Research

FAQs

Who at UMass Boston can serve as a Principal Investigator (PI)?

An employee can serve as a principal investigator. An employee, in this case, differs from an independent contractor for the following two reasons.

One, an employee is on the UMass Boston payroll; that is, he or she occupies a position with an on-going relationship with the university, has FICA and other taxes deducted, and is covered by unemployment and workmen's compensation insurance. An independent contractor is paid from a UMass Boston budget but is not on the payroll; he or she handles the required tax and insurance deductions independent of UMass Boston.

Two, an employee is closely and routinely supervised and reports to a supervisor who is a UMass Boston official. An independent contractor is neither closely nor routinely supervised but rather is given performance guidelines in a scope-of-work document. His or her efforts yield a required product and are reported in a project final report that is submitted to and evaluated by a UMass Boston official. For complete information and details, see "A Note Concerning Principal and Co-principal Investigators."

How soon should I submit my completed proposal to the ORSP?

All proposals for external funds (grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements) must be submitted through the ORSP, and must be completed and delivered to the ORSP no later than 5 business days prior to sponsor deadlines to provide our preaward staff with adequate time to review and/or assist you in developing your proposal budget, to route your proposal for signature to an authorized institutional (i.e., university) representative, and to allow our staff to electronically submit your proposal to the sponsor in a timely manner. Basic editing assistance of your proposal is available. Note: To be eligible for such editing assistance, completed proposals must be submitted no later than 5 business days prior to sponsor deadlines.

How can I learn where to apply for a grant?

Please visit our Funding Opportunities web page to access databases that provide information on thousands of grants.

What is a budget for a sponsored program?

A budget consists of all costs requested from the sponsor (i.e., funding agency or foundation) necessary to complete the project (i.e., salaries and wages, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, student tuition remission, projects supplies, subawards, services and consultants, other direct costs, and F&A cost recovery). To assist you, the ORSP has basic budget worksheets available on its web site.

How do I calculate financial and administrative cost recovery (also known as F&A or overhead)?

Please see "A Note Concerning the Recovery of Facilities and Administrative Costs of Sponsored Programs."

Who do I contact if my proposed research involves human subjects, animals, or hazardous materials?

Kristen Kenny is the coordinator of the university's Institutional Review Board (IRB), or the body responsible for ensuring that human subjects participating in research studies are protected from harm, and that the research benefits outweigh the associated risks. Kristen is also the university's interim research compliance coordinator for the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Institutional Bio-Safety Committee, and Institutional Radiation Safety Committee. Additionally, she ensures institutional compliance with export control regulations and serves as the central resource for all regulatory compliance needs (e.g., misconduct in science, conflict of interest, intellectual property).

How do I buyout a portion of my time and transfer my salary and benefits from state funds to sponsored funds?

Please read carefully the UMass Boston "Faculty Buyout Guidelines" (see Provost's website) as well as the "A Note Concerning Buyout" (see the Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives website) before beginning work on your grant proposal. Once you receive your grant funds, your department's administrative assistant or program's business manager should obtain a Personnel Action Form (PAF) from the Department of Human Resources web site. If your department or program does not have such a staff member, please contact the assistant dean in your dean's office. (back to top)

Who can I talk to in the Department of Human Resources to obtain information on using sponsored funds to hire staff?

Please contact your respective Human Resources Business Partners:

Business Partner:
Maggie Peterson Pinkham

617.287.7289
m.petersonpinkham@umb.edu

Business Partner:
Sandra Knight

617.287.5174
sandra.knight@umb.edu           

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How do I hire a current UMass Boston employee to work on my sponsored project?

If the grant-funded position will last more than twelve (12) months and includes benefits, then university recruitment and hiring procedures apply. If the position will last less than twelve (12) months and does not include benefits, then the principle investigator may simply hire a qualified individual for the position.

For complete details, please contact your respective Human Resources Business Partner, Maggie Petersen Pinkham (617.287.7289) or Sandra Knight (617.287.5174). You can also find additional information on the employment and recruitment page as well as the payroll page on the Department of Human Resources web site.

How do I hire someone who is not a UMass Boston employee to work on my sponsored project?

If the grant-funded position will last more than twelve (12) months and includes benefits, then university recruitment and hiring policies and procedures apply. If the position will last less than twelve (12) months and does not include benefits, then the principle investigator may simply hire a qualified individual for the position.

For complete details, please contact your respective Human Resources Business Partner, Maggie Petersen Pinkham (617.287.7289) or Sandra Knight (617.287.5174). You can also find additional information on the employment and recruitment page as well as the payroll page on the Department of Human Resources web site.

How do I hire a graduate student to work on my sponsored project?

For graduate assistantships, place your request with the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies, which will assist you in identifying what type of graduate assistantship you would like to advertise. Graduate Studies will also provide you with the necessary paperwork and, if needed, assist you with completing it. Graduate Studies will then forward the paperwork to the Department of Human Resources and it will in turn advertise the job for two weeks on its web site. Candidates will apply directly to the hiring department or supervisor. For basic stipend information, please see the "GEO Contract Implementation Guidelines (3/8/06)", especially the section on grant or contract-funded assistantships on page 5, available on the Graduate Studies Office forms web page.

Are there different paper forms for paying honoraria to speakers or purchasing supplies with grant funds as opposed to state funds?

No. The same forms are used and the same procurement policies, processes, and procedures are observed. All procurement forms are available on the Office for Procurement web site, and all completed forms should be sent to the Office of Procurement for processing. (ORSP's contribution to the procurement process is to confirm for the Office for Procurement that grant funds are available for your requested purchase.) You will, however, need to ensure that all such purchases conform to university fiscal policies and guidelines, as well as the allowable costs as defined in the funding award letter you received from the sponsor.