Office of Research Development
The Psychology Department’s Office of Research and Development helps members of the department seek external funding for their research and for graduate student support by providing full administrative and budgetary help in all proposal preparation. All research, training, and fellowship proposals must be submitted via Meredith Tabor, who coordinates the office. We urge you to contact Meredith as early as possible in your proposal development. Feel free to seek her help in identifying funding agencies.
Please attend to the following procedural and policy guidelines.
- The process for routing proposals must begin 11-14 business days prior to the submission deadline and the final file must be uploaded to ORAA no later than 5 business days prior to the submission deadline.
- If you will need help with the budget and other non-scientific aspects of your proposals, please contact Meredith as far in advance as you can, but at least 20 working days prior to the submission date. That will allow enough time to create and review the paperwork and meet the campus deadlines. A greater lead time will provide opportunity for increased assistance, such as with rounding up agreement letters from proposed consultants, developing sole source justifications, etc.
- For completed proposal packages that only require the chair and dean’s signatures, please submit your packages to Meredith for review at least 11 days before the proposal is due.
- Graduate Students -- We expect all research proposals to include support for one or more graduate students.
- If your proposal does not include graduate student support, please include a memo with your application explaining why. Meredith will send the memo on to Tom, who may contact you to discuss the matter further before signing off on the budget.
- Including graduate student funding speaks to the educational component that funders look for, showing that we actively support graduate research and training. Most Federal agencies expect to see this item in budgets; thus it is unlikely to be considered excessive.
- It also is worth noting that only with a steady stream of sufficient grant money for graduate assistants will we be able to guarantee our students support at competitive levels.
- We currently budget $18,000 for 12-month Level I graduate student stipends plus an additional 40% ($7,200) for their fringe (health, dental, taxes), and tuition costs. If you know your grad student will be higher than a Level I, please provide that information during budget preparation. Otherwise, the default will be $18,000 plus fringe and tuition.
- Multiple Departments – A separate budget from each department is required and will be combined into the main budget.
- The percent effort (F&A and DRIF) assigned to each department will be based upon the department’s percentage of the total budget.
- Any deviation from this formula must be requested in writing to Meredith, who will forward it for consideration and approval to Tom and Stan before the proposal is routed. The request must include the proposed distribution and justification.
- Budget-related suggestions
- Consider budgeting travel money for graduate students.
- Consultants costing over $5,000/year require sole source justifications. These are easy to obtain but require additional paperwork to justify. Leave sufficient time in your schedule to accomplish this task.
- Similarly, sole source justifications are required to purchase equipment costing more than $5,000 from a specific vendor without competitive bidding.
- Keep in mind that decreases in percent effort after a grant has been awarded that exceed 25% of the previously indicated amount require approval. Therefore, in preparing your grants, select initial effort percentages that will give you flexibility to decrease the level without prior approval should you want to do that.
- If you are using human subjects, advertising costs are the most frequently under-budgeted items.
- Getting the best review and avoiding misunderstandings
- Cover letters are a good place to request particular review committees.
- Be sure that you have any possible overlap in your current grant and grants listed on your biosketch.
- Clarify how the grants differ.
- Tables outlining the study measures and timeline are extremely helpful.
- If you are listed on a few grants, you might need to make some clear reference explaining how you will have the time to complete the proposed project.
- If you are junior, you should consider a local Co-I even for 2.5% effort to show there is some oversight.
- Many review panels at NIH (possibly in other agencies as well) take points off with no statistical consultant even if the PI has demonstrated quantitative skills. So, if you don’t want someone, it might be useful to argue why a consultant is not needed.
- Pilot data are not needed for NIH R21 or R03 applications but these days they might help. At minimum, reviewers of these types of grant look for evidence of feasibility with data from at least a few subjects.