Table of Contents (click on the links below to view FAQs) A - General
A - General
1) Where is the Office of Research Administration located?
The Office of Research Administration (ORA) is primarily located at Gables One Tower (GOT).
While most of our staff is located at GOT, the ORA team has continued presence via the Medical Campus satellite office located at:MEDICAL CAMPUS
2) What is Pre-Award?
Pre-Award deals with everything related to BEFORE the award is granted such as finding funding and submitting a proposal. Pre-award activities include proposal preparation, submission and tracking. Once an award is made (the proposal is funded by the sponsor), the Principal Investigator (PI) will manage the work and the funds awarded according to the funding agreement.
3) What is Post-Award?
Post-Award deals with everything related to AFTER the award is granted such as setting up an award, managing an award and closing out an award.
4) What is Clinical Research?
Clinical research deals with human subjects and involves clinical trials.
5) What is the award life cycle?
The award life cycle illustrates graphically the award process, from finding funding to closing out an award. The award life cycle is highlighted on our homepage to assists researchers, and administrators with the various steps involved with their award and direct them appropriately. The award lifecycle consists in finding funding, submitting a proposal, setting up the award, managing the award and closing out the award.
6) Where can I find glossaries of research terms?
Please visit the following links to view additional glossaries of research terms:
• Clinical Trials Terms (ClinicalTrials.gov)
• Institutional Review Board Glossary (Office for Human Research Protections)
• National Institutes of Health Glossary
• University of California, Los Angeles Research Administration Glossary
B - Forms and Submissions
1) My application was not funded. Can I revise and resubmit it?
In some cases, revisions and resubmissions are possible. Please work with your associate director to find out.
2) How can I find out whether my application was funded?
A Notice of Award will be sent by the sponsor to either the PI, Office of Research Administration, or both. The Office of Research Administration will forward the Notice of Award to the PI, the Chair and the Departmental Administrator.
3) How do I submit an electronic proposal to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) using InfoEd?
InfoEd provides a web-based system for managing all aspects of research administration, including submitting NIH proposals. Access is available to all University of Miami faculty, staff and students through the InfoEd Electronic Research Administration (eRA) Portal. A validated InfoEd profile is required to access InfoEd. You must complete an InfoEd Access Request to log into the InfoEd Proposal Development system. Do not complete this form if you have an existing InfoEd Profile. If you have a profile, and require additional access please contact the Office of Research Information Management for assistance at (305) 243-2314 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
C - Clinical Research
1) What aspects do I need to be aware of if my research includes human subjects?
If your study involves Human Subjects, you need to become familiar with the Human Subject Research Office (HSRO), Institutional Review Board (IRB), Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) and the Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) number, which is # FWA00002247.
2) What is the Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) number?
DHHS Human Subject Multiple Project Assurance # FWA00002247
3) What are Medicare Coverage Analysis (MCA)/billing grids?
In order to bill Medicare and/or Medicaid for routine care costs of items and services, a clinical trial must meet certain criteria to qualify for reimbursement. To determine whether your clinical trial meets the requirements for reimbursement by Medicare for routine costs, the MCA must be performed prior to enrolling study subjects and initiating clinical research procedures.
The Medicare Coverage Analysis (MCA) is required for all clinical research studies anticipating enrolling Medicare beneficiaries for third party billing of costs associated with items and services related to routine care.
4) What is Velos eResearch?
Velos eResearch is a web-based clinical research management application that is designed specifically for investigators and their research teams. Velos eResearch supports processes for patient recruitment, patient scheduling, budgeting, invoicing, and milestone management, data safety monitoring, adverse event reporting, system integration, data collection and study execution.
Velos eResearch allows all study-related information to be centralized and can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Password-protected, the account is accessible only to authorized personnel. It is easy to use, reliable and completely secure.
5) What does the Clinical Research Center (UM-CRC) do?
The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Clinical Research Center (UM-CRC) is an outpatient facility that provides centralized clinical research infrastructure to benefit investigators in multiple disciplines across UM. Located on the seventh floor of the Clinical Research Building (CRB), our mission is to provide a comfortable, safe and effective environment to conduct professional, high-quality research involving human subjects. This is achieved by providing the necessary environment, equipment and personnel to optimize research goals. The UM-CRC replaces the previous General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) model, and has been reorganized in response to national changes in funding of clinical research centers. To get started, please submit the CRC Services/Resources Request Form.
6) Where can I find Clinical Research forms?
