New to OSU? Getting started

Office for Sponsored Research and Award Administration (OSRAA)
New to OSU?

We use an online system called Cayuse to prepare and submit proposals. You will need to register here to use the portal. Cayuse SP: is used to submit proposals for signatures, approval and submission. Cayuse 424 is only used when submitting proposals through (e.g. DOE, NIH, etc).

Useful links for beginners:  OSRAA Getting Started
Quick links for budget preparation

Need more detail? Budget Line Item and justification calculation information

Need Template? Contact Research Development

We update templates with new GRA rates, tuition, etc every summer.


Inflate 1-3% in future years. If your proposal will start in a year, it might be beneficial to inflate the Y1. 

You can check published OSU salaries on the HR website or contact your departmental manager or the business center for actual salaries. You can also find information in CORE

  • Unclassified Personnel List
  • Classified Personnel List
  • Postdoctoral Scholars: varies by department, but recommended starting salary follows NIH guidelines
  • Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs): Salaries vary by department. Contact your business manager or see this link for current(ish) rates.
OPE/ Fringe Rates (FY21)

This represents, medical/dental insurance, pension, social security, medicare, unemployment and SAIF.

Inflate 1-3% in future years for faculty, staff, GRAs and postdocs. 

  • OSRAA rates
  • Actual fringe rate calculation (OPE Tables)
  • Faculty summer rates: ~35% (You can get your actual rate on CORE).
  • All others: see chart on OSRAA site annual salaries:
  • Postdoctoral Scholars: 26% (FY22), inflate 1-3%. 
  • GRAs:$696/Academic month + ~$10 for OPE Other costs for the academic terms and very little in summer.  See our template.
    • Graduate Assistant health insurance estimated by term. This includes one ninth monthly payment during AY for summer insurance coverage. If coverage does not include summer insurance, AY per term cost is slightly lower
    • Average annual increases in health insurance are estimated at 3% and increases for subsequent should be budgeted. Though, some still just use 2-3%.
  • Hourly Students: 10%. Most people do not inflate this cost.
Travel Estimates

Uniform Guidance regulations require proposals to submit as much detail about proposed travel as possible in the budget justification. This includes

  • number of people traveling 
  • where (city, if known)
  • why (name of conference, if known or give examples of conferences attended)
  • number of days of travel
  • estimated costs for airfare, lodging, meals, ground transportation

OSU Travel Per Diem Rates can be used to estimate lodging and meals. Since most conferences occur in high cost cities, you can usually use the high cost rate. Conference rates usually exceed this, which is allowable as long as the block rate is published on the confererence site or in the program.

Rates pages now require ONID login. Domestic Rates   |     Foreign Rates

Tuition and Fees per term

Not subject to indirect costs. Inflate 4.5% in following years.

  • GRA Academic Year: Resident: 9+ credits
  • GRA Summer Session: Resident:
    • 3 credits (minimum, student will pay SSN taxes)
    • 5 credits (minimum, that a GRA doesn't have pay SSN)  <-- Recommended
    • 9+ credits: will be equal to AY rate
Facilities and Administration rates

Arts and Science Business Center website for more information. 

Cost Share explained and a template

If you need to request cost share, please use the form located in the sidebar.

According to Federal Uniform Guidance (Code of Federal Regulations) cost sharing or matching (e-CFR §200.306) is defined as that portion of project costs not paid by Federal funds. Cost sharing represents a legal obligation by OSU and can be in the form of cash or in-kind contribution. There are two types of cost share, voluntary and mandatory cost sharing.

Mandatory cost sharing is defined as cost share required by the agency and described by the specific funding announcement. Voluntary cost share is cost sharing not stated in proposal guidelines, but described as a quantifiable amount of resources contributed to the project. Voluntary cost share is not allowed except under extenuating circumstances.

e-CFR §200.306 states: "Under Federal research proposals, voluntary committed cost sharing is not expected. It cannot be used as a factor during the merit review of applications or proposals, but may be considered if it is both in accordance with Federal awarding agency regulations and specified in a notice of funding opportunity."

If you are working on a proposal that requires cost share, you'll need to discuss your needs with your department and/or college Dean. Documentation for cost share will be required in your Cayuse record.

For more information on cost share at OSU, check out these links:

NSF: If you use Arial 10 point or the new portal: Read This!

The new portal for proposal submissions will eventually replace Fastlane.

  • If you use the new portal to prepare and submit proposals, all documents must adhere to the guidelines within the portal. You will need to create pdfs to upload. The system will automatically check for compliance. If a pdf is non-compliant, you will not be allowed to upload it. 
  • Please follow the instructions within portal, because those take precedence over the PAPPG.

