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Research and Find Funding Process

Research and Find Funding Responsibilities

Research Services stays abreast of 2 CFR 200 (also know as the Uniform Guidance) and other agency/sponsor guidelines in order to assist the program director (PD) or principal investigator (PI) in the interpretation of policies, regulations, and guidelines applicable to particular projects. Research Services leads in the development of and periodic updates of pre and post award university policies and procedures to maintain expert knowledge for the research community. 

Research Services identifies grant databases and makes them available to the University to promote the acquisition of external support for scholarship and research activities in order to maintain vitality in their profession and to provide the best and most up-to-date instruction and graduate student education.

Research and Find Funding Procedures

Provide Research ResourcesResearch Services maintains a research resources webpage to assist the research community navigate the University and sponsor requirements for applying for grants, and contractual obligations from individuals; government and public agencies; and industrial financial and private organizations in support of sponsored research and service activities at the institution. 
Make Funding Opportunities AvailableResearch Services maintains an annual subscription for Grant Forward a funding opportunity database and recommendation service built by academics for researchers, as well as PIVOT’s Proquest Funding Discovery.
Maintain a Find Funding Web PageResearch Services maintains access to website resources for the following types of funding sources: 
Internal Funding – the Faculty Research Committee provides internal funding to promote faculty research and scholarship projects that will lead to future external funding (Research Integrity manages the internal funding sources)
State Funding – web links to various state departments, agencies, system, and other state programs have been compiled for the research community
Foundation Funding – web links to grant-making private non-profit foundations, corporate foundations, corporations, and other professional organizations can be accessed here
Links to federal agencies such as, a site that simplifies the grant management process and creates a centralized, online process to find and apply for over 900 grant programs from the 26 federal grant-making agencies and other federal resources and direct links to federal agency websites are covered in this page; and a webpage dedicated to federal agencies news and updates
Funding Opportunity spreadsheet – provides a listing of funding agency names and their website addresses. 
Maintain webpages on special types of funding mechanismsResearch Services provides separate guidance on several special types of funding such as Limited Submission (restricted # of applications institution is allowed to submit to funding agency) and Crowdfunding/Crowdsourcing (raising many small donations of money from a large number of people typically via the internet).
Provides information on topics of interest to research facultyIn addition to the links and pages for funding, the office maintains a page to assist in the determination of gifts versus grants, as well as helpful tips on working with program officers.

Research and Find Funding Policy Resources

Limited Submissions Proposal RSSP-204Limited Submissions
Limited Submission is a funding program for which the sponsor has restricted the number of applications or proposals an institution can submit in response to that program. A partial listing of example programs with limited submission restrictions is provided below.
The principal investigator is responsible for notifying Research Services if a proposal is being developed for any program that requires limited submissions from the institution.

The principal investigator should complete all Limited Submission Materials (below) and submit the information to the Grant Coordinator via email 2 calendar months prior to the submission deadline for the program. If the number of applicants exceeds the allowable number of submissions by the sponsor, a committee will be convened by Research Services to determine which proposal(s) will be approved for submission to the sponsor. Nominees are informed of the committee’s decision and successful applicants should develop their full proposals for submission utilizing normal procedures.

As the submission of more proposals than allowed will result in a disqualification of all proposals, all campuses are considered a single institution for all NSF programs unless alternate limitations (“by school,” “by department”) clearly apply. Certain solicitations consider branch campuses as separate, by definition, while others do not. It is best to consult early with the grant coordinator to make a determination.

All nominees must complete the following when applying for Limited Submission programs:
Limited Submission Coversheet
Brief nomination Letter from Department Chair or equivalent.
Two (2) page pre-proposal outlining proposed research program.
NSF formatted biosketch of all key personnel (2 pages max per biosketch).
One (1) page resources/facilities statement
A copy of prior reviews in the case of a proposal resubmission.
All materials should be received by the Grant Coordinator via email at least 2 calendar months prior to the submission deadline for the program.
Principal Investigator Eligibility RSSP-102Georgia Southern University assumes significant financial and legal obligations when a proposal is submitted to an external sponsor or an award to support a project is accepted. A formal award is made to Georgia Southern University or the GS Research and Service Foundation; the project is funded based, in part, on the professional expertise of the university personnel submitting the proposal.

Under the university’s general oversight and authority, the principal investigator (also the project administrator, project director, program administrator, and program director) of a sponsored project bears primary responsibility for (a) completion and technical compliance of the proposed scope of work, (b) fiscal stewardship of the sponsor’s funds, and (c) fulfillment of the project’s administrative requirements. The university must ensure that individuals serving as principal investigators have appropriate technical competence and administrative capabilities in addition to long-term commitment to the university.

Members of the Corps of Instruction, as defined by Section 3.2 of the Policy Manual of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, may serve as Principal Investigators/Project Directors (PI) on sponsored programs. Other university employees may serve as a PI with the approval of their authorizing department chair and college dean or equivalent, with a supervisor or qualified faculty member serving as PI or co-PI on the project. Individuals who are not Georgia Southern employees are not eligible to serve as a PI.

