• About the Pre-Award Process
  • Financial Conflict of Interest Policy/Procedure
  • Proposal & Budget Preparation
  • PSU Graduate Assistantships Information
  • Research Assistant Salary Calculator
  • PSU Indirect Cost Rate
  • Proposal Approval Form
  • Fact Sheet - Information for Proposals

The Office of Research and Creative Endeavors (ORCE) supports faculty, staff and college/division budget coordinators in the development and submission of quality proposals and contracts that are both technically and administratively compliant with sponsor and University requirements.

The goal of submitting the highest quality proposal is accomplished through strong collaboration among researchers, college/division budget coordinators and ORCE.  ORCE serves as the primary point of contact and facilitator of the overall grant/contract process while balancing the need for institutional and sponsor regulatory compliance.

Pittsburg State University and its employees are committed to conducting themselves and their activities in a matter consistent with the highest standards of integrity and ethics. Disclosure of significant business or financial interests that may represent conflicts of interest is an important part of the grant writing process. The purpose of this policy/procedure is to ensure that faculty and staff are aware of and remain free form conflicts of interest that may arise as a result of interaction with the public and private sectors. Please read the policy here.

Once a funding opportunity has been identified, the work of proposal preparation begins.  The process involves internal (PSU systems/processes) and external (sponsor systems/requirements) components.

A Proposal Approval Form should be completed as soon as possible after the funding opportunity has been identified so that all parties (principal investigator, department budget coordinators, ORCE) can use the approval form information to track the proposal to the sponsor agency.  What to consider:

  • The routing form should contain, at a minimum, an accurate budget, a budget justification, and a project summary or brief scope of work, as well as any attachment(s) required for department, college/division, and ORCE review.
  • The budget must include line items with accurately calculated salary, fringe and indirect costs.
  • If a sponsor portal does not have any kind of administrative requirement or role for access and submission, the approval form must include all of the information and accompanying forms required by the sponsor so that all parties (principal investigator, department budget coordinators, ORCE) have access to the information.
  • If the sponsor has a specific system required for submitting the proposal, ORCE may need to set up an account, or an account may need to be affiliated with PSU.  Contact ORCE early in the process to ensure portal access for the PI and administrators.

Sponsored Projects vs. Gifts/Donations

Both sponsored projects and gift-funded activities are externally-supported with funds provided by sponsors and donors, topically in response to a proposal or request.  The classification of funding as "sponsored project" or "gift" will affect the way Pittsburg State University (PSU or University) and the Pittsburg State University Foundation (PSU Foundation) account for the funds, calculate and apply indirect costs, and report on the use of the funds to the sponsor or donor.

The classification of funding will determine the University office that will have administrative oversight of the sponsored project or gift.  All projects determined to be a sponsored project must be processed through the Office of Research and Creative Endeavors (ORCE).  Activities supported by a donor that are generally not considered sponsored projects must be processed as gifts to the University through the PSU Foundation.

Sponsored Projects

Sponsored projects are externally-funded activities in which a formal written agreement, e.g., a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement, is entered into by PSU and the sponsor.  A sponsored project is any externally supported research, clinical or scholarly activity that has a defined scope of work and set of objectives that provide a basis for accountability and sponsor expectations.  If any one of the following characteristics applies to a project, including commitments made in the proposal or required in the award agreement, it must be processed through PSU's ORCE:

  1. Sponsor is a federal, state, or local government OR an agency that has been established as a flow-through of federal, state, or local government funds for accounting purposes.
  2. Sponsor has written policies addressing indirect cost recoveries.  Note:  the absence of a policy does not preclude the award from being a sponsored program.
  3. Sponsor requires the delivery of specific goods or services by the University (e.g., technical assistance or training).
  4. Award payments are contingent upon programmatic achievements or fiscal reporting (e.g., technical reports, performance reports, milestones, invoices).
  5. Award requires a detailed technical report (this is generally more than a simple status report that details a project's progress).
  6. Award includes budget restrictions (e.g., prior approval for re-budgeting and restrictions on certain budget categories, equipment or fringe benefits).
  7. Award includes a provision for audit.
  8. Award restricts or monitors publications or use of results.
  9. Award requires protection of sponsor proprietary and/or confidential information.
  10. Award contains provisions regarding ownership of intellectual properties (i.e., patents and copyrights).
  11. Proposal or award requires a signature from the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) binding the University to the terms and conditions of the proposed project.
  12. Project involves, but is not limited to, the use of human subjects, vertebrate animals, radiation on humans, radioactive materials, human body substances, or proprietary materials.
  13. Project must be submitted for review by the University's Institutional Review Board (IRB)


Activities supported by a donor that are generally not considered sponsored projects and can be processed as gifts/donations through PSU Foundation might include the following characteristics:

  1. Award provides support for broadly defined activities, such as scholarships, endowments, building projects, instructional programs or unrestricted research.  The donor can restrict the use of funds to a specific program area or purpose.
  2. Award contains only minimal requirements, generally relating to required donor pledge payments and the University's commitment to achieve the donor's intent.
  3. Award requires only minimal reporting to the donor in the form of a general statement or report of how funds were used and the outcomes of the project.  The department or faculty/staff member involved can provide the donor with a brief summary of the results of supported activities and/or a statement that expenditures were made in accord with the intent of the gift.
  4. Award is irrevocable.
  5. Award may be called a grant by the donor or private foundation.
  6. Award may require a signature from an Authorized Official acknowledging acceptance of the award.  Award notice to be signed by an Authorized Official may include a general statement of the goals and objectives of the project as they are understood by the donor but such statements are not to be construed as a contract between the University and the donor wherein any specific projects or outcomes are to be delivered or provided to the donor.


