to statute, regulation, or policy.
  • Voluntary committed cost sharing is not required by sponsors, but is proposed by project leaders to demonstrate significant commitment on the part of the university. For example, voluntary cost sharing occurs when a faculty member specifies in the application that he or she will devote academic year effort to a sponsored project and does not request a commensurate portion of salary and fringe benefits in the budget.  This type of cost sharing should be minimized, as it results in increased administrative burden and can result in significant financial costs, especially if the cost share is not met. In fact, some agencies, including the National Science Foundation, explicitly prohibit voluntary cost sharing.
  • Voluntary uncommitted cost sharing is defined as effort exceeding that which has been committed for a sponsored project. This type of cost sharing is not required by a sponsor, budgeted for the project, or committed elsewhere in the application or award agreement. This type of cost sharing does not adversely affect the university.

Q7. I am charging salary to a sponosored project. Do I need to complete a time and effort report? If so, where can I get one?
If the project is funded in any part by a government agency or office, then yes, a you will need to complete an effort report for each semester during which the award is active. In some cases, reports are required for projects sponsored by the private sector as well. In such cases, the grants office will notify the project leader, and the project leader will be responsibile for notifying all other project contributors required to compete reports. Forms will be provided by the grants office. Each year, fall reports are due by January 15, spring reports by May 15, and summer reports by September 15.

Q8.  What kinds of documents need to be routed? Letters of intent? Pre-applications? Only complete applications? What about technical reports?
Whether it's a letter of intent, pre-application, a complete application, or a technical report, if it contains any financial information—including the total amount requested or a list of current and pending awards, then the document must be approved through the grants office before being submitted. When in doubt, route (or at least ask whether approval is required)! We will work quickly to assist you in meeting your deadline.  

If there's a grant-related question that you would like answered, please email it to Heidi Davis.