Resources and Guides
As a major contributor to the research enterprise at the University of Maryland, BSOS research administrators perform a vital role to the faculty. Resources here are intended to lighten the administrative burden of BSOS administrators and to provide helpful guides for proposal development and award management.
The below resources and information are provided as a guide for faculty, staff, and students in the preparation of external proposals.
When developing proposal materials, consider your audience: it is not only the scientific review committee at the funding agency but your Chair/Director, Dean, Office of Research Administration, the research administrators at the sponsoring agency, Maryland's various post-award offices (including travel, purchasing, Sponsored Projects Accounting and Compliance), and eventually an auditor.
Proposal Development Services
The BSOS Research Team can help faculty develop external grant proposals with a range of activities. Please visit our Proposal Development Services webpage for more information.
What Gets Routed
Accompanying each proposal should be a memo outlining any anomalies in the solicitation or proposal, any unusual form or signature requirements, submission requirements, etc. Anything one might put in an email to the Chair/Director, Dean's Office, or ORA regarding the proposal's content or submission should instead go into this routing memo and be uploaded in Kuali Research (KR). This document is for internal University use only and will not be shared with the sponsor.
Proposals should be uploaded into KR, certified, and submitted for routing no later than six (6) business days prior to the sponsor's due date. If a solicitation requires the recipient institution to have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, the University System of Maryland Foundation (USMF) may agree to be named as the awardee and set up a grant-back account to us when the award comes in. The USMF requires five (5) additional business days' notice of a completed proposal; this is in addition to ORA's 6 days as proposals pass through ORA before going to the Foundation.
The items which must be finalized at the time of routing are:
- routing memo (a sample/template routing memo can be found here)
- budget and budget narrative
- subaward documentation (including budget, budget narrative, letter of commitment signed by an institutional authorized official)
- cost-sharing documentation (including identifying the source of funds)
- indirect cost waivers
- significant project designation requests
- Conflict of Interest training documentation
- for non-funded agreements: a scope of work created by the PI to provide ORA with a basic understanding of the related activities
Other items that should be included in the routing package include:
- funding opportunity announcement
- price quotations for equipment or sole-source contracts
- internal forms that need review and signature by the Dean's Office (e.g. IDC waiver request, universal funding form for cost share, DRIF change, Significant Project request, etc)
- sponsor forms that require signature by ORA (SF424 forms, etc)
- a preview of the entire application in the sponsor grant submission system (it is okay to have a draft at the time of routing but ORA needs a final version at their review point)
NOTE: Scientific content need not be finalized to route a proposal within the University.
Pre-proposals must be routed through the standard process if any of the criteria below are met:
- A detailed budget (that would serve as the basis for an award) is required
- Cost share is required or proposed
- The budget requires institutional approval of a reduced or waived F&A rate
- The pre-proposal must be submitted or signed by an authorized official of the University
- The pre-proposal is being submitted to a corporate entity
- There are known restrictions on intellectual property ownership or publication rights
The routing process allows for several layers of scientific and administrative review throughout the university. Each office that reviews a proposal focuses on different items. A Chair/Director will likely focus on the project description and scientific merit of a proposal, but also look to see if any departmental/center resources are being promised. The Director of Administrative Services in a department may look at the budget and budget narrative to ensure they match and reflect the scope of work. The Dean's Office reviews proposals (specifically budgets, budget narratives, subaward documentation, cost sharing documentation, indirect cost waivers, etc.) to ensure compliance with the State and University rules and regulations regarding allowable and reasonable costs. Finally, ORA reviews proposals to ensure all of the above have been reviewed and adjusted where necessary, but also that the proposal conforms to sponsor guidelines and specifications of the RFP/solicitation. The earlier a proposal can be routed through this system, the deeper a review each step in the process can give to a proposal. As the volume of proposals sponsors receive increases and their tolerance for administrative errors decreases, this routing and review process becomes increasingly more valuable to an investigator.
Who can be a Principal Investigator?
In accordance with University guidelines, all tenured/tenure-track faculty and research scientists can be Principal Investigators (PIs). BSOS has determined that other PTK faculty, graduate students, and staff can serve as a PI in certain circumstances. The Chair may determine that some PIs (e.g. students, post-docs, adjuncts, PTK faculty) may benefit from mentorship by a more senior individual, though this person need not be listed as an investigator on the proposal. The endorsement of the Chair is required for these individuals to serve as a PI and may be done via their approval of the KR record or via email uploaded to the KR record.
All PIs and Co-PIs must have an appointment in PHR, must certify their participation in the KR system, and must complete BSOS Conflict of Interest requirements.
