How do I get started?

We are happy to meet with CAHSS faculty. To get started, please complete a consultation request or a proposal development form. You can also email a member of the team.

If you are developing a grant proposal and have identified a sponsor, please contact CARAT as soon as possible by completing a proposal development form. Depending on the proposal, we may need up to six weeks’ notice to complete the process. Smaller grant or fellowship proposals require less time but do reach out at least 2-3 weeks before the deadline.

We can also assist in finding extramural funding opportunities for your project. Please request a consultation to start that process.

CARAT provides support to Principal Investigators (PIs) during pre- and post-award phases of the grant process.

In the pre-award phase, CARAT staff work with PIs on the proposal’s components and logistics so that it can be submitted in a timely manner, in accordance with sponsor guidelines. Go here for more details about our pre-award services.

In the post-award phase, CARAT staff advise PIs on financial activities and compliance requirements, as set forth in the sponsoring agency’s regulations and following UMBC policies and procedures. We approve expenditures to ensure that costs are allowable, allocable, reasonable and consistent with Uniform Guidance and with sponsor regulations. Go here for more details about our post-award services.

If you have identified a grant, prior to the meeting, please complete the proposal development form.

There are many components and considerations when developing proposal budgets. For the meeting, please prepare a list of what you will need to complete your project (e.g., personnel, travel, equipment, supplies, consultants, contractual services, sub awards, other costs), as well as any sponsor requirements, such as cost-share. CARAT will work with you to develop a budget that meets the needs of your project. We will provide more specific details for what you will need during our initial meeting.

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) submits institutional proposals on behalf of PIs. OSP must review and approve all applications that will be received and administered by the university, even for individual grants and fellowships that are submitted by the PI. OSP requires that proposals be received, in a ready-to-submit state, three days in advance of the sponsor’s deadline. OSP looks at all the proposals that are due that day. If your documents are not in a ready-to-submit state by 9:00 a.m. on the day the proposal is due, OSP will not send them forward.

CARAT must have your fully completed proposal no later than five business days prior to the submission deadline. More time may be needed if your proposal is complex. This includes all documents needed for sub awards. There is no grace period, and no exceptions will be made.

For a complete timeline, deadlines, and routing information from OSP and the CAHSS Dean’s Office, see the New Proposal Timeline.

Policies and procedures

UMBC requires that anyone identified as a Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-Investigator (Co-I) on an external funding application be “PI eligible” to submit proposals and receive awards at the university. See UMBC’s PI Eligibility Policy.

CARAT staff will assist PIs in completing the PI eligibility process. The process includes:

There may be circumstances that require an exception by the Vice President for Research for PI eligible status, particularly for faculty who are not on the tenure track. These are addressed on a case-by-case basis and should be discussed in advance of preparing a proposal.

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is responsible for making the final determination of what Facility and Administrative (F&A) Costs – sometimes referred to as indirect costs by sponsors – are applicable to your proposal. CARAT will consult with OSP prior to beginning the budget as this may influence your budget, especially if there is a cap on the award amount. OSP must be consulted before the proposal is started if the sponsor prohibits F&A or for other circumstances. More information about UMBC’s F&A Rate is available on the OSP website.

Your department receives 10% of the F&A recovery, which is allocated by UMBC’s Vice President for Research.

UMBC uses Kuali, a cloud-based research administration tool for pre- and post-award management, to route research proposals and accept awards. UMBC requires faculty to route all proposals for external funding for review and approval prior to submission.* Learn about Kuali proposals here.

Kuali proposals are routed for approval through a series of levels: PIs and Co-Is; department chairs for each PI/Co-I; colleges for each PI/Co-I; and OSP.

Before a proposal is routed, the PI and any named Co-Investigators are required to answer two certification questions in Kuali, signifying approval of the proposal and confirmation that all information within the proposal is true and accurate. More information about proposal certification can be found here.

Proposal teams must allocate academic credit, as well as pre- and post-award business support, for each member and associated unit. More information on credit allocation can be found here.

The PI will also answer a series of questions about the project to ensure that all research compliance requirements are met in the proposal. Learn more about the Kuali proposal questionnaire here. Complete the CARAT Kuali Proposal Questionnaire form for your proposal to provide answers to the questions.

Other proposal documents that may be required as part of the routing include subaward packages, special sponsor requirements, such as cost-share, sponsor limits on F&A Recovery, etc. All documents must be completed and attached in the Kuali proposal. Proposal forms may be found on the OSP website here.

UMBC policy also requires that faculty identified as “key personnel” in any proposal submitted or award made also provide an annual disclosure of real or perceived financial Conflicts of Interest(COI). Disclosures are submitted in the Kuali COI module. CARAT will advise you on what documents are needed for your proposal. Learn more about COI here.

As PI, you will always have access to your proposals and awards in Kuali. If you are not familiar with Kuali, CARAT can assist you; however, we strongly recommend that you learn about Kuali and take some basic training courses and/or review the reference cards and videos in the Kuali website. Information about Kuali and training courses and guides can be found here.

Please note that in instances where sponsors prohibit the university from receiving the award, the PI must complete the CAHSS Internal Routing Form in DocuSign prior to submission of the application. Visit the CAHSS resources for faculty and staff webpage for more information here.

In most cases, sponsors make awards to organizations and not to individuals. UMBC requires that all institutional proposals be submitted in the name of and by UMBC. See OSP’s Principal Investigator Proposal Handbook and Policies and Procedures page for information related to sponsored research, service, and training at UMBC.