7) How do I refer participants to clinical trial studies?
The University of Miami offers many opportunities to participate in clinical research studies. Participants can be referred to the clinical trials webpage.
D - Funding Opportunities
1) What are the various types of award agreements accepted by the University of Miami?
Please read Policy A1:Accepted Award Types for detailed information on the types of award agreements accepted by the university.
2) What are the activities that are defined as organized research?
Please read Policy A2:Organized Research to learn about the activities that are defined as organized research.
3) Where can I find funding?
There are various search engines available to search for internal or external funding. Please see the section on Finding Funding to obtain additional information.
4) What grants should a new researcher apply for?
New researchers should first view the finding funding resources. There are also grants that are specifically intended for new researchers, such as the NIH Mentored Career Development grants.
5) What is eRA commons?
The Electronic Research Administration (eRA) Commons is a virtual, online meeting place where National Institutes of Health (NIH) extramural grantee organizations, grantees, and the public can receive and transmit information about the administration of biomedical and behavioral research. For the purposes of exchanging research grants administration information, the NIH provides this online resource. The eRA Commons is divided into both unrestricted and restricted portions that provide for public and confidential information, respectively. A researcher planning to apply to the NIH for funding is required to have an eRACommons user account.
6) What is Grants.gov?
Grants.gov is a web portal through which all applications for federal funding are submitted electronically.
E - Proposal Preparation
1) How do I prepare a proposal?
The proposal budget is prepared in draft form by the PI with assistance from his/her department’s staff or MEDREPS, when available, and consultation with other faculty members, department heads, and ORA personnel. Costs included in a proposal must be allowable. Read the guidelines and/or sponsor’s policy to understand what costs can be included in a budget proposal.
ORA reviews the budget as a part of the proposal package prior to its submission to the sponsor. If the PI does not have departmental support and requires assistance in preparing the budget, ORA will assist in the budget preparation. For more information about how to prepare a budget proposal, please view Policy B2: Proposal Budget Preparation and Review.
2) Should my department administrator or I contact the Sponsor?
Sponsor contact for all administrative/financial issues will be made by the Office of Research Administration (ORA) for negotiations, award acceptance, and for issues related to award management. Sponsor contact for all programmatic issues will be the responsibility of the Principal Investigator or his/her designee. If programmatic issues require renegotiation of the award, or financial changes to the award, the Principal Investigator will notify ORA as appropriate. For more information, about sponsor contact including procedures please view Policy B3: Sponsor Contact.
3) Where can I find key information regarding negotiations?
The university will ensure all negotiations are conducted by individuals with appropriate authority to represent the university. Therefore, the PI will be involved in negotiations regarding the work, the protocol to be utilized, and the report or product to be developed. For negotiations in regards to the budget or other administrative issues, the university will be represented by the business official. The business official is normally a representative of the Office of Research Administration (ORA).
For more information, about negotiations including procedures please view Policy B4: Negotiations.
4) Where can I get help in writing my proposal?
The University of Miami provides various grant writing resources, including:
• Official Content for UM Grant Proposals;
• Proposal writing resources and aids;
• Assistance with budget preparation;
• Workshops through Scientists and Engineers Expanding Diversity and Success (SEEDS) on writing specific aims, speed mentoring to improve your specific aims, and writing National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER grants;
• An annual course on writing winning grants;
• Use of the proposal transmittal form;
• Information about the National Institutes of Health (NIH) review process; and
• Mentor Guidelines for F and K Series National Research Service Award (NRSA) Applications.
5) Who is eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator (P.I.) on a proposal?
Faculty members with a full-time appointment are eligible to serve as PI on sponsored research projects. Members of the research faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and members of the Professional Staff are eligible to serve as PI by exception only with written approval of the Division Chair and the Vice Provost.
6) Can there be more than one Principal Investigator (P.I.) on a proposal?
Whenever possible, a single person should be designated as the P.I. Most agencies do not recognize more than one Principal Investigator. Co-Investigators are permitted by some funding agencies, but Co-P.I.'s are discouraged. Exceptions may be made where an agency insists, or when collegial relations require such an arrangement, but even in such instances there should be a first among equals (P.I.) who bears primary responsibility.
7) What are F&A costs (Indirect Costs, IDC, etc.), fringe benefit rates, and institutional information?
