Frequently Asked Questions

Preparing Your Proposal FAQs

1. What is the Office of Research and Economic Development’s contact information?

Florida International University
Modesto A. Maidique Campus
11200 S.W. 8 Street, MARC 430
Miami, FL 33199-0001
Phone: (305) 348-2494
Fax: (305) 348-4117

2. Where can I find the official ORED policies?

All University policies and procedures are located in one central on-line location in the University Policies and Procedures Library maintained by the University Compliance Office at http://policies.fiu.edu/. All of the policies and procedures of the Office of Research and Economic Development may be reviewed on that database which is arranged by Pre-Award and Award, Post-Award, Office of Research Integrity and Office of Technology Management and Commercialization. Additionally, users may search the database using key words and all policies and procedures containing the key words will be listed, regardless of the University unit to which they pertain. This is particularly useful for sponsored research matters as administration of projects routinely involves other University units such as Purchasing, Travel, Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety and many other units. Thus, the ability to search the Policies and Procedures Library using key words provides users with an expedient way to ensure that all relevant policies and procedures are accessed. The on-line policies and procedures also list the appropriate University contacts so that users may know whom they can call if they have any questions on the policies or procedures. Needed forms and background information are also included in the policies and procedures.

3. I need a confidentiality agreement, teaming agreement, material transfer agreement or memorandum of understanding executed on behalf of the University. Can I process that through the Office of Research and Economic Development, and if so, how?

See Office of Research and Economic Development Policy #2320.055, Negotiation and Execution of Sponsored Project Awards and Agreements at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/257.pdf.

Pre-Award may execute agreements that are not related to an existing proposal or sponsored project, but which are related to research or to potential future sponsored research projects or related to University intellectual property as follows.
Examples of these types of agreements are:

  • Memoranda of Understanding setting forth that the parties will work together to determine if a research project may be pursued in the future;
  • Confidentiality Agreements where documentation is to be exchanged for the purpose of determining if the parties may be able to pursue a future research project or related to University intellectual property review. An approved form confidentiality agreement is on the Pre-Award website at http://www.research.fiu.edu/forms/administrative/
    nonDisclosureAgreement.doc
    ;
  • Material Transfer Agreements where biological material is being transferred for research purposes;
  • Teaming Agreements for a proposal effort

To request that Pre-Award execute an agreement other than an award document, the PI must provide to Pre-Award:

  1. The completed Agreement Request form
  2. A draft of the proposed agreement, if the PI has a draft (e.g., the form FIU confidentiality agreement with the blanks filled in)

Pre-Award will determine if the agreement is appropriate for execution by Pre-Award and if needed, will negotiate the agreement with the entity with which the agreement will be executed. The negotiation will be done in consultation with the PI and other FIU units, as necessary (e.g., Office of the General Counsel, Office of Technology Management and Commercialization). When the agreement is signed by all parties, Pre-Award will send a copy to the PI.

Special Considerations relating to Material Transfer Agreements

If a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) seeks to transfer any Special Hazards Material (as defined in policy #125.405, Security in Laboratories with Special Hazards), the PI must obtain the approval from Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) before the MTA may be signed by Pre-Award. Policy #125.405 defines Special Hazards Materials as including, but being not limited to, ‘radioactive materials, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) controlled substances, select agents, carcinogenic and explosive materials, infectious materials, and laser devices, and any other hazardous materials, the purchase, handling, storage or transfer and disposal of which is regulated by federal, state, or local laws.’

The PI must provide to Pre-Award, the appropriate EH&S Research Clearance Form (found on the Pre-Award website at http://www2.fiu.edu/~ehs/dsrt/index.htm) with EH&S’ approval of the transfer of the materials.

If the MTA is for the transfer of animals, the PI must work with the Laboratory Animal Research to ensure the Facility is prepared for the transfer and the care of the animals. Any IRB, IBC or IACUC approvals must also be in place, as applicable, before beginning to use the material transferred in any research project. See Office of Research and Economic Development Policy #2350.060, Purchase or Receipt of Items Requiring EH&S Prior Approval.

4. Should my project be processed through ORED, University Advancement or the Office of Auxiliary Enterprise and Development?

Please click here to see the decision tree.

5. What documents do I need to send ORED as part of a complete proposal package and when is the proposal due to ORED?

The complete proposal package is due to Pre-Award 5 days prior to the sponsor deadline. However, the complete proposal package is due to Pre-Award 10 days prior to the sponsor deadline if the proposal: (1) is a collaborative proposal with other universities or entities outside of FIU; or (2) seeks to directly charge expenditures that are normally included in F&A. See ORED policy #2320.025, Deadlines for Proposal Submission to ORED at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/267.pdf.

