Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first step that should be taken in preparing a grant proposal?
Who is authorized to sign grant proposals and agreements?
How long does the signature routing process take on proposals and agreements?
What is the name of the legal applicant to be used on all grant proposals?
Once my proposal is funded, do I have to wait until the check is received by EIU from the funding agency before spending money?
Once my proposal is funded, how do I get a new grant account set up?
Do the forms for hiring employees (other than students) need any special signatures other than those listed on the forms?
After my grant is funded, who can assist me with my account budget?
Are there any grant search engines available to locate funding sources?
If my grant proposal involves the use of human subjects and/or animals, whom shall I contact?
What are F&A or indirect costs?
What are the requirements for program and financial final project reports?

What is the first step that should be taken in preparing a grant proposal?

Contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) staff at 581-2125. We can assist you throughout the grant process from proposal writing to funding. We are here to answer all of your questions and to guide you through proposal preparation (pre-award) and grant funding (post-award). Though we do not profess to have the answers to all questions, we usually can find the answer for you. We are here to make your life easier!

After your initial contact with the ORSP, we will begin working with you on the Proposal Approval forms, which are required to be signed by various individuals on campus prior to proposal submission.  

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Who is authorized to sign grant proposals and agreements?

If EIU is the legal applicant on a grant proposal or the grantee on an award agreement (regardless of the dollar amount of the project), William Weber, Vice President for Business Affairs, is the authorized organizational representative who may sign these documents. In special circumstances, others have been designated to sign for Dr. Weber. If you have a grant proposal or agreement, you may not sign the document on behalf of EIU. You should not attempt to obtain the signature of Dr. Weber yourself, just send or deliver the document to our office and we will obtain the necessary signatures for you.

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How long does the signature routing process take on proposals and agreements?

The timeline for signatures varies greatly depending upon who must sign the specific document. For proposals, it is best to allow at least five working days for the signature process. Agreements do not typically have a deadline for return, so they should just be sent to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs as soon as they are received.

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What is the name of the legal applicant to be used on all grant proposals?

If Eastern Illinois University will receive the grant funds, the legal applicant must be “The Board of Trustees of Eastern Illinois University.” If you as an individual will receive the grant funds and EIU will have no involvement in the grant, then your name must be listed as the legal applicant.

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Once my proposal is funded, do I have to wait until the check is received by EIU from the funding agency before spending money?

Typically the answer to this question is no. The grant dollars on all federal grants are paid to EIU on a reimbursement basis. (The money is spent, and then the funding agency is billed on a monthly or quarterly basis as dictated by the grant agreement).

Usually you may begin spending money from your grant as soon as we receive a funding notice/agreement from the agency and the new account is set up.

For information specific to a grant you may receive, please contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

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Once my proposal is funded, how do I get a new grant account set up?

You may have completed a new grant account form at the time of proposal submission. If not, or if you are unsure, please contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. We will send you a form to complete and return to us. Once the form is returned we will have it processed for new account set up. This usually takes about one week.

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Do the forms for hiring employees (other than students) need any special signatures other than those listed on the forms?

Yes. Any forms (PARs, Request for Supplemental Personal Services Payment, Request to Offer Appointment, etc.) used to hire an employee (other than a student employee paid through student payroll) that will be charged at any percentage to a grant account must be signed by the Director of Research and Sponsored Programs or their designee.  

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After my grant is funded, who can assist me with my account budget?

Though responsibility for the grant account lies with the principal investigator/project director (fiscal agent), there is a grant accountant, located in the Business Office. The accountant will be able to answer many questions related to your grant account and budget. You may also call the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs with budget questions related to your grant, but we may have to confer with the grant accountant. Please note that ALL financial grant reports must be reviewed and approved by the grant accountant PRIOR to submission to the granting agency.

Are there any grant search engines available to locate funding sources?

Yes. EIU subscribes to IRIS (Information Researchers' Information Service). The search engine may be used from EIU connected computer. If you have an outside internet provider, please contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. You may also access the federal grant search engine at Grants.gov.

If you need assistance with searches, please contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.  

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If my grant proposal involves the use of human subjects and/or animals, whom shall I contact?

Please see the information on this website, or contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for assistance.

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What are F&A or indirect costs?

OMB Circular A-21 which lists the Cost Principles for Educational Institutions gives the following definition of F&A costs:

“Definition of Facilities and Administration. F&A costs are broad categories of costs. "Facilities" is defined as depreciation and use allowances, interest on debt associated with certain buildings, equipment and capital improvements, operation and maintenance expenses, and library expenses. "Administration" is defined as general administration and general expenses, departmental administration, sponsored projects administration, student administration and services, and all other types of expenditures not listed specifically under one of the subcategories of Facilities (including cross allocations from other pools).”

EIU's federally negotiated F&A rate is 45% of salaries and wages only. If another rate is specified in a program announcement, that rate supersedes the federally negotiated rate. Rates for state agencies and private foundations are usually specified in the program announcement. Sometimes they are not allowed at all. If in doubt, we will call the funding agency.

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What are the requirements for program and financial final project reports?

If your final project (program) report requires a signature by the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) prior to submission, you should submit the report to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at least five days prior to the deadline for submission.

If the program report does not require a signature, you may submit it and then you should provide the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs with a copy of the report. The internal and/or external auditors may contact our office to review reports.

If you are preparing a financial report, please work with our grant accountant Lauren Clapp. Financial reports must be reviewed and approved by Ms. Clapp prior to submission to a funding agency.

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