F&A stands for Facilities & Administrative costs (sometimes called IDC, Indirect Costs). These are actual costs incurred by the University in support of sponsored activities that cannot be identified readily and specifically to a project. The rate used by the University of Miami is negotiated with the federal government. Among other expenses, it includes the cost of departmental and central administrative support, building and equipment use, and library services. F&A Costs cover expenses for maintaining buildings, utilities and administration which are shared across the university, and which vary by campus and by location within campus.
Fringe Benefits are costs incurred by the university on behalf of its employees. All salaries and wages paid by the university, except those paid to student employees, will be assessed fringe benefits at the currently effective fringe benefit rates for the correct funding source.
Institutional information refers to UM's Federal Tax ID number, FWA number, CAGE code, etc. The current F & A Rates, Fringe Benefit rates and institutional information can be found at UM Rates and Information.
8) Can I request funds for secretarial salary on a proposal to a Federal Agency?
Administrative salaries are NOT generally allowed unless they are directly required for the conduct of the project. Under OMB Circular A-21 (Cost Principles for Educational Institutions), "the salaries of administrative and clerical staff should normally be treated as indirect costs. Direct charging of these costs may be appropriate where a major project or activity explicitly budgets for administrative or clerical services and individuals involved can be specifically identified with the project or activity." Any request for secretarial/clerical salaries made to a federal agency must include justification in the budget explanation..
F - Setting up Award/ Award Acceptance
1) I just received an award. Now what do I do
Please see the Post-Award section.
2) How do I open a new sponsor account?
Please visit the Opening New Sponsor Accounts section.
3) What is the criteria for the issuance of account numbers for sponsored awards from external funding agencies?
FRS (Financial Records System) sponsored account numbers will be issued by ORA upon award acceptance and receipt of the award document. Accounts can be set up prior to receipt of an award, by using a solvent departmental account as a guarantee in the event the award is not received or in case the pre-award costs are incurred without proper authorization. (See Policy E5: Pre-Award Expenditure Requests)
For more information on the criteria for the issuance of account number assignment, please view Policy D1: FRS Account Number Assignment.
4) What is the policy and procedure to be followed when an award is received for a sponsored project for which no formal proposal has been submitted?
Before an award for which there has been no formal proposal can be accepted and administered by the university, the project will be reviewed and approved in accordance with the policies and approvals required for formal proposals. The university retains the right to accept or reject such awards. For more information on awards received in absence of a formal proposal, please view Policy D2: Awards Received in Absence of Formal Proposal.
5) What is the policy and procedure for sponsored award notifications?
All notifications of award or rejection, or correspondence concerning the status of a proposal, no matter where they are received within the university, will be sent immediately to the Office of Research Administration (ORA) on the campus of the principal investigator (PI) for proper handling and distribution. For more information on notification and award acceptance, please view Policy D3: Notification and Acceptance of Award.
6) What policies exist involving the recording of budgets?
The Office of Research Administration (ORA) is responsible for setting up the original budget. ORA will distribute original budgets for sponsored programs upon receipt and acceptance of the award document. ORA will utilize the encumbrance mechanism to assist in managing funds. For more information on recording budgets and encumbrances, please view Policy E3: Recording Budgets and Encumbrances.
G - Cost Transfers
1) What is a Cost Transfer?
A cost transfer is an accounting entry to reclassify an incurred expense from one account to another. Cost transfers may be necessary to (a) distribute clearing account expenses; (b) correct salary distribution estimates; or (c) correct clerical, bookkeeping, or data entry errors.
2) Which policy refers to cost transfers?
Please view Policy F5: Cost Transfers to learn about guidelines for completion and submission of a cost transfer.
3) What information is required when processing a Cost Transfer?
Basic information should be included such as the account number and object code for the accounts for which you are requesting the charges be transferred to/from and the date and description of the original charge. In addition, an explanation of why the transfer is being requested is required.
Generally, explanations for cost transfers should address why the expense was originally charged to an account or line item, why the charge needs to be transferred to/from the grant account, and if the charge is being transferred, why the charge is allowable and allocable based on the terms and conditions of your award. To correct a clerical error is not an acceptable explanation.
4) Who must certify a request for a cost transfer?
The Cost Transfer must be signed by the Principal Investigator or designee, and/or MEDREPs.
The Principal Investigator must sign the Cost Transfer form first. By signing the form, the Principal Investigator is certifying that the charges being transferred are appropriate and allowable expenditures on the grant or contract according to the terms of the award.