Principal investigators and Co-investigators must complete a certification on every proposal submitted on which they are named. The certification is 9-11 questions relating to research conduct and oversight which only the investigators can answer as responsible stewards of the research. As such, this certification cannot be delegated to another individual. First-time investigators take on average about two to four minutes to certify. The certification can be completed using the browser of your choice on any computer or mobile device. Certification can be completed at any time during the proposal development process. For more information on how to certify a KR proposal and what the certifications mean with links to relevant policies please visit the BSOS KR Resources webpage.
Each proposal must designate a split of the credit to investigators and departments. Currently, credit split drives indirect cost return (aka DRIF return). Credit splits can be determined by any reasonable method. The two most common methods are via direct cost dollars and via time or scientific contribution of the faculty named on a proposal. Some on-campus Institutes and Centers may have internal guidelines for determining credit split based on the amount of administrative work involved in the proposal and subsequent award.
The BSOS Research Team can help faculty develop external grant proposals with a range of activities including:
- prepare budgets, both internal and for submission;
- coordinate the development of proposal components (scientific and non-scientific);
- assist investigators to prepare standard proposal forms required by the sponsor and funding opportunity, and enter forms and information in sponsor submission portals;
- assist with writing of various non-scientific proposal requirements (e.g. administrative forms, budget narrative, etc.);
- format proposals for compliance, presentation, and consistency;
- review documents for completeness by checking them against the funding solicitation;
- address common compliance issues early to reduce problems identified through the UMD routing process;
- represent UMD, in varying capacities, to external sponsors, collaborating organizations and individuals, and other constituents. This includes disseminating information necessary for the successful and compliant submission of sponsored proposals;
- and coordinate routing of proposals (both funded and zero-dollar contractual agreements) through the Dean's Office and the Office of Research Administration.
On a case-by-case basis, and based on competing workload, proposal managers can help structure and present proposal text for clarity, and edit components so that reviewers can quickly identify the main messages, locate pertinent information, and follow the flow of the proposal.
These services are primarily available to all faculty, students, and investigators in AFAM, ANTH, CCJS, HESP, and Dean's Office units without proposal development specialists, but the team may also be able to assist faculty in other departments on an as-needed basis. Any individual who needs support for upcoming proposals should use the form linked below to indicate an intent to submit. While it is easier for the team to assist you if we have more information, only the first five questions are required in order to complete the form.
The Intent to Submit form should be completed as soon as possible when an opportunity has been identified, preferably at least 6 weeks before the deadline. Remember that the earlier the research team is aware of a proposal, the more in depth the service and guidance can be. Agreements which need only to be submitted for routing (e.g. data use agreements, non-disclosure agreements, etc) do not need to be submitted weeks in advance, but should be sent via the Intent to Submit form as soon as practical. One of our proposal development coordinators will reach out to you within one business day of submission of the form. If you have questions or concerns, please email us at BSOSResearch@umd.edu.
Part 200 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) includes guidance to Federal Agencies on how to administer grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. This is known as the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, or Uniform Guidance (UG). BSOS has created a version of the Uniform Guidance based on the electronic CFR (eCFR) which can be accessed here. This includes highlights of relevant and or commonly referenced clauses.
The UG gives Federal agencies expanded authorities to waive some prior approval requirements. The matrix outlining these prior approval waivers is hosted on NSF's website and updated from time to time. This matrix is a useful tool in determining what we (UMD) have the right to do without contacting a Federal sponsor. However, remember that communications about prior approvals and other contractual issues should be managed by ORA. Contact your CA before contacting the sponsor.
Roles and Responsibilities
Research administration at the University involves many moving parts from many offices and departments across campus. In concert with representatives from most of these offices, ORA developed a matrix outlining roles and responsibilities for various tasks and approvals required throughout the life-cycle of an award. This matrix is hosted on ORA's website and should be consulted when a PI or research administrator is determining what office or individual to work with on a specific issue.
What is allowable?
The most important factors to consider when determining allowability are relevance to the scope of work and benefit to the project and sponsor. A sponsored project should not be charged for a cost that is not directly related to the scope of work in the approved proposal, or that does not benefit the work conducted under that scope of work.
For specific items of cost, consider the order of precedence of sponsored projects to determine what is allowable and what is not:
- Scope of Work
- Award document
- Agency Terms and Conditions
- Federal Guidelines (Uniform Guidance, Federal Acquisition Regulations, Public Laws)
Some other questions to consider regarding allowability:
- Is this cost normally covered by the department or the institutional F&A rate? (aka consistent treatment)
- Is the item necessary for the completion of the scope of work?
