Intro to OR & Life Cycle of a Grant

Discover how the Office of Research can help you throughout the life cycle of your grant in an information session led by Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello, PhD from the Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships (ORAP) with backup from ORAP funding specialist Emily Brashear. They provide an overview of everything from developing and submitting a grant proposal, to having a compliant research program, to managing and licensing your intellectual property.

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Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: My name is Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello, I’m a research development specialist with the Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: That’s kind of a mouthful, so I will call it a ORAP as much as I can throughout the throughout the presentation. Matt Michener from the Office of Research Support and Operations will be joining us at some point through this presentation to talk to you about his office and where it fits into the lifecycle of the grant. So. So, yeah, let’s get started and please bear with me because this is my first information session.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: I started with ORAP in October and I’m still learning the ins and outs of the position. Before I started with ORAP, I was a research faculty member on the Spokane campus, so I am familiar with writing and submitting grants and I look forward to helping you with your proposals or developing your research as we go forward.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: So we have other information sessions that we will be putting on, and I just wanted to give a plug for those. The next one will be on February the first at 11:00, and it will be using SciENcv, a new requirement for NSF proposals. This is what NSF is now requiring for creating bio sketches and putting your current and pending support documents in.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: NIH is actually… I don’t think they’ve started yet. They were supposed to start in October, but that will also be coming for NIH. So if that interests you, please join that session and then there will be another session on February the seventh in the afternoon at 1:00 and it will be teaching you, showing you how to manage your grant through the MyResearch database.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: So if you’re interested in those information sessions or you’re looking for other training opportunities, then please check out our website, which is listed here on this slide. And the events page is where you’ll find the information about the info sessions and the registration. So I’m going to first start with an introduction to the Office of Research and the units that comprise the Office of Research.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: There are several of them. And I’ll start first with ORAP and ORSO and because we have kind of the biggest role in the lifecycle of the grant. So ORAP, we provide training for faculty, we provide internal funding opportunities, we do searches for funding for faculty and we help you develop your proposals. We also look after limited submissions.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: So those are the proposals that the agencies require only a certain number to come from the institutions. And so we get those proposals in a competitive way before they are submitted. And then ORSO: the Office of Research Support and Operations. They are really the ones that are responsible for submitting your proposals to your your funding agency. They negotiate and accept the awards and they also do non-monetary agreements. So, non-disclosure agreements, those kinds of alternative non-monetary agreements in the Office of Research Assurances is the compliance side of of our office.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: So they make sure that you’re using animals and human subjects, bio hazardous material and radiation in alliance with regulations, they also control exports. So if you if your work involves foreign countries, then then they are the office that becomes involved with that kind of in close proximity. As far as responsibilities go, the [unintelligible], Office of the Campus Veterinarian or OCV, they’re responsible for animal health and welfare and import and export.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: They help you with your IACUC or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee protocols as well as the in Institutional Review Board or IRB protocols. They do I’m sorry, not the IRB. This is just animals. But they will also help you with your protocol if you need to do amendments, they will come out and consult with you. The Office of National Laboratory Partnerships facilitates collaborations with national labs, so the big one for WSU is the Pacific Northwest National Lab: the PNNL.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: But there are other federal, national and international research labs that they help to facilitate those collaborations. And then the Office of Commercialization, they help you with any intellectual property that comes out of your research. So they help you look after patents and copyrights and trademarks, technology licensing. And if you’re at the point where you are looking to start start up a business, then they also help you with this, with your startups.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: So I’m going to start now in a little bit more detail with with our Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships. As I mentioned, we’re kind of at the pre proposal phase of your research, so we help you find funding, we help you with grant writing, we provide training through workshops and information sessions like the one today and the one the ones that I announced.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: We have internal funding opportunities from the Office of Research. Several of you are aware of the most recent Community Engaged Research Seed Grant opportunity. We also have a New Faculty Seed Grant that that comes through our office and then the limited submissions which I have already mentioned, we help with proposal development through reviewing and editing your proposals before you actually move forward with submitting.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: And we have services such as proposal project management, so we can help with communicating with your collaborators, developing timelines, developing templates and over and above the templates that we actually already have developed for you, fORSOme of the more common documents that are required by the larger federal agencies. And you can find those on our web site through the research development toolbox.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: And I don’t know if Matt has joined us yet,

Emily Brashear: He has not.

