Letters of support obtained from external contributors in the support of pending proposals should be dated no earlier than 6 months prior to the date of submission. They should also refer to the amount of support and the proposed area of research and be written to the Principal Investigator (PI), co-investigator (Co-PI), chair, or dean. All external contributions must include indirect costs either at the third-party organization's approved federally negotiated indirect cost rate or the de minimis rate of 10% of MTDC. Although it is understood that project titles can change over the development time of a proposal, keywords should remain the same. If the PI plans on using a letter of support where keywords describing the area of research deviates from the title of the proposal, he/she should obtain a new letter from the external contributor prior to submission.
When the award is received, the Sponsored Programs Office will inform all external contributors of the award and confirm their commitment for the project. This confirmation is required prior to project initiation.
Once confirmation is received, the appropriate award documents will be forwarded to Sponsored Programs Accounting for account setup. Each external contributor will be instructed to submit expenditure detail to the PI in the sample format provided. At a minimum, this documentation must include the company name, expenditure timeframe, expenditure description and amount, and an authorized signature. All indirect costs are to be supported by an approved federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement or be the de minimis rate of 10% of MTDC.
It is the PI’s responsibility to review the in-kind contributions to ensure that they are applicable to the project. The PI will countersign the in-kind contribution document, forward the original to Sponsored Programs Accounting and forward a copy to the Sponsored Programs Office.
If the PI learns that any original contributor must reduce their commitment or cannot contribute at all, the PI should disclose the situation to their appropriate Chair and/or Dean. After a decision is made on how to proceed, a “Request for Modification” form is to be completed and forwarded to SPO. SPO will either inform the sponsor of this decrease in external support or, if the PI locates new contributors and those contributors are disclosed on the “Request for Modification” form, confirm support from the new party.
If the project receives additional external support from contributors not disclosed in the award budget, the PI should retain this information for future use if any original contributors fall short. If these additional sources will be needed to meet any required cost share, the PI should complete a “Request for Modification” form and forward it to SPO.
If the external in-kind contributions fall short, and the sponsor does not approve a reduction in cost share, it is the responsibility of the PI, their Department Chair, and/or their Dean to make arrangements to cover the shortfall from other sources.