The PI/PD (Principal Investigator/Project Director) completes a pre-proposal before starting the actual proposal to ensure the project can be supported by the University, and to prevent duplication of pursuing the same funding opportunity.  

Pre-proposal consists of:

Pre-proposal form


Approvals by:

Department Chair/Unit head

Grants Committee


The salary budgeted for project staff is a combination of the percent of their base salary plus the amount necessary to cover fringe benefits.  The base salary is the individuals institutionally approved yearly salary. The portion of this base amount indicated on the grant budget represents their project contribution.  Since the fringe rate is variable depending upon level of pay, always contact the Grants Officer for the appropriate fringe rate before completing the personnel section of the proposal budget.  Budget Helper, located on the Grants and Sponsored Programs website is a tool for estimating your fringe benefits rate.

Most granting agencies will allow an investigator to supplement his/her pay if the investigator is employed on less than a 12-month contract.  It is Western’s policy that if faculty are employed on a 9-month contract and are not teaching summer school, they will be eligible to request and receive up to 2/9s of their 9-month salary as additional summer compensation.  The fringe amount necessary for summer pay may be significantly different from the amount budgeted for the regular 9-month contract period, so always contact the Grants Officer for the appropriate fringe rate before completing the personnel section of the proposal budget.  Please note that the allowable amount of summer project pay is prorated according to an individual’s summer teaching load.  The more you teach the less summer pay you can receive through a summer project.

Faculty and staff reassigned time, externally funded through sponsored projects, is available only through mutual agreement with the appropriate department chair, dean, and vice president.  Project funds must be used to cover the staffing (normally 1/24 of salary and benefits per load hour).  A formal request for reassigned or reduction in time (approved via the pre-proposal summary form) must be submitted to and approved by the appropriate chairperson and dean before adding it to your budget.

Undergraduate students must be paid at least minimum wage, and Graduate Assistants must be projected at the rate required for a non-resident graduate student.  This includes a GA stipend for two semesters, 24 credit hours of tuition waiver, and a parking permit fee.  Summer salary budgeted for undergraduate student labor paid at an hourly rate must also include an additional request for the University’s potential commitment to FICA as a fringe benefit.  Hourly undergraduate student workers during the academic year who maintain a full academic schedule are not subject to FICA, but if a student takes or drops below 12 credits, FICA will be incurred and should be budgeted.

While the amount of money required to complete the project is referred to as direct costs, the overhead expenditures incurred by Western are referred to as indirect costs.  Indirect costs, what the OMB refers to as Facilities and Administrative costs, are added to the total budget amount in order to compensate the institution for general operating expenditures (i.e., accounting, facility maintenance, and administrative services). This rate is approved by the Department of Health and Human Services, and cannot be negotiated by the PI/PD.  Western currently utilizes the simplified procedure for small institutions, which looks at the ratio of total salaries and wages paid to all employees to the amount of facilities and administrative costs that are categorized as follows: general administration and general expenses, operation and maintenance of physical plant, library, and department administration expenses.  The indirect fees added to outgoing proposals should be calculated as a percent of base salaries and wages.  The fringe benefit amount is not to be included in your calculation of indirect fees.  Contact the Grants Officer for the current rate.  Most federal and state granting agencies permit inclusion of indirect expenses in the budget, while private foundations often do not.  Whether or not your prospective funding agent permits this allowance is usually outlined within the agency funding policies available via the agency website.  It is the policy of Missouri Western State University to recover all allowable indirect costs for sponsored programs.  All Federal agencies are obligated by law to recognize an institution’s full-audited rates.  In some situations, however, the agency may recognize the full rate but allow only partial recovery.  If the indirect costs are not recovered, they are contributed as formal or informal cost sharing, whether cost sharing is required by the program or not.

Any funds which the institution contributes as part of the grant are referred to as Matching Funds.  Any matching funds must be requested in advance on the pre-proposal form and approved in advance.  Explicitly identify the fund, organization, account, and program codes.