Emily Brashear: but I can kind of go over a little bit of what our ORSO does and SPS, and I’m not going to read verbatim for this, but this is a brief understanding is they do the proposal and aword processing. So you what you want to do is you’re going to work with your research administrator to assist with the submittal of your proposal.

Emily Brashear: So if you’re not sure who your research administrator is, definitely reach out to us or the Office of Research Support and Operations. We can get that to you. So you’re not going to apply directly to the agency yourself. It has to go through ORSO, and that’s just so that we can make sure that you aren’t agreeing to anything that the university can’t provide.

Emily Brashear: So they’re going to draft any of your contracts. They do review your budgets. You do have a budget person within your department as well that can assist. They review and make sure that you have all the documents needed to submit your proposal. And then there is the MyResearch database that if you’re not familiar with that training that will be coming up, you can locate any of the grants that you’ve applied for, I mean that you’ve submitted, ones that you’ve awarded and ones that have denied there.

Emily Brashear: You can separate those out when you are awarded. Let me go. Confidentiality material transfer any agreements that happens between you and the agency and ORSOmetimes we have funding from you might be a collaborator with another university and that is also handled with the Office of Research Support and Operations. When you are awarded a what you go back on.

Emily Brashear: Sorry, sorry. When you are awarded for your grant, it will go through SPS and they’ll set up all your budget stuff and they’ll contact let’s just say they go through the agency to make sure that everything’s set up. I don’t know the status of SPS, that used to be backlogged a lot. I’m not sure if they’ve got a handle on that quite yet.

Emily Brashear: So it isn’t instant when you get that letter of you’re the winner, you’re getting your money. It does take a little bit time till your account gets set up and everything of that nature, but then all of your payments go through SPS at that time, which is sponsored program services, and let’s see if there’s anything else that jumps out on me.

Emily Brashear: I am not familiar, a lot, full disclosure, with SPS and how they they run everything but they make sure that the money gets to your department and then you would work with your budget person and your research administration. I don’t know if your research administrator at that point, budget person for sure to make sure that you’re reporting everything. They sub-recipient monitoring.

Emily Brashear: So if you’re a sub on any awards, like I said from any other college or university, they handle that as well. I think that’s it. I’m not sure, Cheryl, if you’re aware of any.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: I can’t think of anything. I don’t know. Matt. Matt has mentioned that although everything needs to go through ORSO, it can come back to the PI for the PI to submit directly, but it has to at least have a start through ORSO.

Emily Brashear: So yeah, mainly ORSO is… So sometimes if it, if you have something that’s just like a notice of intent or letter of intent and you don’t need a budget at that point, sometimes you can submit those through without ORSO, just the beginning stages. But as soon as you have budgets or anything like that, that’s like my, my indicator to let people know like, you need to go through ORSO and then just to make sure it doesn’t hurt.

