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Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us
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Susan Richman
Director of Foundation Relations and Sponsored Programs
Office of Sponsored Programs
781.891.2660
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Mary Davis
Director of Corporate Relations
Office of Corporate Relations
781.891.2254
What is a sponsored project?

A sponsored project is defined as an activity that is sponsored, or funded, by an external organization, such as a federal, state or private organization or agency.

The characteristics of a sponsored project include:

  • A specific scope of work or a set of specific goals
  • Financial accountability and/or reporting; the funds must be separately budgeted and accounted for
  • A specific period of performance
  • Deliverables, including a final technical report
  • A disposition of property, e.g. equipment
Who is eligible to be a Principal Investigator (PI) for a proposal submitted through Bentley?

    Only full-time faculty (including lecturers) are eligible to be a Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) on proposals submitted through Bentley University.

    What are the different types of awards?

    Sponsored awards may be made by using a variety of mechanisms, each with varying levels of expectation and involvement on the part of the sponsor.

    Federal Grants

    • Project conceived by investigator (e.g. faculty member)
    • Principal Investigator defines details and retains scientific freedom
    • Agency support in the form of Assistance
    • Agency maintains cognizance
    • Funds are provided through unilateral funding mechanism

    Federal Contracts

    • Project conceived by agency
    • Agency exercises direction or control
    • Agency procures services
    • Agency closely monitors
    • Funds are provided through an agreement signed by both parties

    Non-Federal Agreements

    • Sponsors: Foreign, State and local governments, industry, foundations, other non-profit research institutions
    • Project conceived by investigator and refined through discussions with sponsor to create a consensus proposal
    • Principal Investigator defines details but sponsor helps shape direction and objectives
    • Principal Investigator retains scientific freedom
    • Agency exercises direction and closely monitors progress
    • Funds are provided through an agreement signed by both parties
    • Agreement defines rights and obligations of both parties with regard to conduct of research and rights to use the research outcomes and deliverables
    What are facilities and administrative (F&A) costs?

      F&A refers to two broad categories of indirect costs: facilities and administrative. Each category is made up of subcategories, or cost pools.

      • Facilities includes the depreciation of buildings and equipment, interest on debt associated with capital assets, operations and maintenance of physical plant and library expenses
      • Administrative includes general administration and other general expenses of the institute, departmental administration, sponsored projects administration, student administration and services and other types of indirect costs not listed as facilities.

      Bentley University charges F&A costs on sponsored program budgets only on salaries and wages. For details, read the negotiated rate agreement.

      Since the benefit associated with each function cannot be precisely measured, the costs are assigned or allocated according to methods prescribed in federal regulations, primarily the "Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) Part 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, or “Uniform Guidance” as described in “Subpart E-Cost Principles.”

      Where can I find the institutional information needed for my proposal?

      Information such as the university’s DUNS number, etc. can be found on the Bentley Institutional Fact Sheet.

      What's the insitutional review board (IRB)?

      The IRB is a committee formed to ensure the safe and ethical treatment of human participants in research at Bentley. Federal and university regulations stipulate that all faculty, staff and student research projects involving human subjects are reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to their initiation. More information can be found on their website.

      What is the difference between a sub-recipient and a consultant?

      Consultants on a sponsored project are individuals or entities that provide services within normal business operations to many different customers. These services are secondary to the operation of the project. For example, a project may need to hire an evaluator, in order to receive an unbiased analysis of the project’s results. Consultants will be budgeted as a “Contracted Service”. When budgeting for a consultant, it is important to incorporate all of his/her, or the company’s, charges. Include the consultant’s hourly rate, number of hours estimated, travel costs, materials and supplies costs, etc. in this cost category. Federal agencies often have limitations on a consultant’s daily rate. Please note that consultants are not subject to project compliance. Therefore, the university’s awarded terms and conditions will not flow down to the individual or company.

      Sub-recipients are contributors to the programmatic portion of the project. Their performance will be measured against whether the objectives of the project are being met. Sub-recipients are subject to project compliance. Therefore, sub-recipients must adhere to the university’s awarded terms and conditions. Sub-recipients should provide a detailed budget (i.e. salary, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, materials and supplies, consultants, indirect costs, etc.). Please note: If there is a sponsor restriction on F&A then subcontractors must also adhere to said restriction in their budgets.

