Policies and Procedures Manual

Development & Submission of a Grant Application or Proposal

University Policies
The University accepts funds and enters into agreements with extramural agencies when such agreements: 1) provide an opportunity to further the goals of the University's Strategic Plan and Budget Recovery Plan; 2) provide faculty/staff members the opportunity to gain experience and knowledge of value to their teaching, service and research activities; or 3) result in an appropriate public service to the community-at-large.

Sacred Heart University follows the same policy as most other universities in that faculty and staff may not commit University resources or submit proposals on behalf of the University without appropriate prior approval. Therefore, once a formal proposal has been prepared, it is reviewed and endorsed by designated Sacred Heart University officials.

Proposals that have been approved by the appropriate authorizing SHU officials and are being submitted for external funding are transmitted to the agency through the Office of Sponsored Programs. All grants, contracts, and subcontracts including new awards, continuation awards, and supplemental awards are transmitted via the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Under special and extenuating circumstances, it may be necessary for the proposal writer to assume responsibility for conveying the approved proposal to the agency. Prior arrangements must be made with the Office of Sponsored Programs in these situations. The Board of Trustees has designated the President of the University as the responsible party to act in behalf of the Board for Sacred Heart University. Therefore, only the President can accept any grant, contract, or gift on behalf of the University.

OSP Flowchart

Procedures for Submitting an Application/Proposal

  1. Faculty members/staff should discuss their plans with their department chair and dean or supervisor and obtain approval for the proposed activities. 
  2. Notify the Office of Sponsored Programs as early as possible of a planned proposal. Early notice will allow OSP to provide more thorough guidance throughout the pre-proposal and budget development process. 
  3. If the proposed activity involves human subjects research, the Project Director must follow the University's Policies and Procedures for Research Involving Human Subjects
  4. If the proposed activity involves the use of animals in research, recombinant DNA molecules, marine mammals, or hazardous materials, the Project Director must contact the Office of Sponsored Programs for guidance on special compliance requirements. 
  5. If the grant proposal requires the University to commit a cash and/or in-kind match, approval for this must be obtained from the Vice President for Finance and Administration and President by the Office of Sponsored Programs. See the Internal Review Form for details.
  6. The SHU Internal Review Form must be completed and returned to the Office of Sponsored Programs with a final draft copy of the proposal at least ten (10) working days prior to the submission date in order to provide ample time for processing and transmittal.
  7. If a proposal is being submitted to either the National Science Foundation (NSF) or to the Public Health Service (PHS), please review the Financial Conflict of Interest Requirements for the Agency, and a Project Specific Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form must be completed and submitted with the Internal Proposal Review Form. The successful completion of a federally-compliant training program on Conflicts of Interest will also be required.
  8. All grant applications must be submitted by the Office of Sponsored Programs. 

Budget Development
The Executive Director of Sponsored Programs will provide guidance to the Project Director on developing the budget. To ensure that personnel costs are representative of similar positions funded by the University and include appropriate fringe benefits, the Project Director should discuss the personnel needs of the program with the Academic Vice President and/or Director of Human Resources to determine the appropriate salary requirements and any other information relative to benefits.

To ensure a sufficient budget request for non-personnel costs, the Project Director should contact the appropriate University office or outside vendor to determine the necessary budgetary request.

Since the allowable rate of indirect costs varies with different agencies and the type of project, the Executive Director of Sponsored Programs will assist the Project Director in its application.

University Approval
All applications/proposals must be submitted by the Office of Sponsored Programs. The application/proposal will be submitted after final review by OSP and completion of the Internal Review Form.

Communication with Funding Agency
While the application/proposal is under review for funding, the Office of Sponsored Programs will maintain communications with the funding agency.

Rationale for Above Procedures
The above procedures have been established to enable the Office of Sponsored Programs: 

  1. To have an accurate record of all applications/proposals submitted, funded, or rejected; 
  2. To suggest other agencies interested in a proposed activity, should the proposal be rejected by the first agency; 
  3. To serve as a coordinating office for the submission of applications/ proposals when an agency specifies a maximum number of applications that can be submitted for a particular period; 
  4. To permit the University to use the most desirable match for matching grants; 
  5. To permit the University to receive the maximum fringe benefits applicable to salaries and wages and to receive the appropriate indirect costs.

Administration of the Grant

Notification of Award
Normally the notification of award by the funding agency is transmitted to the Office of Sponsored Programs for processing. If notification is instead delivered to the Project Director, it should be forwarded immediately to the Office of Sponsored Programs. When the notification of award has been received, an Award Brief with pertinent information such as award number, SHU account number, award period and list of reports due will be generated by the Office of Sponsored Programs. A copy of the Award Brief will be distributed by the Office of Sponsored Programs to the Project Director, the Project Director's supervisor, Dean or Vice President, the Business Office and Public Relations. If the grant provides for a faculty or staff position, the Office of Human Resources will be notified as well. 

Establishment of Administrative Responsibilities
Following the receipt of the notification of award by the Office of Sponsored Programs, a restricted account will be assigned by the Business Office at the request of the Office of Sponsored Programs with the approval of the faculty chair/dean or vice president.

At this time the Project Director will be made aware of his/her responsibilities in program administration (including such issues as time and effort reporting, equipment inventory, compliance with federal regulations, grant terms and conditions), and of the University policies and procedures that affect the program administrator.

Budget Revision
Any budget revision will be initiated by the Project Director by submission of a written budget transfer request to the Office of Sponsored Programs for approval. If prior written approval is required from the funding agency, the Project Director must clearly detail the request to the funding agency, and a copy of the letter of approval from the funding agency must accompany the budget transfer request. A copy of the letter of request and the letter of approval will be sent to the Business Office by the Office of Sponsored Programs. The Office of Sponsored Programs has the discretion to determine whether prior written approval from the funding agency is necessary. 

Grant Expenditures
All grant expenditures will follow standard University practices for approval by the Project Director, his/her supervisor, and the Business Office.

Incentives and Allocation of Indirect Funds
The Policy on Incentives and Allocation of Indirect Funds defines how indirect funds recovered from externally funded sponsored projects are to be allocated University-wide. As an incentive, a portion will be allocated to the principal investigator (PI) who recovered those funds, for use on research or project-related expenses. Indirect Allocation and Journal Entry Forms will be processed by the OSP upon notice of grant award. Indirect funds will be credited to appropriate 12- accounts for the PI, College or Division and the OSP. 

Reporting Requirements
The Project Director is responsible for the preparation of any reports required by the funding agency during the grant period. The Office of Sponsored Programs will notify the Project Director of an impending report thirty (30) days prior to the deadline. A copy of each report should be forwarded to the Office of Sponsored Programs ten (10) working days prior to the deadline. The report will be reviewed and immediately submitted to the granting agency by the Office of Sponsored Programs.