Emily Brashear: And plus they’re keeping track of making sure you have everything in line. So it’s a double. It’s another extra check. So they’re definitely a friend to have in your pocket, but your research administrator works with ORSO 99% of the time. So you contact your research administrator.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: Thank you, Emily. All right. So now I will move into the grant lifecycle and the pre award, which as I mentioned, is a ORAP. And so the first step, of course, is that the principal investigator or the PI comes up with an idea and we often encourage the PI to come up with a one page pitch or an elevator pitch that can be quickly shown to potential collaborators and to their program officers.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: Yeah. So once you once the the PI has generated their idea and they’ve got their pitch, then they went on to seek collaborators and they want to identify suitable funding opportunities for that idea. And I will just say that I will go into these steps in a little bit more detail. So this is kind of just a quick overview.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: But then at that point you’re, as Emily said, you’re going to want to reach out to your research administrator and colleges and departments have those people to help faculty prepare the proposal package and particularly the budget, because the research administrator does need to approve that budget before it gets submitted to ORSO. And then once that budget is approved and the the proposal package can be uploaded to send into ORSO, it’s submitted through an eREX and I think that stands for “electronic request for extramural funding”.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: I could be wrong about that. I think it’s a carryover from days gone by, but that form then is used to collect approvals from the chair and deans before it can actually be submitted to the agency. You’ll note that I put a minimum two days before a deadline there. That’s what ORSO needs, that’s the minimum time that they need.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: We don’t encourage that you leave it to that point and suggest that you think of your deadline as at least a week before the due date for your proposal to the agency. So once the eREX is approved by the dean and the chairs and everyone it’s routed to ORSO and ORSO reviews that they will look through it very carefully.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: And if they require edits to any of the documents or documents are missing, that includes the budget needing to be edited, then it gets sent back to the PI and and the research administrator to make those edits and get them submitted back to ORSO. So that’s kind of why we say don’t think of that minimum two days as as something that you can stick to because if there are edits needed, then you’re going to be scrambling in those last couple of days.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: Then once everything is is good, then ORSO will submit the proposal and they use the agency portal to do that. And then you wait a certain period of time and hopefully you find out from the agency that you were awarded. And unfortunately, more often than not, you’ll receive notification that the award was denied. And so then at that point, you’re going to want to look at reviewer’s comments, improve your idea, or look for other funding opportunities.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: So now I’m going to go into a little bit more detail of the of the lifecycle. And so those first few steps, again, the idea generated is is coming from you, your research background, your expertise, and then where do you find collaborators. You’ve got a personal network, you can look for them internally. Pivot has an option that you can look for researchers by expertise and you can do that on your own or we or we can do that for you.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: And MyResearch also has that ability. So so we can access that database and try to find collaborators for you. And then you also have the option of industry and again, reach out to us if you’re looking for collaborators and don’t know where where to turn, you’re also going to be looking for funding opportunities that fit your research idea.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: And so where can you find funding? As I mentioned, we have internal funding opportunities. The New Faculty Seed Grant, the Community Engaged Research Grant, Seed Grant. We also do a 10k and RA if you need a research assistant, a graduate research assistant. Pivot is the database that we normally turn to and you all have access to that.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: You can personalize your searches through keywords and you can set up alerts to get them daily or weekly if you want to, so that you can watch those carefully, can also turn to the federal databases. So like, that’s also a good resource, state agency websites, industry websites, and then private foundations. So if you are looking for funding through foundations, then we encourage you to reach out to the WSU Foundation Relations, they can help you set up relationships with the private foundations, and particularly if a 501(c)(3) is required to submit the proposal, then that is the office that you will need to go through.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: So once you’ve found your funding and your collaborators, you want to prepare your proposal and that’s when you’re going to want to reach out to your departmental research administrator. That’s your first contact. And as Emily mentioned, if you don’t know your department or college research administrator, then please reach out to us. We can find that out for you.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: They’ll give you guidance on the funding opportunities of the the requirements that are listed there. They will go through those very carefully to make sure that you’re meeting them. They also will help you develop your budget and then they are the ones that have to approve it before it goes through ORSO. They can identify cost sharing and funds matching through looking at your funding opportunity.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: And then they’re the ones that will generate the eREX upload it and submit it to ORSO. And just as a note, many colleges actually have extra support. So the College of Arts and Sciences, for instance, has a grant and fellowships support that you can reach out to. And CAHNRS also has a pre-award team and an office of large grant development that you can go to for help with developing your proposal.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: And so we encourage you to check out your your college and your department for that extra support. But remember that we are also here to help you so you can check out our proposal development toolbox on our website where you can find templates and you can find links to the agencies and their funding documents. We can help you with your proposal narrative by providing review and feedback, we will edit it for you.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: We can also go through the funding opportunity to make sure that your research administrator hasn’t missed anything. Give you kind of a second opinion on on what they require for the proposals to be accepted. We can also, as I mentioned, provide project management services for your proposal so we can compile the supplementary documents, we can review them, we can assist with submission when we’re right next door to ORSO so we can reach out to them on your behalf.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: And as you know, through the information session, we provide training for faculty and include… that includes grant writing workshops. So the eREX needs to be submitted and approved. And as I mentioned, your department research administrator will upload that package and they submit the eREX. They do that through the MyResearch database, as Emily mentioned. You have something to add, Emily?

