Welcome to the Office of Sponsored Projects
The Office of Sponsored Projects has been created to assist faculty, staff, and students seeking external funding for research, training, service, and other scholarly and creative endeavors that will enrich Navajo Technical University and its broad and far-reaching communities. As this office continues to grow and become more centralized with both pre and post award, below are some items we can assist you with:
- Search for external funding sources to support your projects
- Develop proposals for specific funding opportunities
- Interpret sponsor guidelines
- Review and approve grant applications and detailed budgets
- Negotiate contract and grant terms and conditions
- Facilitate post-award project management
- Monitor and advise on issues of regulatory compliance
- Provide current information on the funding landscape
The Sponsored Project Lifecycle
Agency specific information and links:
- National Science Foundation (NSF) an independent federal agency.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Extramural Research is the nation's medical research agency. The NIH also has an advanced search page to help narrow down your grants.
Other Information Sources
Learn more about getting grants, including federal grants and outside foundations:
- Grants.gov is the central place to find and apply for federal grants. This site lists all current discretionary funding opportunities from 26 agencies of the United States government.
- The Foundation Center website will help locate prospective foundation funders.
- The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) provides a full listing of Federal programs.
Once you have identified a potential funding source, the first step is to start a cayuse file! Here is the link to Cayuse: http://navajotech.cayuse424.com
Also send an email to Tomacita.Grey@navajotech.edu to let me know that you plan to submit a proposal / application and that you require access to Cayuse.
Proposal & Budget Development
A key role of Sponsored Projects is to review sponsored project proposals prior to submission to ensure accuracy, correctness and legal sufficiency considering agency requirements and Navajo Technical University (NTU) policies. Sponsored Projects will routinely check application format, budgets and other parts of the proposal during their review process. In order to allow ample time for the SPO review, the following sponsored project proposal materials are due to Sponsored Projects a minimum of five (5) business days prior to the proposal submission deadline:
- Complete, finalized proposal including scope of work, budget and budget justification. (Upload proposal materials to Cayuse proposal record. *)
- Internal project approvals from the principal investigator (PI), other participating key personnel, department chair(s)/director(s) and college dean(s)/unit VP(s). (Electronic approvals will be gathered in Cayuse during the internal approval routing process.)
- If cost share/match is required by sponsor, documentation (via a completed Cost Share Excel form) of funds to be used in meeting cost share/match requirement. (Upload completed form to Cayuse proposal record.)
- If sponsor requires NTU to use an F&A rate that is lower than NTU's full, applicable rate, documentation of sponsor's F&A rate policy. (Upload sponsor F&A policy to Cayuse proposal record.)
*Note: To manage its sponsored projects, NTU utilizes Cayuse, an electronic grants management system. All NTU sponsored project proposals must be entered into Cayuse and routed for internal approval via Cayuse. The proposal materials indicated above should be included in the proposal record created in Cayuse.
Proposals Arrving Late to Sponsored Projects
In the event that a proposal arrives to Sponsored Projects on the deadline day, SPO will not perform the typical proposal review. Rather, the focus will solely be on submitting the proposal in time to meet the sponsor deadline. It should be noted that submission of a proposal often implies agreement to the sponsor's award terms and conditions. During the pre-award review, unfavorable award terms and conditions are proactively addressed. However, when a proposal is submitted without ample time for pre-award review, there is not only the potential for an incomplete or inaccurate submission but also the risk of unfavorable award terms and conditions. If Sponsored Projects is unable to negotiate the unfavorable award terms and conditions, the University reserves the right to decline the award.
The Budget is a Plan
The proposal budget is the financial reflection of a project. Regardless of format, it provides a roadmap for completing the scope of work. The budget should include all costs that will be incurred. In actuality, the budget is a commitment made on behalf of Navajo Technical University. Forethought and accuracy are important when developing the budget because once a sponsor approves the budget, the principal investigator, their research team and the University are obligated to spend the funds in a manner consistent with the proposal as well as with applicable guidelines and regulations. Auditors from private, state and federal agencies monitor the University's adherence to these guidelines and regulations; therefore, when developing a proposal budget, it is important to use “real” cost estimates (not general or “rough” estimates) and to ensure each budgeted cost is allocable to the project, allowable under the applicable rules for the project and reasonable given the parameters set forth in the scope of work.
In addition, the budget is integral to the University internal routing and approval process. A well developed and organized budget provides chairs/directors, deans/VPs and others in the leadership chain a bird’s-eye view of the project. It is one means to help them understand the level of support and the resources required especially in instances where cost share/match or course releases may be needed to complete the scope of work.
Common Budget Items
Budgets generally consist of two components: a line item budget and a budget justification. A line item budget lists cost categories and the sums requested for each. A budget justification explains how the line item costs were derived and provides adequate detail for sponsors to determine if the funds requested are allocable, allowable and reasonable. Budget formats will vary from sponsor to sponsor, but there are some items likely to be included in any budget: salary and fringe of participating project personnel, travel, equipment, operating costs (materials and supplies, consultant fees, sub-awards, etc.), graduate assistant tuition, participant support, and facilities and administrative costs (commonly referred to as F&A, indirect costs or overhead).
Award Negotiation, Acceptance and Setup
Award Review and Negotiation
Sponsored Projects and the University Attorney reviews all award documents for a variety of terms and conditions that are not acceptable to Navajo Technical University as a tribally controlled entity in the State of New Mexico. It is the combined responsibility of the principal investigator (PI) and Sponsored Projects to ensure that the award document does not contain terms and conditions to which the University cannot comply. When an award is received, the Sponsored Projects Manager will review the terms and conditions of the award with University Attorney prior to the signing of the award agreement. If necessary, the Sponsored Projects Manager will negotiate changes to the terms and conditions. If there are terms and conditions regarding confidentiality, publication or other items that may impact individuals working on the project, the PI will be contacted and consulted prior to signing the award agreement. If the project scope of work and budget included in the award appear to be substantially the same as what was proposed by the PI, Sponsored Projects will move forward with signature and send a copy of the fully executed agreement to the PI. If the award significantly changes any proposed budgetary or scope of work provisions, the PI must concur with the new terms prior to signature. Typically, there are fewer post-award administrative and legal difficulties when Sponsored Projects is primarily involved in contractual negotiations instead of receiving an agreement after an individual University employee has attempted to negotiate the agreement on their own.
Authorized Signature Authority
Before an agreement can be enforced, the award and resolution must be reviewed and accepted by the Board of Regents for Navajo Technical University.
Post Award (Project Management) Processes include:
- Award Activation /Assign project number
- Monitor expenditures
- Prepare and submit Quarterly, Semi, and Annual Financial Reports
- Prepare and submit Subaward Invoices
- Complete drawdowns for all awards
- Prepare closeout procedures & Final Financial Reports