Most proposals are submitted electronically through the sponsor’s portal/website. The proposal must be submitted by an authorized representative of UMBC, not the PI, except in certain circumstances as required by the sponsor. When it is time to submit the proposal, CARAT will notify OSP that the proposal is in a ready-to-submit state. OSP will then review the proposal and submit it to the sponsor. OSP requires three business days to review a complete application.

For the most part, only the institution needs to register, however you may need to obtain an account with the sponsoring agency (e.g., you will need to register with grants.gov or with eRA Commons if you plan to apply for an award from the National Institutes of Health). CARAT can assist you in determining the specific requirements for your sponsor and advise you on the process.

For foundations and private funders, please consult the sponsor’s application information on submitting proposals.

There are a variety of compliance requirements that may be applicable to your research proposal. It is best to check with UMBC’s Office for Research Protections and Compliance (ORPC), which is overseen by the Office of Research and Creative Achievement (ORCA). On the ORPC website, you will find information about the various regulations, procedures, forms, Kuali COI and Protocols submissions, and training related to research compliance. The website also includes contact information for ORPC staff. CARAT will work with you and OPRC to ensure your research is conducted in a manner that is compliant with federal, state, and institutional regulatory requirements.

Who Is Responsible for Various Administrative Tasks?

One or more members of the CARAT team will be assigned to work with you on your proposal submission. One or more of these same individuals will work with you when you receive the award.

UMBC’s Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is institutionally responsible for the negotiation and acceptance of all sponsored agreements on behalf of the university.

Once OSP has reviewed the award notice for compliance with university policy and accepted the award, they will notify the PI, CARAT, the Dean’s Office, and the Office of Contract and Grant Accounting (OCGA) that a new award has been created. This notification contains the Kuali link to the award documents. CARAT will then pull the documents needed for post award administration from Kuali and contact the PI to set up an implementation meeting to begin work on the award. See the OCGA Post-Award Sponsored Projects Guide for more information.

At this point, OCGA will set up the award in PeopleSoft Finance for post-award monitoring and financial management of the award. OCGA will create the project number (which is a form of credit line for the account) against which expenditures can be charged.

As soon as CARAT receives notice that the award had been accepted and OCGA has set up the award in PeopleSoft, we will contact you for an implementation meeting. At this meeting, we will go through the award budget and deliverables together to establish a timeline to meet the deliverables using processes that are in compliance with the sponsoring agency’s and the university’s policy and procedures and, if applicable, uniform guidance. CARAT will take care of all the post-award administration (e.g. procurement, payroll, establishing a sub award, financial management and projections, etc.), so you can concentrate on the scholarly/intellectual/research (select one of these words) portion of your award.

The PI must be responsive to the communications from the CARAT team members assigned to their award. Your CARAT grant administrator will review processes and responsibilities with you. Also consult the OCGA Post-Award Sponsored Projects Guide for more information.

The Principal Investigator is responsible for the integrity of the research award. Your grant administrator in CARAT is responsible for the financial management of your expenditures and is charged with assuring that all expenditures are allowable, allocable, and reasonable as determined by uniform guidance and by sponsor and university policies. CARAT will provide financial reports to you monthly or more frequently if warranted. CARAT is more than happy to provide guidance on reading the financial reports generated by CARAT, PeopleSoft and REX. It is important to note that PeopleSoft is the University’s official accounting system. In certain instances, your department will provide some financial management for the grant, with the Chair’s and PI’s agreement.

UMBC’s Office of Contract and Grant Accounting (OCGA) is responsible for sending invoices to sponsors that require billing. If a sponsor has questions regarding an invoice, they should be directed to OCGA, not the PI or CARAT. If you receive such a request from a sponsor, direct them to OCGA. If you are unsure who to contact in OCGA, contact CARAT and we can direct the sponsor to the grant accountant assigned to your award. Consult the OCGA Post-Award Sponsored Projects Guide for more information.

OCGA’s grant accountants are responsible for submitting all financial reports per terms and conditions of the award. The financial report is based on information from the university’s official accounting system, PeopleSoft. If your award requires special financial reporting, OCGA will work with your department to complete this requirement.

No. Only an authorized representative of the university can submit a modification. Budget adjustments should be discussed with CARAT staff and then we can determine if a modification is necessary and coordinate with OSP to initiate the modification request. Depending on the terms and conditions in the Notice of Award, some budget adjustments may not require a modification.

If you plan to request a No-Cost Extension (NCE) or budget modification, notify your CARAT grant administrator to discuss the specific requirements.

CARAT will then communicate the request to OSP. Only an authorized representative from OSP may contact the sponsor for such requests. Depending on the conditions of your award, there may be limitations and other rules, so check with your grant administrator as soon as possible.

If an NCE is requested, CARAT will work with OSP and OCGA to obtain authorization to allow spending to continue in anticipation of an official action to formally extend the period of performance.

For more information, consult OSP’s policies and procedures and OCGA’s Post-Award Sponsored Projects Guide.

Once an award has expired, UMBC will begin the closeout process. CARAT will conduct a final review of the award expenditures, as well as the PeopleSoft accounting statements and payroll statements, to confirm that all expenses have posted to the grant and that all expenditures were allowable, allocable, and reasonable. CARAT will then send a certification to OCGA and request that the award be closed. OCGA will send the sponsor the final invoice. OCGA is responsible for the financial reporting and final invoicing, OSP is responsible for the non-financial close out of the award, and the Principal Investigator is responsible for the technical reporting. See OSP’s Financial Extramural Award Closeout Procedures for Contract and Grant Accounting for more information.

Contact carat@umbc.edu for more information.

To make sure you are compliant with UMBC regulations on externally-funded research, consult the following: