Grant/Contract Terms/Acronyms & FAQS
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is GSR?
GSR stands for Graduate Studies and Research and is the name of
the combined services and offices of the Fiscal Grants
Management (Administration & Finance division for post award
administration, audit and compliance) and Grants and Sponsored
Research Offices (Provost Division for Pre-award
2. Where is GSR?
We are located in a suite of offices on the second floor of
Holloway Hall, Rooms 261-266
3. How do I find funding?
GSR staff can advise you on how to locate a funding
source that is appropriate for your project and budget.
GSR subscribes to SPIN, a database that provides
electronic access to funding opportunities. Visit:
for new and ongoing opportunities, funding databases and
grants bulletins. We recommend that you visit this sight often,
as this information us updated on a regular basis.
4. What kind of assistance is provided for the grant
GSR staff members are available to assist you
throughout the process. We can advise you on preparing a project
narrative in the appropriate form, and can assist
you with proposal preparation, editing the narrative, developing
the budget and writing the budget justification.
For tips on how to prepare a solid proposal, read
Best Practices for Preparing a Winning Proposal (PDF).
Additionally, the following links may be beneficial for writing
the proposal narrative:
Grant Writing Links & Resources –
The Grantsmanship Center –
The Foundation Center –
5. What is the approval procedure for proposals?
In order to process an external proposal through the University,
you must complete the Internal Review Form that accompanies the
formal proposal through the internal review process, and obtain
the approval signatures of the appropriate administrative
offices, such as the department chair and dean. The Internal
Review form specifies the level of institutional commitment to
the proposed activity and provides evidence of departmental and
Dean’s support. After departmental approvals are obtained, the
application is sent to GSR for final review and approval.
6. Do all grant applications and proposals have to
go through the approval process?
University policy requires that all grant applications and
proposals must go through the standard approval process before
they are submitted to a potential sponsor or funding agency.
This policy applies to grant proposals that are submitted to a
private funding sponsor, such as a foundation or corporation, a
public sponsor, such as a Federal or State agency, or to any
other organization, such as a professional association or
society. Continuations, renewals, and supplements, as well as
new proposals must be approved before submittal.
7. How many days does GSR need to review my proposal
before its actual deadline submission to the sponsor?
We strongly recommend that proposals arrive in the GSR office at
least three business days before the application is due at the
sponsor’s office. However, due to unforeseen delays at the
department or dean level, we recommend that faculty members
begin their routing at least five business days prior to
8. How do I obtain the Institution Information
required on the application?
Information typically required for the application
process can be found on the
for Grants and Contracts sheet (Download PDF). For
additional information, such as Salisbury University’s
institutional faculty and student statistics, Congressional
Representation, etc., please see the University Analysis,
Reporting and Assessment website at:
9. My proposal requires a Grants.gov registration.
What is my next step?
Salisbury University has already completed the registration
process for Grants.gov, and the GSR Office is equipped to
transmit your application electronically.
10. How does the University define a gift, and how
do fellowships differ from grants?
Gifts to the University of an unrestricted nature, or those
restricted to general or generic program use, which do not
include any quid pro quo conditions, are not subject to the
endorsement process. A gift is defined as an asset conveyed to
the University for which there is no consideration or obligation
of performance, and for which the donor has no means of
enforcement beyond revocation of the gift in the event that the
University fails to honor the covenants under which the asset
was bestowed. Gifts are typically handled by the Salisbury
Fellowships are awards made to individual applicants and not
Salisbury University. Fellowship applications do not normally go
through the approval process; however, in a few cases sponsors
choose to award fellowship funds to the University on behalf of
a faculty member. In these cases, the University is the
applicant and the application must go through the approval
11. What is cost sharing or matching?
The Federal Government defines cost sharing as that portion of
the project or program costs not borne by the Federal
Government. In other words, cost sharing on a proposal is the
amount of cash, in-kind support (e.g. department paid salaries),
or any other support the University promises to commit to the
proposed project. Cost sharing may also include third party
support on a budget (e.g. funding from another external grant).
When a grant is awarded with a cost shared budget, the cost
sharing becomes a condition of the grant, and the University is
held accountable for the management and tracking of the cost
sharing portion of the project.
If your proposal budget contains cost sharing or matching funds,
you must complete #3 on the Internal Review Form and obtain
necessary signatures. Please contact GSR staff if you have any
questions concerning cost sharing.
12. How should I proceed if an agency does not allow
F&A costs charged in a proposal budget?
Salisbury University has a federally negotiated F&A cost
agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Therefore, Federal agencies honor our F&A cost rate charges on
grants and proposals. This is a common practice for most
universities that receive Federal grant funding. Most Maryland
State agencies only allow a small predetermined percentage of
F&A costs on the direct award expenses while certain other
private foundations or companies do not allow F&A costs on a
proposal or award. Contact GSR staff for more information about
13. How should I proceed if another University or
organization wants to include me as a Co-Principal Investigator
on a grant?
When researchers from Salisbury University are featured as
Co-Principal Investigators on another institution’s proposal,
the primary organization or institution submitting the proposal
usually issues a subcontract to Salisbury University once the
grant is awarded. Documentation of sub-awards must be kept on
file in the GSR office. Therefore, the SU researcher will need
to submit a statement of work, a budget and a signed Internal
Review form to the GSR Office. This must be completed before the
final proposal documents are sent to the submitting institution.
14. How should I proceed if I need to issue a
subcontract from my grant award to another institution?
When a subcontract is issued from a grant awarded to Salisbury
University, the Principal Investigator should initiate the
subcontracting process by contacting the GSR Office.
15. What happens when a proposal is awarded?
All award documentation should be forwarded, received and
recorded by the GSR. GSR shall then proceed with account
creation, internal setup and project maintenance. However, some
researchers may personally receive the documentation from the
sponsor. Therefore it is important that all grant documentation
(award letter, checks or other correspondence) be submitted to
the GSR for final review and processing.
16. How do I access my project account in
You may contact the Director-General Accounting directly for
access and training after you have met with GSR for the initial
grant award setup meeting. You may also contact GSR staff for
individualized, project-specific PeopleSoft help.
17. Can I transfer items within my budget?
Usually yes, although sometimes the awarding agency must approve
any budget adjustments or amendments in advance. In all cases,
budget adjustments or reallocations should be approved by the
GSR before submission to the sponsor. In most cases, the GSR
must also reallocate any budget change in its PeopleSoft
Financials before spending can occur.
18. May I spend funds after the project ‘official’
No, the project would require an approved extension date in
order to expend remaining funds.
19. Who completes the project programmatic report(s)
and the financial report(s)?
The Principal Investigator (PI) normally completes any
programmatic reports while GSR completes the financial report
requirements. For auditing purposes, GSR maintains copies of all
20. What is a shadow system?
GSR creates and maintains an internal spreadsheet for all
restricted projects, to track spending and revenue items. Each
month, this spreadsheet is reconciled to PeopleSoft
Financials-N-Vision Report and sent to the Project Administrator
for review. The internal spreadsheet should capture any
outstanding expenses, including payroll and travel, while
PeopleSoft Financials N-Vision Report generally does not capture
any obligated/encumbered normal expenditure transactions that
are “in process” processed.
For additional information, please visit our
Training Resources page or contact
us at 410-677-0047.