Collaboration

GRANT LIFE CYCLE

A.  Funding Opportunities

Welcome to the first stage of applying for external resources through research grants or collaborations. The opportunities are many and they are also changing over time. To be successful, it is important to start to prepare a proposal as early as possible. Another important factor is to carefully read and understand the call for proposal and make sure to answer all criteria in the call. It can be a good tactic to join a strong research group as a partner in the first phase and next time apply as a PI. Research funding and collaborations should always be chosen for the challenging content or the strong partner. It can be difficult to keep up with all opportunities that are offered through different funding sources. The Global Local Office (GLO) is providing timely and relevant information on funding opportunities to our faculty members. GLO is also supporting faculty members as needed through the whole life cycle of the external funding process.

Join our database, that is available on the AUA intranet, to receive current funding opportunities and announcements on:

US Federal Funding

EU funding

Other International Funding, including Foundations and Agencies

Public/Local Funding 

AUA Collaborations with Universities, Industries, or Organizations

B.  Proposal Development

The Global Local Office will help you to get the right contacts through our networks, including the Industry Liaisons (IL), contact persons at the Open Centers of Excellence, Reality Labs, Colleges/Schools, Departments, Research Groups, Open Education and Administrative function. We can also help you develop a checklist of required documents and address key components of your proposal, including budget, narrative, required compliance documents, institutional information, and a description of core facilities and other resources.

Some grants opportunities are aimed for an individual researcher or an interdisciplinary study, and these can usually be handled at the College/School level. An increasing number of funding opportunities will require a commitment from the institution, if it is a larger project, a project/process stretching over more than one discipline or is dynamic over time. GLO will support you to be successful in this process. The following steps will guide you to prepare your proposal.

Development Steps

When you have identified a call for proposal of your interest, you are asked to notify your Industry Liaisons (IL) or contact person of the AUA unit where the research will be performed.

General Education –contact person

With an idea of how you like to frame the proposal with content, persons and place, it is time to inform the Dean/Director for the first approval.

The Global Local Office can provide you with an Introduction Meeting or Discussion Platform for trans-disciplinary projects, connected to the Open Centers of Excellence, the Reality Labs, and collaborations with Universities, Industries and Organizations.

Next, you fill out a Grant Proposal Information Form prior to proceeding with further steps of proposal submission.

Work with the IL or the contact person of the AUA unit to (1) identify how your concept meets the aim and relevance of the call, (2) develop a draft budget, and (3) identify all required proposal components.

Turn in the Grant Proposal Information Form to GLO. It will be reviewed by the Grants Advisory Group within one week of submittal.  This review will make your proposal aligned with required processes in the university, and it will follow the proposal through its Life Cycle.

Develop drafts of all proposal components (e.g. identify collaborators and subcontractors).

In cases when the proposal is subject to structural changes of the university, GLO will initiate the dialogue with Development Office and/or required actors.

Elements of the Proposal

Here is a checklist of required documents:

Budget: Along with Granting agency budget, AUA requires internal budget template to be downloaded and filled in.

Narrative: The narrative is where you explain the value added of your research. Make sure to read the call text very careful. It is primarily the responsibility of the project Principle Investigator.

Institutional Information: Commonly requested Institutional Information is provided for your convenience via Intranet. For submissions made through Federal Grants (grants.gov), will auto-fill many of the institutional data fields.

Other Resources: Please review the Resources provided to find information on grantsmanship workshops, training, and much more. Those applying to grant will have an opportunity to be trained on various skills and tools on grant proposal writing/preparation.

Final documents should be ready for a final review by GLO 2 days prior to the submission deadline (4 days for hard copy submissions, if needed). GLO will coordinate with the Executive Team for final review and signatures.

Create a Proposal Record in the AUA Intranet

AUA Intranet maintains proposal records electronically. Records are accessible to Principal Investigators (PIs), appropriate Department Chairs, GLO, Deans, and administration staff.  Coordination with all respective staff involved is key to a successful, on-time, error-free submission. To create records in the Intranet please contact AUA ICTS service here.

Prior to submission, your proposal should be approved by the AUA Grant Advisory Group (GAG), which serves as a central point for internal evaluation, feedback and recommending grant application proposals to be submitted to various funding agencies and organizations, in harmony with AUA institutional and unit/college/school/center development strategies/priorities. More about GAG and its template can be downloaded here.

C.  Proposal Submission

Submission Steps

Approval by the Grants Advisory Group (GAG) is required.

Send final drafts of your proposal components to GLO for processing, upload, and submission.

If it is a local disciplinary research project, you are entitled to submit directly with signature of the Dean, and a prior notice to the Executive team or GLO for centralized knowledge.

If the submission of the proposal is a two-step process, an awarded first-step proposal should follow the outlined submission process also for the second step.

If the applicant at AUA is a partner in an external proposal, the proposal submission procedure should be followed with appropriate information.

D.  Award Setup

Award Set-Up in Intranet

Every award accepted by the institution needs to be set up in Intranet by the PI. In addition to the required files, we recommend that PIs create both an electronic and hard-copy file for each grant received. As many funding decisions are communicated electronically, be sure that e-documents and emails are organized for easy access — and be sure your electronic documents are backed up in case of a failure in technology.

After the award letters are received, the financial department will create a project account and maintain the financial accounts associated with your project.

E.  Award Management

Once an award has been set up, the PI is responsible for all expenses involving the grant.

All policies governing grant-related expenditures (e.g. purchase of goods and services) are available for faculty, staff, and project personnel here.

Faculty Release Time and Additional Pay

Please refer to the Policies.

Hiring and Paying Project Employees

Please refer to the Policies.

F. Implementation

Monitoring Expenses

The following options are available to help you stay on top of your expenditures and adjust your budgets as needed to adapt as your project unfolds:

Budget Balance Available (BBA): The BBA is a project "budget status" that provides information on the budgeted, committed, spent, and available funds of a project on an expenditure category level. The BBA is updated by the AUA Accounting services as per the project PI financial information.

Budget Revisions

Sometimes it becomes clear that one category of your budget has insufficient funds to support the expenses you expect to incur, but you might be able to supplement it with funds from another category. Depending on which budget categories you want to alter and the specific type of funding you have, a budget revision may need to be reviewed and approved by the funding agency before the funds can be reallocated.

G. Outcome

At the end of a funded project, grant agreements usually require a final project outcomes report, final financial report, and other documents to be submitted to the granting agency within specific deadlines after the end of the project. Final results need to be uploaded in the AUA Intranet.

The project PI should provide information to AUA Communications Department not only on project outcomes but also during the whole project life time to ensure project visibility and outreach.

H. Assessment

Evaluation of the transdisciplinary projects are measured by KPIs set on the university level as part of the institutional strategic planning process. However, a common template for assessment needs to be developed and include reports on the OCoE’s industry involvement; community/national outreach; impact measurements; number and demographics of community members engaged; numbers of AUA (as well as other HEIs’) students, faculty and staff engaged; research or scholarly outputs; expenditures and revenues, etc.