For additional information and frequently asked research questions related to COVID-19, visit COVID-19 Research Information and FAQs.
Research Development Office
Who do I get help from in writing my proposal?
Research Development staff in the Vice President for Research Office are available to assist principal investigators and students with all aspects of proposal development. Depending on the sponsor (federal, state, foundation, corporate) other people may also be available to assist; however contacting the Research Development staff is a good place to start. They can provide samples of successful proposal, examples of outreach and education plans, collaboration ideas with existing campus resources for project enhancements and guidance for new investigators on navigating the internal research process at Michigan Tech. The Research Development staff are also available to help coordinate logistical aspects of large, interdisciplinary proposal development. In order to enable them to help you the best, please contact them early on in the proposal development stage at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long does it take to write a proposal?
A competitive proposal, whether it is new or a resubmission, takes several months to pull together. Start early and contact the Research Development group. In particular, proposals with external partners (universities, corporations, schools, etc.) require additional documentation and lead time. Keep the internal deadlines in mind when determining the timeline for finalizing your proposal documentation.
What are Michigan Tech's internal requirements for proposals?
1. Transmittal Form
2. Budget Preparation Worksheet
3. Budget JustificationThese documents along with all documents required by the funding agency must be turned in by the internal deadline. If possible, please work ahead of time with Innovation and Commercialization or the Sponsored Programs Office to have your proposed budget checked and approved. Please note that proposals will not be submitted if they are received after the internal proposal deadline. Additional internal forms may be required depending on proposal type, please check. For example, if cost sharing or subcontracts are involved, additional forms will be needed.
Will a proposal be more competitive if I include cost sharing?
This is a common misconception among proposal writers. In some cases cost sharing can help make your proposal more attractive to a sponsor; however, in many cases this is not necessarily true. In fact, most federal agencies either 1) do not allow cost sharing to be shown unless it is specifically required, or 2) strongly discourage cost sharing. It is Michigan Tech’s policy to only allow cost sharing when required by the sponsor and, in those cases, only at the minimum level required by the sponsor.
Is the quantity or the quality of proposal submission more important?
Because finding funding is a process that relies on established relationships and competitive proposals, there are many reasons not to take a shotgun approach – both for the proposer and the University. We strongly encourage proposers to work closely with Research Development staff to develop a strategic plan to meet funding goals.
Should I send a proposal to NSF or NIH?
If your research is primarily “medical” in nature, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will likely be your primary agency of support. The National Science Foundation (NSF) does not fund clinical research or research aimed at addressing specific diseases. Likewise, animal testing, or research or testing on the development of drugs is not eligible for NSF support. However, NSF does fund basic science and engineering research that may ultimately have medical applications. Biomedical engineering work is also funded by NSF. Additional guidance can be found at the NIH and NSF websites. If in doubt about the appropriateness of fit between your research and an agency's mission, always contact a program officer for guidance prior to submission.
I am only a junior undergraduate. Why should I think about a graduate fellowship?
There is only a short window during which students are eligible to apply for certain fellowships like the NSF GRFP . It usually takes 6 months to draft a competitive proposal and another six months to see if you receive funding. Waiting until you are in graduate school limits your options and reduces your options for success.
Sponsored Programs Office
Who can help me with preparing the proposal budget?
The Sponsored Programs Office and Innovation and Commercialization Office staff are trained in preparing proposal budgets and are willing to assist you. For assistance please contact the following:
- Federal and State Government, Federal and State Pass-Through (non-industry), Universities and other sponsors, email email@example.com or call 487-2226.
- Industry, Federal and State Pass-Through (industry), Foreign, Foundations and Associations (non-federal), call 487-2228
What are the current Facilities & Administrative (F&A) cost rates and fringe benefit rates?
I have never registered in NSF FastLane, how do I get an account set up?
I need to request a no-cost time extension, how do I go about this?
The Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) / Innovation and Commercialization (I&C) requires that you fill out a Request for Modification form. This form is used for a no-cost time extension on research projects that require additional time to complete your project. Please be sure to include a brief technical description specifying what work will be accomplished during the extension period.
Can I submit proposals myself?
In general, proposals must be submitted through the Sponsored Programs or Innovation and Commercialization Offices. Under special circumstances, a principal investigator may submit a proposal directly to a sponsor. Refer to the Proposal Submission policy for details.
Can I submit a proposal to multiple sources?
