Collaboration

Grant Life Cycle

A.  Funding Opportunities

Application for external grants from funding agencies or other grant giving actors often require engagement from AUA on an institutional level. This is a guide for enhancing the success in this process.  The funding 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 the call for proposal over and over again throughout the whole proposal writing process, and make sure to understand and 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 to be able to work with strong partner(s). 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 the GLO 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

During the Proposal Development phase, the Global Local Office may help you to find the right contacts through its internal 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. GLO 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, however, require a commitment from the institution; if it is a larger project, a project/process stretching over more than one discipline, or its focus is dynamically changing over time. GLO will support you to be successful in this process. When you develop an institutional proposal (i.e. signed by the President) you need to follow these simple steps to make the internal process open, efficient and effective.

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 and/or visualized;

When you have an idea of how you like to frame the proposal with content, persons and place, it is time to inform the Dean and/or Director for an Open Center 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, proposal writers of institutional grants needs to fill out a Grant Proposal Information Form prior to proceeding with further steps of proposal preparation. This will alert the different units at AUA to support the process in the most optimal way.

Make sure to use the experience of the IL and/or the contact person(s) of the AUA unit(s) 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. This information will make your proposal aligned with required processes in the university, and it will follow the proposal through its Life Cycle. GLO will make sure that proposals that need selected advise or selection process will be reviewed by the Grants Advisory Group within one week of submittal.

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

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

Elements of a Grant 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.

All 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, Directors of Open Centers, 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 .

At least one week prior to submission of institutional proposals, your proposal (draft) 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/open 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 for all Institutional grants.

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 final 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 Policy (uploaded in the Intranet) 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.

AUA Grants Advisory Group

INTRODUCTION

AUA has established a Grants Advisory Group (GAG) providing a higher commitment to collaboration and the involvement of different perspectives in the University’s academic enhancement. GAG is charged to enhance the AUA capacity and to provide more efficiency and success on grant opportunities while minimizing administrative layers. The Grants Advisory Group is a diverse internal expert group with knowledge and responsibilities on the organizational mission and institutional strategies as well as the fiscal health of the organization in the projects submitted to GAG. The GAG will provide advice and support to grant applications where AUA is signing the grant application. The grants can be to grant agencies, foundations, industries and universities.

Grant Advisory Group members play a vital role in providing key information, knowledge, advice, contacts and trends in their respective fields and networks. In addition to making recommendations and providing advice and support, GAG members will make sure that projects are utilizing the opportunities that are present at AUA. Whenever relevant, the GAG may also carry out monitoring of the effectiveness of approved projects both during and after the project completion.

In choosing members for the GAG, the Executive team will consider the candidates’ interest and concern for enhancing projects and processes at AUA.

A .Purpose

The Grants Advisory Group (GAG):

  • Serve as a support group for connecting inquiries, opportunities and invitations from outside entities with AUA participation in grants/collaborations from various funding agencies and organizations.
  • Serve as a coordination point for selection, 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;
  • Ensure knowledge about initiatives across AUA in developing grant applications;
  • When relevant, GAG can appoint a “Faculty Evaluation Team” or a “Proposal Technocal Evaluation Team”, (including international experts) to give advanced feedback on major proposals.

B. Members

The Application Advisory Group is composed of the following members, with the addition of field specialist as needed:

 

 NamePosition
1.      1Dr. Karin MarkidesPresident (Chair)
2.      2Dr. Brian EllisonInterim Provost
3.      3Mr. Ashot GhazaryanVice President
4.Mr. Gevorg GoyunyanVice President
5.      4Dr. Aram HajianCSE Dean, MSRF/PDRF Panel Chair
6.Dr. Yevgenya PaturyanAssociate Professor, CHSS
7.Mr. Alen AmirkhanianDirector, Acopian Center for the Environment
8.Ms. Gayane MakaryanGlobal Local Office Manager

 

GAG will meet at least once per month or as required, with prior notification of one week. The President is the Chair of the Grant Advisory Group.

The grant application proposal for institutional grants may be viable once the GAG members approve the Section II: Grant Information form (below) duly filled out by the AUA applicant.

 

C. Grant Application Proposal Evaluation Criteria

  1. Relevance
  • Does this project answer to the call specifics, and is the proposal addressing the essence of the call?
  • To what extent is the project in harmony with AUA profiles, priorities and/or opportunities?
  1. Composition of the team for application preparation
  • Is there a team in place qualified for preparation of the proposal?
  • Do applicants cover the scope of expertise needed for the research?
  1. Organizational capacity for project implementation
  • Can the PI, co-applicants, and Department/Unit carry out the implementation?
  • as a coordinator
  • as a partner
  1. Value added and Impact
  • What value added will the project bring to AUA?
  • What impact can the project have at strategic unit, institutional and national levels?
  1. Evaluation Criteria
  • The members will evaluate each proposal according to above mentioned criteria on the scale of 1-7, where 7 is the highest, and give feedback comments with the aim to strengthen the proposal.

 

 1234567
Relevance       
Qualified team for application preparation

 

       
Organizational capacity for project implementation

 

       
Methodology

 

       
Value added and Impact

 

       

 

Section II Institutional Grant Proposal Information Form  

 

From (name of PI, and strategic unit of project): 
Date: 
Project Name

 

 

 

  • Proposal (BRIEF)

 

1.1 Background (names and readiness of applicants)

 

1.2 Goals/Objectives of the call

 

1.3 Outcomes/Outputs and specific criteria in the call

  • How IS the grant in line with AUA Vision, MISSION and ABILITY? Including the need for infrastructure.
  • define the Grant’S benefits and the added value for AUA
  • Funding Agency (including call format, type and length of project, closing date)
  • Estimated Budget (including total budget on call)
1.      Estimate of award amount to be applied for 
2.     Estimate of co-funding expected from AUA, allowed OH, and alignment funding from other collaborators 
Total Cost 
Project duration  

 

  • RISKS

 

Risks (including risk of missed opportunities):