Authorizing officials confirm the eligibility of a PI in signing the Internal Approval Form.
Principal Investigator Responsibilities RSSP-103The PI has overall responsibility for the technical and fiscal management of a sponsored project, including staying within funding limits, adhering to reporting requirements, and assuring that the sponsor is notified promptly of significant changes related to project status. While responsibility for day-to-day management of project finances may be delegated to administrative or other staff, the PI is responsible for compliance with Georgia Southern policy and sponsor requirements.

PI responsibilities include:
1. authorization of direct charges
2. review of project expenditures
3. no-cost time extensions and other administrative actions
4. charging salaries to projects
5. maintaining funds within sponsor limits
6. subrecipient monitoring
7. deliverables
8. project close-out

Authorization of Direct Charges
To authorize expenditure of funds charged directly to sponsored projects, the PI and the department must assure:the estimated charge is reasonable and necessary;
the expenditure is allowable per the funding source and, if federally funded, per OMB Circular
the expenditure is allocable to the project; that is, it benefits the project;
the funds are available within the authorized award amount and limits;
the justification for the expenditure is documented;
allocation of costs is appropriate and documented; and
the charge has been processed through the appropriate university system.

Review of Project Expenditures
Business Objects reports are a valuable tool for project oversight. They should be reviewed each month by a knowledgeable individual—the PI or designee—so adjustments are timely, and expenditure rates can be monitored to assure availability of funds. Any questionable charges must be brought to the Research Accountant’s attention promptly and corrected by an appropriate reallocation (transfer), if necessary. Reallocations should be initiated as soon as possible after a need is identified. Whenever expenses are moved to or between sponsored accounts, the PI must assure that the project that pays is the project that benefited, supported by documentation.

Charging Salaries to Projects
Salary charged to sponsored projects must be supported by documentation of appropriate level of effort. The PI is responsible for ensuring that effort reports for the project are submitted in a timely fashion.

Monitoring Funds within Sponsor Funding Limits
PIs are responsible for ongoing fiscal management of their awarded projects, including regular monitoring against project period budgets. Federal grants policy Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200, establishes the approved project budget as the financial expression of the project, and sponsors may evaluate the project against the budget at any time. Although sponsors allow certain flexibilities in re- budgeting, unobligated balances, and pre-award costs, both they and Georgia Southern expect expenditures to be reasonably consistent with the approved project and budget. Sponsors may question or restrict expenditures that appear inconsistent with the project plan and budget.

The PI is responsible for requesting prior approval when revisions to the project plan or budget indicate a significant change in scope. Indicators include significant expenditures beyond the amount authorized in the award or requests for additional funding.

Georgia Southern policy holds that a sponsored project will be managed within the established budget. If, as a result of unusual circumstances or unanticipated project expenses, an account is in overdraft at the end of the period of performance, and additional funds have not been received from the sponsor, the PI, with the department chair and/or college dean, must identify an appropriate source of funds (e.g., gift, endowment or departmental funds) to cover the expense. The overdraft must be transferred in time for the university to comply with the original award’s financial reporting requirements.

Subrecipient Monitoring
The PI is responsible for monitoring the work effort of subrecipients and consultants. PIs should carefully review invoices submitted by subrecipients to verify that the level of effort and items expensed against the project are appropriate to the quality and quantity of work provided. Byapproving an invoice, PIs indicate that the charges appear appropriate, and work is progressing as planned. Inappropriate expenses and/or problems with performance should be reported immediately to Research Services.

No-Cost Time Extensions and Other Administrative Actions
If additional time is needed to complete a project, the PI may request that the period of performance be extended. In some cases, Research Services is authorized to approve no-cost time extensions; in other cases, prior approval from the sponsor is required. The PI should initiate extension requests before ninety (90) days prior to the end date in accordance with the terms of the sponsored award; in most cases, the countersignature of an authorized institutional office is required. To ensure compliance with the award’s reporting requirements, PIs are urged to submit no-cost time extension requests as soon as the need becomes apparent. If final technical reports must be completed after the project end date, the PI should obtain a no-cost extension from the sponsor to produce and distribute the reports. If project funds are not available, the PI, department and/or college must identify unrestricted funds to pay final report costs.
The PI is also responsible for identifying and requesting (through Research Accounting and/or Research Services) other administrative actions, such as re-budgeting, changing project personnel, reducing PI effort, and similar actions.

The PI must ensure that all deliverables, including reports, are completed as outlined in the award and submitted as scheduled. If a deliverable or report is not submitted through the sponsor’s electronic portal, the PI should provide a copy of the report or the transmittal letter (or email) to the grant coordinator, so the university has a record of submission.

Project Close-Out
The PI is responsible for overseeing proper closeout of sponsored projects, including timely submission of all required reports (including final technical reports). While central offices prepare and submit final administrative reports, including financial and property reports, they rely on documentation created in the department or by the PI. PIs must assure that this documentation is adequate and readily available.

In addition, PIs are responsible for ensuring that any necessary final financial adjustments and documentation (e.g., final invoices from vendors or subrecipients) are received promptly after the award ends. If invoices or expenses are received after submission of the final financial report, submitting a corrected invoice may not be possible.

Last updated: 7/27/2020