Authorized Official:  The individual(s) formally authorized to bind the University to grants, contracts and other agreements; the official signatory for the institution on such documents.

Sponsored Project:  A grant, research contract or other agreement awarded to accomplish a specific goal or project.

Gift/Donation:  Something of value that is given to the University by a donor who expects nothing of significant value in return, other than recognition of the gift and its disposition in accordance with the donor's wishes.

When it is Unclear

Questions regarding whether a proposal or award is a sponsored project or a gift/donation should be directed to the ORCE or to the Development Director representing your college, school, department or program.  In some cases, projects that do not need to go through ORCE at the proposal stage become sponsored projects at the award stage because of the conditions set forth in the award agreement.

ORCE and PSU Foundation will work together to determine a project's classification when there is a question about how it should be processed.




University Development



Graduate Teaching Assistant: Must be the instructor of record for a course and receives $2,750 a semester and tuition.

Graduate Research Assistant: Paid a minimum of $15.40 an hour for 20 hours a week during the fall and spring. GRAs can work up to 40 hours a week in the summer. GRAs may be paid more if an increased rate or payment of tuition is included in the grant award.

Graduate Administrative Assistant: Paid $15.40 an hour for 20 hours a week during the fall and spring. GAAs can work up to 40 hours a week in the summer if funding is available. The link below provides more information about graduate assistants.

Student Research Assistant Salary Rate Calculator and estimates for grant proposals. Use the calculator to calculate the cost of a student research position or use predetermined estimates listed.

Clicking on the link below will take you to the PSU Budget Office Salary and Fringe Benefits Calculator. These calculators can be used to figure salary and fringe benefits for faculty and unclassified staff.

Clicking on the link below will take you to the PSU Budget Office Fringe Benefits Rates. Fringe benefits include retirement, FICA, workmen’s compensation, leave pay and health insurance.

The PSU-Health and Human Services indirect cost rate agreed to is 47% of salary and fringe benefits paid for by the grant. Below is a link to the Indirect Cost Rate Agreement.

All proposals for external funding for grants and sub-agreements  from federal, state, and private funds must be approved before a proposal can be submitted. The proposal initiator should complete the information on the form, attach the original proposal, gain the signatures of the Chairperson and Dean, then submit to Cindy Johnson. Approval of proposals that are not submitted to Cindy Johnson at least two working days before the mailing or submission deadline is not guaranteed. After approval by the Cindy Johnson the proposal will be returned to the proposal initiator for mailing or submission.

Proposal Approval Form



  • About the Post-Award Process
  • Establishing Grant/Research Contract Cost Centers


The post award phase of research administration includes implementing the grant/research contract, monitoring expenses, reporting progress, billing, and completing the closeout process.

During this phase of the award life cycle, research administration objectives are achieved through a collaborative effort among Principal Investigators, Department Grant Budget Coordinators, Office of Research and Creative Endeavors (ORCE), and the Business Office.  To ensure effectiveness and efficiency of operations, as well as proper stewardship of federal funding, Uniform Guidance requires that federal funding recipients establish and implement a system of internal controls that provide reasonable assurance that awards are being managed in compliance with Federal statutes, regulations, and terms and conditions of the awards.

ORCE assists researchers in managing the administrative and financial details of their externally funded projects and serves as the primary point of contact with sponsor contracting offices.

ORCE's Post-Award Role:

  • Serve as Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) regarding administration of all sponsored projects
  • Oversight and guidance for the post-award fiscal activities of all sponsored projects
  • Primary contact with the sponsor; offer guidance and answer questions relating to the award; contact the awarding agency when necessary on behalf of the Principal Investigator
  • New award set-up including working collaborative with the Business Office to open a project cost center utilizing the Cost Center Request Form (see more information under Establishing Grant/Research Contract Cost Centers)
  • Fulfillment of reporting requirements, contract terms and regulatory requirements
  • Serve as formal liaison with the sponsor on administrative changes throughout the life of the award; approve internally and/or submit to sponsors:
    • Changes in the scope of work
    • Change or absence of Principal Investigator
    • No-cost extensions
    • Carryover of unbigoted balances
    • Budget revisions
    • Approvals of all expenses
    • Any changes to an award during the award period
  • Manage time and effort reporting for sponsored programs
  • Approve budget and invoicing on all awards
  • Ensuring compliance with all applicable federal and state rules and regulations governing the administration fo sponsored projects
  • Award closeout when award has ended

ORCE works with the Business Office to establish new grant/research contract cost centers in PSU's GUS Cloud, and makes revisions to existing cost centers as warranted.

The Business Office assigns a cost center number and sets up an account in the GUS Cloud system upon receipt of a Cost Center Request Form from ORCE.  The Cost Center Request Form is available online.  Once the Principal Investigator (PI) receives notice of award, the cost center may be requested by the PI or the college/division Grant Budget Coordinator.  The notice of award and the final budget must be uploaded to the cost center request form as part of the submission process.

Our goal is to process all cost centers within five business days of receipt of the request form.  However, departments may see minor delays during high volume times of the year or when the Business Office must return a cost center request form to ORCE for correction or additional information.

For general questions about cost center set-up, please contact ORCE at  For specific cost center questions, please contact the Business Office at

 Cost Center Request Form

Funding Search Links

Use the links below to search federal funding across all agencies at, search for funding by federal agency and search for state funding.
Contact Cindy Johnson for a search of the Grantsmanship Center Funding Search Data Base.