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IUCRG FAQ

Q: Help!?! I’ve started an application, saved it, and now can’t find it! Where did all my work go?
A: If you’ve started and saved an IUCRG application without submitting it, and wish to return to it, please check your email for a direct link sent to you from IUCRG@iu.edu, or visit your action list at one.iu.edu. You will be able to access the application in either event. (Please be aware that since the emails are sent by our staff, if you save an application outside of business hours, you will not receive an email link until the next business day.)

Q: Who is eligible for funding through IUCRG?
A: Fulltime faculty members on any Indiana University campus are eligible for funding through IUCRG. Teams that received funding through IUCRG in the past are not eligible, but individuals who received IUCRG funding in the past are eligible if they are involved in new collaborations and projects.

Q: Are lecturers, clinical faculty, and research faculty members eligible to apply for IUCRG grants?
A: One of the requirements for IUCRG funding is a plan to apply for external funding as a result of the work funded through IUCRG. For this reason, every IUCRG team must include at least one faculty member who is eligible to submit proposals for external funding. Lecturers, clinical faculty, and research ranks faculty members can participate on IUCRG teams as long as those teams have at least one member eligible to submit external proposals.

Q: Are faculty members from other institutions eligible for funding through IUCRG?
A: IUCRG is intended to promote collaborations among Indiana University faculty members. Having said that, if an IU faculty member (or team of IU faculty members) wishes to collaborate with a colleague from another institution, they may include that person on the IUCRG team. However, no IUCRG funds can be directed to or used in other institutions.

Q: Can colleagues from the same department submit an IUCRG proposal?
A: One of the goals of IUCRG is to promote new collaborations that cross traditional disciplinary, departmental, school, or campus boundaries. For that reason, IUCRG funding will generally only be awarded to teams that include members from multiple departments, schools, or campuses. Where a single department comprises multiple disciplines that do not normally collaborate, representatives of distinct disciplines or divisions may collaborate on a proposal, but are advised to include in the proposal justification of this partnership.

Q: What’s the difference between “co-PIs” and “collaborators”?
A: The IUCRG program requires robust collaborations among at least two faculty members from different campuses, schools, departments or disciplines. We do not distinguish between “primary” and “secondary” investigators, considering all of the key team members co-PIs. One team member, who is the team’s designated Point of Contact, is designated for the purposes of filling out the online application as the “Applicant.” [In other contexts, this individual may be considered, along with other team members, a co-PI.]

Other members of the team are formally designated either Co-PIs or Collaborators. Co-PIs are those faculty partners whose role is roughly equal to the Applicant’s. Each IUCRG team will have a minimum of 1 Co-PI in addition to the Applicant. The IUCRG proposal must include CVs or brief biosketches and letters of support from each co-PI’s Dean and Department Chair.

Collaborators are those partners whose role is significantly smaller than the co-PIs and Applicant. A faculty member who is contributing expertise to a small portion of the overall project might be considered a Collaborator. The proposal narrative should make explicit the percent effort a Collaborator will contribute, and the importance of that effort to the overall success of the project; a letter from the Collaborator confirming his/her intention to participate is recommended.

As an example, assume the overall effort on a project is 100%. A team with 4 faculty participants might divide the work so that three faculty members are each contributing 30% of the effort, and the 4th is contributing 10%. In this case, the team would have a total of three investigators (1 applicant and 2 co-PIs, each at 30% effort), and 1 collaborator (10% effort).

In general, any faculty participant whose contribution will amount to less than half the contribution of each of the two primary PIs (the “Applicant” and co-PI) may be designated a collaborator.

Q: The online application instructions state that the application needs to include a Statement of Support from all PIs' Department Chairs and Deans. Does this mean a letter of support from everyone’s chairs and deans, or just the PIs'?
A: Letters are required for those investigators who share the highest percent effort on the project. If you have a proposal with 4 investigators, and the effort is split 30%, 30%, 30% and 10%, we would not need a letter for the person providing the 10% effort, who might be considered a collaborator rather than a co-PI. If effort is split equally among all 4, we would require letters for all 4.