Following are the items which comprise a complete proposal which must be submitted to Pre-Award for review prior to submission of the proposal to the sponsor.

  1. Electronic Proposal Routing Approval Form (ePRAF) fully completed and signed.  By digitally approving the ePRAF, the PI is approving the entire proposal and certifies that he/she will undertake the responsibility for the programmatic and scientific requirements of the project and that he/she will administer the project in accordance with the sponsor guidelines, the approved budget, applicable law and regulations and University policies and procedures.  By digitally approving the ePRAF, the additional signatories (chairs, deans, center directors) certify that the PI is eligible to submit the proposal and can effectively manage the project. The sinatories to the ePRAF should carefully read the ePRAF certifications in the workflow screen, which sets forth all matters to which their approval certifies. See ORED policy #2320.001, Approvals Required on ePRAF Prior to Proposal Submission to ORED at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/246.pdf.
  2. Cost Sharing Form (pdf) fully completed and signed, with account numbers, as applicable, from which the cost sharing will be drawn. This form is needed if FIU is providing any cost sharing for the project.  For mandatory cost share, the cost share form is required at proposal time; for all other forms of cost share, the cost share form will be required if the proposal is funded.  The PI will be responsible for ensuring that the cost sharing is tracked and documented for future reporting to the sponsor.  When including cost sharing in a proposal, the persons signing the Cost Sharing Form pledging the cost sharing must ensure that there is funding in the account pledged as cost sharing to cover the amount of cost sharing proposed for at least one year.  If cost sharing funds are not available at time of award, the award may not be processed by ORED. See ORED policy #2320.020, Cost Sharing in Sponsored Projects at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/250.pdf
  3. Text of the Proposal, including technical description of the project and all sections required by the sponsor’s guidelines.
  4. Budget and budget justification.  The budget justification must explain in reasonable detail how the amounts in the itemized categories of the budget were calculated and what the budgeted categories will be used to purchase.
  5. A writing from the sponsor (or sponsor guidelines) must be included memorializing what the sponsor will pay in F&A costs if the F&A costs to be recovered on the project are less than the FIU standard rates. See ORED policy #2320.040, Full Facilities and Administrative Charges Must be Charged on Sponsored Project Proposals at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/252.pdf
  6. Copy of the sponsor guidelines or list the website on the ePRAF where the guidelines are located.
  7. Collaboration letters or emails from all collaborators named in the proposal acknowledging their collaboration on the project.  If the collaborator is an FIU employee listed on the ePRAF, a collaboration letter/email is not required but for all other FIU collaborators listed in the proposal not present on the ePRAF, a collaboration letter/email should be provided. If the collaborators are individuals, the letter or email may be from the individual him/herself.  If the collaborator is another entity, the letter or email must be from that entity’s authorized representative.  If the proposal indicates that the collaborator is providing any cost sharing or matching to the project, the letter or email must detail the same. If the proposal includes a budget item for a named subcontractor, include a copy of that subcontractor’s proposal, including the subcontractor’s budget and scope of work, signed by an authorized representative of the subcontractor. If the subcontractor shall provide cost sharing or match, the proposal must detail the same. If the subcontractor is charging F&A costs, the subcontractor must state the basis for arriving at the F&A rate used. See ORED policy #2320.040,Collaboration Letters and Subcontractor Proposals Required for Sponsored Project Proposals at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/247.pdf
  8. If the proposal includes a budget item for a named subcontractor, include a copy of that subcontractor’s proposal, including the subcontractor’s budget and scope of work, signed by an authorized representative of the subcontractor.  If the subcontractor shall provide cost sharing or match, the proposal must detail the same. If the subcontractor is charging F&A costs, the subcontractor must state the basis for arriving at the F&A rate used.
  9. Proposed contract for the project, if the sponsor has provided one to the PI.

6. Do I need an Electronic Proposal Routing Approval Form (ePRAF) for a preliminary proposal?

Sponsors will sometimes request a preliminary or “white paper” proposal prior to submission of a full proposal.  In those circumstances, approval from ORED prior to the PI’s submission of the “white paper” proposal to the sponsor is not required provided the white paper or preliminary proposal does NOT contain any of the following: (1) a budget; (2) commitment of University cost sharing or space additional to that already available to the PI; or (3) an authorized University signature. See ORED policy #2320.070, ORED Prior Approval on Sponsored Project Proposals at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/526.pdf

If any of the foregoing items is included or required in the white paper or preliminary proposal, then the normal proposal approval process must be followed by the PI.  However, for all white papers or preliminary proposals where ORED approval is not required, the PI should nonetheless forward a copy of the same to ORED for its files in the event a full proposal is later submitted.