As an agency of the State of Maryland, we are additionally bound to State of Maryland laws, and institutional policies.
For more on consistent treatment of costs, see the attached memo on the Consistent Application of Salary Costs to Sponsored Projects.
Research Computing Resources
There are a variety of research computing resources available to investigators and students, including experts who will help determine the needs and how to fill them. More information can be found on the research computing resources page.
Intellectual Property (IP) Policy Waivers
The University of Maryland Intellectual Property (IP) Policy outlines the ownership and protection of IP created by personnel and students at the University. Occasionally in the course of research, sponsors, particularly Foundation or other non-Federal agencies, include terms or conditions in their award notices that include language which does not match UM's IP Policy. In these cases, the Office of Research Administration (ORA) works with the sponsor to negotiate mutually agreeable terms, preferably that reflect the UM IP policy. If the sponsor cannot accept UM's IP policy terms, the investigator and research team may be asked to waive some of their IP rights in order to accept the award.
When negotiations on IP language come to an impasse but the investigator and research team still wish to pursue the award, ORA will initiate an IP Policy Waiver ("IP waiver") which then must be reviewed by the research team, Chair, and Dean before proceeding to review by UM Ventures (formerly Office of Technology Commercialization) and final determination by the Vice President for Research (VPR). Waivers should be carefully considered before acceptance and signing, particularly when there are graduate students working on the research project.
ORA will initiate the IP Waiver form for sponsored projects. For gifts, the PI will be instructed to initiate the form. In both cases, the Dean/Division Head should be Dean Rivera and the College Business Officer should be Rebecca Hunsaker.
The PI will receive a notification via that the waiver has been initiated and is required to fill out the page on "Project Performance, Activity and Outcomes." It is crucial that the PI complete this information fully; incomplete fields will necessitate returning the form to the PI and will delay the review of the waiver and potentially the start of the project.
Kuali Research (KR) is the electronic research administration system in use by the University of Maryland as of September 2017. KR is the system of record for all proposal development, award, and subaward records and is used to electronically route and submit proposals to external funders.
Under the Division of Research, The Office of Research Administration (ORA) administers KR and leads the implementation of new KR modules and functionality.
The links and templates below are to provide helpful guides for proposal development and award management. They are not mandatory for proposal submission but are recommended for use.
Helpful links and templates:
More information regarding proposal development can be found on the BSOS Proposal Development Resources page.
This collection of short videos and their accompanying links are designed to familiarize you with the research computing resources available on campus and to highlight important considerations regarding data security and data disposition.
If you have any questions about these videos, please contact Mary Shelley, BSOS’ Director of Research Data Science (email@example.com).
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Approval
A completed and signed MOU is required for all studies where cash or Tango Card (online gift card) will be used as an incentive or compensation for individuals participating in research. In order for a PI to obtain funds to pay subjects, the department must include the following documentation with the MOU:
- IRB protocol approval;
- IRB consent form;
- if sponsored research,
- a PDF or link to KR document(s) showing the period of performance of the award; and
- a copy of the grant/contract pages outlining the research participant support needs. This can be the budget and justification from the awarded proposal or pages from the statement of work which include information regarding the study.
The completed MOU including digital signatures (with adobe certificate) of the fund custodian and PI, should be sent by the department’s Director of Administrative Services via email to firstname.lastname@example.org well in advance of cash needs. All items listed above must be included with the completed and signed MOU in order for the Dean’s Office to proceed. Packages missing required documentation will be returned to the department without review. Please send documents as separate attachments to one email, rather than one consolidated PDF as not all documents will be sent to the Controller’s Office. (Only the signed MOU and pages from the proposal outlining human subjects’ research will be sent to the Controller’s Office. The rest of the documentation will be kept on file in the Dean’s Office.)
Click here for instructions on how to create and use an Adobe digital certificate.
Cash Draw Requests
In order to request cash for research study participants, the research participant cash draw request (in Excel format) and Cash Control Procedures and Departmental Certifications form must be sent via email to email@example.com at least six business days in advance of cash needs. A PDF of the account status showing the period of performance and balance of the related KFS account must be attached to the draw request for all sponsored accounts.
Cash draws should be limited to the amount that can realistically be used in a 60-day period.
