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FAQs - Applying to External Funds

Q. Do I have to apply for Research through the Office of Grants and Contracts?

A. Yes, all research proposals should be submitted through the Office of Grants and Contracts.
Investigators are also advised to keep the Office informed about informal contact, letters of intent, or correspondence with external funding agencies.

Q. What is the procedure for submitting grant applications to external sources?

A. Proposals have to undergo the internal review process by the relevant key personnel, and formal submission is usually done through the Office of Grants and Contracts. Please see section on "Procedures for Proposal Submission and Establishing Grants and/or Contracts" under Research Procedures and policies as well as sections on University Review of Proposals, and Submission of Proposals.

Q. Is the Proposal Transmittal and Approval Form submitted to OGC after proposal approval?

A. No, the Proposal Transmittal and Approval Form should be used to route your proposal for review by the various administrators prior to submission to the funding agency.

Q. What is the purpose of overhead or indirect costs and do I have to include it in the proposed budget?

A. Overhead or indirect cost is the term used to describe a number of costs associated with the on-going and
running of a university. These indirect costs include many expenditures that are frequently taken for granted but are real costs incurred by the University to supply the infrastructure required to allow a sponsored research project to proceed, and thus should be included in the proposed budget, provided the funding agencies allows such a charge.
The purpose of overhead charges is to compensate the University for the general cost of faculty time allocated to research activities, for the provision of space, cleaning of offices, depreciation of equipment, its maintenance and servicing (utilities), for the use and maintenance of research facilities and equipment, for a proportionate share of other costs such as insurance and legal services, and for services provided by the University's support staff, e.g., in Research Services (research administration, drafting of research agreements, negotiation of contracts, review of research proposals, on-going contract administration, maintenance of information on funding sources, etc.), the Business Office, the Personnel Office (human resources and payroll), Comptroller's Office (invoicing, account maintenance and monitoring, preparation of financial reports) Purchasing Department, Physical Plant, Auxiliary Services, Registrar's Office, Support for Libraries, and access to computer services. For more information on the application of overhead rates please see Proposal and Budget Preparation under the section on Proposal Development and Review Process, also please refer to the policy on research Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs.

Q. How much is the University Overhead?

A. For research grants accepted by the University, a minimum overhead allowance of 20% must be included,
where the sponsoring agency allows such a charge. However please note that the University has a
pre-negotiated rate of 64.7% with US Federal Agencies (for example NSF, NIH). This 64.7% is applied on
direct salaries and wages only, including vacation, holiday, sick pay and other paid absences but excluding all
other fringe benefits. Faculty members are advised to contact the Office of Grants and Contracts if their research proposal involves Federal agencies.

Q. Won't including overhead put my proposal at a disadvantage in the review process?

A. Unless the funding agency specifies that overhead costs are not accepted, including overhead on a proposal will not jeopardize the review process or the results, in fact some agencies do expect budgets to include indirect costs. The cost of operating and maintaining buildings, use of equipment, general and departmental administrative expenses, sponsored projects' administration, and library costs are usually considered indirect costs. These costs are essential in the support of sponsored programs, and funding agencies usually expect to see such costs.

Q. What is cost sharing?

A. Cost sharing refers to the resources contributed or allocated by the University to a Sponsored project over
and above the support provided by the sponsor of a project. Please refer to the section on cost sharing under Proposal and Budget Preparation.

Q. Can part-time faculty members apply for research grants?

A. No. Due to AUB's limited facilities and utilities it is not equipped to support all research.

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