Frequently Asked Questions

Don't see your question? Ask your Contract Administrator.

Questions for future FAQs can be submitted to: oraaonline@umd.edu.


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Preparing to Apply for Funding

Preparing a Proposal

Policies That May Impact Your Research

Routing a Proposal

Transferring an Award

Managing an Award


Preparing to Apply for Funding

Q: Who is eligible to be a Principal Investigator(PI)?
A: All tenured/tenure-track faculty and research scientists can be Principle Investigators. Employees or appointees affiliated with the University of Maryland (i.e. adjunct faculty, graduate assistants, and postdoctoral associates) may be PIs with the endorsement of the department chairperson and dean. All PIs and Co-PIs must be listed on, and endorse, the internal routing form.

Q: I am applying for NSF grant, how do I get a NSF FastLane account?
A: Register online at Fastlane registration form . Log in with your university directory ID and password to access the form, complete all mandatory fields, and electronically submit the form to ORA. A representative from ORA will create your account and send you an e-mail with your account information. Registration requests are completed Monday through Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm. Please allow one business day for your account to be created.

Q: I am applying for a NIH grant, how do I get a NIH Commons Account?
A: Register online at NIH registration form. Log in with your university directory ID and password to access the form, complete all mandatory fields, and electronically submit the form to ORA. A representative from ORA will create your account and send you an e-mail with your account information. Registration requests are completed Monday through Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm. Please allow one business day for your account to be created.

Q: Do I need to register with Grants.gov?
A: No, the University of Maryland is registered as an organization in Grants.gov. PIs and other project personnel do not need accounts in Grants.gov. ORA will submit all Grants.gov application packages on behalf of the university and track the status of submissions through Grants.gov.

Q: How can I learn more about developing a proposal and UM’s policies and procedures?
A: The Proposal Handbook provides an overview of the policies and procedures that apply to research at the University of Maryland.

Q: Who is my Contract Administrator (CA)?
A: Each department is assigned a Contract Administrator in ORA. To determine your Contract Administrator’s name and contact information, use the ORA Staff Directory.

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Preparing a Proposal

Q: What is the DUNS number, ORA’s Address, Congressional District, etc?
A: This information, and other information that is commonly requested on proposal documents, can be found in the Quick Reference Guide.

Q: What are the current Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Rates?
A: 52% MTDC (on-campus rate-Organized Research)
56% (on-campus rate-Instruction)
26% MTDC (*off-campus remote-Organized Research)
26% (off-campus rate-Instruction)
27.5 MTDC (**off-campus adjacent-Organized Research)

*The off-campus "remote rate" applies to activities performed outside the commuting area of College Park.
**The off-campus "adjacent" rate applies to activities performed within the commuting area (50 miles) of College Park.
***See Application of F&A Rates on Sponsored Projects document for definitions of organized research and instruction.

Q: How do I apply the F&A rates?
A: Information about applying F&A rates and the current F&A memo that outlines the F&A rates can be found in F&A information page.

Q: What are the compensation rates for Graduate Research Assistants?
A: The stipend levels for Graduate Assistants and Fellows is available at: Graduate Stipends page.

Q: What are the fringe benefit rates for employees?
A: UMCP does not have a "fringe benefit rate" and Grant/Contract accounts will be charged actual amounts. More information can be found at: Employee Benefits page.

Q: What are the current start and ending dates for a 9.5-Month Appointment and what are the rules on summer research compensation for faculty who are so appointed?
A: The 9.5-Month Appointment runs from Aug 17 - May 31, each academic year. Faculty on such appointments are restricted to earning 2.5 months of additional compensation (up to 26.3% of their 9.5-month salary) from grants and contracts that flow through the University, subject to the limitations of the sponsoring agencies (e.g.: NSF's two-ninths rule).

Q: Should I identify my Collaborator from another institution as a Co-Principal Investigator on the proposal cover page?
A: Ordinarily Co-PI's from collaborating institutions should not be listed on the sponsor's cover page, whether there's a subcontracting relationship or not. The rationale is that these individuals are not affiliated with the University. However, there are times when the sponsor might require inclusion of Co-PI's from another institution on the cover page. In those instances, the fact that they are from another institution should be made clear by a notation. For example:
Co-PI: Dr. Roberta Smith (Collaborator, University of xxxxxxx.)
When the sponsor requires an electronic submission that does not allow for such notations on the cover page (e.g. NSF's FastLane), the collaborating/subcontracting institution should then be indicated in the appropriate section (as specified by the agency) of the electronically submitted proposal. If you are uncertain into which section this information should be inserted, please contact oraaonline for clarification.

