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

OSRAA has a handy Checklist here

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. Other agencies have detailed funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) and we post funding opportunties here (required ONID login)

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 (128G 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.

NSF registration

If you need to register with to submit proposals as a PI/ Co-PI, then you'll need to register at You won't be able to submit proposals until OSU affiliates you with OSU. You can follow the steps below to register with NSF. Once you register, OSRAA will get an email requesting to add you to their affiliation.

You can only have one NSF ID and that ID must be affiliated with your current organization. More information is here:

If you do not have an NSF ID, then you’ll need to follow this guidance to create one as PI/coPI

You will need OSU’s DUNS number. All information on OSU can be found here:

OSU’s DUNs number is 053599908

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.

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

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.

For more information see NSF's Participant Support Guidelines

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.

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.  

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.

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.

Gift Cards! How do I set this up?

Do you provide incentives to participants on your grants? Do you provide gift cards? If so, how do you know how many to purchase without ending up with leftover gift cards after the grant ends?

Here are some tips

If gift cards are purchased on a department account up front, and then the grant reimburses as they are given out to participants, you don't have this issue.  Any remaining gift cards then belong to the department.  They can then use them for another project as needed. 

Same for petty cash.  The department sets up the petty cash on a department index.  Then as the funds are used, the petty cash fund is reimbursed by the grant.  Once the grant closes, the petty cash is closed and the amount reimbursed to the department.  Departments should be able to have some flexible funds to do this.  This way, the federal funds only pay for the actual participant costs.

Use a system in which you only upload money onto a gift card immediately before distribution

OSU has a Policy for Gift Card Purchases!

Fiscal Policy for Gift Cards in 03-140-512

Cash Incentives? We have a policy for that too! 

Fiscal Policy Miscellaneous: 03-140-513

Units who perform testing of products often advertise that they will give anyone who takes the test an incentive, for example $5.00.  The unit will pay out the testing incentives and document how much was given, and to whom.  A Departmental Advance is required to receive the funds to distribute.  The advance will be “cleared” by the appropriate Business Center through the process identified in FIS 407-07 Departmental Advances (Non-Travel).



NIH eSubmission advice from the NIH Communications office. Resubmission or renewal? How many times can you resubmit?

The difference between PI, co-I and why NIH doesn't acknowledge co-PI

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. 

How do I calculate % Effort for the Cayuse SP record?

% Effort = Total Person months / Total Project time.

So, if you request 1 person month (P.M.) salary every year for 3 years that would be either

(1/12)*100  = 8.33%   OR   (3/36)*100 = 8.33%

The latter calculation is useful if you are requesting different P.M. per year.
In this case, for example: 

P.M.   Y1 = 1, Y2 = 2, Y3 = 0.5.

Total P.M. = 3.5

You'd use:   3.5 / 36  * 100 =  9.72%

The Do’s & Don’ts of Hyperlinks in Grant Applications

Posted on May 13, 2019 by NIH Staff

The do’s and don’ts of hyperlinks in grant applications are simple:

  • Do include hyperlinks when explicitly requested in application guide, funding opportunity, or NIH Guide notice instructions
  • Do use hyperlinks in relevant citations and publications included in biosketches and publication list attachments
  • Don’t use hyperlinks anywhere else in your application

It would be hard to read more than a couple paragraphs on the internet these days without encountering a hyperlink to a definition or additional clarifying information. Hyperlinks are everywhere. So, why does NIH limit the use of hyperlinks in grant applications?

  • Fairness. Key sections of NIH grant applications – Specific Aims, Research Strategies, and Training Program Plans, to name a few – are page limited. Page limits promote fairness by ensuring all applicants have an equal opportunity to present their proposed project. Linking out to additional supporting information negates our page limits.
  • Reviewer Anonymity. We instruct reviewers to rely on the information contained in the grant application and caution them not to follow unrequested links to websites. Website access, especially access to sites controlled by the institution or PI, can be tracked and can compromise reviewer anonymity.
  • Security. Just like clicking on links in phishing emails, following links in grant applications can expose a reader to viruses, malware, or other security threats that can compromise our ability to protect application information.  

At the end of the day, risk avoidance may be the most convincing reason to avoid unrequested hyperlinks. NIH may withdraw your application from consideration if you include them. Don’t risk it. Write a compelling, self-contained grant application and let it speak for itself.

Original post from NIH Staff link