General Grant Information
apply for a grant?
Within in the institution,
any full time LCSC employee can apply for a grant for a
project or program.
Certain rules apply, however.
All applied for grants must be approved by the
appropriate institutional authorities, and must fall
within the institution's role & mission. Submission of a
GAARP form is required.
Certain grants have additional conditions for
eligibility. Please be sure to research eligibility for
both the funder and the institution prior to grant
Who signs grant proposals and/or applications
before they are submitted?
Vice President for Finance
designated representative from the institution must sign
the proposal because the grant money is awarded to the
college and not the individual or PI who submits it.
types of costs
grants, contracts, and
types of grants
gifts vs. grants
funding as income
scholarships, personal, and
facilities and administration (F&A) or indirect costs?
Facilities and Administration
(F&A) costs are sometimes referred to as indirect or
overhead costs. They are costs that are incurred for
common or joint objectives and therefore cannot be
identified readily and specifically with a particular
sponsored project an instructional activity, or any
other institutional activity. (OMB A-21.E.1)
These types of expenses (administration, depreciation,
water, electric, janitorial, maintenance etc.) are
virtually impossible to identify on a grant by grant
How are indirect costs calculated?
Through a formula negotiated
with the Department of Health and Human Services. Our
budget director negotiates the rate for LCSC every 5
The LCSC Indirect cost
recovery rate is 34% of direct costs EXCLUDING:
Rental cost of off-site
Any amount over $25,000 on
Federal training grants (e.g.
TRIO programs) can only recover indirect
at a rate of 8%
If you have any questions
about what qualifies for indirect cost please contact
the Office of Grants & Contracts at 792-2460 or
Federal agencies shall
use the negotiated rates for F&A costs in effect at the
time of the initial award throughout the life of the
sponsored agreement. (OMB A-21 G7)
Why should we collect indirect costs on every
An institution cannot afford
to administer grants free of charge. It costs money to
pay those who track grant budgets, prepare for audits,
pay for the facilities, computers, and equipment used to
support grant projects.
Federal agencies shall use the negotiated rates for F&A
costs in effect at the time of the initial award
throughout the life of the sponsored agreement. (OMB
Types of Costs
What are direct
Direct Costs are those costs
that can be identified specifically with a particular
sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any
other institutional activity, or that can be directly
assigned to such activities relatively easily with a
high degree of accuracy. (OMB A-21.D.1)
What are allowable
Allowable costs are those
costs subject to reimbursement if they are (a)
reasonable (a prudent business person would have
purchased this item and paid this price), (b) allocable
(assignable), and (c) consistently treated. Unallowable
costs are those that are not reasonably and directly
related to the project and those deemed unallowable by
the sponsor. Therefore they are not eligible for
"Allowable" applies also to
activities (something you do) as well as costs
(something you buy; a line item). See OMB A-21: C-8 & J.
Generally it is not the type
of cost that determines allowability. It is the purpose
and circumstance of the expenditure. Many categories of
costs are allowable as a direct or indirect (F&A), e.g.,
salaries, travel, materials, etc.
examples of unallowable costs are found in OMB A-21: C-8
& J. They are alcoholic beverages, entertainment (TRIO
is the exception with an agenda and substantiation of a
business purpose), fines and penalties, promotional
materials, certain recruitment costs, organized fund
raising, lobbying, commencement and convocation, general
public relations and alumni activities, student
activities, managing investments solely to enhance
income, and prosecuting claims against the federal
government and more. (OMB A-21: C-8a-d; & J)
What are allocable costs?
Allocable means that the cost must benefit the account
to which it is charged in proportion to the benefit that
it provides. According to OMB A-21C4, a cost is
||- it is incurred
solely to support work under the sponsored
||- it benefits
both the sponsored agreement and other work of
the institution, in proportions that can be
approximated through the use of reasonable
||- it is necessary for
the overall operation of the institution and is
deemed assignable in part to sponsored projects.
(In other words, if the cost provides a benefit
to a project equal to 50 percent of the cost,
then only 50 percent should be charged to that
||- any cost that is
allocable to a federally sponsored agreement may
not be shifted to another sponsored agreement to
meet deficiencies caused by cost overruns or
other funding considerations.
