Frequently Asked Questions
Are the submission deadlines “postmark” deadlines or “received by” deadlines?
If I am awarded a grant, can I change the start date of my project?
Is there a cap on the salary that a principal investigator may claim as part of the direct costs of a proposed research budget?
Answer: There is no cap on the salary that a principal investigator may claim as part of the direct costs of a proposed research budget. However, you should be very prudent with regard to the degree to which your proposed research program can be justified if a substantial portion of the requested grant funds goes toward the direct salary support of the principal investigator.
You should also note that your institution may have its own restrictions or limits on how much time faculty are allowed for course buyout, or release time. For example, a particular institution may have established a maximum number of course releases allowed per year in order to ensure program quality and continuity.
Your institution should have a University Research Administration or equivalent administrative office that assists faculty with developing budgets for the purposes of research. They should be able to provide you with information regarding institution-specific laws, regulations, or common practices that apply to budget development for research grants.
How do I calculate “% Time” in my Budget?
Answer: “% Time” is the justifiable percentage of time you propose to commit to your project, if funded. To approximate this percentage, you can estimate the fraction of time you will annually commit to your project out of the 2,080 standard work hours (52 weeks per year x 5 standard work days per week x 8 standard work hours per day) per calendar year. However, please note that this figure does not include holidays and personal leaves, so you should adjust your calculations where appropriate to suit your particular situation. Also, please note that faculty time charged to a research project needs to correspond to when the time is actually being spent. For example, it would not be appropriate to claim time in the summer when the actual work is occurring during the academic year.
How do you define “indirect costs”? What line items can be applied to indirect costs, and what line items cannot?
Answer: Indirect costs are any costs that are not directly allocatable to the supported activity. Requested funding for Indirect Costs can equal, at maximum, 15% of the Project Expense Total proposed in your budget. Indirect Costs are typically applied to any administrative fees incurred by your institution’s research administration.
Tight budgeting is encouraged in order to maximize the impact of the project as a whole, with emphasis on scientific return per dollar rather than per proposal.
How will each of the grant awards be disbursed?
Answer: All awards will be cost-reimbursable, which means that funds will be sent to reimburse the grantee for project expenses in accordance with their approved budget. In order to receive reimbursement, the grantee must submit an invoice for each expense. A typical process will proceed as follows: The financial contact named on your cover sheet will assemble an invoice detailing one or more expenses on a standard form produced by your institution. This invoice is sent, via the website, to Heather Caruso at the Center for Decision Research, who will process them for payment. The University of Chicago then reimburses your institution (the PI normally does not receive funds directly).
Can an award from this program be used to support ongoing research that is also supported by other funds? Can this award be used as a basis for seeking other funds?
Answer: Yes. If you plan on using your New Paths to Purpose award to support a research program funded by other sources, be sure to list the additional sources of funding in your proposal and indicate how a New Paths to Purpose award would allow you to expand or improve the research program. Note that if you have received funding from other sources for a proposed research project, you must use your New Paths to Purpose award to support new aspects of the project.
Also, you can apply for other grants and assistance to go along with your New Paths to Purpose award, should you receive it. However, we need to know about your plans at the time you submit your proposal, and we will request notification of successful funding requests. Our intent is to strongly encourage co-funding and/or follow-on funding of the research, provided that the funding is used for budget items not already funded by a New Paths to Purpose award.
I am not affiliated with a university or institution. How does this affect my eligibility and my award disbursement if chosen as one of the grantees?
Answer: If your proposal involves the use of human or animal subjects, you are ineligible for this competition unless you are affiliated with an organization that can provide IRB and IACUC approvals. If your proposal does not involve the use of human or animal subjects, you are eligible to apply on an individual basis, and should you become a grantee, our project administrators will work with you at that time to arrange appropriate procedures for award disbursement.
I reside and conduct my research outside of the United States. How does this affect my award disbursement if chosen as one of the grantees?
Answer: If you are a foreign resident and are selected as a grantee, regardless of whether or not you are affiliated with a university or institution, our project administrators will work with you at the time of your award to arrange appropriate procedures for award disbursement. You need not establish residency in the United States to receive the award.
I am applying as the principal investigator with a collaborator(s). Do I include the CV(s) of my collaborator(s)?
Answer: Yes. Your full proposal must include the submission of full-length CVs for the principal investigator, co-investigators, and dedicated senior collaborators.
Can I submit more than one proposal?
Answer: You may only serve as principal investigator on one submission; however, there is no limit on the number of submissions for which you can be named as a co-investigator.
I applied to the previous RFP and received funding for my project. Can I apply to the second RFP?
Answer: If you are the principal investigator on a project currently funded by the New Paths to Purpose Project, you are ineligible to serve as principal investigator on another submission. You may, however, serve as co-investigator on a new submission.
I applied to the previous RFP and did not receive funding for my project. Can I apply to the second RFP?
I applied as part of a team. If, upon invitation, we choose to submit a full proposal for this RFP, must all members of my team commit to attending the capstone conference and research network meeting?
Answer: No. Only a single principal investigator per project is required to attend the capstone conference and research network meeting. Co-investigators are encouraged (but not required) to attend both events. All collaborators (even those not named as investigators in the proposal) are welcome to attend the capstone conference, and your proposed budget may allocate funds to support any of this travel.
I am a person with a disability who will need specific accommodations in order to attend the research network meeting and/or capstone conference. Whom do I contact?