      Grant Search Databases

      Grants.gov
      This site allows anyone to search federal grant listings of 26 federal grant-making agencies and sign up for e-mail notification of newly posted grants.
      Site: http://www.grants.gov     

      Federal Register
      Contains a detailed listing of federal grants offered by various government agencies.  Use search device to find grants pertaining to a specific field of interest.
      Site: https://www.federalregister.gov/topics/grant-programs

      FedBizOps/Commerce Business Daily
      The CBD lists government contract awards.  Includes a search engine to find grants relating to specific field of interest.
      Site: https://www.fbo.gov/

      Direct Program or Agency Websites

      Department of Education

      Site includes links that lists grant programs available from the Department and also regulations and rules for those applying for grants.
      Site: http://www.ed.gov

      National Science Foundation
      Site includes links which list funding opportunities and also the procedures in applying for NSF grants.
      Site: http://www.nsf.gov

      National Endowment for the Humanities
      Site supports search for grants in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities.
      Site: http://www.neh.gov

      National Institutes of Health
      Provides information regarding all grants and funding opportunities available through the individual organizations that make up the NIH.
      Site: http://www.nih.gov/

      Office of Naval Research
      Funding opportunities and Board Agency Announcements for the United States Navy and Marine Corps are available on this website.
      Site:  http://www.onr.navy.mil/ 

      U.S. Department of State
      Site includes links that lists grant opportunities currently offered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  On the home page select Organization, then Bureaus and Offices, then Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
      Site: http://www.state.gov

      Resources

      The college maintains a small collection of resources that may be borrowed.  Resources included are:

      • copies of previously funded proposals to federal and private agencies awarded to Bentley faculty members.

      • books and articles on successful grant seeking

      • books and articles on funding sources for different types of projects

      Prospective Principal Investigators are invited to forward Susan Richman an abstract of their project(s) for assistance in searching for appropriate governmental funding sources. 

      Funding Opportunities

      Current opportunities for federal grants are available at http://grants.gov

      The Office of Sponsored Programs forwards frequent descriptions of funding opportunities to faculty and staff. Should you wish to receive these by email, please contact Susan Richman.

      Awards Administration

      In conjunction with the Principal Investigator, the college administers all external awards received by the college on behalf of a faculty member. The PI and the designated administrator both sign off on all expenditures. The college's administrator oversees compliance with the agency's regulations and procedures. In general, this administrator files any financial reports that may be required while the faculty member is responsible for meeting program reporting requirements.

      At the time of award, the PI or project director should contact Donna McKnight-Iwany, the Assistant Director of Accounting in the Office of Financial Operations. The Assistant Director will discuss the college's oversight of such activities as time and effort reporting, approval of expenditures, and timely submission of reports.

      The college adheres to the administrative principles (such as those set forth in Office of Management and Budget circulars A-133 and A-21, as applicable) and to additional requirements of individual granting agencies (such as the National Science Foundation's Award and Administration Guide, or the Education Department general Administration Regulations). It also follows additional regulations of individual programs and awards.

