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FAQs for UT BRAIN Seed Grant Proposals

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Seed Grants (UT Brain) Questions and Answers

 

Q:      Do I need to submit keywords in my application?

A:       Yes, in Section 1 of the application, provide 8 keywords appropriate to the proposed project.

Q:      Do I need to include letters of support from Consultants, Collaborators, and other significant contributors?

A:       Yes. Upload letters of support in proposal section 10. The attachment type is: “support letters”.

Q:      I am submitting the application on behalf of the Principal Investigator. Will I have to create an account in proposalCENTRAL?

A:       Yes, you will need to create an account. The Principal Investigator will create their personal account and will grant you access.

Q:      Which pages of the application must be numbered?

A:       You only have to number the pages of the templates. The page numbering
is coded into the templates.

Q:      Is there a salary cap for investigators?

A:       There is no salary cap.     

Q:      Are we allowed to include tuition on the proposal?

A:       Tuition is not allowed.

Q:      Does every individual associated with the application need to register a professional profile on proposalCENTRAL?

A:       Only Sr/Key Personnel for whom a biosketch will be submitted should have a registered Professional Profile.  Laboratory staff, etc., should not.

Q:      Does the application allow for Co-PIs or only co-investigators?

A:       You may have a Co-PI, as long as she or he is from a UT System Component Institution, and authorized to act in a PI role as per Eligibility requirements described in the application instructions.  Roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined in the Budget Justification.  It is still considered one collaborative project, and subject to the $100K maximum award amount.

Q:      My collaborator will be collecting data in a hospital. What IRB requirements will be necessary?

A:       An IRB certification will have to be submitted for the individual engaged in the human subjects studies. The Primary Investigator will be responsible for providing verification of the IRB approval for the proposed studies from your collaborator prior to the award. The PI does not have to be listed on the IRB if they are not engaged in in the human subjects study. The assurance number from the collaborator’s institution should be included in the appropriate field of the collaborating institution’s signature page.

Q:      Do consultants have to provide a signature page?

A:       Consultants do not have to provide a signature page. Include their fees in the Materials and Supplies category of the budget and a description of services and estimated costs in the budget justification.

Q:      When entering calendar months on the budget period detail page, 1.2 calendar months only show as 1 calendar month. Will this cause any problems with the financials?

A:       The budget module automatically rounds. It will not affect the financials.

Q:      Should NMR scanning costs be listed under equipment or materials and supplies?

A:       NMR scanning costs should be included in the Materials and Supplies category and detailed in the budget justification.

Q:      Are applications restricted to brain/central nervous system research or are projects focused on peripheral nervous system allowed?

A:       There are no restrictions regarding central vs. peripheral or vertebrae vs. invertebrate, as long as it’s a novel technique or technology involving new collaborations and which might lead to funding at the national level under the BRAIN initiative.

Q:      Will a research scientist be able to submit an application as a principal investigator?

A:       The individual must hold a faculty or equivalent position and be authorized by their institution to act in a PI role. Each institution sets their own criteria for their PIs.

We suggest including verbiage, and a link to the policy on your institution’s website, verifying that the Research Scientist title is a faculty-equivalent position, and carries with it authorization to apply for grants as a PI. (Here's UT-Austin's, for example: http://www.policies.utexas.edu/policies/research-titles).

If that information is not published on your institution’s website, you could include a letter from your Sponsored Projects Office verifying the same information.

Q:      The application deadline falls on a Sunday at 5pm.  Will applications be allowed the following business day?

A:       Yes, per the application instructions, deadlines that fall on a weekend will be accepted the following business day. In this case, the exact deadline will be Monday, March 16th by 5pm Central Standard Time.

Q: Can consultants included on the UT BRAIN Seed Grant proposal be affiliated with institutions outside the state of Texas?

A: Any person meeting the description of Key Personnel, as defined in the Application Instructions, must have a faculty position or equivalent at a Texas college, university, medical school or other research facility.

Consultants may be from out-of-state, but should not be included in the proposal as Key Personnel.  

Consultancy fees should be included in the budget under the Material and Supplies category, and detailed in the  Budget Justification.

Support Letters from consultants can be uploaded in proposalCENTRAL as an optional attachment.

