Valparaiso University has several policies related 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 must receive proposals via the Grant Proposal Approval Form (GPAF) internal review process at least 5 business days before the submission deadline. Proposals that fail to meet this deadline will receive a basic review to the extent reasonable. Proposals submitted late are not guaranteed complete internal approval or submission to the funding agency. Submission of the GPAF packet does not guarantee University approval of the proposal. This policy applies to all proposals, including preliminary proposals and subcontract agreements. Details regarding the GPAF internal review process can be found here.
Conflicts of Interest in Sponsored Projects
Valparaiso University’s Policy on Conflicts of Interest in Sponsored Projects aims to reduce, manage, or eliminate any conflicts of interest that may affect, or reasonably appear to affect, the sponsored projects of employees. The 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.
Some grants allow indirect costs (sometimes called facilities & administration or overhead costs) to be included in the grant budget. For grants that reimburse us for expenses already incurred, 60 percent of the indirect funds are placed in the University’s general operating budget for costs associated with administering grants and 40 percent is 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. Some colleges use the following distribution of the 40 percent: 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. For grants that pay upfront, 60% supports general operations and 40% goes to the dean or vice president from which the grant proposal originated. Deans and vice presidents are encouraged to use these funds to support strategic initiatives or general operating costs. This policy was updated in March 2023.
Additional Compensation Policy
Federal regulations limit the ability of employees – faculty and staff – to be paid compensation above their annual salary/wages. This policy explains these regulations and the University’s interpretation and implementation of them.
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.
NSF Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research
The National Science Foundation (NSF) aims to ensure that people conducting NSF-funded research have safe and inclusive working environments when off-campus. (On-campus behavior is covered by existing University policies.) A project-specific plan must be developed for each NSF-funded research project. The plan does not need to be included in the grant application but must be kept on file and be easily accessible. The plan must be included in the GPAF internal routing packet prior to grant submission. The template below should be used to create grant-specific plans.
NSF and NIH Research Ethics Training
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) require that all researchers working on grant-funded projects be trained in research ethics. Training must be documented and completed at least once every 4 years. At Valpo, this training includes both an online component (CITI) and an in-person component.
- For faculty and staff, CITI certificates of completion must be included in the GPAF internal routing packet before proposal submission.
- For students, CITI training must be completed as soon as they know they will be working on grant-funded research. Certificates must be uploaded as part of the online registration for the in-person training.
- NOTE: CITI courses often have similar names; be sure to complete the courses that have “RCR” or “RECR” in their names.
- All research team members must register for the next available in-person training. The Office of Sponsored and Student Research will schedule several in-person trainings each year.
In-person Training Sessions
In-person training, facilitated by Valpo faculty, will be held on the following days. Each session will last 2 hours and is required for all faculty, staff, and students involved in NSF- or NIH-funded research. Other researchers are welcome to participate pending space availability.
- Tuesday, January 9, 2024, 10:00 am – Noon, Brown and Gold Room Register.
- Thursday, April 18, 2024, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Brown and Gold Room. Register.
Check out the Dilemma Game app developed by researchers at Erasmus Institute Rotterdam. The Dilemma Game confronts researchers with difficult dilemmas in the context of a critical dialogue, supporting them in further developing their own ‘moral compass’. For years, the Dilemma Game was played as a card game, but in 2020 the game has been digitalized. The Dilemma Game app now allows researchers to use the game anytime, anywhere, on their own, or together with peers and colleagues.
NSF and NIH Data Management and Sharing Plans
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) require grant proposals to include Data Management and Sharing Plans. While grant applications have long included Data Management Plans, funders are increasingly emphasizing the importance of researchers sharing their data publically. For a description of DMSP plan requirements, click on the button below.