Frequently Asked Questions


Where can I find funding opportunities?

Funding opportunities can be found using Pivot, a funding database tool that provides access to the most comprehensive global source of funding opportunities. Pivot identifies researcher expertise from within or outside of the organization from millions of profiles from organizations worldwide. The funding database fosters collaboration by cultivating essential partnerships and alliances. Pivot offers a communication, monitoring, and tracking system among individual faculty, staff, teams, and researchers. All faculty and staff at Weber State have access to Pivot. Contact the Office of Sponsored Projects for more information.

How do I start writing a proposal?

Funding agencies have specific guidelines that must be followed and reflected in the proposal. We recommend a thorough reading of the funding solicitation to gain a good understanding of what the funder requires. The Office of Sponsored Projects offers many resources, including research and proposal development. Please contact us for assistance.

Can I submit my own proposal?

The Office of Sponsored Projects requires proposals to be submitted through our office.

What if I don't need help with my proposal?

Per university policy, the Office of Sponsored Projects requires you to send your proposal and supporting documentation to us for review and submission. At a minimum, we need to review your budget and submit your proposal. When you submit a proposal, it becomes a university contract if awarded.

What is the difference between the Office of Sponsored Projects and University Development?

The Office of Sponsored Projects handles all grants and contracts. University Development handles gifts and donations. The two organizations do collaborate on projects. If you are unsure which organization to request services from, please contact the Office of Sponsored Projects and we will help direct you to the right organization and person.

What is the university's DUNS number?


What is the university's indirect cost rate?

Weber State's federally negotiated indirect cost rate is 35% of all salaries, wages, and benefits.

If Weber State's federally negotiated indirect cost rate cannot be used, we follow the guidelines established by the funder.

What are the benefit percentages used when developing a budget?

8.5% benefit rate for hourly wages

22% for summer pay or supplemental pay (Please contact OSP to verify. The rate varies depending on benefits.)

When specific employees' benefit rates need to be used to develop a budget, please contact the Office of Sponsored Projects for assistance.

When determining benefit rates for future employees whose salaries and benefits will be paid with sponsored funds, please contact the Office of Sponsored Projects for assistance.

How is course buyout calculated?

Course buyout must be approved by your department chair and dean, or equivalent. Different colleges have different guidelines and requirements for course buyout. Please contact the Office of Sponsored for specifics.

Typically, buyout is calculated on a cost per credit hour basis. We use the following calculation:

$970 per credit hour + 15% benefits

For example, $970 x 3 credit hours = $2,910 x 15% ($437) = $3,347

What is cash match and in-kind match?

Cash match is the most common type of match and the easiest to track. Cash match is either the grantee organization's own funds (general revenue) or cash donations from non-federal third parties (i.e. partner organizations), or by non-federal grants. A cash match contribution is an actual cash contribution.

In-kind match contributions come from the grantee organization. In-kind match is typically in the form of the value of personnel, goods, and services, including direct and indirect costs. Third-party in-kind match contributions can also come from other non-federal third parties. Third-party in-kind match contributions come in the form of the value of the same items listed above. Grantees and third parties simply need to document the contributed resources of value.

Important Definitions and Things to Know

Reasonable. A cost is considered reasonable if the nature of the goods or services, and the price paid for the goods or services, reflects the action that a prudent person would have taken given the prevailing circumstances at the time the decision to incur the cost was made.

To determine if a cost is reasonable, ask the following questions:

Is the cost necessary for the performance of the Sponsored Award?

Does incurring this cost violate the restraints or requirements imposed by federal and state laws and regulations, or Sponsored Award terms and conditions?

Is the price of the goods or services comparable from multiple vendors/sources that have no vested interest or relationship to the Award or to the person involved in the purchase?

Have the individuals incurring this cost acted with due prudence (discretion and good sense) in the circumstances? Have they considered their responsibilities to the institution, its employees and students, the federal government, and the public at large?

Were the actions that were taken with respect to incurring the cost consistent with established institutional policies and practices applicable to Sponsored Awards?

Allocable. A cost is allocable to a particular award if the goods or services involved can be directly charged to the Award based on the benefit provided.

To determine if a cost is allocable, ask the following questions:

Does it benefit the Award and/or other funding sources?

Can it be distributed to all benefited funding sources using reasonable methods?

Does the basis for allocating the cost represent a reasonable estimation of the benefit provided to the Award objectives?

Allowable. A cost is allowable if it is permitted as a cost within general federal regulations, the terms of a specific Award, and/or the institution’s F&A rates.

Costs expressly unallowable or mutually agreed to be unallowable should be identified and excluded from any billing, claim, application, or proposal related to the Sponsored Award.

Inclusion of an unallowable cost in a proposal does not make the cost allowable. Adding a justification to an unallowable cost in a proposal also does not make the cost allowable.

Accounting Treatment of Unallowable Costs. An unallowable cost mistakenly charged to a sponsored award must be transferred to a non-sponsored unrestricted account via a Cost Transfer/Funds Transfer. If the department does not remove a cost identified as unallowable by Sponsored Projects and Accounting Services, Sponsored Projects or Accounting Services will obtain a non-sponsored unrestricted account number from the Principal Investigator’s (PI) Department Chair or Dean. The unallowable cost will then be transferred. The treatment of unallowable costs language will be included in PI training materials.