7. Do fellowships need to be routed through ORED?

Fellowships do not need to be routed through the Office of Research and Economic Development if the fellow is paid directly by the funding agency and no authorized University signature is required. Applications for fellowships or scholarships that will be made to the University on behalf of an individual must be routed through the ORED internal clearance process at proposal time. Normally, a student may be listed as the co-PI while the faculty mentor is listed as the PI on the fellowship proposal. See ORED policy #2320.035, Eligibility to Submit a Proposal as Principal Investigator at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/362.pdf. Please note that these applications need to adhere to the ORED proposal deadlines addressed in FAQ #2 above.

8. Who is the Principal Investigator (PI) on a fellowship application?

Depending on the sponsor guidelines, either the faculty mentor or the fellowship applicant may be listed as the PI on the external proposal documents. Within FIU, the faculty mentor should be listed on the internal proposal forms as the PI.

See ORED policy #2320.035, Eligibility to Submit a Proposal as Principal Investigator at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/362.pdf.

9. My Chairperson (or Dean) is out of town. Who signs my Electronic Proposal Routing Approval Form (ePRAF)?

If the Dean and/or Chairperson has/have not designated an alternate and there is no cost sharing or release time involved from your College or Department, ORED would accept the Internal Clearance pending the signature of Chairperson  and/or Dean.  If the Dean/Chairperson does not approve the proposal, the proposal will need to be withdrawn.

10. What information do I need to provide to ORED in order to add my name to the NSF Fast Lane database?

The information required in order to add your name to the Fastlane database is as follows:

  • First Name, Middle Initial (if any), and Last Name
  • E-mail address
  • Office telephone number
  • Office fax number
  • Department name
  • Highest Degree (i.e. BS, MS, Ph.D., etc.)
  • Year that the degree was obtained

You may call ORED at (305) 348-2494 to provide the information or e-mail us at preaward@fiu.edu. You may also email your Pre-Award representative who can help you set up an account on Fast Lane.

11. What information do I need to provide to ORED in order to obtain an NIH eRA Commons ID?

In order to set up an NIH eRA Commons ID, the following information should be provided to either your Pre-Award representative, by calling the ORED main office at (305) 348-2494  or by sending an email, with the information included, to preaward@fiu.edu:

  • First Name, Middle Initial (if any), and Last Name
  • User Name
  • Email Address
  • Birthdate

12. What are the FIU Federal ID (TIN), DUNS, CAGE, TEN and CEC numbers?

FIU Federal ID Number: 65-0177616
DUNS Number (aka CCR Number): 07-129-8814
CAGE Code: 1JHM5
Tax Exempt Number: 85-8012622369C-4
CEC Number: 07-220-891B

13. What are the Congressional and Senate districts numbers?

US House District Florida Senate District Florida House District
Modesto A. Maidique 26 37/39 115/116
Biscayne Bay 24 35/36 100/107/108
Broward Pines Center 23 29 98/99/104
Engineering Campus 25 37/40 105/115/116
The Jewish Museum 23 35 113
The Metropolitan Center 24 35 112/113
Miami Beach Urban Studios 23 35 113
The Wolfsonian 23 35 113

14. What are FIU?s Federal-Wide Assurance (FWA), IRB registration and Animal Welfare Assurance numbers?

FIU’s Federal-Wide Assurance (FWA): FWA00000060 (Expires: 02/11/2019)
Health Sciences IRB Registration Number: IRB00008168
Social and Behavioral IRB Registration Number: IRB00008169
Animal Welfare Assurance number: A3096-01

15. What is FIU?s NIH Institutional Profile File (IPF) number?

FIU’s NIH IPF number is 513809.

16. I am requesting funding. Do I need to have IRB/IACUC/IBC approval before I submit my proposal?

In most cases (NIH, NSF, USDA, Dept. of Education), you will be submitting the approval information “just-in-time” (when you receive a fundable score, award letter, or when the agency requests the IRB/IACUC approval information). For the most accurate information, the PI should consult the agency for guidelines for the use of human subjects and/or animal subjects. All approvals must be obtained before ORED may set up a Project ID.

See also ORED policies #2320.090, Sponsored Award Project Set-Up found on the University Policies and Procedures Library at: http://policies.fiu.edu/files/344.pdf

17. When can FIU faculty be paid extra state compensation and what is the procedure to be paid extra state compensation?

See also ORED policy#2350.025 – Extra State Compensation From Sponsored Projects for FIU Personnel found on the University Policies and Procedures Library at: http://policies.fiu.edu/files/366.pdf

18. How much should I pay my students (graduate and undergraduate)?

The Dean’s Office of your respective college can best answer that question, as different schools and disciplines pay different rates.