  • Allowable Expenditures: The same policies and procedures that apply to spending institutional monies apply to grant monies (e.g., state travel regulation, purchasing requirements, salary increase limitations, etc.).  In addition, May expenses are not allowed to be charged to Federal Grants. Those limitations are listed in 2 CFR Part 220.
  • Timeliness of Expenditures: Expenditures incurred outside of the stated award period will not be reimbursed.  The PI/PD must work with Accounting Services to spend out or encumber funds before the end of the funding period.
  • Spending Across Budget Lines: Each agency has its own rules regarding flexibility within the four main budgetary categories (personnel, operating expenses, capital expenditures, and indirect costs). The guidelines of the funding agency supersede Western policy. The Grants Officer will advise on the steps to be taken when a revision in the financial plan becomes necessary.
  • Personnel Expenditures: The first step in paying grant employees is to determine the appropriate classification of pay.  Several classifications and methods of payment are available. Please refer to the budget as approved by the funding agency and the Grants Officer for the classification of project staff.
  • 100% Grant Funded Positions: If new positions are funded as the result of a grant, and those positions do not become part of the regular institutional budget, those are often referred to as “soft money” positions.  Staff on soft money positions must expend all accrued vacation each year and always prior to the expiration of their grants. There will be no payouts for accrued vacation.  Staff on soft money positions must be aware at all times that the conditions of their employment are dependent on the funding agency, and could change at any time.
  • Travel Expenditures: If your grant allows for reimbursement of travel expenditures all applicable State and University travel regulations must be followed.  All travel documents (i.e., itemized receipts for meals, lodging, or airfare) must be submitted with a remittance form or procurement log to Accounting Services for processing.
  • Non-Travel Expenditures: The PI/PD may purchase the supplies specified in the project budget through personal methods of payment or with a Western procurement card.  If purchasing supplies with personal funds, the PI/PD must submit an itemized receipt with a completed remittance form.  If the grant has an operating budget for non-travel expenditures of at least $2,000 the PI/PD may choose to obtain a procurement card.  The procurement card is administered through Accounting Services and the Procurement Card Policies and Procedures handbook provides guidance on appropriate use.
  • Vendors: For all grants over $25,000 vendors must be checked against the federal Excluded Parties list at
  • Ensuring that the proposed project adheres to all University, state, and federal protocols as they relate to human subjects, animal welfare, materials handling (biohazard/radioactive), and plans for personnel and student training regarding ethical conduct of research and all other required training for the sponsor and/or project.
  • Specific Procedures Applicable to National Institutes of Health (NIH)- and National Science Foundation (NSF)-Funded Research: In compliance with NIH- and NSF-specific regulations concerning the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), the University requires compliance with specific procedures that promote research integrity and ethical conduct in research. Please refer to the RCR Procedures document for guidance. This document is maintained by the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs and can be found on the office’s Website.
  • Full disclosure of all commitments being proposed by the University (e.g., cash and in-kind cost share, curriculum changes, policy advocacy, training and development, program sustainability, etc.)
  • Conducting sufficient due diligence to ensure the proposed project does not present a potential financial or other conflict of interest for participating personnel or the University.
  • Specific Procedures Applicable to U.S. Public Health Service (PHS)- and National Science Foundation (NSF)-Funded Programs/Projects: The University will apply specific provisions to PHS-and NSF-funded programs/projects as required and detailed in the document entitled, “Specific Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Compliance Procedures for PHS- and NSF-Funded Programs/Projects.” These requirements are subject to change by the issuing agencies.
  • Confirming, with signed documents, commitments and understandings of third-party collaborators and stakeholders involved in the proposed project.
  • Providing to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs the information and data required to complete standard submission forms.
  • If funded, ensuring that the program is conducted in a manner that adheres to all University, state, federal, and sponsor guidelines.
  • Notifying the Missouri Western Foundation of all possible funding proposals being considered.