Grants Services

Find Funding

Identify Funding Sources

Register in Pivot (formerly Community of Science), the NIH list serve or other search engines to receive funding notices. Carefully review announcements for compliance-related issues. This link takes you to the Pivot website:

Contact the University of Memphis Research Development Office for additional information regarding funding opportunities.

Sponsor Requirements

System Registrations: Principal Investigators and often Co-Investigators and other project personnel must be registered in the sponsor online systems before applications may be submitted. SPA personnel often must complete these on behalf of the PI, especially for federal government systems. Please work with your SPA to discuss and complete any required registrations as soon as possible before submission.

All personnel working on research projects funded by the National Institute of Health and included in annual Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) must be registered in the ERACommons system. Notify your SPA contact of any required registrations before you begin your report.


Common Agency Links

These links are external to the university:

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Prepare Proposal

Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) personnel will assist faculty and staff with preparing the budget and required documents for submission.

Budget Development

The draft budget must be developed using the internal budget template(Forms) and submitted to along with the intent to submit, program announcement or proposal guideline information, proposal submission deadline date, and if possible, the draft budget narrative.

The draft budget should be submitted 10 working days prior to the submission deadline date to ensure the SPA staff has sufficient time to review the budget for accuracy and compliance with University and Sponsor policies.  If you have Subawardee(s), please note that budgets cannot be finalized until a Letter of Commitment and budget are received from the Subawardee(s).

  • Facilities & Administration (F&A) Rates

The University's Indirect Cost Rate Agreement is effective until June 30, 2012. The Cognizant Federal Agency for the agreement is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).


On Campus

Off Campus







Other Activities



*On-Campus Research Rate of 42% effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. After June 30, 2015 the rate will change to 43.5% effective July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017.

MTDC (modified total direct costs): Indirect cost rates, in most instances, is to be applied to all budget items except capital expenditures (equipment $5,000 or more per unit), tuition remission, the portion of each individual subcontract in excess of $25,000, charges for patient care, rental costs of off-site facilities, and scholarships and fellowships. Off-campus rate is applied in cases where rent for off-campus facilities are budgeted as a direct cost.

Indirect cost rate for TN State Agencies and Local Governments: 15% of Total Direct Costs (TDC), unless otherwise specified in sponsor guidelines.

When the sponsor caps the F&A rate, and they do not specify how the rate is to be applied, UM's standard practice is to charge the capped rate to total direct costs (rather than modified total direct costs, or MTDC).

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  • Fringe Benefit Rates for University of Memphis Employees

    All Salaried Employees, monthly: 35.6% (includes academic year and summer/extra compensation).
    All Hourly Employees, bi-weekly: 60% (includes overtime).
    Temporary Employees: 5.4% (hired for 6 months or less).
    Students: 0.0% (must be enrolled half time)

  • Graduate Student Tuition

    The internal budget defaults to Academic Year student tuition (in-state) based on full-time load of 12 hours per semester. For future years, budget a 9% escalation. See the Current Fee Schedule for Graduate Students to make any necessary adjustments to the tuition rate.

  • Travel Rates

    For up to date travel rates for transportation, lodging, and per diems, go to Accounting Office Travel Rate Schedule.

  • General Purpose Supplies and Administrative Personnel Cost

    The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21 requires that certain expenses be treated as indirect costs and paid for through the indirect (F&A) mechanism. To qualify as a direct charge on a sponsored project, costs normally considered F&A must be charged in a timely manner and must be consistent with established institutional policies and practices.

    To request authorization to direct charge expenditures that would normally be treated as F&A, please complete the Unlike Circumstance Request Form. This form is part of the budget template, located on the Research Support Services Website under Forms. The Unlike Circumstance Request form should be completed at the time of proposal submission, when it is known that general purpose office supplies and/or administrative personnel costs will be directly charged to a project. In some cases, when it is not known at the time of submission, the form may be submitted after the award, but prior to the purchase or charging of the cost directly to the project.

The justification to direct charge administrative personnel costs that are normally treated as F&A must include the following: 1) description of how the duties performed by the administrative person are distinct from their normal duties, 2) document how the duties will be allocated exclusively to the project to which they are being charged, 3) describe the specific goals with the project that would not be accomplished with these administrative activities, and 4) the administrative costs must be pre-approved by the sponsor, either in the original budget narrative or separately after the award has been made.

The justification to direct charge a general purpose office supply (including computers) that is normally treated as F&A must include the following: 1) description of how the item being purchased is different from the normal use of similar items, 2) document how the item will be allocated exclusively for the use of the project to which it is being charged, 3) describe the specific goals within the project that would not be accomplished without these items, and 4) the items must be pre-approved by the sponsor, either in the original budget narrative or separately after the award has been made.

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Animal Care Per Diem Charges

The University's Animal Care Charges outlined below became effective July 1, 2003.


Memphis Rate


Guinea Pig















Mice, Sterile (microisolated)



Mice, Large Box (min 6)



Mice, Small Box (1-5)













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Proposal Narrative and Budget Justification

The PI/PD is responsible for the proposal narrative, budget justification, and the completion of any forms of a programmatic or personal nature.


Administrative/Budget/Certification Forms

The Division of Research Support is responsible for completing cover sheet/title page, budget forms, and any certifications that may be required by the sponsor.

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Research Compliance

  • Laboratory Animal Research
    Questions regarding laboratory animals should be deferred to Dr. Karyl Buddington at
  • Human Subjects Protection (hyperlink)
    Questions regarding human subject research requirements should be deferred to the IRB at
  • Biosafety (hyperlink)
    Questions regarding biosafety requirements should be deferred to either Katherine Shorter at x2740 or Al Simpson at x4672 in the Office of Environmental Health & Safety.
  • Conflict of Interest (hyperlink)
    Questions regarding conflict of interest disclosure requirements should be deferred to Research Compliance.

