Seton Hall University

Frequently Asked Questions

General

How do I find out about grant opportunities?
There are several online resources available for finding funding opportunities. A simple google search of your proposed topic and grants as keywords can often work. If you wish to make an appointment to discuss potential opportunities, email the Office of Grants and Research services at grantsoffice@shu.edu.

Do all grant applications and proposals have to go through the approval process?
University policy requires that all grant applications and proposals must go through the approval process before it is submitted to a sponsor or funding agency (private funding sponsor, foundation or corporation, a public sponsor, such as a Federal or State agency, or to any other organization, such as a professional association or society). This is applicable to a new project, a continuation, a renewal, or a supplement. The only exceptions are gifts.

What is the approval procedure for proposals?
All proposals must be approved by Chair, Dean and OGRS. OGRS will do final review and sign-off.

Who is the SHU official authorized to sign proposals for the University?
Michael F. La Fountaine, EdD, ATC, FACSM
Director, Office of Grants and Research Services
Director, Institutional Review Board
Seton Hall University | South Orange Campus
Presidents Hall | Room 304
400 South Orange Avenue | South Orange, NJ 07079
P: 973-761-9334 | F: 973-275-2978

Budgeting

What is cost sharing or matching? 
The Federal Government defines cost sharing as "that portion of the project or program costs not borne by the Federal Government." In other words, cost sharing on a proposal is the amount of cash, in-kind support (e.g., department paid salaries), or any other support the University promises to commit to the proposed project. Cost sharing may also include third party support on a budget (e.g., funding from another external grant).

How should I proceed if an agency does not allow F&A costs charged in a proposal budget?
Seton Hall University has a federally negotiated F&A cost agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Therefore, Federal agencies honor our F&A cost rate charges on grants and proposals. This is a common practice for most universities that receive Federal grant funding. Most New Jersey agencies do not pay F&A costs. You should check with the agency to confirm its F&A policy.

Private foundations or companies sometimes will not allow F&A costs on a proposal or award. In this case, the Principal Investigator will need to obtain either a copy of the guidelines noting the exclusion of F&A costs or a statement from the funding agency.

How do I calculate F&A or Facilities and Administrative (Indirect) Costs?
F&A costs are calculated as a percentage of the salaries and wages included in the personnel costs on the budget. Currently the indirect cost rate is 59% of all salaries and wages for on campus projects and 30% of all salaries and wages for off-campus projects.

What are the current fringe benefits?
The FY 2021 rate is 41.5% of the salary and is applicable to all projects.  

What if I am asking for release time in my grant? How is that approved? How do we account for that in the institutional contribution? 1/6, 1/8 of salary? adjunct replacement?
Release time for a faculty member must be approved by the faculty member’s Dean prior to the submission of the grant application to the sponsor. One 3-credit course buy-out is the equivalent 1/9 of salary for a faculty member on 9-month appointment. For faculty with 12-month appointments, a course buy-out is equivalent to 1/12 of salary. In both cases, fringe benefits and indirect cost recovery must be accounted for as well. Please refer to the Principal Investigator’s Handbook for more details.

Reporting

Who is responsible for ensuring that all protocols are followed, all timelines for reporting are met, etc.?
Ultimately the PI bears responsibility for ensuring that timelines are met, and protocols are followed. As the project progresses, Grants Accounting reminds PIs in advance of fiscal deadlines for use of funds and closeout. For most Federal grants, the government will send notices if a grant is out of compliance and there is usually an opportunity to become compliant without penalty. Failure to file timely technical reports can result in the PI being deemed ineligible for future awards by the sponsor. If the project involves protocols for human subjects, animal subjects, radiation or lab safety, the PI is responsible and will be held accountable if the protocols are not followed. These are monitored by the relevant University bodies.

Miscellaneous

If a proposal requires a data management plan or data that muse be secured according to specific requirements, how is this managed?
If a data management plan is required, the University Libraries provide several means depending on the specific requirements of the sponsor. Please ensure that OGRS is informed of the need for a data management plan as early in the process as possible. Statements regarding data management plans will require extra time to prepare.

How should I proceed if another organization (university or other) wants to include me (an SHU Faculty Member) as a Co-Principal Investigator on a grant?
PI will need to submit a statement of work, a budget and a signed Approval Form to the Office of Grants & Research Services. This must be accomplished before the final proposal documents are sent to the submitting institution.

For more information and details, please see the Principal Investigators Handbook or contact the Office of Grants and Research Services.