See also ORED policy #2320.080- Salary and Wage Charges on Sponsored Project Proposals found on the University Policies and Procedures Library at: http://policies.fiu.edu/files/265.pdf

19. How much do I budget for graduate tuition?

Most Federal projects will only allow for the cost of tuition (excluding any additional fees as charged by the University). A full time graduate student is expected to complete twenty-four (24) credits per year [nine (9) credits during the fall and spring, six (6) credits over the summer].

For the academic year 2015 to 2016, the cost per credit for a continuing graduate student admitted before Fall 2006 is $362.71; Thus, tuition for a full-time continuing research assistant admitted before Fall 2006 being charged to a sponsored project will be $8,705.04. The cost per credit for a new graduate student admitted after Fall 2006 is $379.95, thus tuition for a full-time new research assistant will be $9,118.80. Currently, it is institutional policy that a 5% increase cost of living be calculated for tuition for every additional year of funding requested.

See also ORED policy #2320.110- Tuition and Fee Charges on Sponsored Project Proposals found on the University Policies and Procedures Library at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/731.pdf

20. What is the Facilities and Administration (F&A) rate?

  • Washington Primer on F&A costs
  • Private Companies & On Campus Research : 46.5% MTDC
    Excluding equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, tuition remission, rental costs of off-site facilities, scholarships and fellowships and the portion of each subcontract and/or subgrant in excess of $25,000 regardless of the period covered. Consultants are not subcontracts. Equipment means an article of nonexpendable tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year, and an acquisition cost of $5000 or more per unit.
  • Other Sponsored Activities : 27% MTDC
    Excluding equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, tuition remission, rental costs of off-site facilities, scholarships and fellowships and the portion of each subcontract and/or subgrant in excess of $25,000 regardless of the period covered. Consultants are not subcontracts. Equipment means an article of nonexpendable tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year, and an acquisition cost of $1000 or more per unit. Activities that are not organized research or instruction would fall under the other sponsored activities rate. Please contact a Office of Research and Economic Development Pre-Award representative for guidance as t6o when it is appropriate to apply this rate.
  • Off Campus Research : 26% MTDC
    Excluding equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, tuition remission, rental costs of off-site facilities, scholarships and fellowships and the portion of each subcontract and/or subgrant in excess of $25,000 regardless of the period covered. Consultants are not subcontracts. Equipment means an article of nonexpendable tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year, and an acquisition cost of $5000 or more per unit.  If more than 50% of the project will be performed off-campus, the off-campus rate will apply to the entire project.
  • American Cancer Society: 20% MTDC for grants funded after July 1, 2002. IDC is allowed on direct costs excluding permanent equipment. Indirect Costs for a subcontract budget may be claimed by either the primary or the secondary institution but not both.
  • US Department of Education Training Grants: 8% MTDC excluding tuition, stipends, and major equipment (greater than $1,000 per item). (As per 34 CFR 75.562) The training  F&A rate is allowable for training projects where FIU students are being trained and the 8% rate is specified in the proposal guidelines.
  • State Agencies: 15% TDC
  • South Florida Water Management District: 25% TDC
  • US Department of the Interior/Everglades National Park: 20% MTDC
    Excluding equipment (greater than $1,000 per item), tuition, and stipends. Applies to agreements executed prior to October 6th, 2005 and existing DOI/NPS agreements through the end of the life of the project.
  • CESU/South Florida Caribbean Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit: 17.50% TDC
    Applies to new agreements executed after October 6th, 2005 for work conducted under the CESU agreement with the following agencies from the Department of the Interior (DOI): Bureau of Land Management (BLM), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), United States Geological Survey (USGS), National Park Service (NPS), USDA National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
  • Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council: No indirect cost allowed.

See also ORED policy #2320.040, Full Facilities and Administrative Charges Must be Charged on Sponsored Project Proposals at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/252.pdf

21. The agency will not pay FIU’s negotiated F&A rate. How do I document it?

Have the agency put in writing that they will not pay over a certain percentage in F&A costs. Provide a copy of this document or of guidelines stating the deviation from the F&A rate to ORED at the time of proposal submission.

See also ORED policy #2320.040, Full Facilities and Administrative Charges Must be Charged on Sponsored Project Proposals at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/252.pdf

22. What is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Salary Cap?

Since 1990, Congress has legislatively mandated a limitation on the rate at which salaries can be directly charged to contracts, grants and cooperative agreements for the National Institute of Health (NIH; collectively referred to as NIH grants). The NIH cap is tied to the Federal Executive Pay Scale specified within the Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, which has been set at Executive Level I since 2001.