Certifications and Assurances


Grant applications to Sponsors often include a subaward with other institutions. To facilitate the development of the proposal, please inform the SPA staff, at the time of your intent to submit, when a Subaward is included in your proposal. The SPA staff will contact the subawardee Institution as soon as possible to facilitate the execution of the subaward. Please provide both the PI and research staff contact information for the collaborating Institution(s), if possible.

Sponsor->Prime recipient->Subrecipient
The Sponsor is the originator of the funds.

The prime recipient is the legal entity who receives the award directly from the sponsor; the holder of the prime award. Organizations can be recipients; individuals cannot. The prime recipient is responsible for monitoring the technical, programmatic, financial performance, and audit requirements of a subrecipient.

The subrecipient is required to provide resources and personnel necessary to conduct its portion of the work as an independent contractor.

Categorization of Subawards

  • A Subrecipient:
    Has a responsibility to carry out a portion of the grant program as defined in the Subcontract,
    Has its performance measured against the grant program objectives,
    Has responsibility for programmatic decision making,
    Has responsibility for adherence to applicable federal program compliance requirements.

  • A Vendor:
    Provides goods and services within normal business operations
    Provides similar goods and services to many different purchasers
    Operates in a competitive environment
    Provides goods and services that are ancillary to the operation of the grant or contract
    Is not subject to compliance requirements of a federal grant or contract
    Vendor purchases are not to be charged to Subcontractor or federal Pass-through object codes.

  • A Consultant
    Individuals generally render services on a "work for hire" basis (assign all tangible and intangible property rights to University of Memphis)
    A contract for consultant services does not generally require the inclusion (flow down) of the terms and conditions contained in the University of Memphis prime award.
    Consultants are retained in accordance with the University Independent Contractor Policy. Under this standard, the University of Memphis would not direct or retain control over a consultant. An employer-employee relationship exists when the business has a great deal of control over the work, including providing regular supervision, decision-making and guidance. In this situation, the person should be classified as an employee.
    Consultants must agree to abide by the University's Intellectual Property policies by signing a Participation Agreement.
The following information is needed for each Subawardee/Subcontractor:
  • Letter of Commitment/Intent: Must be signed by institutional official
  • Statement of Work
  • Budget (on required forms in NSF or an NIH Submission)
  • Budget Justification
  • Biosketches (if required by Sponsor)
  • Current and Pending Support (if required by Sponsor)
  • Other documents as required by Sponsor

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Submission of Proposal

Proposal Summary Form

Complete the proposal summary form (found under Forms). After signing as PI/PD, secure signatures of Co-PIs, Chair(s) and Dean(s). The PI/PD may attach a draft narrative of the project description to the project summary for the purpose of routing and securing signatures. Deliver signed PSF and proposal to SPA, 315 Administration Bldg.

University Review

University review may begin as soon as the budget has been approved by the SPA and a proposal summary form has been submitted.

To ensure your proposal is submitted by the deadline, please allow sufficient time for review by the SPA staff. Ideally, the SPA staff will have the final proposal at least two (2) days prior to the submission deadline. Administrative and budget forms will be completed by the SPA staff.

The proposal will be reviewed for compliance with sponsor guidelines and university policies, proper order format, and consistency of information. Required Institutional signatures will be secured by the SPA staff.

Submission Process

The proposal will be shipped or submitted electronically, per sponsor specifications by the SPA staff. SPA staff will notify PI/PD when the proposal is submitted.


Award Acceptance

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Award Set-up

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Annual Progress Reports

Final Progress Reports


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Close Out


Department or PI informs the SPA staff and the Sponsor's Program Official as early as possible that a PI is transferring and provides information regarding the date of transfer, what awards the PI expects to transfer, and the name of the new institution. The transfer/relinquishment date should be the last date the PI is to be employed with UM to coincide with the day significant programmatic interest is no longer performed at this institution. If some work is expected to continue after the PI has left UM, the PI should work with the new institution and SPA staff to establish a subaward as a mechanism for reimbursement for any expenses incurred at UM after the relinquishment date.

The SPA staff will facilitate the transfer process, based on receipt of the above information, by coordinating with the PI and other UM units to assemble and submit the necessary documents required for the transfer.

Equipment Transfer: If the PI is expecting to transfer equipment to their new institution, the Department or PI will follow the instructions outlined in the Fixed Asset Guidelines. The SPA staff is responsible for reviewing the applicable sponsor's equipment disposition guidelines to ensure UM has the authority to transfer equipment indicated. The SPA staff will initial next to the SPA Director's signature on the equipment relinquishment letter, forward for the Director's signature, and return to Fixed Assets for processing.

Grant Transfer: The SPA staff will perform an analysis of the PI's portfolio, determine the transfer procedure, if a set transfer procedure for the sponsor exists, work with the Department to estimate the account expenditures at the time of the transfer, and ask the Department which accounts the Chair will agree to be transferred. The department will work with SPA, if there are any subawards that need to be terminated.

The PI will submit all non-financial documents requested as soon as possible. This may include, but is not limited to a progress report, final invention statement, certified effort report, as well as any award application documents required to be submitted from the new institution.

The SPA staff will prepare the relinquishing documents in accordance with sponsor requirements or use the Non-Federal Relinquishment Letter if the sponsor does not have an established transfer procedure. Completed documents are sent to the PI and Department allowing five days grace before assumed concurrence, and then submitted to the corresponding sponsor immediately. The SPA staff maintains contact with each sponsor and PI to ensure documents are received and processed in a timely manner. The PI should be kept informed of the progress as needed.

Once the sponsor has officially relinquished the award, the SPA staff will prepare and submit all final financial reports and close the OGA award.

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