This is my first proposal. Where can I find more information?

Contact the Dean's office for proposal support and consultation. It's best to start well in advance of the due date because proposals need to be routed for signature and approval by each listed department, college, and OSRAA before submission. In most cases, OSRAA submits your proposal to the agency.

NIH has some resources, such as sample grant applications, summary statements and more. Check them out here

This can take a week or more and OSRAA requires three days to review your proposals. Please reach out to the COS proposal support unit (128H Kidder) for assistance. You can also find information on preparing your proposal from the Tools page.

The Research Office also has a list of frequently asked questions and a "getting started" page.

Developing your NIH Biosketch

Are you looking for help developing your biosketch?

NIH put together this biosketch guidance document, which is reprinted here:

The biosketch provides an opportunity for each senior/key person listed in an NIH grant application to describe why they are well-suited for their role(s) in the project. Among other things, it allows the senior/key person to: 

  • Include a personal statement that describes why they are well-suited to their role(s) in the project. 
  • Cite up to four publications or research products, including interim research products such as preprints, that highlight their experience and qualifications for the project.
  • Explain factors that might have affected past productivity, such as family care responsibilities, illness, military service, etc.
  • Describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science. Students and postdocs with fewer notable contributions may wish to consider highlighting just the two or three contributions they consider most significant. 

If you have never written a biosketch for an NIH grant application, carefully read the instructions about what to include. Note that there are separate instructions for fellowship and non-fellowshipbiosketches.


Find FAQs, sample biosketches, and more on our webpage for Biosketch Format Pages, Instructions and Samples.  

How do I know when to set up an off-site collaborator as a sub-award or a consultant?

Consultants/Fees: "These costs are for professional fees, e.g., consulting and legal fees, services rendered by commercial firms; service charges by institutional service departments; and fees assessed by other state agencies. Generally, all services must be performed within the award period. Consulting costs are normally identified separately in the budget and may also be called Personal Services Contracts (PSC). OSU employees and graduate students may not be listed as consultants on OSU budgets."

Subawards: "The subaward process is used when OSU passes through a portion of the sponsored award to another entity for the purpose of programmatic effort on the project or when OSU receives a portion of a sponsored award from another organization. All the terms and conditions that are part of the primary award must be included in the subaward document. Signature of acceptance of these terms by the receiving entity is required."

For more information on determing if you need to set up a consultant or a subaward, please visit, "Is this a subaward or a procurement" at the Research Office.

Definition of Activity Codes (in Cayuse)

Basic Research

  • Research undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge without any particular application or use in mind.
  • Basic Research – systematic study directed toward fuller knowledge of understanding of the subject.  Basic research is specifically organized to produce identified outcomes.

Applied Research          

  • Research conducted to gain the knowledge or understanding to meet a specific, recognized need.
  • Utilizes basic research outcomes or theories in practice; i.e., toward the production of new materials, devices or systems.
  • Systematic study to gain knowledge or understanding necessary to determine the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met   


  • The systematic use of the knowledge or understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including the design and development of prototypes and processes.
  • The systematic study of designing, developing, and evaluating instructional programs, processes, and prototypes or products that must meet certain criteria and consistency; especially important in the field of instructional technology.              

Other Sponsored Activity           

  • Support of student services, educational resources, cooperative extension and outreach programs, community service partnerships, public service programs, etc.  Can be testing as well.
  • Sponsored Research & Other Sponsored Activity, on campus,
  • This includes project support for activities such as conferences, seminars, workshops, art acquisition, exhibitions, specific travel grants, and community service projects

Research Training          

  • Activities where the primary objective is for development or extension of an individual’s research skills, techniques, and knowledge toward a career in research; fellowship or training projects where the students usually are not employees;
  • There is usually an educational requirement as part of the fellowship or traineeship, including mentorship of postdocs.

What is OSU's policy on external consulting opportunities?

  1. Fill out and route the Request for Approval of Professional Outside Activities (  The associated policy is here:
  2. Make sure that you have filled out the Conflict of Interest form.  The form and policy are here:
  3. If you are new to OSU, you also need to complete the COI training.  This is pretty quick and is in the same link location. OSU is rolling out new COI training in late winter term, and you may need to do COI training again once that happens.  However, that will be a short training – probably less than 30 minutes, online.

Can you put a contract together for me?

No. Anything regarding contracts or legal documents go through Procurement and Contract Services (PaCS). You can start with your business center contact and ask them to forward the contract to PaCS for you.

How do I transfer my grants from my previous institution?

When a grant is transferred from one institution to another, there are several general steps to the process. Please see the Research Office's guidelines on transferring grants. They also have a PI Checklist for Transfer of a Grant to Oregon State University.

What can I put under Participant Support?

Funding agencies defer to university policy as long as they comply with the uniform guidance

OSRAA's policy on Participant Support Costs

Participant support costs refer to costs paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees attending conferences, meetings, symposia, training activities and workshops. A participant must be an individual who is attending in the context of a "trainee."

  • Participant support costs may include transportation, per diem, stipends, supplies, conference fees, and other related costs (registration fees, books, instructional materials) for participants only. 
  • Conference panelists, organizers, consultants and speakers are not considered trainees and should not be included in the participant support section of the budget.
  • Employees of OSU, who are not students, should not be included under participant support in a proposal budget.  Their costs should be incorporated into other budget categories (e.g. travel).  Employees who are a student at OSU (including Graduate Research Assistants) may be considered a participant under the definition above, and included under participant support in a proposal budget, only if the grant in which they are employed is different than the grant which is sponsoring their training (i.e. a student cannot be a GRA and a participant in the same grant).
  • For the vast majority of proposal budgets (when the indirect costs are based on “MTDC” or modified total direct costs), participant support costs (non-employee participants) are exempt from indirect costs.  When the sponsor specifies that F&A cost be based on the total award (“TDC” or total direct costs), participant support costs are included in the indirect cost calculation.

When can I use the off campus rate?

OSU’s off-campus rate is applicable to sponsored projects performed in facilities which are not owned or leased by OSU, or when there is an activity of 90 or more consecutive days away from the on-campus facilities.

I'm applying for a scholarship. Do I need to go through Cayuse?

You only need to go through Cayuse if OSU will handle the award. If the award will come directly to you, then you do not need to set up a Cayuse Record.

How do I find the Unversity's DUNS number and congressional district?

If you are applying for a grant with a new agency, you might need some University information such as the congressional district, DUNS, etc. That information can be found on OSRAA's Cover Page/Application site.

My REU students want to access Dixon or they need a computer. How can I help them?

Some undergraduates who come to campus for a summer research program would like to use Dixon Rec Center and/or may need access to computers. We've put a handy guide together to answer these questions:

Summer credit minimums for graduate assistants

A graduate student who is appointed as a Graduate Assistant (GRA/GTA) in summer term must enroll in a minimum of 3 credits, per the minimum enrollment policy.

However, there may be income tax on salary for graduate students appointed as Graduate Assistants in summer term who are enrolled in less than 5 credits. Contact Payroll or your tax professional with any questions about potential tax implications. Most faculty use 5 credits in budget estimates.

International students can register for 3 credits if it is not their first term of enrollment, and they are eligible for a vacation term. If summer is their first term, or if they are not eligible for a vacation term, they must be registered for 9 credits.

If you have questions, please contact the Graduate School.

The agency doesn't allow tuition? How can I get tuition support?

Ask your departmental chair about tuition support in this case. For more information, see this link

What are E&G Funds?

E&G funds are funds received by the University directly from the legislature and from student tuition. The funds are subject to expenditure limitations, and are allocated to colleges and departments through the budget process.