Emily Brashear: Yeah, I just want to really highlight the two days before the deadline. So this, it isn’t a new process, but it is for they I shouldn’t say it isn’t a new process, but it might be an adjustment. So when you see the agency deadline on your RFP, just make sure that mentally you know, or even on your calendar physically or write it down physically somewhere that you actually if it’s due on the 20th of January, you have to turn it in completed to ORSO on the 18th.

Emily Brashear: And that is just to make sure that they get everything checked and make sure that, again, they’re reviewing everything to make sure you’re not missing anything else. If for some reason you missed the two day deadline, you have to get approval from your chair. And I believe your dean. There’s like a bunch of checks ahead to say, hey, why didn’t you get this to us on time?

Emily Brashear: They have to let us ORSO now. So make sure that you do start early and that you submit it. You can submit it before two days. You can submit five days prior, which would be great. But just make sure you are a lot earlier than the deadline states.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: Yes. So yeah, time is your friend. It was always a rule of thumb in the lab that I was in to think of the due date as a week prior. So we were, we were not trying to do everything two days before the deadline. It just adds stress to everybody.

Emily Brashear: It does. And that doesn’t count weekends. It is working days. And if there’s a holiday in there. So some agencies, you know, January one or I don’t know, they’ll have these crazy deadlines up, like right after a holiday. Well, that means you actually have to have it in like three or four days before. So, yes, it is business days.

Emily Brashear: And make sure you consider holidays don’t count either.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: Right. And remember that they may need to do you may need to do edits ORSO may send it back to you for edits. And so that two days then is really is really cutting it close. There is also another I don’t know whether this is this is new or it’s fairly recent, but they have a narrative hold now that if all of the documents are submitted except for the the narrative, you can actually continue to work on the narrative up to 5 hours before the deadline.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: So that just gives you a little bit extra time to kind of polish that that narrative. And it’s not every agency that does it. I know Nate does it. I’m not sure if NSF or any of the other agencies are not sure if they have that option, but it is there for at least the NIH. Once again, I don’t recommend that you that you keep that in your head.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: Please try to get them in early because as I said, time is your friends start early. Okay. So then your proposal is admitted… submitted and the waiting begins and hopefully you hear back that it was awarded and ORSO then we’ll review it and negotiate it. And Emily did do some and give you some information on on what also does and when they send it to the SPS.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: But more often than not, you’re going to hear that it was denied. So then we highly recommend that you read the reviewer comments, address them and revise your proposal and resubmit it. If, however, you think you’ve determined that maybe the funding opportunity wasn’t quite right, wasn’t quite a good fit for you, then search for a better funding opportunity and remember that ORAP can assist.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: We can help you to address the reviewer comments. We can help you with editing and give you advice on how to possibly strengthen your proposal for a better outcome next time. And we can also help you find different funding. And now we are at ORSO again. And the only thing I can do is read through this slide.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: Emily, do you do you have anything to add to what you.

Emily Brashear: Well, it’s really repetitive of what we’ve been saying. So once you contact your research administrator and they submit your application, then ORSO reviews it, and then if there are some edits, they’ll send it back to you. And so it’s kind of like what we said. If you’re awarded, then it goes to SPS and then SPS sets up your account.

Emily Brashear: So it is just a regurgitation of what we have said before. But again, sub awards work with your department RA. Your RA is like your golden ticket to your submitting your proposal. After… So I hate to say this, but after you can work with our department, then you know we want to loop your RA in as soon as possible, but we can help a lot with the compiling stage and then we pass it off to your research administrator and ORSO.