      Commonly Used Acronyms

      AAAH

      American Association for the Advancement of Humanities

      AAALAC

      American Association of Animal Laboratory Accreditation Council

      AAAS

      American Association for the Advancement of Science

      AAC

      Association for American Colleges

      AACD

      American Association of Counseling and Development

      AACUO

      Association for Affiliated College and University Offices

      ACE

      American Council on Education

      ACLS

      American Council for Learned Societies

      ACF

      Administration for Children and Families

      ACO

      Administrative Contracting Officer

      ACS

      American Cancer Society

      ACYF

      Administration for Children, Youth and Families

      ADA

      Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

      ADAMHA

      Administration on Drug Abuse, Mental Health and Alcoholism

      AFDC

      Aid to Families with Dependent Children

      AFOSR

      Air Force Office of Scientific Research

      AFRI

      Agriculture and Food Research Initiative

      AHA

      American Heart Association

      AHRQ

      Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

      AID

      Agency for International Development

      AOA

      Administration on Aging

      AOR

      Authorized Organizational Representative

      ARI

      Army Research Institute

      ARO

      Army Research Office

      ASAP

      As soon as possible

      AUTM

      Association of University Technology Managers

      AVA

      American Vocational Association

      AY

      Academic Year

      BAA

      Broad Agency Announcement

      BIA

      Bureau of Indian Affairs

      BLS

      Bureau of Labor Statistics

      CAS

      Cost Accounting Standards

      CASB

      Cost Accounting Standards Board

      CASE

      Council for the Advancement and Support of Education

      CBD

      Commerce Business Daily

      CDA

      Confidential Disclosure Agreement

      CDC

      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

      CFDA

      Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

      CFR

      Code of Federal Regulations

      CIES

      Council for the International Exchange of Scholars

      CPB

      Corporation for Public Broadcasting

      CO

      Contracting Officer

      COB

      Close of business

      COI

      Conflict of Interest (financial)

      COP

      Certificate of Proposal

      COGR

      Council on Governmental Relations

      CRADA

      Cooperative Research and Development Agreement

      CSR

      Center for Scientific Review (NIH)

      CSREES

      Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service

      CURI

      College and University Resource Institute

      CWS

      College Work Study

      DA

      Departmental Administration

      DARPA

      Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

      DC

      Direct Costs

      DCA

      Division of Cost Allocation (DHHS)

      DCAA

      Defense Contract Audit Agency

      DCE

      Direct Cost Equivalent

      DEA

      Drug Enforcement Administration

      DEAR

      Department of Energy Acquisition Regulations

      DEPSCoR

      Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research

      DFAR

      Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations

      DHHS

      Department of Health and Human Services

      DOC

      Department of Commerce

      DOD

      Department of Defense

      DOE

      Department of Energy

      DOEd

      Department of Education (US ED)

      DHS

      Department of Homeland Security

      DOI

      Digital Object Identifier

      DOJ

      Department of Justice

      DOL

      Department of Labor

      DOT

      Department of Transportation

      DRC

      Departmental Review Committee of the IRB

      DRC

      Disclosure Review Committee (financial conflict of interest)

      EDA

      Economic Development Administration

      EDGAR

      Educational Department General Administration Regulations

      EDI

      Electronic Data Interchange

      EEO

      Equal Employment Opportunity

      EFT

      Electronic Funds Transfer

      EO

      Executive Order

      EPA

      Environmental Protection Agency

      EPSCoR

      Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research

      ERIC

      Education Resources Information Clearinghouse

      eRA

      Electronic Research Administration

      ERS

      Economic Research Service

      ESEA

      Elementary and Secondary Education Act

      ETA

      Employment and Training Administration

      F&A

      Facilities and Administrative Costs (formerly 'Indirect Costs')

      Fed Biz Opps

      Federal Business Opportunities

      FAR

      Federal Acquisition Regulations

      FDA

      Food and Drug Administration

      FDP

      Federal Demonstration Partnership

      FIE

      Federal Information Exchange

      FIPSE

      Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education

      FMC

      Federal Management Circular

      FOA

      Funding Opportunity Announcement

      FOIA

      Freedom of Information Act

      FR

      Federal Register

      FSR

      Financial Status Report

      FTE

      Full-time Equivalent

      FY

      Fiscal Year

      FYI

      For your information

      GA

      General Administration

      GAAP

      Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

      GAO

      Government Accounting Office

      GCA

      Grant/Contractor Administrator

      GEPA

      General Education Provisions Act

      GPRA

      Government Performance and Results Act

      GPO

      Government Printing Office

      GSA

      General Services Administration

      HBCU

      Historically-Black Colleges and Universities

      HEA

      Higher Education Amendment

      HEARS

      Higher Education Administrative Resource Service

      HENA

      Higher Education and National Affairs

      HHS

      Department of Health and Human Services

      HRSA

      Health Resources and Services Administration

      HSARPA

      Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency

      HSI

      Hispanic-Serving Institution

      HUD

      Department of Housing and Urban Development

      IACUC

      Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

      IBP

      Institutional Biosafety Committee

      I/C

      Indirect Cost Rate (now 'Facilities and Administrative Cost Rate')

      IC

      Institutes and Centers (NIH)

      IDC

      Indirect Costs (now 'Facilities and Administrative Costs')

