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Grant forms and resources



The downloadable internal approval form must be completed with the appropriate signatures before any proposal to external funding sources can be submitted.  It is important to start this process at least five days before the proposal due date.

The budget template can serve as a worksheet and is downloadable.  Although based on research budgets, it contains cost items that apply to most funding proposals and can be used internally to track expenditures once an award is received. However, it is important to review the guidelines for each individual funding opportunity and submit a budget using the forms required by the entity to which you are submitting. It is also important to discuss your budget early with the Office of Proposal Development.

View this Powerpoint for details on developing a budget.

The sample budget narrative is based on the requirements of the National Science Foundation, but again is useful for most proposals.  

Partnering with external entities/institutions

Is your partner on your proposal a subrecipient or a contractor.  Click on the subrecipient vs. contractor checklist that will help you understand the difference.

Below are additional documents that may help you with your proposal:

Partnering with external entities/institutions

Is your partner on your proposal a subrecipiet or a contractor.  Click on the link below for a checklist that will help you understand the difference.

General Proposal Information

University Address for Proposals
Ohio Northern University, 525 S. Main Street, Ada, OH 45810
(do not use any other street or building address)

University Identifiers
TIN/ EIN (Taxpayer/Employer Identification Number): 34-4429091
NSF Institution Code: 0030890000
CAGE (Commercial & Government Entity Code): 1YSZ4
ONU DUNS # : 051625564

Federal Interagency Committee of Education Code (FICE): 003089
IRN # (Ohio Department of Education): 063875

Legislative Districts
5th U.S. Congressional District: Robert E. Latta (R), House Representative
U.S. Senators: Rob Portman (R) and Sherrod Brown (D)
1st Ohio Senate District: Cliff Hite (R)
83rd Ohio House of Representatives District: Robert Sprague (R)

Regulatory Assurances
Human Subjects Federal-Wide Assurance Number: 00016729

Animal Welfare Assurance Number: A4432-01

Institutional Officials
Signing Official/AOR for NIH/NSF: Rebecca Watercutter – Director of Foundation, Government and Academic Grants, Ext. 2038

Cognizant Federal Agency
Agency Name: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
POC Name: Tyra Tallie
POC Phone Number: (214) 767-3264

Fringe Benefit Information:
34% of salary for FT Faculty, staff, postdoctoral researchers

  • Undergraduates
    •  7.6% of salary (FICA)
    • The student must be taking 6 credit hours during the summer or SS fringes of 7.65% will be taken out of their wages. If the student worker is not enrolled for 6 credit hours during the summer, funds should be sought to cover the SS fringe – 7.65% x total wages.
    • *The Human Resources office is currently working to establish categories related to fringe benefit amounts charged to grants and summer vs. academic year. Check with the Director of Foundation, Government and Academic grants to make sure you are using the most up- to-date information.
  • Travel:
    • Meals – Reasonable costs
    • Mileage – 54 cents per mile; State of Ohio Executive Order 2009-07S reduces mileage reimbursement to 45 cents per mile for state funded grants – verify correct rate and effective date of change with the specific State of Ohio agency
    • Lodging – In-state & domestic actual, reasonable costs; Foreign use Federal per diem rates

Other Information:                                     

Consultant rates – Rates should be reasonable, consistent and comparable to the normal and customary fees charged for comparable services.

Pay increases– estimate 3% for NIH and 4% for NSF.

Salary caps

  • NIH - 
                                               FY 2014 Awards Issued

      October 1, 2013 through January 11, 2014 (Executive Level II)
      January 12, 2014 through September 30, 2014 (Executive Level II)    

  • NSF – Two months regular salary

Permanent equipment definition: $5,000 + per piece of equipment and life of 1 or more years

Computers dedicated to a specific project with a cost of under $5,000 are considered supplies under the new Uniform Guidance.

Indirect Cost Rates – 39.54% of Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC). This rate is negotiated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – effective date: 6/01/14 to 5/31/18. 

