The Office of Sponsored Programs at Western State Colorado University serves supports Western's faculty and staff in their pursuits to secure funding opportunities for themselves and their students, which furthers the mission of the University. The office provides support and facilitates the procurement of support through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. The Office of Sponsored Programs is the primary liaison for the faculty, staff, funding agencies and administration to make certain all interests are represented and protected with each request submitted. The director of Sponsored Programs is the authorized organizational representative for electronic submissions at National Science Foundation and Grants.gov and works in close collaboration with the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Finance and Administration for each grant application. The OSP falls under the direction of the vice president for Academic Affairs.
The Office of Sponsored Programs is staffed in a part time capacity on a flexible schedule. On campus office hours are 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Staff is available, on call and able to meet with grant writers and others as needed to accommodate schedules including evening and weekends with arrangements made in advance. Please contact the Director to set up an appointment via phone or email.
The mission of the office is to guide faculty and staff through the grant-seeking process by helping to identify funding sources at the local, state and federal levels, and by assisting in the planning, preparation, and submission of the proposal to potential sponsors.
Pre-Award Approval Information
All grant applications submitted to any funding source must be pre-approved by the administration. To expedite this process, please complete the Pre-Award Approval Application and submit to the Office of Sponsored Programs a minimum of one week prior to the deadline date for submission of the application. The Pre-Award Approval Application requires the signature of the Applicant, the chair or supervisor of the applicant, and the Vice President of the Department in which the applicant works. All academic applications are signed by the VPAA. A copy of the summary and/or proposal, including the budget and budget justification must be included in the Pre-Approval Application paperwork for review by the VPAA.
The Office of Sponsored Programs will work with the applicant to obtain the signature of the appropriate vice president after a review of the application and budget associated with the application.
Please review the section on Grant Incentive Award to determine if you are eligible for a Grant Incentive Award. If so, please complete the paperwork and submit at the same time as the Pre-Award Approval Application.
Western State Colorado University is a member of the Grants Resource Center, a unit of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The GRC provides a variety of publications and resources to enhance the research and sponsored programs capabilities of higher education institutions since 1967. A subscription to GRC provides access to a comprehensive suite of tools, services, and expertise to improve the efficiency and increase success in securing competitive grants from federal and private sponsors.
The Office of Sponsored Programs shares with faculty and administrators the responsibility for assuring Western State Colorado University compliance with federal regulations, including those related to scientific and institutional misconduct, animal welfare, and the protection of human subjects. Also included in this compliance is that of copyright laws, intellectual property rights, and a drug-free workplace/campus. Please refer to the Western State Colorado University Trustee Policy Manual for information related to each of these areas.
It is the intention of Western State Colorado University to provide support for faculty and staff interested in utilizing grants and contracts to improve their teaching strategies and provide students with an opportunity to participate in undergraduate research. In some instances, it is appropriate for the primary investigator to request reassign time within the grant budget and be provided this reassign time within their individual departments in order to focus on the sponsored project. Reassign time will be provided for within the following guidelines:
- Reassign time must be financially provided for within the grant’s budget.
- A request for reassign time must be secured in writing from the department chair or director prior to the actual submission of the grant and will be dependent on the successful award of the grant. This letter should accompany the tracking sheet as it is routed for approval. The written agreement will be filed with the Department, and the offices of Sponsored Programs and Academic Affairs.
- The suggested maximum reassign time associated with a grant-sponsored project/program is one (1) semester per academic year. This can be negotiated with the department chair or director as appropriate for the funded project.
- The primary investigator/project director may be asked to work with the chair to identify and secure an adjunct to replace him or her in the classroom.
In the interest of supporting grant application submittal, the University has implemented programs that support faculty in a variety of ways, including cash and other matching resources.
- The institution can provide in-kind support of the project/programs. Some of the specifics the institution might provide are office space, photocopies, and the use of phone, labs, and secretarial services.
- The Arts Enhancements Fund, the Professional Activity Fund (through the Center for Teaching Excellence) and the Indirect Cost Incentive Fund can be explored as possible cash matches. The director of Sponsored Programs can assist you with requesting each of these Funds.
Responsibilities Associated with Grants and Contracts
Persons interested in grants and contract activities must understand the associated responsibilities. The following policies will assist individuals.
- If the required products of the grant or contract are not completed within the award period, the funds of the grant/contract may be delayed or withheld, and future awards from the agency jeopardized. The primary investigator or project director for the project, in consultation with the department chair or director, will be held responsible for the successful completion of the grant/contract while assuming his or her regular duties.
- If the required products of the grant/contract are not completed within the award period, the primary investigator or project director must request, in writing, an extension. The primary investigator or project director must be in consultation with the department chair or director and inform the Accounting Office of the revised arrangements. The Office of Sponsored Programs will remain the contact point for the granting agency, and all paperwork for the extension will flow through the Office of Sponsored Programs.
- If the required products are not delivered, and Western has incurred expenses (including salary) which will not be reimbursed by the granting/contracting agency, the Primary Investigator or project director may be held responsible and be required to reimburse the entire amount to Western.
- The granting/contracting agency will have the final word if a grant is successfully completed.
Finance and Administration Costs (Indirect Costs)
Western State Colorado University has not established an indirect cost rate with the federal government. This contract will be negotiated with the first award that requires an established rate. For additional information on this, please contact the director of Sponsored Programs.
While preparing an application for a federal agency that asks for the “negotiated indirect rate,” you must check the box that says "No Negotiated Rate." The Director of Sponsored Programs will assist you in the correct wording for the budget section of the application regarding the F&S line in the budget.
Western State Colorado University established the “Indirect Cost Incentive Fund” that holds the finance and administration costs collected on federal grants for distribution. For a copy of the policy for distribution of Finance and Administration Costs contact the Office of Sponsored Programs and Grants.
Federal sponsors of grants, contracts, and subcontracts require “time and effort reporting” to document that salary costs charged to accounts accurately represent the amount of effort committed to the project. Sponsors seek this degree of accountability to ensure they only support costs incurred that are essential to the project/program effort. These guidelines are further explained in the Office of Management and Budgets’ Circular A-21, Section J-10. This policy in no way supersedes the policies or terms of employment detailed in Western State Colorado University Handbook for Professional Personnel.
All full- and part-time faculty and staff members who are in any way associated with sponsored projects, programs, services, contracts, or subcontracts may be asked to complete time and effort reporting while the grant award they are participating in is active.
Effort is defined as the portion of time spent on contracted, professional activities, such as research, teaching, administration services, committee work, professional development, student advising, or other forms of service to the department, university, and/or the community.
Effort does not include activities that are conducted outside the terms of employment at Western State Colorado University.
Faculty or professional staff time charged in any amount to a federal, state, or privately sponsored activity will complete a Time and Effort Report once per semester, accounting for 100 percent distribution of effort expended during the reporting period, if requested by administration or required by the granting agency.
Cost sharing occurs when the university bears a portion of the costs of a sponsored project (e.g., committing personnel at no cost to the project). Mandatory cost share is cost sharing required by the sponsor as a condition of the award. Voluntary cost share is not required by the sponsor but may be pledged in a proposal or budget justification. If the budget is so approved, this voluntary cost sharing becomes mandatory and must be accounted for and certified.
Signatories on Grant Applications
The director of sponsored program will act as the liaison for obtaining required signatures on grant applications. In general, the following people have signatory authority:
Electronic submittals — director of sponsored programs only.
Dr. William Niemi, vice president of Academic Affairs.
Brad Baca, vice president for Finance and Administration.