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General FAQs

More information regarding this subject may be found in our Principal Investigator Resources section.

All proposals should be routed through the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) using the OSP Approval Form.  The form should be completed in full and reviewed and signed by your appropriate departmental administrator and the appropriate dean's office.  Once signed, please forward with the proposal to the Office of Sponsored Programs to the attention of the appropriate Project Administrator for review and official university signature.

An OSP Approval From is required when:

  1. A new proposal is submitted to a Sponsor.
  2. A revised proposal is submitted to a Sponsor that includes budget or cost sharing changes. Does not apply to technical modifications.
  3. A continuation proposal is submitted to a Sponsor - even if the additional years' funds were requested in the original proposal. The key here is the word "submitted." If the PI must submit a budget and request for continued funding, we assign a new  proposal number (a) so that we can locate the paperwork for negotiations with the sponsor and readily match the award with the proposal when it comes in and (b) because the direction of the research may change as well as rates and budget amounts and it is easier to track all aspects of the research if we have new paperwork covered by a current proposal number.
  4. Additional funds are received that were not requested in the original proposal.
  5. A check or award is received in OSP and no proposal exists.

The Office of Sponsored Programs submits the proposal. They also provide the service of copying and mailing your proposal when necessary.  When mailing is necessary, the office requests that proposals be provided at least four business days in advance of the proposal submission deadline to assure time to review, copy, and mail.

Facilities and Administrative costs, commonly referred to as indirect costs, are charges not directly borne by the project.  For example, cost associated with utilities and administration are indirectly charged.

Each subcontract should be properly identified in your prime budget (usually under the line contractual).  In addition, you should have a separate institutional approved itemized budget and scope of work for each subcontract reflecting the approved overhead.  

Virginia Tech will need a consortium letter from the subcontractee.  You should be aware that the federal agencies will require the same information of the subcontract's Principal Investigator as is required of yourself.  

Please note that Virginia Tech will assess overhead on the first $25,000 of each subcontract.  It is important when involving subcontracts in your budgets that you allow additional time for the paperwork to be processed at the subrecipient's home institution.

Review the agency guidelines governing the grant and notify the Office of Sponsored Programs of your desire to transfer your grant.  

The previous institution will need to prepare a relinquishing statement (required for federal projects) to send to the sponsoring agency.  Obtain a copy of the relinquishing statement for your records and the Office of Sponsored Programs. 

Enter the proposal in Summit Proposals and proceed as you would for a new proposal.  

If the project involves issues of compliance, you will need to secure approval from the appropriate Virginia Tech official (human subjects, animal use, recombinant DNA).

Review the sponsor's guidelines governing the transferring of the grant.  Please verify that the transfers are possible and contact the transfer recipient for how to reapply for the funds.  

Write a letter to the Virginia Tech Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) providing the title, fund number, date of transfer, and any equipment purchased with the grant that the principal investigator wishes to transfer.  The letter must be signed by the principal investigator, department chair, and the dean.  

For federal projects, the principal investigator is required to complete a Final Invention Statement.   Send the signed letter and the Final Invention Statement to OSP.  

Upon receipt, OSP will prepare a relinquishing statement (federal projects) to be sent to the sponsoring agency.

For federally sponsored projects, Virginia Tech must adhere to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, "Cost Principles for Educational Institutions."  Therefore, the salaries of administrative and clerical staff, office supplies, postage, local telephone costs, and memberships should normally be treated as indirect costs.  

Direct charging of these types of costs may be appropriate in some circumstances.  

Please refer to Virginia Tech Policy 3240: Consistency in Charging Administrative and Clerical Costs.

In some instances where a sponsor has indicated a proposal will be funded but the award execution is delayed, a principal investigator may wish to enact a Letter of Guarantee (LOG).

A LOG is a statement by an authorized official of that department requesting that OSP establish a fund prior to the official award being fully executed. LOGs should be set up for no more than 90 days with a corresponding budget for no more than 90 days of anticipated expenditures.

Please be aware that in requesting a LOG, the department is guaranteeing the funds in the event the award is not fully executed.

Title to equipment purchased from sponsored funds is dependent upon the sponsor. Virgina Tech retains the title to most federally sponsored research equipment and we always try to negotiate title for all other sponsored equipment.

However, some sponsors choose to retain title and therefore loan the equipment to Virginia Tech.

Faculty moving to another university who want to transfer their research equipment with them must have prior approval from the department head, dean, and sponsor if equipment was purchased with sponsored funds. Upon receiving approval, the Office of the Controller - Fixed Asset System must be notified.

The equipment may or may not be transferred depending upon who retains title. Typically, equipment purchased off of federal grants (Public Health Service and National Science Foundation) is easily transferable.

The rate of pay a retired faculty member may charge a sponsor is limited to the rate of pay received at the time of retirement. This rate may be adjusted by the average faculty increase each year in which faculty receive increases.

Please note that in order to qualify for the Virginia Retirement System retirement benefits, compensation from any state agency must be part-time.

The definition of off-campus is dependent upon how the work is to be charged rather than where the work is to be done. Our negotiated rate agreement defines off-campus:

For all activities performed in facilities not owned by the institution and to which rent is directly allocated to the project, the off-campus rate will apply. Grants or contract will not be subject to more than one facilities and administrative (F&A) cost rate. If more than 50% of a project is performed off-campus, the off-campus rate will apply to the entire project.

For example, if the work is to be completed in facilities in Danville, facilities for which Virginia Tech either owns or leases centrally, the proposal would be subject to the on-campus F&A rate. However, if the facilities were to be paid for directly by the grant itself, the off-campus rate would apply.

International Traffic in Arms Regulation, as administered by the Department of Defense, makes certain items subject to export control. A listing of controlled items can be found in the Catalog of Federal Regulations section 22 CFR 120. If the item you are working on in the course of your research is on the list, then you may be required to apply for an export license if you intend to publish or present this data or if non-U.S. citizens are involved in the research.

Export Administration Regulation is administered by the Department of Commerce.