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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start a proposal?

Email basic information to aggrant@utk.edu. Please include in the subject line “Upcoming Proposal” and include the following in the text of the e-mail:

  • Agency submitting to
  • Program and/or link to RFA
  • Deadline or due date
  • Other collaborators (including organizations/universities and other UT campuses)

If available, please also forward any e-mail with instructions.

How do I get help with technical editing of my proposal?

Please let your assigned Coordinator know that you are interested in technical review. We will then send your proposal narrative to be professionally reviewed by an outside consultant that ensures confidentiality.

What are F&A costs?

“Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs are those that are incurred for common or joint objectives and therefore cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity.”*

F&A costs are real costs that are incurred in the conduct of research or service activity but which cannot be specifically identified with the project. Thus, F&A costs cannot be waived, but in fact, must be cost shared.

*OMB Circular A-21 Cost Principles for Educational Institutions. Revised August 8, 2000

What is the audited F&A rate for Ag Research? Extension? College of Veterinary Medicine?

Ag Research and CASNR on campus rate is 44%; off campus rate is 26%.

Extension on campus rate is 18%; off campus rate is 14%.

CVM on campus rates are 47% for research; off campus is 26%.

What does MTDC mean?

Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) is a figure used in calculating facilities and administrative costs (F&A). It equals the direct costs of a project less equipment costs, tuition, real estate rental, patient care costs, and subcontracts over $25,000.

Does the original F&A rate ever change during the life of a project?

The rate used is the audited rate in effect at the beginning of the project. It does not change throughout the life of the project even if the audited rate does change.

What does cost sharing mean?

Investment in the project by the applicant. There can be both direct cost/cost sharing and indirect cost/cost sharing. Both types can be mandatory, required, or voluntary.
–‘Mandatory’ means that the agency specifies the amount to be shared by the applicant.
–‘Required’ means that the agency requires sharing by the applicant, but does not set the amount.
–‘Voluntary’ means the agency does not require or specify any amount to be shared by the applicant.
The type of cost sharing used for a proposal must be indicated on the UTIA 001 form for correct accounting throughout the life of the project.

I’ve received a contract. What do I do now?

Do not sign the contract. Please forward to aggrant@utk.edu or bring to 225 Morgan Hall for review and processing.

How do I start a subcontract?

Please notify aggrant@utk.edu with as much information as you have. A Coordinator will work with the proposed subcontractor to prepare the subcontract.

I’ve received notice that my proposal has been awarded. What do I do now?

Please forward the notice to aggrant@utk.edu or bring to 225 Morgan hall for processing and account set up.

Under what circumstances should an advanced account be requested?

If you are reasonably certain that your proposal will be funded and you intend to begin work on the project, you should request an advanced account. You should not work on the project until an advanced account is set up. Email aggrant@utk.edu or contact the Coordinator who worked with you on your proposal with a request to set up an advanced account.

How do I request a budget revision?

Please email all requests for budget revisions to aggrant@utk.edu. We will determine if agency approval is needed, work to obtain that approval, and then process all internal forms to change the budget in IRIS.