Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When do I need to provide the Research Office with a signed endorsement form?
  2. Who can assist me with a budget preparation?
  3. What is the time frame for a proposal submission?
  4. My Institute/Center is about to receive an award and my funding agency would like to give us an agreement. Can that agreement be between the agency and my institute/center and can I sign the agreement as Director?
  5. What are MTDC and TDC?
  6. What does F&A, Indirect Costs and Overhead mean and why do I need to include it in my budget?
  7. I would like to hire a graduate student for my project but still keep the budget low. Do I have to include tuition for the student in my budget?
  8. I will be spending the summer doing research in the field. Does my project qualify for the off campus rate of 26%?

 

When do I need to provide the Research Office with a signed endorsement form?

The completed endorsement form with all required approval signatures must be in the Research Office prior to submitting a proposal to any funding agency, whether by electronic means or by hard copy. No signed endorsement form, no submission! There will be no exceptions! Your Department Administrator/Business Manager will direct you to the person with authority to approve your budget and sign the Endorsement Form.

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Who can assist me with a budget preparation?

Your department Administrator/business manager will help you draft the budget for your proposal.The Research Office will review and approve your budget.

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What is the time frame for a proposal submission?

The Research Office requires at least 10 days of advance notice for a proposal submission. This is especially important for electronic submissions which can encounter unforeseeable obstacles that might prevent the application from being transferred and result in your proposal not being submitted. See submission guidelines for a detailed schedule.

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My Institute/Center is about to receive an award and my funding agency would like to give us an agreement. Can that agreement be between the agency and my institute/center and can I sign the agreement as Director?

No. All agreements are between the funding agency and Rutgers, the State University. The university accepts on behalf of the institute/center or individual. In accepting the award the University assumes responsibility for financial reporting and project completion. Only the Authorized Institutional Official (s), designated by the Provost, is (are) able to accept and sign on behalf of the university.

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What are MTDC and TDC?

MTDC is Modified Total Direct Costs and is the base from which the indirect cost is calculated. It is the sum of all direct costs less a) Equipment in excess of $5,000: b) The portion of a subcontract in excess of $25,000; c) Tuition and d) Participant support.

TDC is Total Direct Costs and is the sum of all direct costs. This is the base of calculation for all programs using less than the full indirect cost rate.

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What does F&A, Indirect Costs and Overhead mean and why do I need to include it in my budget?

These are terms used interchangeably. F&A (Facilities and Administrative) is the federal terminology. Indirect Costs are those expenses essential in the performance of sponsored activities but which cannot be readily attributed to a single project and cannot be charged as direct costs. The result is that these expenses are pooled and a percentage derived based on the federal government formula.

Indirect costs are real costs to the University. The types of costs charged under Indirect costs include laboratory space, office space, libraries, equipment, utilities (such as the cost of lights and heat in a building used for research) and administrative costs. The University negotiates its applicable rates each year with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

It is the policy on the Newark campus that the negotiated rate should be applied to all projects. The exceptions are: those federal agencies that establish an indirect costs percentage cap for its programs Foundations that indicate as part of their published policy that direct costs are unallowable or limit the percentage to be applied.

State agencies that do not allow or limit the percentage of indirect costs.

Gift accounts which are charged at 5% TDC.

Any exceptions will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

The University is not reimbursed for all of its costs since a sizeable amount of its funding falls within the categories above. The result is that the university is cost sharing those projects. It should also be noted that a portion of earned indirect costs from projects on the Newark campus is returned to the Newark campus each year and this money directly supports the home departments in which the Principal Investigators/Project Directors reside.

Indirect costs are REAL they are IMPORTANT and provide support to research activity on the campus.

Note:
An imposition of an overall ceiling on the total amount of award by an agency is not considered adequate justification for a waiver of costs; rather, the scope of work for the project should match the funding available from the agency. Requests for waivers of full cost recovery that are the result of an agency recommending funding at a level less than proposed does not constitute adequate justification for cost sharing; rather the scope of work should be reduced to match the funds recommended for award.

(With thanks to Penn State which said it first and said it well and we concur)

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I would like to hire a graduate student for my project but still keep the budget low. Do I have to include tuition for the student in my budget?

It depends. If the student has a full time appointment then the costs of tuition must be included. Exceptions will only be allowed if the Graduate School provides in writing a statement that tuition will be provided to the student in the event that the proposal is funded.

If the student is hired on an hourly basis then tuition expenses are not required.

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I will be spending the summer doing research in the field. Does my project qualify for the off campus rate of 26%?

It depends. Each budget line is evaluated as to whether it qualifies as on campus or off campus. If the off campus costs are more than 50% then your project is considered to be off campus. See http://orsp.rutgers.edu/downloads/BM_presentation060804.pdf (start with slide number 6)

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