The Grants Office will then verify that the charges are appropriate and allowed by the terms of the award. Once approved, the Grants Office will forward the form to the appropriate official, such as Dean or Department Chair.
If the charges are not appropriate or allowable, the form will be returned to the Project Director with a note explaining why the transfer cannot be approved.
Finally, the Finance Office will receive the form for their review and approval. Once the form is approved by the Finance Office, they will complete the cost transfer.
5) What is the time period for submitting a Cost Transfer?
Cost transfers must be submitted within 90 days of discovering the misallocation. However, cost transfers will not be approved for charges made after the end of a grant. Also, cost transfers cannot be completed for charges made in a previous fiscal year.
7) Why is the time period for cost transfers only 90 days?
Federal regulations govern the amount of time that cost transfers are allowed to be made. In order to comply with these regulations, University of Miami’s policy is that all cost transfers must be made within 90 days of discovering any errors.
8) Can salaries be transferred?
Yes, but payroll charges that involve more than a single fiscal year will not be processed. We also recommend that all personnel documents are submitted as close to the start date of a grant as possible. This is especially important on multi-year grants so that the previous year’s grant account can be closed in a timely manner.
H - Cost Sharing
1) What is cost sharing?
The portion of a project or program costs that is not borne by the sponsor. Cost sharing consists of three types: mandatory, voluntary committed, and voluntary uncommitted cost sharing. Voluntary cost sharing is strongly discouraged and will not be approved except under extenuating circumstances.
2) What policy or procedures are related to cost sharing and matching?
Policy F4 deals directly with cost sharing and matching.
I - Re-Budgeting
1) How do I rebudget funds from my federal award?
Read the Notice of Award first to see if there are any re-budgeting restrictions on the award. If the award is issued under FDP or Expanded Authorities, you can re-budget using the Internal Prior Approval Request (IPAR) form. The IPAR can also be used for pre-award costs and no cost extensions. It should be noted that the Internal Prior Approval Request process cannot be used if the budget change is considered “significant.” The following are examples of significant changes:
When significant changes occur, agency notification is required and written authorization must be received from the agency prior to the occurrence of the significant change.
J - Effort Reporting
1) What is Effort Reporting?
Effort reporting is a method for documenting and certifying actual activity expended in work required to fulfill an individual’s employment obligation to the University. It may include both sponsored and non-sponsored activity. Certification of reported effort for personnel associated with sponsored projects is required by the federal government (OMB Circular A-21).
Effort reporting is the process that verifies that the effort charged to the award has been completed. All investigators on federally sponsored projects must submit an effort report to the government to certify the amount of effort that they and their employees spent on sponsored activities. Individual effort is expressed as a percentage of the salary allocated for the project (including research, patient care, and teaching) divided by the total salary paid by the University.
Effort Reporting reflects the percentage of time (effort) an employee has spent on each specific activity for which the employee is compensated by the University. Originally derived from payroll distribution records, requires that an adjustment be processed if there is a significant change in effort. Effort Reports are issued after each academic term, but no less frequently than every six months.
2) What is meant by the term “Effort”?
Total effort is defined as all professional activity for which the University compensates an individual, including students working as teaching or research assistants. For reporting purposes, effort is calculated in percentages of compensated effort with the total allocation of effort being 100%.
3) What activities are included in Effort?
Effort includes all activities that are associated with an individual’s institutional base salary. Total effort includes activities university/instructional effort, sponsored project effort, department administration effort, clinical activity effort, affiliated institutional activity effort, effort on other institutional activities. Incidental and non-institutional activities are not included in effort.
4) Who is subject to Effort Reporting/Effort Certification?
Faculty, staff and graduate students will complete effort certification reports after- the- fact if they perform work on any sponsored project, funded directly or by a federal pass-through organization. Their effort will include any work related to activities to fulfill their individual employment obligation to the University, whether the effort is paid or unpaid. Non-exempt employees, undergraduates and/or college work study students who complete auditable time sheets and pre/post-doctoral students, supported only by fellowships are not subject to effort reporting procedures.
5) What is meant by the term “Effort Certification”?
Effort Certification is the process for ensuring compliance with the payroll distribution requirements of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, which addresses "principles for determining costs applicable to grants, contracts, and other agreements with educational institutions." The policies, provisions, and cost accounting standards in A-21 are mandatory for institutions which directly or indirectly receive federal funds. Essentially, this process ensures that direct labor charges to sponsored projects are reasonable and reflect actual work performed.
