February 9, 2017

Proposal Development Services Logo
The PDS Narrative
a newsletter from
Proposal Development Services
Office of the Vice Provost for Research

Proposal Development Services has announced new Spring events; see the schedule here. We are also searching for an new team member. Details on the position are available here.

Resources for Preparing Funding Proposals
The Proposal Development Services team supports faculty as they plan, prepare, and perfect research-focused grant applications for external funding. We are always here to help you prepare your proposals, but there are many ways to help yourself. Below are some of our favorite self-serve online resources:
  • Start with our Guide to the IU Proposal Submission Process. It provides an overview of the steps involved in submitting a proposal on campus.
  • For all funding coordinated through the University, the Office of Research Administration (ORA) website unites necessary tools for proposal preparation and submission. There you can find proposal samples, application guides, institutional information, F&A rates, training, as well as quick links to FAQs, IU systems and other resources.

  • Through MyRA (My Research Administration), the informational portal for grants managed through the Office of Research Administration, PIs and Administrators can access information on submitted proposals, award details, human and animal subjects approvals, and training, as well as links to IU research news and reference materials.

  • IU Libraries and UITS have partnered to provide private and open access research data storage, preservation and access solutions to IU-affiliated researchers, free of charge. IUB's Data Management Service offers workshops and consultations to help researchers searching for tools to comply with funding agency data plan mandates.

  • Through IU's partnership with DMPTool.org, IU researchers can use their IU-log-on to walk through the steps needed to generate the Data Management Plans (DMPs) required by specific funding agencies. In addition to getting guidance and samples for specific funders, the tool can be used by anyone interested in developing generic DMPs to help facilitate their research.

  • The Office of Research Compliance maintains many resources to support the IU research community in its effort to maintain the highest ethical standards in research activities. Visit their website to access IU research systems, policies and training for human and animal subjects, information on radiation safety, conflicts of interest, and more.

  • IU boilerplate text is available to individual investigators and departments to use as needed in grant proposals regarding institutional information as well as IU's advanced cyberinfrastructure facilities, computing and storage.

  • The Social Science Research Commons (SSRC) serves as an intellectual center for the social sciences on the IUB campus, acting as a point of entry to a network of institutional support for research and collaboration. To support the grant development and submission process, it offers training, state of the art technology, and consultations. 

In a grant budget, what is the Facilities & Administration rate?

All grants and contracts managed through IU are subject to the federally-negotiated Facilities & Administration or "F&A" rate. Also referred to as "indirect costs" or "overhead," F&A is built into every grant budget to help defray general costs that enable research to be conducted at the University: building and equipment depreciation, maintenance, operations, libraries, telecommunications, and utilities. It also funds departmental and central administrative services including PDS, ORA, the ORA Administrative Proposal Preparation Support team, and parts of IU's internal funding programs.

IU's current F&A rate, 57.5% for on-campus research, is comparable to the current rate at other R1 institutions: Northwestern 55%, UCLA 54%, Purdue 55%, UCLA 54%, U Michigan 55%, Stanford 57%, UIUC 58.6%, Columbia 60%, Harvard 59%. The percentage varies from university to university based on factors that include geographic location, the condition of facilities, and more. The federal government adjusts the rate every three to four years after rigorous review and audit to ensure appropriate use of funds. 

Proposal Development Services offers grantsmanship and proposal management support to IU Bloomington faculty applying for external research funding. Learn more about our services on the OVPR website, or request to work with a PDS specialist at ovprhelp@indiana.edu.