Q: What is involved in subcontracting?
A: There are a number of procedures to be followed by ORA in the preparation and administration of University-issued sponsored project subcontracts. These subcontracts are issued by ORA when a contract from a prime sponsor incorporates work to be performed by a subcontractor. Access the subcontract manual here.

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Policies That May Impact Your Research

Q: Where do I find the policies that impact research at the University of Maryland?
A: There are a number of policies that can impact your research. Research related policies can be found at: ORA's Research Policies page. If you have questions about specific policies, contact your Contract Administrator.

Q: Do I need IRB approval?
A: The Institutional Review Board (IRB) must review research involving human subjects. The purpose of the review is to help assure the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects. More information about the IRB, including the policies and procedures, can be found at: http://www.umresearch.umd.edu/IRB/.

Q: What is cost sharing and how do I deal with it?
A: Cost sharing is the commitment of University of Maryland’s resources to a sponsored project. Cost sharing should be included in the proposal only when required. More information, including the Cost Sharing Policy, can be found at Cost Share page.

Q: My funder has publication restrictions – is this allowable?
A: No. It is the policy of the University of Maryland System that instruction, research, and services will be accomplished openly and without prohibitions on the publication and dissemination of the results of academic and research activities. For more information, you can consult the University System of Maryland Policy on Classified and Proprietary Work available at: http://www.usmh.usmd.edu/regents/bylaws/SectionIV/IV220.html.
If you have questions about your publication rights, please contact your Contract Administrator in ORA.

Q: How can I determine if I may have a conflict of interest or a conflict of commitment?
A: The fundamentals of policy and procedure are described in the University’s Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policies (http://www.president.umd.edu/policies/ii310a.html) and Procedures (http://www.president.umd.edu/policies/ii310b.html). Your unit head, having the primary administrative responsibility for identifying and managing potential conflicts of interest or commitment, and knowing your specific situation, is the best resource. The University’s Conflict of Interest Committee is also a resource to help faculty and staff in these areas.

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Routing the Proposal

Q: How do I route a proposal?
A: A proposal must have the endorsement of campus officials and therefore requires signatures of department chairperson, college dean and authorized University official, which is delegated to the Office of Research Administration and Advancement. Prior to submission to a sponsor, PI's or designee must obtain signatures of all PI's, Co-PI's, Department Chairpersons and College Dean prior to forwarding it to ORA for review and signature. The Internal Routing Form for the University of Maryland is available at: ORA Form page.

Q: When does a proposal need to be routed to ORA?
A: The original proposal and two copies and the completed and signed routing form should be routed to ORA at least 6 business days before the deadline. Proposals that are more complicated take more time to review, and should be routed earlier than 6 days.

Q: Where can I find the Internal Routing Form and instructions?
A: The Internal Routing Form and line-by-line instructions can be downloaded from: ORA Form page. If you have questions as you complete the form, contact your CA.

Q: How do I route a Grants.gov proposal?
A: Grants.gov proposals are submitted electronically, however, paper copies of the proposal still need to be routed. Only two paper copies of the proposal need to be routed with the completed routing form. These hard copies and the completed routing form should be to ORA at least 6 business days before the deadline. The final electronic package should be uploaded to ORA at least 48 hours before the deadline. The electronic package can be uploaded to Grant.gov File Upload.

*Note: Applications being submitted to NIH and NSF via Grants.gov require additional time for review. The paper copies, completed routing form, and final electronic package should all be to ORA at least 6 business days before the deadline.

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Transferring an Award

Q: Can an award be transferred between departments?
A: Yes. Written requests for departmental transfers require the PI's, both department's chairpersons and deans signatures. This requirement ensures acknowledgement by all involved parties.

Q: Can an award be transferred between institutions?
A: Yes. Awards are granted to the Institution and not the individual PI. In order for an award to be transferred from one institution to another, the agency, Department Chair, and the sponsored projects office (ex. ORA) must be notified.

 

Managing an Award

Q: How do I begin research prior to the award date?
A: An Advance Account Number Authorization (AANA) form must be completed and submitted to ORA. This form must bear the signatures of the PI and the Department Chair/Director.

Q: How do I find out how much money is left on my grant?
A: Authorized users can access this information via FRSWeb with their Directory ID and password.

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