Q: Regarding plans to submit proposals for external funding, how specific does our team need to be?
A: This is an important part of the review process. It is not sufficient to simply identify a potential funding agency (for instance, "NIH" or "William T. Grant Foundation") or funding type (e.g., "R01" or "CAREER grant"), although this is one important step. We recognize that it is impossible to know what opportunities will be available in 18 months, but your team should demonstrate your familiarity with currently available opportunities, and the relevance of your proposed project to specific interest areas identified by major funders. Teams must therefore supply evidence that future funding opportunities are likely. This evidence might include information from agency websites noting interest in the specific research area, evidence of discussions with agency program directors, or specification of specific Program Announcements (PAs), Broad Agency Announcements (BAAS) or Requests for Applications (RFAs) that will remain active after the IUCRG funding period. Again, given this is an important goal of this mechanism (external funding for new collaborative teams), due attention should be paid to this component of the application in the form of 1-2 dedicated paragraphs to this topic.

Q: Our idea seems to fit into more than one of the five research areas listed on the RFP. What should we do?
A: The review process involves proposals from the same research area (I, II, III, IV, V) being reviewed by the same group of reviewers. For this reason, it is best for you to identify a single research area in which your proposal most comfortably fits. If that is not possible, please identify no more than two areas into which your proposal fits best.

Q: Are there limits to what we can fund through IUCRG?
A: Yes. IUCRG funds cannot be used to pay faculty or administrative salaries. Postdocs, technicians, and student researchers can be paid with IUCRG funds.  Expenses incurred at other universities cannot be covered through IUCRG funds; externally-provided consulting, technical support, etc., may be covered if the budget justification convincingly explains why these services are necessary.  IUCRG funds can be used for travel related to conducting research or analysis (for instance, investigators’ travel between campuses), but cannot be used for travel to professional conferences or seminars. Publication costs are not allowable using IUCRG funds. General office supplies and equipment that is normally provided as a function of appointment at IU (laptop computers, printers, etc.) will normally not be funded by IUCRG. Any equipment purchased using IUCRG funds is the property of the university, and reverts to the oversight of the VPR if the PI for whom it was purchased leaves IU.

Q: Can IUCRG funds be used for course releases?
A: Yes, IUCRG funds can be used to support one course release (up to $13,000) per PI, at the normal figure for the PI’s campus or school. Given the timing of the IUCRG program proposal and award cycle, it is likely that course releases would be possible only in the Spring semester of the 2016-2017 academic year. The research plan should indicate why such a release will be effective at that time; the department chair’s letter of support must explicitly approve a course release if one is requested.

Q: How specific does our budget have to be?
A: The budget needs to identify all planned expenditures. Review committees will review budgets, and this review will inform final decisions regarding funding. Major equipment and supplies, stipends and salaries should be itemized and justified with reference to the research plan.

Q: How detailed should our budget justification be?
A: All line items within your budget need to be explained within your budget justification. Do not assume that those reading your proposal understand why certain equipment or other expenditures are necessary. For each planned expenditure, explain why it is necessary to the successful completion of your proposed research.

Q: When trying to open Budget Builder, the error “Page did not load properly” displays, how can we get the page to load properly?
A: If you receive the error “Page did not load properly,” please exit the error page and re-click Work on your budget to reload the page. Make sure you have selected “IU Collaborative Research Grants ($75k)” from the drop-down menu for “To which program are you applying?” underneath the heading “Proposal Information.” If the problem persists, please email iucrg@iu.edu, and our office will provide you with a budget template.

Q: How will funds be divided among the different schools or departments of the various PIs?
A: IUCRG funds will not be divided. An account to which all PIs will have access will be set up through the Office of the Vice President for Research.