Proposal Terminology

Uniform Guidance (2 CRA Chapter 1& II, Parts 200, 215, 220, 225 & 230) In an effort to be more efficient, effective and transparent, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) streamlined the Federal government's guidance on Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal awards. This final guidance supersedes and streamlines requirements from OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, A-110, and A-122 (which have been placed in OMB guidances: Circulars A-89, A-102 and A-133; and the guidance in Circular A-50 on Single Audit Act follow-up. The guidance can be accessed here

Abstract — (Also summary, executive summary, overview) A succinct description of all major aspects of the proposed project; often posted separately from the text of the proposal. It is best written last, after the grant itself is written.

Academic Year — The nine-month period between September and May.

Activity Code — A code assigned by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to identify groupings of support mechanisms. General categories include research grants, research projects, research centers and other research grants.

Appendix — Unessential and supplemental information that may be added to your application, including publications, manuscripts, abstracts, patents, questionnaires, data collection instruments and photographs. No reviewer is obligated to review anything in an appendix.

Audit — A formal examination of an organization's or individual's accounts or financial situation. An audit may also include examination of compliance with applicable terms, laws and regulations.

Base Salary — The annual salary the university agrees to pay an individual employee for the year involved.

Budget — The financial expression of the project or program as approved during the award process. It may be related to performance for program evaluation purposes whenever appropriate.

Budget Period — The interval of time, usually twelve months, into which the project period is divided for budgetary and funding purposes. (Also see Project Period.)

Closeout — The process by which an awarding agency determines that all applicable administrative actions and all required work of the award have been completed by the recipient and the awarding agency.

Consortium or Collaborative Grant — A grant made to one institution in support of a research project, in which the project is carried out through a collaborative arrangement between the grantee institution and one or more participating profit or non-profit institutions.

Contract — An award instrument establishing a binding legal procurement relationship between the funding agency and the University, obligating the latter to furnish a product or service defined in detail in the contract and binding the agency to provide payment.

Cooperative Agreement — A funding mechanism used when a program requires more agency involvement and restrictions than a grant but requires less agency supervision than a contract.

Cost Sharing (Cost Matching) — That portion of project or program costs not borne by the awarding agency.

Cash Contributions — Items that require an actual cash outlay of funds and must be supported by a university cost center. Cash match may be available at the department, college or university level.

Direct Costs — Clearly identifiable costs related to a specific project. General categories of direct costs include, but are not limited to salaries and wages, fringe benefits, supplies, contractual services, travel and communication, equipment, and computer use.

Extension — An additional period of time given by the sponsor to organizations for the completion of work on an approved grant or contract. An extension allows previously allocated funds to be spent after the original expiration date.

Federal Awarding Agency — The federal agency that provides an award to the recipient.

Fiscal Year (FY) — Any twelve-month period for which annual accounts are kept. ONU's fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30.

Gift — A charitable donation. Gifts differ from grants in that gifts have no accountability for the spending of the money, no reporting requirements, and no specific terms and conditions.

Grant — An award made on the basis of a proposal that typically sets out a series of conditions, such as specific objectives, work plan, timetable, formal financial accounting and reporting obligations. With the exception of some fellowships and special awards, all grants are awarded to the institution rather than to individuals. Proposals and award agreements must be processed through the Director of Foundaiton, Government and Academic Grants.

Grantee — A recipient of a grant award.

Grant Funded Program Coordinator — A professional employee whose position is wholly funded by grant money.

Indirect Costs — Costs related to expenses incurred in conducting or supporting research or other externally funded activities but not directly attributable to a specific project. General categories of indirect costs include general administration (accounting, payroll, purchasing, etc.), sponsored project administration, plant operation and maintenance, library expenses, departmental administration expenses, depreciation or use allowance for building and equipment, and student administration and services.

Indirect Cost Rate — The rate, expressed as a percentage of a base amount established by negotiation with the cognizant federal agency on the basis of the institution's projected costs for the year. ONU's negotiated rate is 50% on salaries and wages.

In-kind Contributions — Items that are already supported by the institution and continue regardless of the grant funding. One type of in-kind match is the reimbursement of indirect costs. To include indirect as an in-kind match commitment, first look at the funding agency's requirements and the percentage of indirect costs that the agency will reimburse. Some agencies allow the difference between our current approved indirect rate and their allowable reimbursement rate as an in-kind contribution. Please note that not all funding sources allow indirect to be used to meet their match requirement. Third Party Contributions are committed to the project by an outside party. This commitment must be documented in a letter of support from an authorized official of that agency and cannot involve funds that are committed to other projects. Permission must be obtained to use federal funds for match.