Q: Is analysis of data collected in a Human Subjects study that was approved by a foreign ethics board, and conducted in that country, subject to IRB approval?  

A: By HHS definition, research involving the collection or study of existing data is considered Human Subjects research.  

You will have to provide certification of IRB approval, or certification that the study meets criteria for Exemption 4, prior to distribution of funds, should your application be selected for funding.

This chart may help you determine whether or not the research will be considered exempt:http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/policy/checklists/decisioncharts.html#c5

Please note that any justification(s) provided for an exemption will be evaluated during peer review. 

Q: Are laboratory testing services and animal expenses allowed?

A: Yes, these are allowable. They should be listed under “materials and supplies” and be detailed in the budget justification. 

Q: Who is the sponsor of this grant and is there a specific funding opportunity number?

A: The sponsor is UT System Neuroscience and Neurotechnology Research Institute (UTS-NNRI).

The funding opportunity is “2015 UT BRAIN seed grant”. There is no opportunity number.

Q:      Do I need to submit keywords in my application?

A:       Yes, in Section 1 of the application, provide 8 keywords appropriate to the proposed project.

Q:      Do I need to include letters of support from Consultants, Collaborators, and other significant contributors?

A:       Yes. Upload letters of support in proposal section 10. The attachment type is: “support letters”.

Q:      I am submitting the application on behalf of the Principal Investigator. Will I have to create an account in proposalCENTRAL?

A:       Yes, you will need to create an account. The Principal Investigator will create their personal account and will grant you access.

Q:      Which pages of the application must be numbered?

A:       You only have to number the pages of the templates. The page numbering
is coded into the templates.

Q:      Is there a salary cap for investigators?

A:       There is no salary cap.     

Q:      Are we allowed to include tuition on the proposal?

A:       Tuition is not allowed.

Q:      Does every individual associated with the application need to register a professional profile on proposalCENTRAL?

A:       Only Sr/Key Personnel for whom a biosketch will be submitted should have a registered Professional Profile.  Laboratory staff, etc., should not.

Q:      Does the application allow for Co-PIs or only co-investigators?

A:       You may have a Co-PI, as long as she or he is from a UT System Component Institution, and authorized to act in a PI role as per Eligibility requirements described in the application instructions.  Roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined in the Budget Justification.  It is still considered one collaborative project, and subject to the $100K maximum award amount.

Q:      My collaborator will be collecting data in a hospital. What IRB requirements will be necessary?

A:       An IRB certification will have to be submitted for the individual engaged in the human subjects studies. The Primary Investigator will be responsible for providing verification of the IRB approval for the proposed studies from your collaborator prior to the award. The PI does not have to be listed on the IRB if they are not engaged in in the human subjects study. The assurance number from the collaborator’s institution should be included in the appropriate field of the collaborating institution’s signature page.

Q:      Do consultants have to provide a signature page?

A:       Consultants do not have to provide a signature page. Include their fees in the Materials and Supplies category of the budget and a description of services and estimated costs in the budget justification.

Q:      When entering calendar months on the budget period detail page, 1.2 calendar months only show as 1 calendar month. Will this cause any problems with the financials?

A:       The budget module automatically rounds. It will not affect the financials.

Q:      Should NMR scanning costs be listed under equipment or materials and supplies?

A:       NMR scanning costs should be included in the Materials and Supplies category and detailed in the budget justification.

Q:      Are applications restricted to brain/central nervous system research or are projects focused on peripheral nervous system allowed?

A:       There are no restrictions regarding central vs. peripheral or vertebrae vs. invertebrate, as long as it’s a novel technique or technology involving new collaborations and which might lead to funding at the national level under the BRAIN initiative.

Q:      Will a research scientist be able to submit an application as a principal investigator?

A:       The individual must hold a faculty or equivalent position and be authorized by their institution to act in a PI role. Each institution sets their own criteria for their PIs.

We suggest including verbiage, and a link to the policy on your institution’s website, verifying that the Research Scientist title is a faculty-equivalent position, and carries with it authorization to apply for grants as a PI. (Here's UT-Austin's, for example: http://www.policies.utexas.edu/policies/research-titles).

If that information is not published on your institution’s website, you could include a letter from your Sponsored Projects Office verifying the same information.