If you use Fastlane, the PAPPG allows alternate fonts. If you use Arial 10 point, please note grant writer, Donn Forbes experience:

"The NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG, the rule book) allows 10-point Arial type and requires at least 6 lines of text per vertical inch. If you draft a page in 10-point Arial and print it and measure the number of lines per inch with a ruler, you’ll find exactly six. So, you would naturally expect that if you submit a proposal with 10-point Arial type, you’d be safe. Not so.

Conversion to pdf often shrinks the type. Printers can also shrink the type. There are cases in which reviewers or program managers printed the pdf files, measured the number of lines per inch with a ruler, found 5.9x lines per inch, and returned the proposal without review. 

If you’re going to submit an NSF proposal in Arial 10-point type, the best way to protect yourself from administrative disqualification is to select 1.15x line spacing instead of single spacing (Format > Paragraph  > Line Spacing > Multiple > 1.15). Then you’ll be safe."

-- Donn Forbes

-------------- Work around option 2 -------------------

  1. Open the PDF you created in Acrobat (Pro) and see if the font size under the Edit function is coming up smaller than 10.  
  2. Then print it again to your PDF printer, but at a slightly increased size (usually 104% works, depending on the shrinkage encountered).
  3. This should restore the font size to 10 and kept the margins to 1 inch, since Acrobat cut off the outside edges.

Font warning in with LaTex files

Dear Colleagues,

This message should be of interest to those who submit proposals 
prepared using TeX/LaTex to the NSF via

The National Science Foundation has implemented additional automated 
compliance checking in for project descriptions as of 
10/5/2020. One of the compliance checks is for font size. Currently, 
files prepared using TeX/LaTeX will generate warnings when submitted 
to because of the way PDF files are processed.  We 
believe that these warnings will be gone next year.  For the time 
being, the warnings will not prevent proposal submission.

In case you’re interested in the details, please read on. Roughly 
speaking, in word processing programs, when an 11 pt font size is 
used, a subscript is still in 11 pt type, just shrunk down a bit when 
it is printed to a screen or on a printer. In typesetting programs 
like TeX, when an 11 pt typeface is used, a subscript is set using 9 
pt type. The smaller type size in a PDF file triggers the warning 
because the compliance-checking software can’t tell what is a 
subscript and what isn’t.

A similar issue can generate an error regarding the required Broader 
Impacts heading. Depending on the LaTeX input, the compliance checking 
software may not realize that “Broader Impacts” is indeed on a line by 
itself when the PDF file is printed.

Again, for the time being, these warnings will not prevent proposal 

Matt Douglass

To unsubscribe, send the text "unsubscribe DMSNEWS" to 

What should I write in a postdoctoral mentoring plan?

There are several online resoures to assist you with developing a postdoctoral mentoring plan. See the graduate school page on "Developing a Mentoring Plan for NSF proposals", "The Responsibilities of mentors of postdoctoral scholars and fellows" and the "Individual Development Plan" page


Data Management Plan (OSU Library)

Faculty as a consultant on another award

Let's say you want to consult on another grant at another University. Would this go through OSU?

Please refer to the OSU Faculty Handbook for more information on OSU's Conflict of Commitment Policy.

Before engaging in outside activities in your field, faculty must complete the Request for Approval of Outside Activities form to ensure there are no conflicts of commitment.  This form can be found here:   "With supervisor approval, a full-time professorial faculty member may engage in outside professional activities related to his or her University responsibilities one day in each work week during periods of full-time employment."

If a consultant role is appropriate then the other university would prepare a Personal Services Contract for the consulting services provided; this would not require a Cayuse proposal.

It is important that the PI consider his/her contribution and collaboration on the project; is it more appropriate for this to be an incoming subaward with a budget to include salary, fringe benefits as well as other items such as travel, materials/supplies, indirect costs, etc.?  Will he/she be responsible for contributing to future publications and/or deliverables (reports, etc.)?  This option would require a proposal in Cayuse SP and the resulting subaward and funding would be handled by OSRAA.

Conflict of interest, IACUC, IRB, statistics, etc

Useful information from the Research Office

Finding funding

College of Science
  • ECOS and GP-ECOS: events, funding opportunities posted for faculty or research associates (project investigators)
  • GP-ECOS includes events, funding opportunities, fellowships, scholarships geared for graduate students or postdoctoral scholars
OSU listed funding opportunities
Agency links


Environmental Health & Safety for incoming/outgoing PIs

Environmental Health & Safety assists researchers with their safety programs by providing support in the areas of respiratory protection, laboratory safety, hazardous waste, occupational safety, biological safety, radiation safety, fire and life safety, fieldwork safety, laser safety and more.

Contact EH&S