6) Who should certify Effort?
Effort of faculty, staff and graduate students should be certified either by the employee or by an individual having suitable means of verifying the effort distribution (e.g., the principal investigator, department administrator or designee having oversight and firsthand knowledge of the employee’s effort). The Effort Coordinator will ensure that all certifications are completed accurately and timely.
7) When is Effort certified?
Effort is certification periods: 9 month faculty are required to certify three times a year for the following periods: June to August; September to December; January to May. 12 month Faculty and all other employees are required to certify twice a year for the following periods: June to November; and December to May.
8) What forms do I need to fill out that are related to effort reporting?
UM faculty and employees must submit a Time & Effort Certification (TEC) form two or three times a year. Each month, the principal investigator's (PI's) home department will receive a Funding & Effort Information (FEI) form for any corrections.
9) What policy exists about effort reporting?
Salaries and wages charged to sponsored agreements shall be supported/documented by after-the-fact Effort Reports that reflect a reasonable estimate of each of the activities performed by the employee for which he/she is compensated by the University. Please view Policy F6: Effort Reporting and Certification for more information.
K - Award Closing
1) How do I close a sponsored award?
The principal investigator (PI) must submit, in a timely manner, all final technical reports, patent reports, invention statements, and/or other non-financial statements or reports required by the sponsor. The Office of Research Administration (ORA) must submit, in a timely manner, all financial reports required by the sponsor, including final contract release, assignment of funds, and patent reports. These actions allow the project/account to be closed as promptly and efficiently as possible. The Property Accounting Department is responsible for the final property inventory and final equipment inventory reports. For more information, please view Policy I1: Award Closing Procedures and Account Deletion.
2 Can I transfer my award(s) to another institution?
The university will approve the transfer of a grant or contract to another institution under the following conditions:
For more information, please view Policy I2:Grant/Contract Transfers to Another Institution.
3) Can I transfer equipment purchased with sponsored awards to another institution?
Capital equipment purchased or provided by sponsored awards may be transferred to another institution providing all of the following conditions are met:
For more information, please view Policy I2.1: Transfer of Capital Equipment to Another Institution.
4) What happens if there are still funds remaining when my sponsored program has been completed?
The university will accept fixed price awards and will encourage negotiation that will ensure costs incurred will not exceed the agreed upon amount. Departments receiving these awards are responsible for charging all appropriate expenses to the award account.
All residual fund transfers must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Research Administration (ORA). Large residual fund balance transfers (amounts greater than $10,000) will:
• be reviewed to ensure all costs have been charged to the award;
• require written justification to transfer to a designated account; and
• require a certification by the principal investigator (PI) that all work has been completed.
For more information, please view Policy I3: Residual Funds-Fixed Price Contracts
L - Training
1) How do I register in a course?
University of Miami researchers and support staff can select the educational format that suits their schedules and learning preferences:
• Hands-on workshops
• Panel discussions
• Roundtable discussions
• Web-based courses
• All registrations are managed through ULearn
2) Is there a listserv or newsletter that I can register for in order to be informed of upcoming classes?
Yes, a list of upcoming classes is sent regularly through the research administration listserv. Visit the Listserv page to register.
3) Who can I contact if I have additional questions regarding training?
For questions or more information regarding training, please email:email@example.com
M - Reporting
1) Where can I see my pending proposals?
You can access the Research Reporting System (RRS) by going to http://research.miami.edu. After logging in you can access the Sponsored Research tab and click the link for Pending Proposals. This report will display all pending proposals submitted by you as a PI or by your department if you have department-level access. There is also a link that can be clicked on to Notify Research Administration if the proposal is no longer pending.
2) Where can I see my active awards?
You can access the Research Reporting System (RRS) by going to http://research.miami.edu. After logging in you can access the Sponsored Research tab and click the link for Active Awards. This report will display all active awards, including those that ended in the preceeding 90 days, where you are the PI or for your department if you have department-level access.
3) Where can I see my Month End summary?
You can access the Research Reporting System (RRS) by going to http://research.miami.edu. After logging in you can access the My Awards tab and click the link for Month-End Report. If you do not have this tab available and feel you should, please contact Allen Mora. This report will show you an end of month snapshot of the status of your accounts. If you have department-level access you will see all PI’s in your department.
4) How can I delegate access to my portfolio or request access to reports?
To change any access within the Research Reporting System (RRS), please email Brad Petersen at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org