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 Principal 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 and must have an appointment in PHR. All PIs and Co-PIs must be listed in, and certify their participation in Kuali Research.

Q: I am applying for NSF grant, how do I get a NSF FastLane/Research.gov 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 Sponsored Research 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: All information regarding our current F&A Rate Agreement, current rates, definitions of rates, etc. can be found here: F&A Information

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 your Contract Administrator 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: https://research.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: Generally 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. Under specific circumstances it may be possible to obtain a waiver to parts of this policy.

For information on a waiver or 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 creation, review and certification in Kuali Research by the department chairperson, college dean (or their designees). Prior to submission to the sponsor ORA will review the proposals and provide the signature (either electronically as part of proposal submission systems or in hard copy) of the Authorized University Official, which is delegated to the Office of Research Administration.

*Additional information regarding Kuali Research can be found here.

Q: When does a proposal need to be routed to ORA?
A: Department prepares and completes proposal information in the Proposal Development module of KR, including completing all required sections and uploading all appropriate documents. Proposal is then electronically routed through the PI, Department Chair and Dean’s office to ORA. Complete and final KR proposals, including S2S (system to system) proposals should be routed completely to ORA no later than 48 hours before the deadline, but earlier is better.  If the proposal is being prepared in another online system (ex. FastLane or NSPIRES), provide submit access to proposal at least 24 hours before the deadline in that system. Upon review and approval an ORA Contract Administrator will either sign a hard copy of the proposal or electronically submit the proposal to the sponsor. More information on KR proposal development and routing may be found at http://www.ora.umd.edu/kualiresearch. More information about Grants.gov and about particular agencies and their electronic submission systems, can be found here.

*Note: Applications being submitted to NIH and NSF via Grants.gov via Kuali Research system-to-system submission  require additional time for review. The proposal including the final electronic package should 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 on the DRIF/Credit Split Change Form. 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 of both institutions (ex. ORA) must be notified.

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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: Recommend contacting your Departmental Business Person for assistance. Authorized users can access this information via Kuali Financial System .

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