US Federal Government Funding Proposals

U.S. Federal Funding

To secure federal funding:

  • Complete and submit grant applications electronically via grants.gov.
  • Participating federal agencies include NIH, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, and National Science Foundation.
  • Utilize grants.gov's search engines and subscription service for finding relevant funding opportunities.
  • Ensure eligibility of University of Alberta (U of A) as a foreign institution.
  • Comply with UAPPOL Financial Conflict of Interest procedure for NIH and other applicable research funding sources.

Preparing an Application

Applicants do not need to be registered with grants.gov to apply, because the U of A is registered as an Institution and has a DUNS number.

To apply, applicants need the following:

  1. An eRA commons login (required for most U.S. government applications)
    • Contact your Research Partner and provide the following information:
      • name
      • email address
      • Preferred Login
      • Phone Number
    • Applicants will receive an automated response from eRA Commons once their new login has been created by the Research Partner.
  2. The most recent version of Adobe Reader software, in order to view and complete the application package. Applicants can check to verify they have the correct version of Adobe Reader at grants.gov
  3. Create a new Proposal on the Researcher Home Page in preparation for submitting your application to Research Administrative Services for review and approval.
  4. Only an authorized organizational representative (AOR) may submit the application to grants.gov, your designated Research Partner will coordinate this process.

For additional resources in preparing your application visit grants.gov - Applicants.

Apply Early to Guard Against Electronic Submission Errors

To successfully submit an NIH electronic grant application, pass two automated systems validations: Grants.gov and eRA Commons.

Scenario 1: Addressing Validation Errors

If errors are found during validation, correct them immediately and resubmit with your Research Partner's assistance.

Scenario 2: Check for Content Errors

After eRA Commons validation, manually review uploads for blank, missing, duplicated, or corrupted files. Correct and resubmit before the deadline if errors are detected.

Adhere to Research Administrative Services' internal deadline for electronic submission. Late submissions may not reach the funding agency on time due to web traffic.

Co-applicants on U.S. federal grants need additional documentation and approvals from the Department and Faculty. 

APPLYING FOR US FEDERAL AGENCY SUB-GRANTS

If you are a co-applicant or collaborator on a U.S. federally funded grant, you must submit the application for institutional approvals through your Researcher Home Page.  

As each US agency and institution may have their own set of documents that need to be completed, the lead institute will need to provide specific instructions to you as to which documents they will need in order to complete the submission.  Often these include the following:

  • Budget and budget justification 
  • Statement of Work
  • Biographical sketches of you and your team members (may require an eRA Commons ID for each team member - contact your Research Partner if you do not have one)
  • Facilities, equipment and resources available to you
  • Performance Site information
  • Letter of collaboration from you
  • Letter of commitment from our institution, sometimes this is referred to as a Subrecipient Commitment form or Letter of Intent to form a Consortium or a Face Page (completed by Research Administration Services during application review)
  • Copy of the University of Alberta’s Colleges and Universities Rate Agreement if required  (provided by Research Administration Services after application is approved)

Please attach all documents required by the lead institution as well any  instructions they provided. The University will also need to have either the Statement of Work or description of the work you are responsible for undertaking, Budget and Budget Justification (in the format that the lead institution requested) attached to the proposal request you submit through your Researcher Home Page before providing approval.  Any forms that need to be signed by the institution need to also be attached. 

Facilities + Administrative Costs (Indirect Costs)

For non-domestic institutions like the U of A, the maximum allowable rate for indirect costs set by NIH is 8% on a Modified Total Direct Cost base, excluding equipment. You can find more information about NIH budgets NIH website.

The U of A has an agreement with the U.S. Federal Government that governs the indirect cost rate for research grants, contracts, and other agreements funded by other agencies.

Effective April 1, 2021, the following rates apply:

  1. On-Campus base activities:
    • The rate is 66.2%. The base includes direct salaries and wages, excluding fringe benefits and all other direct costs.
  2. Off-Campus base activities:
    • The rate is 26.3%. The base is calculated similarly to OnCampus base activities. Off-Campus refers to activities performed in facilities not owned by the institution, with rent directly allocated to the project. If more than 50% of a project is conducted off-campus, the off-campus rate applies to the entire project. Note that the off-campus rate doesn't apply to equipment costing over $5,000.
Please note that grants or contracts will not be subject to more than one rate.

Managing aN NIH Award

The notice of award from NIH and the Research Administrative Services Advice Notice provide key information for managing your research funding. These documents undergo annual revisions based on U.S. Congressional approvals. Ensure compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy and the Policy on Conflicts of Interest, highlighted in all award notices. For more details, refer to the comprehensive guide to NIH grants policy statements and resources. Contact your Research Partner.

Related Links

NIH Time + Effort

For NIH compliance, it is mandatory to report Time and Effort, certifying the hours spent by employees on the project. This ensures adherence to Circular A-21, published by the Federal Office of Management of Budget (OMB). Use the NIH Time and Effort Certification form available in our Forms Cabinet, to track and document employee hours dedicated to NIH Projects. 

Purchasing Goods + Services

To comply with the Uniform Guidance for U.S. Federal Awards, there are two important purchasing requirements:

  1. Obtain two quotes for purchases exceeding $10,000 USD, excluding those from preferred vendors. Attach the quotes to the Purchase Requisition in SupplyNet. 
  2. Do not use U.S. Federal Awards to purchase goods or services from entities/individuals listed as suspended or debarred in the System for Award Management (SAM).

Non-compliant expenditures must be removed from projects funded by U.S. Federal Awards. Please prioritize adherence to these requirements when making purchases.