Pre-Award FAQs and Frequently Needed Information
Can SPO help me find funding opportunities?
Yes. We can help you set up a profile which will send appropriate funding opportunities to your email address.
Once I find an opportunity I want to respond to, when should I contact SPO?
The earlier you contact us the better. We can review the application guidelines, help you develop the budget and start the application forms.
How do I write a data management plan and what resources are available?
The University Library has resources available for writing data management plans for grant proposals, and a variety of data management and data curation tools.
When do I have to have all my sections to SPO for submission?
SPO requires that all grant sections are received 5 business days in advance of the due date so that we can review for completeness and compliance.
Can’t I just submit my proposal and send you a copy?
Only the SPO is authorized to submit proposals on behalf of SCU. Proposals that are submitted without going through SPO run the risk of being out of compliance with University policy and, if awarded, may not be accepted.
Do I have to go through SPO if I am a subcontractor on a grant another institution is applying for?
Yes. Whether SCU will be the prime grantee or a sub-awardee on a grant, the proposal still needs to go through SPO.
I just received an award letter and/or a check for a proposal that I submitted. Can I sign it and return it?
No. Only an Authorized University Official can accept an award on behalf of SCU. All award letters and checks must be sent to SPO.
Is it a gift or a Sponsored Project?
To help determine whether the grant received is a gift or Sponsored Project, please consult this checklist.
Frequently Needed Info for Project Development & Submission
Federal ID #:
054800214 – PRES BD TRSTS/S CL CLG INC
F&A Cognizant Agency:
Indirect Cost Rate:
37% MTDC on-campus
14.6% MTDC off-campus
Predetermined: 7/1/2015 - 6/30/2020
Provisional: 7/1/2020 - 6/30/2021
The next proposal would be based on FYE 6/30/2019, due to CAS by 12/31/2019
Estimated Fringe Benefit Rates:
Faculty AY: 36%
Students AY (.0085) .85%
Students SUM (.085) 8.5%
Faculty SUM 10.5%
Salary Increase 11' (1.02) 2%
U.S. Congressional District: CA-17 (sometimes entered as CA-017 in Grants.gov)
State Senate District: 13
State Assembly District: 23
Local U.S. Congressional Districts:
Santa Clara County: 17, 18, 19 and 20
Santa Cruz County: 20
Post Award Information and Frequently Asked Questions
Accounting String Information
All SPO grants will have an accounting string which will be given at the start of the grant in your Award Notice.
This grant accounting string is important because it's needed when charging all expenditures to your grant.
In order to start charging expenditures to your grant, your accounting string will be formatted as follows.
Account number (Ex: 6810 = Travel Account).
Please refer to the chart of account for more information
Always equals to 13001 for an SPO grant
Department name (Ex: JST = JSTGRD)
Examples include RSCH = Research, PS = Public Service, IN = Instruction, ASLIB = Academic Support Libraries
This part of the string is optional and describes expense at a more detailed level.
SPO office rarely uses this in the accounting string
This part of the string is optional
SPO office rarely uses this in the accounting string
This is the most important field for an SPO Grant and is used to identify the grant (Ex: HLF001 = Henry Luce Foundation
Types of Grant Expenditures
Used for external vendors and students
Cash Reimbursement for students and SCU employees only < = $250
All reimbursements for SCU employees (faculty and staff) must be submitted through Concur Purchasing Card application
Used for ordering supplies less than $1,000
DPO forms must be picked up from the Sponsored Projects Office.
Used for ordering supplies/equipment/services greater than $1,000
Used for travel expenses. When traveling using SPO grant funds, please complete this form. This form must be completed for any faculty and staff who are working on the grant.
Please fill out and scan this form along with the required receipts when using Concur.
SPO Expense Transfers
Used to transfer cost and expenditures to/from department and grant
Student Employment, Participation and Remission
Used when hiring a student on your grant. Form must be filled out and signed by PI and given to SPO for approval
Used to make changes to hourly rate, extend end date, accounting string between SPO grants
The University may pay a student a stipend rather than an hourly wage if the student meets the legally defined criteria for a stipend as defined by IRS regulations identified in Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 117.The University must determine if the position renders a service to the University or is an extracurricular activity that provides a benefit to a group other than the University.
Used for processing financial aid for students on grant if budgeted.
NOTE: Must have PI and school's Dean's signature in order for SPO to approve. Tuition will be charged to department first, SPO will then use form to transfer funds from department to the grant.
Faculty Course Release, Summer Salary and Staff Requisitions
A Course Release is when a faculty member is permitted to have a reduced teaching load under their normal academic year appointment. In other words, the person is "released" from part of their teaching obligation while still being paid their regular full time salary.
Many grants (if budgeted) allow faculty to pay themselves a summer salary while they are actively pursuing research in the summer months, essentially filling out the remaining 3 months of their salary that is not contracted through their employing institution with grant funds.
Used to hire a fixed-term staff on a grant before sending to HR. For the approval process please refer to the "Fixed Term Staff Appointments in SPO" flow chart.
Use SCU process and guidelines to determine qualifications. If vendor is a non-profit agency (e.g. Religious Order) an Independent Contractor form is not required.
Expenditures cannot exceed budget. Any over-expenditure will be charged to department/school at the close of grant.
All receipts must be kept and submitted for reimbursement, no matter the amount. Unless per diem is requested.
Must keep boarding passes to and from destination. Use the university approved (federal) mileage rate when traveling by vehicle.
Domestic travel – per diem is $50 per day (not required to keep receipts for meals).
International travel – must use federal government per diem rate by country.
Must use US Flag Air Carriers for federal grants when traveling internationally.
Time and Effort Reporting
Time and Effort Reporting is required to comply with SCU policy, this form must be completed at the end of each month and summer session for each Principal Investigator, faculty member, and staff (exempt only) devoting time to externally SPO grants.
- Submit form through campus mail or email to SPO on a monthly basis.
- Effort on the grant is based on a percentage out of 100%, except in the summer months for faculty (9-month contract).
- Department Head - Dean or Chair must approve this report.
- 2 signatures are required.
Can I spend the award differently than was proposed?
The award agreement will specify the terms and conditions of the award including any requirements for changing the budget and scope of work.
What happens if I have more expenses than there is funding available in the award?
Since there is no central campus for defraying project over expenditures these financial liabilities become the responsibility of the PI and his/her department and the school.
Why do I have to complete time and effort reports?
In order to be in compliance with our federal funders, all PIs (whether their funding is federal or not) are required to certify that they are not being paid for more than 100% FTE and that the award is only paying for the percentage of time actually spent on the award(s).
Can’t I just charge everything to my department and then fix it all later?
Moving expenses around to different accounts is a "red flag" to auditors. It is much simpler, cleaner, and more accurate to charge expenditures to the award when those expenditures are made.