Enhancing interdisciplinary research is a strategic goal for the University. An important component of this is the strengthening the inter-campus collaborations between Storrs and UConn Health. We can assist faculty in preparing and submitting externally funded inter-campus proposals and awards.
Because UConn (Storrs) and UConn Health are two separate fiscal entities, proposals seeking extramural funds are administered similar to sponsored activity involving any other inter-institutional collaborations – where one institution serves as the lead applicant and the other consortium partner acts as the subawardee.
At the proposal stage, the external funding agency will typically require a statement of commitment from each collaborating organization to ensure that there is appropriate programmatic and administrative support and oversight.
In order for Sponsored Program Services (SPS) at Storrs and Sponsored Program Services (SPS) at UConn Health to approve a Letter of Intent/Consortium Statement, both the lead organization and subawardee proposals need to be routed, reviewed and approved by the respective academic and administrative offices.
- Lead Organization: One campus is the lead organization; the other campus participating in the project is the subawardee. The decision regarding which campus serves as the lead applicant typically is dictated by the scope of the project – the lead organization performs a substantive role in conducting the project and maintains appropriate oversight of all scientific, programmatic, financial, and administrative matters related to the grant.
- Budgets: The subawardee’s proposed costs (direct and F&A) get rolled-up into the lead organization’s budget. Each site (Storrs or UConn Health) applies and receives its respective F&A costs. The lead organization waives F&As associated with the first $25K of the inter-campus subaward. Subawardee personnel cannot be included as personnel in the lead organization’s budget.
- Internal Review/Approval by the Subawardee Organization: At least 10 business days before the funding agency’s deadline, the subawardee principal investigator needs to submit internal forms (Storrs or UConn Health routing and significant financial interest, scope of work, budget and budget justification plus any additional documents requested to the subawardee’s sponsored programs office [Storrs SPS or UCH SPS]). After review and approval by that office, the subawardee investigator will submit the approved consortium statement, scope of work, budget and budget justification plus any additional requested documents to the lead organization’s principal investigator.
- Internal Review/Approval at the Lead Organization: The principal investigator for the lead organization should route the complete application to his/her respective sponsored programs office, using the normal review, compliance, and approval processes and by that office’s stated deadline.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Prepares budget that includes all subawardee costs (direct and F&A), budget justification, scope of work, internal forms, and consortium statement.
- Routes subawardee’s proposal for internal review/approval and submits to Storrs SPS / UCH SPS for review and approval.
- Submits subawardee’s proposal (consortium statement, scope of work, budget/ budget justification, etc.) to the lead’s PI for inclusion in the lead’s proposal to be submitted to sponsor.
Lead Applicant Pre-Award
- Prepares the entire application budget — all lead organization costs, including the subawardee’s budget and lists subawardee as consortium partner.
- Routes proposal (including subawardee’s budget and consortium statement) through Storrs SPS / UCH SPS for review and approval.
- Submits proposal to sponsor.
- Notifies subawardee of sponsoring agency’s funding decision.
Storrs Graduate Students on UConn Health Projects
There is a mechanism in place that allows Storrs graduate students, both US and international, to be paid directly by UConn Health as graduate assistants; there is furthermore a mechanism to allow them to have their tuition waived at Storrs. It is not necessary to use the subaward/project agreement mechanism for use of graduate students on grants.
All graduate students (including those at UCH) are enrolled through the Graduate School at Storrs. The only significant issues in the past had been obtaining tuition waivers for graduate assistants at UCH because of the different financial systems at our campuses. UConn Health’s Human Resources department provides the HR Database of Graduate Assistants to the Bursar’s Office at Storrs a list of all graduate assistants at UCH and they get an automatic tuition waiver similar to graduate assistants at Storrs.
International Students at Storrs are vetted through their International Office while UCH International Students are vetted by Ms. Jaishree Duggal in UConn Health HR. Both office work in concert to ensure compliance with applicable immigration laws. International Students are registered through the SEVIS system operated by the Department of Homeland Security, INS which recognizes the two campuses as separate entities.
Storrs-UConn Health F&A
Because Storrs and UCH are two separate entities both from the standpoint of the state and for federal grants (and have different financial systems), this places us in a situation similar to the University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts and Cornell University. We used the Cornell model to develop guidelines to promote intercampus collaborations between Storrs and UCH and placed them on our web site earlier this year (http://research.uconn.edu/intercampus). This has assisted researchers in understanding the procedures at the other campus and resolved issues that in the past have been a concern.
We currently have a global MOA between Storrs and UCH and create individual agreements for each project. They are simple and are put in place quickly.
Additionally the current practice is for the prime recipient to waive F&As on the first $25K of the sub-award if including them would diminish proposed direct costs.
In situations where amount of project cost funding is capped and the subrecipient’s F&As are included in the total direct costs the subrecipient organization will not include its F&As in the budget. Once awarded, the prime recipient will share its F&As with the subrecipient proportionately to the awarded direct costs. This will be implemented for all future grants.