Contracts, and Cooperative Agreements
What is the difference between a grant, a
contract, and a cooperative agreement?
Grant - The
purpose is to transfer money, property, services, or
anything of value to a recipient in order to accomplish
a public purpose. The sponsor allows more freedom and
less oversight with a grant.
Contract - Similar to a grant,
contracts involve specific priorities.
Cooperative Agreement - The purpose is
to transfer funds to the recipient to accomplish a
public purpose. These awards are characterized by
substantially more collaboration and involvement between
the sponsor and recipient.
What rules and
regulations govern grant management?
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Executive Orders, the Office of Management and Budget's
Circulars (OMB Circulars) and guidelines for the
specific grant application as well as the approved
proposal all govern the administration of sponsored
programs. Education Department General
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) also governs
U.S. Department of Education sponsored programs.
OMB Circular A-21
(aka OMB Circular 2 CFR 220) Cost
Principles for Educational Institutions - Sets forth cost
principles for the reimbursement of allowable costs
associated with federally sponsored agreements.
OMB Circular A-110
(aka OMB Circular s CFR 215) Uniform
Administrative Requirements - Establishes
uniform administrative requirements for grants and
agreements with institutions of higher education.
OMB Circular A-133 - Establishes
audit requirements and defines federal responsibilities
for implementation and monitoring such requirements for
institutions of higher education and other nonprofit
institutions receiving federal awards.
three Circulars, P.I.s and directors will find
familiarity with OMB Circular A-21 (Cost Principles)
and A-110 (Administrative Requirements) to be
the most beneficial, in terms of effective budget
administration of a federally sponsored agreement.
Since OMB Circular A-133 establishes audit requirements
and federal responsibilities for institutions of higher
education, the institution's administrative and budget
personnel are responsible for being aware of those
What is effort
If you commit your time to a
grant and receive wages or salary; or choose to donate
time to a grant as part of the cost share agreement, you
are required to certify or document that you actually
gave the required percentage of your time you committed
to that project. That is effort reporting.
Effort reporting is a requirement for all federal
government grants, as per OMB A-21 J-10, (2) c.(1) (aka
OMB Circular 2 CFR 220) Cost Principles for
There are risks of not
complying with Circular A-21's (OMB Circular 2 CFR 220)
effort reporting requirements. In
recent years, the federal government and its auditors
have become more active in their review of effort
reporting requirements, and a number of universities
have received large audit disallowances as a result.
Recent cases of audit disallowances are:
University paid $5.5 million to settle issues
related to problems with effort reporting, on a
contracts and grants base of $325 million;
returned $4.1 million to the federal government
to settle a number of charging issues, including
California paid a total of $2.1 million to
settle an NIH salary cap limitation disallowance
for the period July 1, 1995 through June 30,
effort reporting system must provide records on how
individuals participating in federally funded sponsored
agreements actually spend their time. Because the
federal government mandates effort reporting, it is
incumbent upon institutions that receive federal funding
to maintain accurate and auditable systems and records.
Documentation on how
individuals spend time on federally sponsored projects
is subject to federal audit and can be cause for
institutional or individual disallowances.
Institutional disallowances can result if:
||the effort report
was certified by an individual other than the
employee or someone who has "first-hand"
knowledge of 100 percent of the employee's time;
||the effort report
does not encompass all of the activities
performed by the employee under the terms of
||the levels of
effort reported do not appear reasonable, given
the responsibilities of the individual.
Individual disallowances can result if:
||the effort report
certified by the individual is found to be
||the levels of
effort reported do not appear reasonable.
evidenced above, federal audit disallowances can result
in serious financial penalties for institutions. In
addition, criminal charges may be brought against an
individual certifying to falsified effort.
Current audit plans for federal auditors include effort
reporting as a specific audit focus.
verifying cost sharing?
Cost sharing or
match may be required for your project by either
legislation or sponsor policy requirements; or the
project may not require cost share or match, but in
certain instances may be desired. If so, OMB
Circular A-110 .23 (aka OMB Circular 2 CFR 215)
Administrative Requirements requires
committed cost share or match to be documented.
Please note that volunteer services can be counted as
cost share or match; if so, they must also be
Voluntary uncommitted cost share or match are
contributions to the project over and above that which
is budgeted and committed in a sponsored agreement. OMB
Clarification issued January 2001 indicates that
uncommitted cost sharing need not be tracked or
We're hiring a person
as Irregular Help to work on a federal grant. Does
that person need to complete time and effort reporting?
