Undergraduate-Research

Policies

Valparaiso University has several policies that relate specifically to the pursuit and administration of grants and fellowships.

Proposal Submission Deadline

The Office of Sponsored and Student Research (OSSR) is committed to ensuring timely submission of complete, compliant, and competitive proposals. To do this, OSSR needs to receive proposals at least 5 business days before the deadline to provide for adequate internal review. This policy applies to all proposals, including preliminary proposals and subcontract proposals. Details regarding the Grant Proposal Approval Form (GPAF) internal review process can be found here.

Submission of the GPAF packet does not guarantee University approval of the proposal. Proposals that fail to meet this deadline will receive a basic review to the extent reasonable. Proposals submitted to OSSR late are not guaranteed complete internal approval or submission to the funding agency.

Conflicts of Interest in Sponsored Projects

Valparaiso University’s Policy on Conflicts of Interest in Sponsored Projects strives to reduce, manage, or eliminate any conflicts of interest that may affect, or reasonably appear to affect, the sponsored projects of Valparaiso University employees.

Valparaiso University understands that relationships exist that could result in a conflict of interest. The purpose of this policy is to identify and manage such conflicts so that objectivity is ensured and research projects that are beneficial to society may proceed.

As part of the Grant Proposal Approval Form (GPAF) internal review process, investigators and key personnel are required to disclose all significant financial interests (including those of the investigator’s spouse and/or dependent children) on the Disclosure Statement Form (DSF). Investigators will be required to provide an updated DSF annually. Investigators must also disclose, by filing an updated DSF, any newly acquired or discovered significant financial interests within 30 days.

Indirect Costs

Some grants allow indirect costs (sometimes called facilities & administration or overhead costs) to be included in the grant budget request. 60 percent of the indirect funds are placed in the University’s general operating budget for costs associated with administering grants and 40 percent will be transferred to the dean of the college or the vice president of the administrative unit from which the grant proposal originated. The dean or vice president may use these funds at their discretion. However, using the model of the College of Arts and Sciences, the following distribution is recommended: 50% to the principal investigator (PI), 25% to the PI’s department chair, and 25% to the Dean. These funds are to be used to support research and professional development activities.

Maximum Faculty Summer Salaries

Most Valparaiso faculty have nine-month contracts and are able to work during the summer months as needed or desired.  The maximum allowable summer pay is tied to the faculty member’s Institutional Base Salary.

External Faculty Appointments

Faculty members are encouraged to pursue external faculty appointments or fellowships from public and private sponsors to support their research, teaching, or ongoing professional development.

PI Change in Employment Relationship

The University supports faculty and staff seeking grants and fellowships.  Sometimes, the Principal Investigator’s (PI’s) relationship with the University changes.  This policy outlines how various situations might be addressed.