      IG

      Inspector General

      IHE

      Institution of Higher Education

      IP

      Intellectual Property

      IPR

      Intellectual Property Rights

      IPRC

      Intellectual Property Review Committee

      IRB

      Institutional Review Board

      IR&D

      Independent Research and Development

      IREX

      International Research and Exchanges Board

      LAR

      Laboratory Animal Resources

      LEA

      Local Education Agency

      LOI

      Letter of Intent

      MTA

      Material Transfer Agreement

      MTDC

      Modified Total Direct Costs

      MOA

      Memorandum of Agreement

      MOU

      Memorandum of Understanding

      NA

      Not applicable

      NAS

      National Academy of Sciences

      NASA

      National Aeronautics and Space Administration

      NASULGC

      National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges

      NATO

      North Atlantic Treaty Organization

      NCCAM

      National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NIH)

      NCE

      No-cost extension

      NCES

      National Center for Educational Statistics

      NCHRP

      National Cooperative Highway Research Program

      NCI

      National Cancer Institute (NIH)

      NCMHD

      National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIH)

      NCRR

      National Center for Research Resources (NIH)

      NCURA

      National Council of University Research Administrators

      NEA

      National Education Association

      NEA

      National Endowment for the Arts

      NEH

      National Endowment for the Humanities

      NEI

      National Eye Institute (NIH)

      NFAH

      National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities

      NGA

      Notice of Grant Award

      NHGRI

      National Human Genome Research Institute (NIH)

      NHLBI

      National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH)

      NIA

      National Institute on Aging (NIH)

      NIAAA

      National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH)

      NIAID

      National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH)

      NIAMS

      National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIH)

      NIBIB

      National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIH)

      NICHD

      National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH)

      NIDA

      National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH)

      NIDCD

      National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH)

      NIDCR

      National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIH)

      NIDDK

      National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders (NIH)

      NIDDR

      National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (US ED)

      NIEHS

      National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH)

      NIFA

      National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA)

      NIGMS

      National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH)

      NIH

      National Institutes of Health

      NIJ

      National Institute of Justice

      NIMH

      National Institute of Mental Health (NIH)

      NINDS

      National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH)

      NINR

      National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH)

      NIST

      National Institute of Standards and Technology

      NLM

      National Library of Medicine (NIH)

      NOA

      Notice of Award

      NOAA

      National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

      NPRM

      Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

      NRA

      National Rehabilitation Association

      NRC

      National Research Council

      NRSA

      National Research Service Award

      NSA

      National Security Administration

      NSB

      National Science Board

      NSF

      National Science Foundation

      OER

      Office of Extramural Research (NIH)

      OERI

      Office of Educational Research and Improvement

      OFCC

      Office of Federal Contract Compliance

      OMB

      Office of Management and Budget

      ONR

      Office of Naval Research

      OPRR

      Office of Protection from Research Risks

      OR

      Office of Research

      ORM

      Office of Regional Management

      OSHA

      Occupational Safety and Health Administration

      OSI

      Office of Science Integrity

      OSR

      Office of Sponsored Research

      OSTP

      Office of Science and Technology Policy

      OTA

      Office of Technology Assessment

      PA

      Program Announcement

      PD

      Project Director

      PDF

      Portable Document Format

      PHS

      Public Health Service

      PI

      Principal Investigator

      PMID

      PubMed Identifier

      R&D

      Research and Development

      R&R

      Research and Related

      RCR

      Responsible Conduct in Research

      RFA

      Request for Applications

      RFP

      Request for Proposals

      RFQ

      Request for Quotations

      S&E

      Science and Engineering

      S2S

      System-to-System

      SAMHSA

      Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

      SBA

      Small Business Administration

      SBIR

      Small Business Innovative Research

      SEA

      State Education Agency

      SOW

      Statement of Work

      SPA

      Sponsored Programs Administration

      SRA

      Society of Research Administrators International

      SSA

      Social Security Administration

      STATE

      United States Department of State

      STEM

      Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

      STTR

      Small Business Technology Transfer

      TCRP

      Transit Cooperative Research Program

      TDC

      Total Direct Costs

      UBIT

      Unrelated Business Income Tax

      USAID

      United States Agency for International Development

      USC

      United States Code

      USDA

      United States Department of Agriculture

      US ED

      United States Department of Education

      USFS

      United States Forestry Service

      USGS

      United States Geological Survey

      USIA

      United States Information Service

      USIP

      United States Institute of Peace

      VA

      Veterans Administration

      WHO

      World Health Organization

      Indirect Cost Rate Agreement