Top FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

 How are course releases calculated?

 A course release is charged to a grant budget at 15% of one’s annual salary which is equivalent to 1.35 months of a 9-month/36-week appointment. 

EXAMPLE: Cost of Course Release = $90,000 [Annual Salary] x .15 [15%] = $13,500

How is supplemental pay calculated?

Supplemental I salary is derived from the weeks when the faculty member is off contract and cannot exceed their weekly salary/effort. For example, faculty members on 36-week appointments are eligible for up to 12 additional weeks of supplementary I funding making their total weeks of compensation 48 weeks.  As shown in the table below, total compensation cannot exceed 48 weeks, such that total weeks of one’s annual contract is inversely related to their weeks of eligibility for supplemental I salary. Further, the supplemental salary for each additional week is determined by the employee’s weekly salary of their annual contract.

EXAMPLE: 1-week of Supplemental I Salary = $90,000 [36-week contract amount] x .02777 [1 week of one’s 36 week contract is 2.777% of their salary] = $2,499.30

AppointmentSupp 1IBSAppointmentSupp 1IBS
36 12 48 43 5 48
37 11 48 44 4 48
38 10 48 45 3 48
39 9 48 46 2 48
40 8 48 47 1 48
41 7 48 48 0 48
42 6 48

Subcontract versus Vendor?

Subcontractors:

  • are responsible for programmatic decision making
  • must adhere to federal program compliance requirements
  • use federal funds to carry out a program of the recipient organization

Vendors:

  • operate in a competitive environment
  • provide goods and services within normal business operations (only ancillary [subsidiary] to the federal program)
  • provide similar goods and services to many different purchasers
  • are not subject to the compliance requirements of the federal program

Participant or a Human Subject?

RAG22 Guidelines for Participant Support Costs

Participant
An individual who is receiving a service or training opportunity from a workshop, conference, seminar, symposium or other short-term instructional or information sharing activity funded by a sponsored award. A participant may be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or foreign national. The participant must have a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Who may be a participant?

  • Post-doctorates and graduate assistants serve in a dual role at the University.  These individuals are eligible to be participants unless they have a role in organizing the event or forwarding the project’s aims and are receiving compensation directly or indirectly from the grant.
  • Student wage employees, including graduate assistants receiving bridge funding over the summer through wage or Fixed-Term 2 appointments, are participants only if they are strictly attending the workshop for training purposes.
  • The determination of participant status relates to their primary role – student or employee/graduate assistant.  For a project where post-doctorates or graduate assistants or wage payroll students of the University are helping to manage the logistical/administrative details of a sponsored conference or training project, such work would be considered part of their appointment duties and therefore their time and/or travel expenses should be paid for by another appropriate funding source. They should not receive participant support funds on top of that. Conversely, if a post-doctorate, graduate assistant or student wage employee is attending a conference specifically to receive training, those costs generally may be included as participant support costs.

Who may not be a participant?

  • Penn State faculty or staff members. 
  • A student or project staff member receiving compensation directly or indirectly from the grant.
  • Professional or keynote presenters whose only role in attending is as a presenter.
  • NOTE:  Individuals attending a conference who may also present a session on their research findings as a secondary role could still be considered participants if appropriately documented.
  • Research subjects receiving incentive payments to participate in studies are not participants for this policy.

RP03 The Use of Human Participants in Research

Human participant” or "Human subject" under the FDA regulations means an individual who is or becomes a subject in research, either as a recipient of a test article or as a control. For medical device studies in which data will be submitted to the FDA or held for inspection by the FDA, a human participant includes a human on whose specimen an investigational device is used.

Should I contact the College of Education Research Office for any Internal or External submissions I plan on submitting?

Intent To Submit Proposal 

  • We are here to assist you with your proposals.
  • We are here to review and decide if it is a gift or a grant. The proper pathway can then be followed so that there aren’t any delays in the funding.
  • The funding you are applying for also included foundations.

Commonly Requested Proposal Documents –   Please contact the Research Office @ L-OER@Lists.psu.edu  or (814) 865-0596 for templates of the below documents.

  • Data Management Toolkit - This toolkit guides writing a data management plan. It also includes information about services and tools for data management.

        https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/dmptoolkit or contact L-DATA-MGMT@lists.psu.edu

Repository Service

  • ScholarSphere  Penn State's institutional repository. Collects the scholarly output, including data sets, produced by Penn State researchers (faculty, students, and staff), preserving research for ongoing access.
  • DataCommons  Disciplinary data repository at Penn State to which researchers may submit data for dissemination and compliance purposes.
  • re3data.org Index of data repositories you can search to see if there's an appropriate disciplinary repository for your research data.
  • Facilities, Equipment, and Resources This section of a proposal is used to assess the adequacy of the resources available to perform the effort proposed to satisfy both the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts review criteria. Proposers should describe only those resources that are directly applicable. Proposers should include an aggregated description of the internal and external resources (both physical and personnel) that the organization and its collaborators will provide to the project, should it be funded.