The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) provides pre- and post- award support for sponsored activities. Butler faculty members have been recipients of grants from major federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), as well as many non-federal sponsors, including the State of Indiana, Indiana Academy of Science, the National Federation of State High School Associations, many others.
There are a few questions to consider when seeking external sponsorship. Find information about questions to consider when considering external sponsorship. To start an external routing, please go to birsgo.butler.edu.
Once the grant opportunity has been identified, it is critical to carefully read the Request for Proposals (RFP), Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), and other announcements and guidelines to make sure that Butler, the principal investigator/project director (PI/PD), and the project are all eligible. The OSP office can assist with questions related to eligibility, scope of work, and other issues. It is highly recommended that faculty seek administrative support for federal grants at least three to six months before the application due date. This time allows the faculty member to assess eligibility, write a strong project description, and obtain budget assistance. For non-federal grants, it is recommended that faculty seek support at least 30 days in advance.
The External Sponsorship Pre-Award Process
Gift vs Grant
A gift is typically defined as a contribution that has no reciprocal benefit for the donor, and is handled by the Office of Strategic Partnerships at Butler. The following characterists are indicative of a gift:
- No contractual obligations are imposed, although the gift may be for a stated purpose with the funds restricted solely for that purpose
- The award usually is not revocable and does not have a specified period of performance or expiration
- There is no formal accountability outside of periodic progress reports and/or expenditure reports. A gift requires stewardship (i.e., relationship management) versus contractual obligations
A grant (or sponsored project) is typically given in response to a formal proposal to accomplish a specific statement of work or plan, usually involving research or other study. At Butler, external grants are currently handled by the Office of Sponsored Programs. The following characteristics usually apply to a grant:
- Detailed project methodology is outlined
- A project schedule and line-item budget are part of the proposal
- Detailed and complex financial accountability exists
- Specific time-period in which to utilize the grant funds and finish the project
- Regular project and financial reporting
Types of Legal Agreements for Sponsored Activities
Grant Agreement—Legal agreement that distributes money, property, services, or anything of value to an organization to accomplish a public purpose (i.e., project or program); this agreement covers reporting requirements, expenditure reporting, and a final report. Grant agreements must go through the external funding approval process if an exchange of funds is involved and must be approved by the General Counsel before execution if there are questionable terms and conditions.
Contract—Legal agreement that exchanges funds for the completion of a professional service or acquisition of property (i.e., consultant services). Deliverables or key outcomes will be outlined in a scope of work, with payment points associated with performance benchmarks; failure to meet performance benchmarks may result in non-payment by the sponsor. Contracts must go through the external funding approval process if an exchange of funds is involved and must be approved by the General Counsel before execution.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Letter of Agreement (LOA)—Legal agreement that outlines the roles and responsibilities between multiple parties with the cooperative goal of accomplishing a public purpose; in this agreement, there may be an exchange of funds, or each party may outline its financial responsibilities. The MOU/MOA must go through the external funding approval process if a distribution or acquisition of funds is involved in the MOU or LOA at time of submission.
Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)—Contract that governs the transfer of tangible research materials between two organizations, when the recipient intends to use it for his or her own research purposes. The MTA defines the rights of the provider and the recipient with respect to the materials and any derivatives. MTAs should be signed by the Provost/VP for Academic Affairs or VP for Finance and Administration. Some organizations have their own MTAs. If so, faculty members can use the prescribed form. However, the form must be reviewed against the sample agreement approved by the General Counsel for discrepancies. Discrepancies must go to the General Counsel.
|Information Requested||Information to Provide|
|Submitting Institution's Name||Butler University|
4600 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208-3443
|Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) and Contact Information||
Bridget Rans Strong, JD
Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
|Financial Representative and Contract Information||
Bridget Rans Strong, JD
Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
|Principal Investigator or Project Director (PI/PD)||Faculty or Staff Member's Name and Campus Address|
|Type of Institution||Private Institution of Higher Education|
|Tax Status||Non-Profit with 501(c)(3) Status|
|Employer Federal ID Number (TIN/EIN)||35-0867977|
|Facilities and Administrative (F&A, also known as Indirect Cost) Rate||38% MTDC
Please work with OSP to ensure correct application of this rate
|Federal Agency for the F&A Rate||Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)|
|Fringe Benefit Rates||32% of Salary for Full-Time Faculty and Staff, 8% if just FICA
Please work with OSP to ensure correct application of these rates
|IRB Federalwide Assurance (FWA) Number||00008336|
|University Procurement, Travel and Per Diem Policies||Download Procurement Policy|
All applicants seeking external funding must complete a routing form through Birs GO. BIRS GO is the new grant online system that is the portal through which the OSP office receives grant routings. OSP recommends starting the routing a week to two weeks before the deadline. The form includes the following information:
- Principal Investigator/Project Director (or Co-PI/PD)
- Proposal title, funding agency, program name, application type
- Budget summary
- Institutional commitments
- Research integrity and compliance
By submitting the form is online, the person starting the routing (typically the PD/PI) signs off on the information. The system automatically sends it to the following people in order:
- Department chair or program director
- Dean or supervisor
- Office of Sponsored Programs
- Office of Budgets and Grants Administration (currently being completed by Bridget Rans Strong)
- VP of Finance and Administration
A copy of the approved form and proposal will be remitted back to the PI. The PI and OSP will determine authorship of the application (i.e. who will submit to the sponsor). The original authorization form and proposal will be stored in OSP.
The External Sponsorship Post-Award Process
Post-Award Process for Unilateral Grants (Federal Grants)
If the application is approved for funding, the sponsor will send an award letter or packet. A copy of the award letter will be filed with the original application and another copy sent to the Office of Budgets and Grants Administration (OBGA).
It is important that the PI/PD read the award letter carefully to fully understand the terms and conditions of the grant. The award letter will include reporting deadlines, grant restrictions, project period for the funds, and other information necessary for grant management. PIs/PDs should also meet with OSP staff to carefully review the award terms and to address questions related to budget modification, hiring project personnel, and managing expenditures.
Grant Agreements and Their Execution for Bilateral Grants (Grants that require two signatures)
An accompanying grant agreement or contract will outline the legal terms and conditions, including identification of the parties involved, standard contract language, and other details. Grant agreements must be reviewed by OBGA, OSP, General Counsel, and the PI/PD prior to execution. For contracts of $50,000 and less, the college dean has the option to sign the agreement, but this needs to be communicated with the OSP office.
Depending on the sponsor, some agreements may require additional forms:
- Direct-deposit information
- W-9 forms
- E-Verify Memorandum of Understanding
- E-1 Business Verification Report
- Acknowledgment letters from the PI
OSP maintains copies of these forms to support the execution of grant agreements.
Request a No Cost Extension, a budget change, or to Change the PD/PI
The Principal Investigator may need to request a no cost extension, a budget change request, or change of principal investigator with the sponsor.
- A no cost extension is a request to extend the project period, or length of time the funds are available to complete the project, for the unspent funds. The extension will not request additional funds, but request additional time to use the funds and complete the project.
- A budget change request must occur when funds are moved within categories within a certain limitations as specified by the terms of the contract or as described in the Uniform Guidence. OSP can assist with determining whether a formal budget change request is required.
- A change of principal investigator may occur when the PI is no longer available to complete the project and another person has been designated to fill in for the remaining project period of the grant.
To submit one of these changes, contact the OSP office at firstname.lastname@example.org with the information to be requested. The change should be requested at least 30-45 days in advance of the start of the change. OSP will send the official documentation to the sponsor.