Key Personnel — The personnel considered to be of primary importance to the successful conduct of a research project. The term usually applies to the senior members of the project staff. Those coming within the definition are normally identified by name in the research agreement.

Notice of Grant Award — The legally binding document that serves as a notification to the recipient and to others that a grant or cooperative agreement has been made; it contains or references all terms of the award and documents the obligation of funds.

ONU Proposal Approval Form — An Ohio Northern University form required for all proposals to external funding sources. The form is part of the University review process for proposals. The principal investigator or project director is required to obtain department chair and college dean signatures, then submit a complete copy of the proposal, along with the form, to the coordinator of proposal development five working days prior to the submission deadline. The Director obtains additional required signatures. 

Pre-application, Letter of Intent, or Pre-proposal — A document describing the intent of the applicant to request funding. It is used by the potential sponsor to determine the applicant's eligibility, determine how well the proposed project can compete with other similar applications, and eliminate any proposals that have little or no chance for funding before applicants incur significant expenditures for preparing an application.

Pre-Award Costs — A cost incurred prior to the official start date of the award that is directly related to the project and necessary to achieve project objectives. This cost must be an allowable expense based on funding guidelines and the approved budget of the program. Any expense incurred prior to the issuance of a final award document or prior to the official start date of the award is made at the risk of the University.

Program Director, Project Director; Principal Investigator — An individual designated by the recipient to direct the project or program being supported by the grant. He or she is responsible and accountable to recipient organization officials for the proper conduct of the project or program. The organization is, in turn, legally responsible and accountable to the Sponsor for the performance and financial aspects of the grant-supported activity.

Prior Approval — The requirement for written documentation of permission to use project funds for purposes not in the approved budget, or to change aspects of the program from those originally planned and approved. Prior approval must be obtained before the performance of the act that requires such approval under the terms of the agreement.

Program Income — Recipient earned income that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of the award. Program income includes but is not limited to income from fees for services performed, the use or rental of real or personal property acquired under federally-funded projects, the sale of commodities or items fabricated under an award, license fees and royalties on patents and copyrights, and interest on loans made with award funds.

Progress Report — Periodic, scheduled reports required by the sponsor, summarizing research progress to date. Technical, fiscal and invention reports may be required.

Project Period — The period established in the award document, during which time funded activities occur. A project period may consist of one or more budget periods.

Research and Development — All research activities, both basic and applied, and all development activities that are supported at universities, colleges and other non-profit institutions.

Research — A systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of a subject. Research also includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where such activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are not included in the instruction function.

Development — The systematic use of knowledge and understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes.

Sponsored Projects — Projects funded by agencies or organizations external to the University.

Sub-award, Sub-grant, or Sub-agreement — A document written under the authority of, and consistent with the terms and conditions of, a prime award (grant, contract or cooperative agreement) that transfers a portion of the research or substantive effort of the prime award to another institution or organization.

Sub-recipient — The legal entity to which a sub-award is made and which is accountable to the recipient for the use of the funds provided.

Supplemental Work — Any work assignment related to sponsored projects beyond the employee's regular duties and responsibilities as described in their job description or current contract.

Summary Statement — Mailed to each applicant, it contains the reviewers' comments about the application. It is an invaluable document if you are going to resubmit your application.

Summer Term — Work assignments for sponsored projects carried on during summer sessions are usually calculated using the Adjunct Pay Scale.

Terms of Award, Terms of Grant, Terms and Conditions — All legal requirements imposed on a grant or contract by the sponsor, whether by statute, regulation, or terms in the grant or contract document.

Total Project Costs — The total allowable direct and indirect costs incurred by the institution to carry out an approved project or activity.

Unrestricted — Funds having no requirements or restrictions as to use or disposition. Grants, contracts and cooperative agreements are considered to be restricted funds.

Grants and Proposals

Beckie Watercutter

Lehr Memorial: Room 257
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
Monday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed