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How do I...?

Not sure where to find what you need or how to do what you need to do? Find answers to our most commonly asked questions below. Can't find what you need? E-mail OSP@memphis.edu, or click these links to access our staff directory, schedule a one-on-one meeting, or make plans to drop in for a visit during Help Hours held in various locations across campus.

Account Registrations

How do I add a sponsor in Cayuse? 

Click on this link and fill out as much information as you can.  E-mail the form to OSP@memphis.edu, and we'll get things set up. If you are close to a deadline and are setting up your Cayuse record, select "Unknown" from the pulldown sponsor menu, so you can go ahead and populate the proposal record while we work to get your sponsor added.

How do I register in Grants.gov?

The University's electronic research administration system, Cayuse, has a system-to-system interface with Grants.gov, so it is really not necessary for you to register to submit proposals through this portal. If you are working with a partner who is using Grants.gov and is asking for you to upload documents directly into that portal, please contact OSP@memphis.edu for assistance.


How do I get a Fastlane/Research.gov Account or switch my account to U of M?

To submit a proposal to NSF using Research.gov or Fastlane, you must first have a Fastlane ID, and you must be affiliated with the University of Memphis. Visit https://www.research.gov, and either log in (if you have an ID), or click on Register at the top of the page. Once you complete and submit the registration information, our office will be notified, and we can administratively tie your account to U of M. You will get an e-mail back from NSF when this happens with instructions on how to change your password (if needed).


How do I get an NIH Commons ID or transfer my ID from another organization?

This is something OSP has to do. Please e-mail OSP@memphis.edu with your request, and we will get you set up.

Rates and Budget

How do I request an Advance Account?

An Advance Account allows the Principal Investigator to initiate sponsored research projects prior to institutional acceptance of an award (e.g. while award documents are being negotiated). To initiate an Advance Account request, the PI needs to log into Cayuse SP, select either My Proposals or Proposals in My Unit, and click on the proposal number. When the proposal record comes up, look for the Advance Account tab, complete the requested information, and submit the request. For an instructional video, click here. If the Advance Account tab is not visible, contact OSP@memphis.edu, because it means something is missing from your proposal record. For an instructional video, click here.

*IMPORTANT* Authorization from your sponsor for pre-award spending is not always guaranteed and is not the same thing as authorization to establish an Advance Account. The Advance Account Request can be used to request simultaneous approval of an Advance Account and pre-award spending, which is generally an allowable cost on many federal awards. Before incurring pre-award expenses, the PI should consult with the OSP to confirm whether pre-award expenses are permissible.

For more information on Advance Accounts and Pre-Award spending, click here.

How do I know what Indirect Cost Rate to Use?

Indirect costs, or Facilities and Administrative costs, are applied to your project as a percentage of direct costs, and rates vary depending on the type and performance site of the research. The University of Memphis has four (4) federally negotiated indirect costs rates: on-campus research (43.5%); on-campus instruction (55%); on-campus other activity (35%); and off-campus (26%).

What if my sponsor doesn't allow indirect costs or only allows reduced indirects? – We understand that is sometimes the case. Just submit or point us to the sponsor guidelines that limit your indirect costs when you prepare your Cayuse record, and we can ensure your proposal receives the correct approvals.

How much should I budget for GA stipends?

The typical stipend rate varies by academic unit and level of graduate student (master's or PhD). You should budget at rates that are typical for your academic discipline. Similarly, you can decide to include stipend support for the academic year and summer (12 months), only for the summer, or only for the academic year. Just make sure that you budget stipends for that portion of the year the student will work on the sponsored project. 

How do I know how much tuition and fees to charge on a grant?

Please visit the University's tuition/fee calculator to ensure your rates are up to date. On the internal budget form, you should include only the tuition and mandatory fees figure as tuition and special course fees (if applicable) in the fee section.

Do I have to budget for GA and student fringe benefits?

Yes. Fringe benefits of 1.9% are charged on the dollar value of GA stipends and other student hourly wages.

How do I know when to budget equipment in the equipment line versus the supply line?

Items to be purchased are classified as capital equipment (equipment) if each unit being purchased has a value of $5,000 or greater. If you are buying 3 laptop computers @ $2,000 each, they would be classified as supplies, since the unit cost is less than $5,000. If you are in doubt, contact OSP@memphis.edu for help.


Changes and Extensions

How do I ask my sponsor for a no-cost extension?

We really hate to give this answer, but it depends. Both NSF and NIH allow the PI to submit a request through their online portals.

NSF users will need to login to http://www.research.gov/. After logging in, click on Notifications & Requests under the Awards and Reporting. Click on the Prepare New button on the left, and it will bring up a list of options as to what type of request the user wishes to make. Select No-Cost Extension and provide the requested information. You will receive an e-mail from NSF when your request is approved. IMPORTANT – You must submit your request AT LEAST 45 days before the end of your project period. Remember to forward a copy of this message to OSPawards@memphis.edu, so we can help you be sure your project period gets extended in the University's financial system. Otherwise, you won't be able to spend your funds beyond the original end date.

For NIH, PI's must submit a request through NIH Commons. Log in to the Commons page and click on the Status page. Search for the grant you wish to extend and select the Extension Link from the Action column. The link will be available 90 days before the project end date. Once the extension screen opens select the number of months that you want to extend the project by from the pulldown menu (up to 12 months), and select the Extend Project Date button. Click confirm when the confirmation screen displays. NIH will provide an acknowledgement when they have updated your project period. Remember to forward a copy of this message to OSPawards@memphis.edu, so we can help you be sure your project period gets extended in the University's financial system. Otherwise, you won't be able to spend your funds beyond the original end date.

Other sponsors have different procedures, so contact your sponsored programs officer at OSP@memphis.edu for help investigating the correct process. Remember to start early. Some sponsors require more than 3 months notice.

Submit a request for a budget revision?

Change the PI or another researcher on my grant?

Reporting (close outs, NSF/research.gov, NIH/RPPR)