Delegates from the BSOS Dean’s Office will retrieve cash from the Office of Student Financial Services and Cashiering (OSFSC) (formerly Bursar’s Office). The Dean’s Office will notify fund custodians when the cash is ready to be picked up and will be open for cash pickups by appointment. The Dean's Office will not keep cash in our safe over multi-day holiday breaks. The department must either pick up these funds or they will be returned to OSFSC. If cash is returned to OSFSC, the department must begin the cash draw request process again.
To schedule an appointment with the BSOS Cash Management office visit our appointment scheduler.
Accounting and Reconciliation
Approximately 60 days after a department receives cash, the PI or Fund Custodian will meet with a member of the BSOS Dean’s Office to reconcile participant receipts and remaining cash on hand. Unused cash should be returned to the Cashiering Office.
If a cash draw is necessary before the 60-day review, the reconciliation and accounting process can be completed early. The accounting and reconciliation process must occur before any additional cash can be drawn on an MOU.
Any unused cash should be returned by the department to OSFSC under the Dean's Office research payment suspense account, not the project account. The return should be completed before the reconciliation process, and the receipt for the return must be included as part of the reconciliation documentation.
The Dean's Office does not keep original logs from participants, or receipts from OSFSC.
Memorandum of Understanding (cash)
Memorandum of Understanding (Tango)
NOTE: For Working Fund requests, the following documents must also be completed:
CORPORATE AND FOUNDATION RESEARCH FUNDING
BSOS hosted a session on "Corporate and Foundation Research Funding" in February 2022. It was led by Ted Knight, who works in Strategic Partnerships and Research both for BSOS and the Division of Research. The workshop covered (1) ways that investigators may need to view corporations and foundation proposals differently than other agencies, (2) opportunities to forge partnerships, and (3) examples of successful collaborations.
This forum can be viewed here.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
In November 2021, BSOS hosted a forum on Conflicts of Interest presented by members of the Office of the Vice President for Research compliance offices and members of the BSOS Dean's Office. You can watch that forum here.
In November 2021, BSOS hosted a forum on research computing resources led by Dr Jean McGloin, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education with presenters Mary Shelley, Director of Research Data Science and Robert Blevins, Executive Director of the Office of Academic Computing Services (OACS). This presentation introduces the research data lifecycle, security considerations, and computing tools available to BSOS researchers. A recording of this session has been made available, as have the slides from the session. Links referenced in the session will display in the side panel of the video, but are also listed below.
Please note that the slides are available to anyone at UMD. Undergraduate students may request access to the slides but should do so using their @terpmail.umd.edu address so it is clear they are UMD students.
Office of Academic Computing Services (OACS): https://oacs.umd.edu
OACS Cloud Services: https://oacs.umd.edu/landing/OACS%20Cloud
BSWIFT Computing Cluster: https://oacs.umd.edu/oacs-cloud/bsos-high-performance-computing-cluster
Videos are available to anyone at UMD. Undergraduate students may request access but should do so using their @terpmail.umd.edu address so it is clear they are UMD students.
Pursuant to the May 20, 2022 memo from the Vice President for Research and the Vice President for University Relations, there is a two-step process for the review and acceptance of all gifts related to research:
1) Route to Approve and Accept the Gift
Research-related gifts provided directly to a campus unit and not through the University of Maryland College Park Foundation (UMCPF) must be routed by the unit using the Kuali Build (KB) gift module. You can begin a form via this link or by going to Kuali Build and clicking "UMD Researcher Gift Routing." The Dean/Division Head must be Dr. Rivera and the College Business Officer (CBO) should be Rebecca Hunsaker.
Research-related gift routing records can only be accessed by the central gift acceptance team or by individuals named on the form. If you do not add Rebecca as the CBO she cannot look up the gift to help determine where it is in the review process. Dean Rivera's review cannot be delegated.
2) Disclose the Gift
Researchers supported by the gift must also disclose the gift via the Kuali Conflict of Interest (KCOI) platform, and the Conflict of Interest (COI) commitee must complete their review before the gift can be accepted. Keep in mind that the KB and KCOI processes do not need to run concurrently. If an individual knows a gift is coming, they may submit their COI disclosure prior to the gift letter being received and routing it in KB.
Per the COI Committee FAQs, the COI Committee typically meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Disclosures must be completed and routed to the COI office by the first of the month for inclusion in that month's agenda. (This includes review/approval by the Dean's Office.)
UM employees are state employees first, which means we are all subject to State Ethics Laws, which restrict the interests and relationships employees may have with external entities. There is a limited exemption to STate Ethics Laws surrounding research, but that exemption only applies if UM appropriately manages Conflicts of Interest. More information can be found in the VPR/VPUR memo linked above, or in the UM COI policy.