Policies and Procedures Research Grants Funds

Selected Policies and Procedures for
Research Support and International Affairs (RSIA) Research Grant Funds

(Small Research Grants & Priority Research Funds)
Summer 2017


Procedures for recipients of RSIA Research Grant Funds

Congratulations on receiving a RSIA Research Grant! To smoothly implement your study, a good working relationship needs to be established between you and your project supporters. A positive relationship can be ensured by following these guidelines:

1) Expenditure of funds must be made by the annual deadline.

* The funds are to be used during the current fiscal year, which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30.
* Funding cannot be "carried over" to the next fiscal year. All funds must be spent within the fiscal year that they are awarded (e.g., funds awarded in the spring or summer must be used by September 30 of the same year. Funds awarded after October 1 must be used by September 30 of the following year). Applicants may consider delaying an application for approval at the start of the next fiscal year if they would like more time to spend their funds.
* Documentation for all expenditures should be submitted no later than September 7. (Expenses submitted after this deadline will not be covered.)

When the University is closing its current fiscal year account, RSIA asks for SRG grantees' attention and cooperation in the following areas to ensure that they do not lose the funds they were granted:

1. Grantees will receive a Fiscal Year Deadline Notice via email. Grantees must reply to the notice via email to inform RSIA if they intend to spend additional funds on their research grant. If not, a simple "no" response will suffice. RSIA will not expect to see any further charges from grantees for their research studies.​
2. If grantees intend to spend additional funds, they must provide a rough estimate of the amount, or simply say "subject payments" or other items from their budget. As stated above, this information is due no later than September 7.
3. If RSIA receives a written, justified request, it will consider allowing a "no cost extension" of the award so that grantees may proceed with their project in the next fiscal year. Grantees will need to provide evidence that they are making progress on their study and need more time to complete work. ​However, RSIA needs to receive and approve this "no cost extension" ​prior to September 7.

Overall, if grantees do not seek RSIA's approval before the end of the fiscal year, RSIA cannot provide funds for the upcoming year.

2) Use of funds must adhere to University policies.

Funds must be used according to established Gallaudet policies and procedures. It is the responsibility of the grantee to learn about applicable policies relating to the use of these funds, such as for travel. The policies and procedures can be found in the Gallaudet Administration and Operations Manual.

3) Take primary responsibility for preparing grant paperwork.

Because research is an institutional priority, it is expected that staff within a grantee's academic department will provide them with administrative support. Please keep in mind, however, that it is ultimately the responsibility of the grantee for following protocol in the use of grant funds, including initiating requests for disbursements or reimbursements. In a grant application, the grantee and department chair affirmed that unequivocal support would be provided from their department. This support includes:

* Secretarial assistance in meeting University regulations and paperwork.
* Necessary equipment and space. (RSIA has access to a studio for interviews and observations, and can often lend audio/visual equipment.)
* University procedure calls for paperwork to be generated by the grantee and his or her department according to established guidelines, then sent to RSIA for approval and processing.

4) Steps to follow in being reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses.

* Petty Cash. There is a $100 limit on each petty cash reimbursement. The grantee submits receipts or other documentation to the RSIA executive secretary and obtains a Petty Cash Receipt, which is then redeemed at the Cashier's Office in College Hall (Gallaudet ID required).
* Check Request. For requests exceeding $100, all receipts or supporting documentation for items purchased are submitted to the RSIA executive secretary for processing. A check request will be submitted to the Accounting Office. Checks are usually processed the same day that a submission is received from RSIA. The check will be available to the grantee for pickup at the Cashier's Officel. (Direct deposit is also an option if the investigator normally receives a Gallaudet paycheck in this manner.)
* Awards by RSIA may only cover expenses incurred after the date of the award (as listed on the grant recipient's award letter). Grantees may not be reimbursed for any type of expense incurred prior to the date of the award. There are no exceptions allowed to this policy, as it hinders RSIA's ability to properly evaluate and review grant requests and the budget justification. It also prevents grantees from receiving funding for expenses that are otherwise not covered under RSIA grants. RSIA recognizes that in some circumstances this may delay progress in completing research, but asks that researchers make all effort to factor this into their planning and scheduling of activities.

5) How to pay research subjects.

There are three alternatives for making payments:
The grantee asks the RSIA executive secretary for a Research Subject Payment Voucher for each subject to be paid. Each voucher is signed by the executive secretary and the grantee adds the dates and names for each subject. The vouchers are then issued to the subjects for redemption at the Cashier's Office.
If the Cashier's Office is not a convenient option for a subject, a check is mailed to them. The grantee first submits the subject's name, address, social security number, and documentation of participation to the executive secretary. A check request is submitted to the Accounting Office. Checks are usually processed the same day that a submission is received.
If the grantee pays a subject out of pocket, documentation (usually each subject's signature verifying participation) is submitted to the executive secretary. A check request is then submitted to the Accounting Office, and a reimbursement check will be issued for pickup at the Cashier's Office.

Special exceptions in compensating research participants: The Office of Finance prefers that participants in research studies be compensated in one of three ways:
The participant takes a cash voucher to the Cashier's Office
The researcher pays out of pocket and seeks a check reimbursement afterwards.
The University prepares a check and send it to the participant afterwards.
These three methods satisfy an accounting requirement that the University have documentation that an individual received money. All researchers are expected to use these methods for paying compensation to participants in their research studies.

