Frequently Asked Questions

What services does SPGM offer?

  • Assistance in Finding Grant Opportunities
  • Setting up and training for COS Pivot
  • Review Agency Guidelines
  • Budget Preparation for Grants
  • Proofreading Grant Proposals for grammar and format.
  • Research Design Assistance
  • Facilitate Multi-disciplinary teams
  • Preparing application packages
  • Helping in obtaining internal approvals
  • Submitting applications to Sponsors
  • Various Training Sessions & Workshops
  • Negotiating Awards
  • Establishing Funding on Institution’s general ledger system


How do I find funding?

COS Pivot is a leading funding search database. Because Radford University is a registered subscriber, each RU faculty member can sign up for an individual account. To customize your profile or update your account, login to COS Pivot at   For training on the system, or assistance with username or password, please contact our office.

As the Principal Investigator, do I need to register with or Systems for Award Management (SAM)?

No, you do not need to register for or Systems for Award Management.  Radford University is registered as the official organization on these systems and updates the information annually.  SPGM submits all applications packages on behalf of the university.   

How do I route a proposal through SPGM?

All proposals should be routed through Sponsored Programs using the SPGM Internal Routing Form.  The form should be completed in full and reviewed and signed by your appropriate departmental administrator and the appropriate dean's office.  Once signed, please forward with the proposal to Sponsored Programs for review and official university signature.

An SPGM Internal Routing Form is required when:

  1. A new proposal is submitted to a Sponsor.
  2. A revised proposal is submitted to a Sponsor that includes budget or cost sharing changes. Does not apply to technical modifications.
  3. A continuation proposal is submitted to a Sponsor - even if the additional years' funds were requested in the original proposal. The key here is the word "submitted." If the PI must submit a budget and request for continued funding, we assign a new proposal number (a) so that we can locate the paperwork for negotiations with the sponsor and readily match the award with the proposal when it comes in and (b) because the direction of the research may change as well as rates and budget amounts and it is easier to track all aspects of the research if we have new paperwork covered by a current proposal number.
  4. Additional funds are received that were not requested in the original proposal.
  5. A check or award is received in SPGM and no proposal exists.

Who submits an electronic application?

SPGM normally submits all proposals electronically especially since most proposals require the authorized organizational representative to submit the proposal.  On the other hand, some sponsors have electronic systems that permit the PI to submit the final version of the proposal.  We ask that you always contact SPGM to determine the proper submission process, to obtain university approval and confirmation from SPGM.

Where do I find the University's DUNS number, tax id number and other items such as Radford University's Congressional District?

Please contact SPGM and we will be happy to provide that information to you.  SPGM normally inserts this information into your grants package for you.

Who copies and mails the proposal?

SPGM will be happy to review, copy and mail your proposal to the sponsor.  We ask that you please provide the proposal to this office at least two business days in advance to ensure that we have time to meet the sponsor's deadline.

Can a Principal Investigator (PI) or departmental administrator send a proposal or quote directly to an external sponsor?

All outgoing proposals need to go through SPGM for review. SPGM is responsible for ensuring contractual arrangements are in compliance with federal, state and university guidelines. Review and involvement at the proposal stage helps to avoid issues at the award stage such as using the correct rates (fringe benefits, F&A) and avoiding provisions that cannot be accepted under Commonwealth of Virginia State Law.

Can a faculty member serve as a consultant or subcontractor on a grant held by another faculty member?

No. A Radford faculty member cannot be a consultant on a sponsored project, but may serve as a faculty associate or co-principal investigator on the sponsored project of another faculty member. Funding change forms should be processed to accurately reflect effort expended.

What is cost sharing?

Cost sharing is the portion of project expenses related to a sponsored agreement that is contributed by parties other than the sponsor and not directly charged to the sponsored project account(s). This may include equipment grants, construction projects, or Interagency Personnel Agreements.

Cost sharing may be required by the sponsor as a condition of receiving an award ("mandatory cost sharing") or offered by the Principal Investigator by including it in the sponsored proposal document ("voluntary committed cost sharing").

Cost sharing must be proposed, approved, administered, and accounted for in a consistent and prudent manner. This includes understanding workload implications of the cost-sharing commitment; determining when cost sharing is appropriate; and accurately recording and reporting cost-sharing expenses.

What are direct costs?

Direct Costs are costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity or that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy.

What are indirect cost (also referred to as overhead / facilities and administrative cost)?

Indirect charges are simply costs that cannot practically, or in a cost-effective manner, be directly tied to a single project.  Examples of these types of cost includes: utilities, office supplies, general office equipment, telephones, and administrative support.  Administrative support includes salaries and benefits for departmental, college and university personnel involved in the central operation of the institution.

How do I route a proposal when Radford University is the subaward?

All proposals, whether we are the subaward or the lead, will be routed through Radford University.  For internal administrative and routing proposes, the faculty member at Radford will be designated as the Principal Investigator for Radford University.  When Radford University is the subaward, we will also submit and review our portion of the proposal with the lead institution.

How do I handle having subcontracts (subawards) in my proposal?

At the time SPGM creates your budget, you will designate the subcontracts.   Each subcontract will supply a separate institutional approved itemized budget, scope of work, letter of commitment, and any other documents necessary to fulfill the requirements of the proposal.  When the budget is prepared, Radford University’s indirect cost will be assessed on the first $25,000 of each subcontract.  Please remember when working with other subcontracts, you need to factor in time for them to process their paperwork through their institution.  We are happy to assist you by working with the subcontract's sponsored programs representative to help facilitate this process.

How do I transfer a grant to Radford University?

First, you will need to review the agency guidelines governing the grant.  Second, please notify SPGM that you wish to transfer your grant.  Your previous institution will prepare a relinquishing statement to send to the sponsored agency.  Please obtain a copy of the relinquishing statement and send it to our office.  We will internal route your proposal with a copy of the budget and a narrative of your proposal.  SPGM will also complete any necessary forms required by the agency.  Should your project involve an issue of compliance, you will need to secure approval from Radford University’s Research Compliance Office.

Can I charge administrative and clerical costs to my sponsored project?

For federally sponsored projects, Radford University must adhere to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)  2 CRF 220 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.  Therefore, the salaries of administrative and clerical staff, office supplies, postage, local telephone costs, and memberships should normally be treated as indirect costs.  Direct charging of administrative may be included under special circumstances.  Please contact SPGM to discuss your budget and refer to our policy, Consistency in Charging Administrative and Clerical Costs.

Who owns equipment purchased from sponsored funds?

Sponsors determine who owns the title to equipment purchased on a grant.  Normally, Radford University retains the title to most federally sponsored research equipment and we always try to negotiate title for the equipment.  However, some sponsors wish to retain the title to the equipment.  Therefore, the equipment is considered on loan to Radford University.

When is a proposal 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(s) the off-campus rate will apply.  Grants or contracts 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.

Who signs award agreements from the sponsor for my research project or grant activity?


The authorized representative of the University must review and accept all project awards.  As principal investigator, you cannot sign the agreement because you do not have the contractually authority to bind the university.  Therefore, all agreements should be forward to SPGM either via email, mail, or in person.  We will coordinate the review of the agreement to ensure it complies with policies and regulations of the State and University, as well as obtain the proper signatures.