Frequently Asked Questions

How do I route a Proposal?

All proposals should be routed through the Office of Research Services using GU Pass.  The Proposal in GU Pass should be completed in full and endorsed  by your appropriate departmental chair.  Once the proposal is approved at the department level it with be routed through the system to the Office of Research Services for review and approval before submission to the sponsor.

GU PASS routes an electronic transmittal package for PI review and assurance, Chair approval and review and approval by ORS.  Visit FAQ for GU Pass. To facilitate the navigation on GU Pass we have created this GU Pass Job Aid.

How far in advance do I have to submit my application for review and approval to the Office of Research Services ORS?

The Office of Research Services (ORS) submits the proposals. All proposals for external research funding by Main Campus faculty must be reviewed by the Grants and Contracts team of the Office of Research Services (ORS) prior to submission. To ensure comprehensive and high quality reviews, all proposal documents must be submitted in a timely fashion.

In particular faculty should comply with the following deadlines:

  • FIVE DAY RULE: all administrative components, including budgets, must be submitted at least five business days prior to the sponsor’s submission deadline; and
  • THREE DAY RULE: all technical/scientific components must be submitted at least three business days prior to the sponsor’s submission deadline.

Proposals that do not comply with these deadlines will be reviewed to the extent possible, but quality assurance and compliance with university and sponsor requirements cannot be guaranteed.

For private foundations and other organizations the PI can submit the proposal directly to the sponsor once ORS has approved the proposal in GU Pass.

I have never written a proposal before where do I start?

Please check resources available on this section.

What are Facilities and Administrative Cost (F&A, Indirect or Overhead)?

Facilities and Administrative costs, commonly referred to as indirect costs, are charges not directly borne by the project.  For example, cost associated with utilities and administration are indirectly charged. Please visit Rates, Facts & Figures for additional information.

Who is the Authorized Organizational Representative? 

The authorization to sign proposals, awards and other non-financial official documents related to sponsored programs is vested in staff within the Office of Research Services (ORS). The Authorized Organizational Representative is an individual(s) who can represent, commit and legally bind the University on applications or proposals submitted to sponsors and to represent the University in negotiations for and administration of sponsored programs and their associated activities.

Chairs, faculty and staff are not authorized to obligate the University on paper or electronic applications or proposals or to execute the resulting grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts for sponsored projects.

Which proposals need to be processed through Office of Research Services (ORS)?

Any proposal requiring an authorized university signature and involves a project that commits University resources, proposes deliverables, requires a budget, involves a subrecipient, involves human subjects, animal subjects, radiation or biohazards. Contact the ORS Team via email  if you have questions whether your proposal should be submitted through ORS.

Why does my Chair need to sign off on my proposal?

Your Chair/Dean are required to sign off on the proposal so that they are aware of the research and sponsored activity taking place in their department and college; their endorsement are obtained via the routing of the proposal in GU Pass. Additionally, the Chair and Dean are permitted to commit University resources to the proposal if required. Their endorsements authorizing such commitments are necessary for the University’s records.

How do I include sub-agreements in my proposal?

Each subcontract should be properly identified in your prime proposed budget (usually under the line contractual).  In addition, you should have a separate institutional approved itemized budget and scope of work for each subcontract reflecting the approved overhead. It is important to mention that IDC will be charged to the full subaward in a foundation or nonprofit proposal.

Georgetown University requires a consortium letter from the sub-recipient institution. You should be aware that the federal agencies will require the same information of the subcontract’s Principal Investigator as is required of yourself.  

Under Federal Grants Georgetown University will charge overhead on the first $25,000 of each subcontract.  Please allow additional time for the paperwork to be processed at the subrecipient’s home institution.

When a proposal is considered to be off-campus and therefore subject to the lower overhead rate?

The definition of off-campus is dependent upon how the work is to be charged rather than where the work is to be done. Our negotiated rate agreement defines off-campus:

For all activities performed in facilities not owned by the institution and to which rent is directly allocated to the project, the off-campus rate will apply. Grants or contract will not be subject to more than one F&A cost rate. If more than 50% of a project is performed off-campus, the off-campus rate will apply to the entire project.

What letters of intent are needed for a proposal submission?

When Georgetown University  is a subrecipient, and if a Letter of Intent (LOI) template is needed, then please choose from one of the two LOI templates below, but not both: GU LOI_Letter or GU LOI_Form. 

When Georgetown University  has a subrecipient (outgoing subaward) on a project, please use the following LOI template below if one is needed and if the subrecipient does not have an LOI template of their own please use Subrecipient_ LOI Template.

How do I transfer an award TO Georgetown University?

Review the agency guidelines governing the grant and notify the Office of Research Services of your desire to transfer your grant.  

The previous institution will need to prepare a relinquishing statement (required for federal projects) to send to the sponsoring agency.  Obtain a copy of the relinquishing statement for your records and the GU Office of Research Services 

Route the transfer as if it was a GU proposal using GU Pass with the attached revised budget and other key documentation.  If the project involves issues of compliance, you will need to secure approval from the appropriate Georgetown University Office  (human subjects, animal use, etc).

How do I transfer an award FROM Georgetown University?

Review the sponsor’s guidelines governing the transferring of the grant.  Please verify that the transfers are possible and contact the transfer recipient for how to reapply for the funds.  

Write a letter to the GU Office of Research Services  providing the Title, Fund Number, Date of Transfer, and any Equipment purchased with the grant that the PI wishes to transfer.  The letter must be signed by the PI, department chair, and the dean.  

For federal projects, the PI is required to complete a Final Invention Statement.   Send the signed letter and the Final Invention Statement to GU Office of Research Services. Upon receipt, we will prepare a relinquishing statement (federal projects) to be sent to the sponsoring agency.

Who decides which proposal is to be submitted in a limited submission?

Please refer to the internal policy for Limited Submission

What is Cost Sharing and what can be used as a cost share?

Cost Sharing is requested by some sponsors, in this case is called mandatory cost sharing. Cost sharing included in proposals that is not required by the sponsor is referred to as voluntary cost sharing. However, it is Georgetown University policy not to volunteer cost sharing. Once cost sharing has been included in the proposals and that proposal has been accepted by the sponsor, the University has the obligation to provide the cost sharing proposed regardless is mandatory or voluntary. Please refer to the GU policy for cost sharing on sponsored programs.

Difference Gift vs. Grant vs. Revenue Generating Agreement

Revenue Generating AgreementGrantGift
• Sale of goods or services• Has Statement of Work, timeline, and/or budget• No / minimal reporting requirements
• Customer receives direct commercial benefit• Cost-reimbursable basis or requires periodic financial reports• Non-specific or general intent from sponsor
• Sponsor considers it a grant award• Not governmental