For more information on the NIH salary cap, see Notice Number NOT-OD-16-045: Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements and Contracts: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-16-045.html

At proposal time, if an individual will be funded from NIH and has a salary for full-time effort in excess of the capped rate, the salary cap should be used in calculating the salary for that individual. Salary for effort in excess of the cap will need to be cost shared if awarded. For help in calculating the amount of salary that can be charged to the agency versus the amount that will require cost share, please use: 9 month NIH Salary Cap Calculations and 12 month NIH Salary Cap Calculations

23. What fringe rates should I use on my proposal budget?

The following fringe rates are effective as of April 3rd, 2017 on all proposals being submitted by Florida International University and will be effective for all awards as of July 1st, 2017:

Employee Group
Pooled Fringe Benefit Rate
COM 12 Month Faculty
23.14%
Non COM Faculty / All Administrative
33.22%
Staff
46.23%
Non Student OPS
2.87%
Graduate Student Assistants
5.82%
Student OPS (excluding Graduate Student Assistants)
0.04%

Below is a detailed breakdown of each of the fringe rates:

Benefit Description COM Faculty Faculty/Admin Staff Non Student OPS Graduate Student Assistants Student OPS
Social Security 4.16% 5.67% 5.93% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Medicare 1.41% 1.44% 1.35% 1.42% 0.01% 0.04%
Retirement 7.63% 8.20% 8.56% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Health 7.26% 14.55% 27.58% 1.35% 5.81% 0.00%
Life 0.03% 0.06% 0.12% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Disability 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Unemployment Compensation 0.00% 0.03% 0.13% 0.10% 0.00% 0.00%
Tuition Waivers 0.11% 0.58% 1.02% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Parental & Sabbatical Leave 0.36% 1.35% 0.18% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Medical Leave 0.56% 0.13% 0.43% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Sick & Vacation Payouts 1.62% 1.21% 0.92% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Fringe Change 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Total 23.14% 33.22% 46.23% 2.87% 5.82% 0.04%

24. How much do I pay a consultant?

A consultant should be paid on the basis of his/her history of consultancy fees and the work they are to conduct.

See also the following ORED policies found on the University Policies and Procedures Library:

25. How do I list other FIU faculty on grants if they are not a Co-PI?

They may be listed by name and expertise with pertinent percentage of time. Note that other FIU faculty cannot be paid as consultants. They should be paid as senior personnel.

See also ORED policy #2320.080- Salary and Wage Charges on Sponsored Project Proposals found on the University Policies and Procedures Library at: http://policies.fiu.edu/files/265.pdf

26. What sources are available to me for acquiring cost sharing that is required on my proposal?

The place to start when requesting cost-sharing is at the Departmental level, followed by the College, and then the Office of Research and Economic Development. Please note that the University permits cost sharing only when mandatory and required in the solicitation.

See also the following ORED policies found on the University Policies and Procedures Library at https://policies.fiu.edu/search/?division=26

27. What items may not be listed as match or cost share?

Items that are included as part of the F&A costs, including administrative salaries, utilities usage, and University-owned facilities dedicated to research cannot be used as cost sharing. As a general rule, it is best to not list supplies or duplicating as match as it is almost impossible to provide proper documentation for audit purposes. The exception would be if a project involves mass mailing or other large-volume duplicating that can be tracked easily.

The items easiest to track for cost sharing purposes are non-administrative personnel, travel or tuition waivers. Foregone overhead may also be used as cost sharing. Prior to establishing an award, ORED will confirm that there are funds in the cost sharing source(s) stated on the cost sharing form. If the required funds are not available, the grant award will not be established. It is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility that match be met according to what was stated in the proposal.

See also the following ORED policies found on the University Policies and Procedures Library at https://policies.fiu.edu/search/?division=26

28. What is the role of the Authorized Official Representative (AOR)?

The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) is the individual who has authorization/permission to act for Florida International University (FIU) and assume the obligations imposed by federal laws, regulations, requirements and conditions as imposed by grants or other research awards. Proposal applications requiring FIU agreement or certification will need to be signed by the AOR and all research related grants, agreements, and contracts should be signed by the AOR, as appropriate.

See also ORED policy #2320.070, ORED Prior Approval on Sponsored Project Proposals at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/526.pdf

29. What direct costs may be included in the budget for federally sponsored projects?

30. When can I purchase a computer with federal grant and contract funds on my sponsored project?