Emily Brashear: So that’s pretty much what this is saying. And, and again, they’re going to review and negotiate your contract, any agreements that you are making, even material transfer a non-disclosure, no money, any of that stuff that’s going to go through ORSO they’re going to make sure that you’re completing your your mandatory trainings. This also… they also make sure that you do your IACUC and IRB if you’re going to work with animals or humans and there’s some checklists for that, they’re also going to make sure that if you are working with any government agencies that you are following those.

Emily Brashear: So once you get to this stage, there is though it’s not like willy-nilly, they just let you go and then you find out later that you needed to make some check. They’re going to say, okay, now you have to do this, this and this. So it’s not a free for all. You’re not going to be lost once you receive your award.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: But okay any information.

Emily Brashear: And yeah, so intellectual property and then there is I have to reach out and find out who gives a really good description. So with intellectual property there it is protected. You would go through the Office of Commercialization. And also I know there and this is kind of a side note when you’re using ChatGPT, be really careful on that because once that’s once your research is out into the world, it’s out into the world.

Emily Brashear: So be careful with that. That’s also something you can talk to either Office of Research Support and Operations, ORSO, or the Office of Commercialization, just so you don’t mess up with that. Engaging in sponsored agreements, subcontracts. Where are you? So if… This is like working with Commercialization, if you’re going to, you know, engage in sponsoring sponsored agreements, I’m not sure what that is.

Emily Brashear: Actually, I was thinking of something else. Grants for public health services. Sorry, this is an ORSO slide for sure. Equity interest overlap, third party sponsor, travel gifts. Nope, none of this I am familiar with, so.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: I apologize guys. So basically if if you have questions about the intellectual property, then we urge you to reach out to ORSO with the office commercialization to get those questions answered.

Emily Brashear: Yes.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: Okay.

Emily Brashear: And this is when you do receive your award as gifts, going to send it up, they’re going to manage and maintain it. And anything that comes back, they’re going to notify you as a PI SPS notifies ORSO it’s all in this giant database. So when you receive your award, sometimes you need specific training on that and they’ll let you know what those are and if there’s any changes that goes through ORSO as well.

Emily Brashear: They want to make sure that you’re if you’re changing any monetary, anything monetarily, that again, you’re not agreeing to something that the university isn’t able to fulfill.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: Okay. And then closing out the award.

Emily Brashear: And once you close it out, SPS is the person that will submit your financial reports to the agency. You’ll have to submit probably a final report to them as well. You’ll probably be in contact with the agency nonstop anyway or throughout your your grant. But SPS will ask for a few items from you just to make sure there aren’t any extra items that you purchased.

Emily Brashear: Maybe receipts will need to be turned in if you do need a time extension, that would be done through SPS. You can’t use it. This is a big one. You can’t use it just because you have money left over. You can’t ask for a time extension. You need to use the money and the time that you’ve been allotted.

Emily Brashear: So you keep and keep track with your budget person to make sure that you are using the money that you have agreed to. It doesn’t I mean, it’s not a crime to have to give money back, but if you were awarded it, then you use it for what you have budgeted for and then you’ll just have to do it… a Single Audit Compliance.

Emily Brashear: It’s also on SPS websites. And then just make sure you reach out to Office of Commercialization with any intellectual property management. So if you have developed something as far as like an idea or a piece of equipment or technology of some some sorts, Commercialization, they’ll be able to tell you if it if it needs to be set up under them to make money off of… Some people, make money off of their idea.

Emily Brashear: So it’s not… WSU’s going to take some of that money, but at least you get some of it.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: Thank you, Emily. And we’ve reached the end of the presentation, which went a little bit faster than it normally probably would have. And I did see the question in the chat. We do grant writing research for grant writing workshops for faculty. I’m always open to ideas for workshops that are needed. So if there is something that you think we need to do, then please reach out to me.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: But as of now, there will be a grant writing workshop for social scientists that I will be putting on in May, and more information on that will be put up on the website soon and will be coming to your inbox through newsletters so you can find out a little bit more about that. But that one will focus on social scientists.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: So I guess I just want to end with if you have any other questions, please reach out to us at ORAP or ORSO and do check out our events page for more information sessions that

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello: But thank you for being here. And if you have