Research direction often fits the requirements of multiple solicitations. However, each funding agency has its own proposal guidelines and funding priorities. Therefore, a proposal prepared for NASA will look different than a proposal prepared for NSF. Refer to the solicitation and reframe the proposal for each submission. While you can submit to multiple agencies, you can often only receive funding from one agency for a particular research project.
Sponsored Programs Accounting
Once I receive notification that my proposal has been awarded how do I know what my Michigan Tech index/account number is?
The Sponsored Programs Office will send an email notification that your proposal has been funded. Within five business days, Sponsored Programs Accounting will assign an index number or numbers for the project account and email you with the index number(s) and budget.
How do I pay myself for the work I performed on this project?
A portion of your Michigan Tech salary/wages will be charged to the research account. The percentage is based on the sponsor agreement and the amount of your effort spent on the project. Please refer to the payroll section of the award management link.
How do I get reimbursed for travel related to my research project?
Travel that directly benefits your research project, and was included in the proposal budget, is reimbursed from the research account. Fill out a travel expense voucher and submit it to Accounts Payable for reimbursement.
How do I charge expenses such as supplies or services to my account?
This may vary, depending on the expense. There are several sections of the website for you to review: non-salary expenditures, allowable/unallowable expenditures, and “expenditures exceeding the award amount." You may also want to review the “what form do I use?"
What do I do if I review my monthly account statement and determine that there are expenses charged to the wrong account?
How do I get the money from the sponsor once I have started performing work? How does the sponsor get invoiced?
The Sponsored Programs Accounting office prepares and submits invoices to the sponsor to collect the funds. Please do not submit anything financially to the sponsor yourself. We will contact you if your assistance is needed in preparing invoices or other financial documents.
What do I do if part of the award terms and conditions state that I must fill out a financial form either during the project or at closeout?
Sponsored Programs Accounting is responsible for preparing and submitting financial reports to sponsors. If there is a component within a progress report that requires financial information the PI may submit this information, however it is considered an estimate amount, not actual.
What do I do if my payroll certification is inaccurate?
If there is an error on your payroll certification, complete a payroll reallocation form to correct the error. Attach a copy of the reallocation to your payroll certification with an explanation of why the reallocation is necessary.
I keep getting notices that my account is overdrawn or expired from Research Accounting what do I do with these?
These are overdrawn expired notices that are sent to principal investigators once a month to assist with the financial administration of the project. The financial reports section describes these notices in more detail.
What do I do if my project has expired or I have spent all of the funds, but there are additional funds and/or a time extension on its way to Michigan Tech, and I need to continue working on the project?
In order to continue spending when your account is overdrawn or has expired, you will need to request an advance of funds and/or time. This is done on the Request for Advance form. Submit the request to the Sponsored Programs Office.
What do I do if my project has expired or is about to expire, but I need additional time to complete the research or prepare the final report?
You must fill out a Request for Modification form requesting a time extension and submit this form to the Sponsored Programs Office. SPO will determine if the request can be internally approved or if sponsor approval is required. Once approved, your end date will be adjusted.
What do I do if I need to purchase something that was not in the budget I sent to the sponsor in my proposal (i.e. if you need to travel but travel was not in the proposed budget, or if you need to purchase equipment but equipment was not in the proposed budget)?
You must fill out a Request for Modification form stating the reason for the change in the original proposed budget. Submit the form to the Sponsored Programs Office. SPO will determine if your request can be internally approved or if sponsor approval is required. Once the request has been approved by SPO and the sponsor (if required), Sponsored Programs Accounting will modify your budget to accommodate the purchase.
What are the University's current approved Fringe and Facilities & Administration (F&A) rates?
My project is ending. What do I need to do?
If the end date of your project is approaching you need to work with Sponsored Programs Accounting to ensure all of the charges related to this project are processed in a timely matter. Typically, projects require all final documents 90 days after the end date. However, it is not uncommon for final documents to be due 30 to 60 days after the end date. It is important to anticipate that your end date is approaching. Sponsored Programs Accounting will send you notices that let you know your account is about to expire and advising on a plan for close-out. Visit the for additional information.Another aspect of project close-out is the technical reporting and final deliverables. If you feel that the deliverables may not be completed by the end date, a time extension may be required.
Vice President for Research
What expenses can I charge to my IRAD index?
See the Guidelines for Expenditures of Institutional Research and Development Funds (IRAD) for allowable and unallowable expenses.
How should I manage my faculty start-up support?
See the Faculty Start-Up Support Guidelines.
What do I need to do if the sponsor restricts the number of applications or proposals from an institution?
Review the Limited Submission Program Guidelines as Michigan Tech has a standard internal competitive process to follow.