Q:      The application deadline falls on a Sunday at 5pm.  Will applications be allowed the following business day?

A:       Yes, per the application instructions, deadlines that fall on a weekend will be accepted the following business day. In this case, the exact deadline will be Monday, March 16th by 5pm Central Standard Time.

Q:      Can consultants included on the UT BRAIN Seed Grant proposal be affiliated with institutions outside the state of Texas?

A:       Any person meeting the description of Key Personnel, as defined in the Application Instructions, must have a faculty position or equivalent at a Texas college, university, medical school or other research facility.

Consultants may be from out-of-state, but should not be included in the proposal as Key Personnel.  

Consultancy fees should be included in the budget under the Material and Supplies category, and detailed in the Budget Justification.

Support Letters from consultants can be uploaded in proposalCENTRAL as an optional attachment.

Q:      Is analysis of data collected in a Human Subjects study that was approved by a foreign ethics board, and conducted in that country, subject to IRB approval?  

A:       By HHS definition, research involving the collection or study of existing data is considered Human Subjects research.  

You will have to provide certification of IRB approval, or certification that the study meets criteria for Exemption 4, prior to distribution of funds, should your application be selected for funding.

This chart may help you determine whether or not the research will be considered exempt:http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/policy/checklists/decisioncharts.html#c5

Please note that any justification(s) provided for an exemption will be evaluated during peer review. 

Q:      Are laboratory testing services and animal expenses allowed?

A:       Yes, these are allowable. They should be listed under “materials and supplies” and be detailed in the budget justification. 

Q:      Who is the sponsor of this grant and is there a specific funding opportunity number?

A:       The sponsor is UT System Neuroscience and Neurotechnology Research Institute (UTS-NNRI).

The funding opportunity is “2015 UT BRAIN seed grant”. There is no opportunity number.

Q:      We are preparing a proposal that involves human subjects. We plan to pay each subject $10-13 for participating the experiment.  We would like to know under which category in the budget we should include the charge.

A:       Human Subjects' participation incentives would be included in Materials & Supplies category, and detailed in the Budget Justification.

Q:      In the “Budget Period Detail”, what start date and end date should I provide?

A:       Start dates will be dependent on submission of all required pre-award documentation, including human/animal studies certifications, etc. The earliest possible start date is June 5, 2015, and the project period is one year.

Q:      In the “Budget Period Detail” under “Personnel Costs”, should I include the collaborator and his group of people (from other institution) in this category or should I include them in the “Consortium & Contractual Direct”?

A:       The Key Personnel module should include all Key Personnel for the Lead Institution and Collaborating site.

The Budget Period Detail module should only include Personnel, etc., from the Lead Institution. 

The total for the Collaborating Institution(s) must be included in the “Consortium and Contractual Direct” field, and separate Budget and Budget Justification files for the Collaborating Institution(s) must be submitted, using the templates provided in the “Download Templates and Instructions” section, and uploaded to the “Proposal Attachments” section.

Q:      The proposed project involves collaboration with another Texas Institution and some studies will be performed in the collaborator’s institution and using their resources (i.e. animals and lab facilities). Where should I provide information for the collaborator’s institution, such as the animal welfare assurance number?

A:       The assurance number(s) from the collaborating institution should be included in the appropriate field of the Collaborating Institution Signature Page.

Q:      Would travel costs for out of state consultants to travel to the applicant institution be allowable?

A:       Travel costs for out-of-state consultants will not be covered.

Q:      What is the definition of ‘Pending Support’ for the biosketch pages on the grant?

A:       This is information about any research grant applications you have submitted and are waiting to find out whether they will be funded.

Q:      Should we include collaboration LOIs or other documentation aside from the Collaborating Institution Signature Page for other sites?

A:       Provide a signed Collaborating Institution Signature Page.

Q:      Are digital signatures acceptable on the application face page?

A:       The form should be printed and signed.

Q:      Does the PI sign the signature page?

A:       The PI doesn’t have to sign any of the documents.

 

For additional questions regarding the Seed Grant Proposals, please contact:

Cynthia Thompson
Department of Neuroscience
The University of Texas at Austin
UTBRAIN@utexas.edu