OMB A-21 J-10 requires AL employees who
render services on behalf of a federally sponsored
program to certify the percentage of effort provided to
the program by completing time and effort reports.
Types of Grants
What's the difference between Challenge,
Training, Research, Block, and Demonstration, etc.
- This type of grant is typically awarded for specific
types of research, demonstration, training, or service
to program participants. Any organization applying for a
competitive grant must specify projected costs as well
as program details, timelines and objectives.
Noncompetitive (Entitlement) Grants - A
noncompetitive grant more closely resembles a contract
than a grant. These grants are automatically awarded to
institutions which qualify for legally defined formulas.
The funded organization agrees to conduct activities in
order to achieve a specific purpose based on an
established program. The organization completes forms
and assurances to secure funds.
Formula Grants - This type of grant is
sometimes referred to as a state administered program.
Formula grants are noncompetitive and often based on
programs directed by population, per capita income, or
enrollment from federal agencies. These grants are
primarily awarded to state governments and have specific
dollar amounts attached to them.
Challenge Grant - Is approved only if
the grantee is able to raise additional resources from
other sources as well. For example, an organization
would make a challenge grant of $7000 if the grantee has
gathered $7000 from some other source also.
Training Grant - Used to support
teaching students at all educational levels to meet the
sponsor's needs of a perceived shortage in a specific
field. Training grants are usually more specific in the
project purpose, students involved, and length of
training support. Usually these grants provide direct
support to student(s) who qualify, along with a modest
amount of support, including tuition and fees. Many have
lower F & A rates.
- An award to an academic or professional staff member
to support his/her ongoing research interest.
Block Grant - Block grants are dollars
awarded by the federal government to state and local
governments. Although federal guidelines are imposed,
state and local governments are awarded discretionary
authority over the uses of funds. Block grants address
specific issues and needs within a certain jurisdiction
this jurisdiction is responsible for monitoring and
- A grant made to establish an innovative project or
program that will serve as a model, if successful, and
may be replicated by others.
What are matching
Match is grantee
contributions such as cash or in-kind (property,
equipment, supplies, or services). Match can be defined as
cash or in-kind (donated goods and/or services).
What is there to know about match reporting?
It is the Principal
Investigator and/or Project Director's responsibility to
document that the match requirement for a grant is met.
Cash match incurred related
to a grant should be recorded in an account separate
from the grant account. The account can be a specific
account set up solely to record the match expenses.
In-kind match incurred
related to a grant should be documented properly to
support the match requirements.
P.I. should inform the Controller's Office of the match
incurred for reporting purposes. If a separate account
is used for cash match, the Controller's Office can
compile the information for the account. If a general
account is used for match, the PI must provide the
supporting detail to the Controller's Office. The P.I.
must provide the supporting documentation of in-kind
match to the Controller's Office.
Controller's Office will report the match incurred based
on the information provided.
Is there anything
else about match I should know?
You can't use federal dollars for matching funds on a
federal grant. (OMB A 110 - Section 23)
Gifts vs. Grants
What is the
difference between a gift and a grant?
A gift is a donation from an
individual, corporation, or non-profit organization.
Gifts do not have requirements such as final reports. A
gift can be designated to a particular department,
however. Gifts are accepted and processed through
grant is funding that may need to meet certain
requirements or fulfill a specific purpose. Progress
reports, budget reports, and general monitoring of the
funding are usual requirements. Generally, when there is
an expected outcome from the funding, it is a grant. If
an expenditure report is required, it is a grant. Since
its role is to oversee and monitor all grant activity,
all grants need to be processed through the
Office of Grants & Contracts.
What is the difference between OGC and College
external funds are an unrestricted gift or a donation
(i.e. there is not a designation for said gift or
donation), then it is handled and tracked through
Examples of gifts:
||A voluntary donation of
funds that does not include any conditions,
reports, or requirements.
donation of property with no implied
responsibility on the part of LCSC or the
Foundation to provide the donor a product,
service, technical or financial report,
intellectual property rights, or any other
given directly to a faculty member by agreement
not requiring administrative endorsement.
