College Policies Regarding Research
Required Approvals for Sponsored Projects
According to university policy IAF-P08, "a Proposal Internal Approval Form must be prepared for all University sponsored projects and must accompany all proposals (or awards for when no proposal was submitted) sent to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) for University processing." All requests for external funding that require completion of a Penn State Proposal Internal Approval Form shall be submitted through the Academic Affairs Office at Penn State Altoona with a completed Penn State Altoona Approval Form. (Adopted October 1998)
Penn State Altoona faculty are responsible for obtaining the approval of the Division Head(s) whose faculty is participating in a sponsored project. The Research Office at the college will obtain the signatures of support required from all other college and university administrators.
In order to permit a timely and substantive review of all submissions, completed proposals must be submitted to the Research Office (W110 Smith) a minimum of two weeks before the required submission date to the agency.
Preparing the Budget
Most proposals will require two budget elements: the budget itself and a budget justification. While the exact format for the budget will vary by funding agency, the basic elements are found in the budget spreadsheet (.xls) and the budget justification (.doc) forms. These two links will provide you with the basic format of each. The budget spreadsheet identifies individual budget elements (e.g., salaries, travel, etc.) while the budget justification explains the role of the expenditure in the overall project.
Preparing the budget is a shared responsibility of the investigator and the Research Office. These responsibilities are:
It is the responsibility of the proposal writer to prepare both the budget spreadsheet and the budget justification. This office will provide oversight to the electronic submission of final drafts of proposal documents.
Whenever a grant, contract, or stipend specifies that a faculty member must spend full time (including advising, service, and other campus obligations) on grant-funded activities, the cost to buy out the total workload of the faculty member will be 100% of his/her salary and benefits for the grant period (semester or year).
Whenever an externally funded research activity (such as residing abroad) precludes a faculty member from meeting his/her advising and service obligation, the cost to buy out the total workload of the faculty member will be 100% of his/her salary and benefits for the grant period (semester of year).
Limitations on Compensation from Grants and Contracts
Research grants and contracts cannot be used to generate overload or supplemental pay. That is, faculty members are limited to 1.0FTE when earning income from external grants or contracts.
A faculty member teaching a 3-credit course during a six week summer session is considered to be at .5FTE during the contract period. A faculty member teaching a 3-credit course during the intersession is considered to be at 1.0FTE during the contract period. Research funding must be adjusted so that total compensation does not exceed 1.0FTE.
Return of Indirect
In order to foster further development, Academic Affairs has determined that faculty at Penn State Altoona are entitled to use 9% of the indirect funds generated by the grants and contracts they author. Legitimate uses include: hiring research assistants, summer salaries, research equipment and instrumentation; graduate assistantships or fellowships; supplies, materials, and the modification of facilities; faculty scholarly development and travel; seminars and lecture series; and personnel or other standards of any research audit. The remaining 3% will be retained in a fund to cover the cost of college match required by some proposals.
In the event of multiple authors (Co-Principal Investigators), access to these monies will be distributed in proportion to each individual's participation in the project (usually reflected in FTE). If no indirect is to be returned to Penn State Altoona from a project, faculty will not be entitled to the 9% share.
These funds will normally be available for use by faculty July 1 of the fiscal year following the funding of the project. For multiple-year projects, only that indirect charged during the prior fiscal year will be available for use. In extraordinary circumstances, faculty can request early access to these funds through a written appeal to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
These policies will be subject to revision when the University changes its policies regarding the distribution of indirect monies. (Revised August 2001)