Gift Cards:
An exception may be made when research participants are off-site and participate remotely, such as filling out a research survey. However, prior approval must first be given by the Institutional Review Board, research advisor, and budget unit head.
In such circumstances, it may be acceptable to use gift cards . However, because documentation must be provided to ensure that the gift cards go directly to the participants, it is recommended that they be purchased and delivered directly from an online vendor without the researcher having actually touched the card The researcher should choose a gift card vendor that provides a standard invoice showing that the cards go directly to the participants (shown by name and/or email address). ​Amazon provides the necessary information on its gift card invoices. It is the full responsibility of the researcher to ensure that the generated invoice will be acceptable to the Office of Finance. As a side note, the researcher should be aware that some gift card vendors charge substantially more in handling fees than other vendors.

Another exception may be permitted when the identity of the research participant is not to be documented on financial paperwork that is given to the administration. The rationale for maintaining this anonymity must be stated explicitly in the research design and approved by the Institutional Review Board, which is charged with protecting human subjects in research. In this case, it would be acceptable to black out the names and/or email addresses, whether on a cash voucher, check request, or gift card invoice. In should be noted, however, that the Office of Finance has access to the individual's records for payment purposes. Also, it is required that the researcher or research group maintain a list of names and contact information for the research participants in the event that the University's auditor requests additional information. (Additional information on this policy can be provided by the Office of Finance.)

6) How to pay wages for work related to research projects.

Some studies call for the payment of wages for work that researchers cannot complete themselves. RSIA will transfer funds to cover these wages via Interdepartmental Invoice to the researcher's department where the work is being done, supervised, and documented in the eTime payroll system. Each month, the department is asked to submit to the RSIA executive secretary a copy of hours submitted to the Payroll Office, either using eTime or a paper time card.

7) Procedures to follow for travel.

If a grantee is approved to use grant funds for travel, he or she will be required to follow the normal procedures for making arrangements, including preparing and getting approval for a Travel Order (See Gallaudet's Finance Office webpage for a form) well in advance of the travel date, and providing documentation afterward of related expenses. (More information about travel policy can be find in Gallaudet Administration and Operations Manual.)

Local Travel. If a grantee is approved to use grant funds for travel by any means of transportation, he or she will be required to follow the normal procedures for making arrangements. If a grantee is traveling by car only, the simpler Local Transportation form, available from the department secretary, may be used. If not, the grantee will need to prepare and get approval of a Travel Order. Either method requires documentation of expenses afterwards.

International Travel. International travel clearance must be sought starting three months before the anticipated travel date. The researcher must fill out the International Travel Form. University administration approval for travel cannot be assured by RSIA.

When the trip is completed, the Travel Form, showing itemized expenditures, is submitted to the RSIA executive secretary, and funds budgeted for travel will be transferred to the account of the researcher's department. If the funds must be transferred prior to travel, the researcher or his/her department's secretary should submit a copy of the Travel Form showing expected expenditures, and an Interdepartmental Invoice will be used to transfer the funds to the department's account. Documentation of expenses is submitted to the RSIA executive secretary when the trip is completed.

8) Gallaudet's policy on requests for food and drink reimbursement.

All purchases of food and drink fall under the "entertainment" policy of the University, which states in part: "All entertainment expenditures [within your Division] must be approved in advance by the budget head [Dean of the Graduate School and Professional Programs]." Failure to do so means that any later attempts to obtain reimbursement will not be accepted. The department secretary can help with making the request for entertainment through a memo with the attached award letter.

9) Use of software packages and equipment.

The fund doesn't cover the cost of software that may be considered a general work tool, such as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, as this is considered a personal obligation of the research scholar. RSIA has a list of software packages that are well suited to the needs of researchers and students for their data collection method at Gallaudet. Many of them are available at no cost and unencumbered by proprietary licensing restrictions. The software list is shown at research resources page

If a researcher needs to borrow software or equipment, and RSIA has agreed to lend it, please contact Senda Benaissa at rsia.grants@gallaudet.edu.

10) Submission to the Annual Report of Achievements (ARA).

By the time grantees receive their award letter, they must create a profile by following the instructions at Annual Report of Achievement (ARA) submission information. This information is needed for the University's Annual Report of Achievements, as well as for entering in an online database, "Research and Scholarship at Gallaudet" . Grantees may update their project profiles when they have publications and presentations from their funded research projects.

For Priority Research Fund Grantees only (faculty and staff):

Reimbursement for substitute teachers:
RSIA reimburses grantees' departments only for the actual amount paid to a substitute who is hired to teach the course upon submission of an approved Special Personnel Action Form (SPAF).
Providing timely progress reports and final report:

A Mid-Year Budget Report is required and due by March 30. Grantees must provide a work plan and budget that reflects the actual state of their work and a work plan for the upcoming summer.
A Progress Report is required and due by March 30. Grantees must provide a detailed account of their progress towards objectives and describe any major problems that they confront in the implementation of these objectives. The reports will be reviewed by RSIA staff and a campus panel. Funding may not be continued if a report is not received or if progress is not judged to be satisfactory.
A Revised Budget Report for the next fiscal year is due by September 15.
A Final Report should be sent to the fund officer no later than 30 days following the end of the grant period. Eligibility for future Priority Grants is contingent upon receipt of a final report.

In order to support the University's Annual Report of Achievements to the federal government in the section on research activity, researchers are required to submit a project update when asked.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

If there are questions regarding the design of a study and its review, contact:
Dr. Charles Reilly, Priority Research Fund Officer, charles.reilly@gallaudet.edu, (202) 651 5794 (V).

For general questions regarding grants, contact:
Senda Benaissa, Assistant Fund Officer, rsia.grants@gallaudet.edu, (202) 250 2429 (VP).

For questions regarding administrative policies and paperwork for the grant, contact:
Oluyinka Fakunle, oluyinka.fakunle@gallaudet.edu, 202 651 5150 (V).