If external funds do have a specific designation or
expected outcome (e.g. financial reports, project
narratives), then it is considered a grant or contract
and is tracked through the Office of Grants &
Conditions that make funding a grant:
||A formal proposal
requiring the endorsement of an LCSC authorized
official. (VP of Finance & Administration or
technical, final reports and/or other exchanges
and/or activity have a specific performance
period or completion date.
||The agreement for
the activity contains compliance terms and
conditions from the Code of Federal Regulations,
OMB Circulars, and guidelines in the grant award
||The agreement for
the activity contains provisions for
||The testing and/or
evaluating of proprietary products are
must be returned to funder at the end of the
and/or cash matching are involved in the
performance of the activity.
includes budgeted indirect costs.
involves disposition of property, whether
tangible or intangible, that may result from the
activity (e.g. equipment, inventions,
copyrights, or rights in data.)
Funding as income
If I write a grant
can I use that money as extra income?
Not usually. Grants usually
pay for release time to permit faculty to pursue
research and sponsored projects. Normally you may not
earn more than 100% of your annual salary. The amount of
money the grant pays you will be deducted from your
college salary. An exception is if you work on the grant
during the summer. You may collect up to 2 or 3 months
of your salary during that time, in addition to the 100%
you collected on your 9 or 10 month contract. (OMB A-21
J-10, d.1) Salary and wage increases must conform to the
practices and policies of the institution.
Though OMB A-21 J10 d(1) says that charges for salary
may not “exceed the proportionate share of the base
salary for that period,” it also contains a provision
for paying faculty on an overload basis. J10a states
“These costs (salaries and fringe) are allowable to the
extent that the total compensation to the individual
employees conforms to the established policies of the
institution, consistently applied, and provided that the
charges for work performed directly on sponsored
agreements and for other work allocable as F&A costs are
determined and supported as provided below. A-21 C2(a,
b, c) states that costs must be reasonable, given
consistent treatment, and conform to any limitations or
exclusions in these principles or in the sponsored
agreement as to the types or amounts of cost items.”
Thus, if the additional
salary conforms to the established policies of the
institution, are allowable, consistently applied, apply
directly to the sponsored agreement, is determined to be
overload or “incidental work”, and approved by the
sponsoring agency in writing, it may be possible to
receive grant money as extra income.
If a P.I. receives 100% of their salary from a
grant how much of an annual raise can they receive?
A-21 J, 10, a: Compensation for personal services:
"These costs are allowable to the extent that the total
compensation to individual employees conforms to the
established policies of the institution, consistently
applied, and provided that the charges for work
performed directly on sponsored agreements . . . The
employee compensation policies of the institution must
be followed and must be consistently applied regardless
of the funding.”
Per OMB A-21 C, 3, d: Reasonable
Direct Costs: (employee compensation is a direct cost),
“Major considerations involved in the determination of
the reasonableness of a cost are . . . the extent to
which the actions taken with respect to the incurrence
of the cost are consistent with established
institutional policies and practices applicable to the
work of the institution generally, including sponsored
An institution may give a
salary increase to select employees even if others at
the institution are not receiving an increase if an
institutional policy is in place and all employees that
fall under the same circumstances are treated
consistently. If it appears that an increase is being
proposed for an individual without any policy to
demonstrate consistent treatment and others in the same
situation are not also considered for the increase, then
the increase would not be allowed.
Where can I find a
list of potential funding agencies for my project?
Funding Opportunities page.
I can't make heads or
tails of these links. Can the OGS look into funders for
Yes, we can. If you have a
specific project in mind you'd like to find funding for,
you can fill out a
Funding Search Request (Word) and send it to us.
This helps us find the right funding sources for your
As most grants and funding
sources are only open for a short period of time,
there's a chance it may take a while for you to hear
back from us on the status of the search. We will let
you know as we come across a funder, or as dates open up
what we have found that matches your request. You are
welcome and encouraged to contact us at any time to
follow up on the status of your search.
Scholarships, Personal, and Individual Grants
Does the OGC provide funding searches and/or
assistance for school grants?
Please contact the Financial Aid Office at the school
you are planning to attend.
Does the OGC provide assistance for individual
or personal grants?
The Grants Office does not write grants for individuals
or small businesses.