The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago

Local Business Center, Division of the Physical Sciences

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Some Agency Specific Issues

The following are a collection of some of the more commonly encountered agency specific issues...


  • All PIs and co-PIs must have a Fastlane profile.
  • Financial Administrators can reset the Fastlane password for University investigators.
  • Cumulative 2-month salary limit per year from all NSF funding (can be academic year or summer).
  • A PI must show effort on an award (charge salary) during each award period which, including no-cost extensions. Not applicable if PI salary is disallowed.
  • A mentoring plan is required if post docs are supported.
  • A Data management plans is required.
  • Participant support costs do NOT incur IDC.
  • Voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.
  • For a more expansive list, see NSF's Agency Specific Research Terms and Conditions.


  • Use SF-424 budget forms when rebudgeting proposals (include a revised budget justification).
  • Participant support incurs IDC.


  • NASA grant recipients may not use funds appropriated after April 25, 2011 "to participate, collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or any Chinese owned companies at the prime recipient level or at any subrecipient level, whether the bilateral involvement is funded or performed under a no-exchange of funds arrangement." See the grant information circular for full details.
  • All project personnel named in the proposal must be registered in NSPIRES.
  • Requires foreign collaborators concurrence in NSPIRES, so be aware of time zone differences as you come down to the wire in posting the online application.
  • Special PDF instructions for the Nspires system (see the Proposers' Guidebook for details).
  • Maximum combined size for all attached files to a proposal (in NSPIRES) is limited 10 megabytes. This applies to submissions as well because will ulitmately transmit the proposal to NSPIRES.


  • The NIH salary cap is applicable to all project personnel (but not consultants). The current level can be found at the NIH salary cap page. It is updated in January and remains in effect for a full calendar year.
    1. It is easy to think of the salary cap as a monthly salary cap. Hence, (CAP/12 = monthly cap) is the total amount of salary per person that can be charged to the grant in any given month at 100% effort. The total amount of annual salary one can take is this monthly cap times the number of months in their appointment (12*monthly cap = 12-month appointment cap) and (9*monthly cap = 9-month appointment cap).
    2. Any monthly excess salary over the cap is paid by the investigator's department if it is during his/her appointment term. When out-of-appointment, the investigator can either forfeit the excess or charge it to his/her research incentive account.
    3. The award can be rebudgeted to allow for an updated cap if it changes during a project year, but no additional funds will be automatically given from NIH because of a change in the salary cap. See for details.
    4. The administrator must balance up to three different schedules to properly account for the salary cap...
      1. Salary cap year 01/31 - 12/31: must ensure that personnel do not receive more than the allowed cap during the effective year (cannot exceed the monthly allowed amount either).
      2. Project year: must ensure that the appropriate percentage of time is allocated in any given project year.
      3. University fiscal year: may need to make payroll distribution adjustments because of salary increases.
  • PHS 398 Modular Budgets may be an option for new, renewal, and resubmission applications as well as for revisions for individual research project grants (R01), small grants (R03), exploratory/development grants (R21), Clinical Trial Planning Grants (R34) and Academic Research Enhancement Awards (R15). Applicants may request up to a total of $250,000 of direct costs per year (excluding consortium F&A costs) in modular increments of $25,000, regardless of whether the application is an investigator-initiated application or is one submitted in response to a PA/RFA. Modular procedures do not apply to SBIR and STTR Phase I grants (R43 and R41), and do not apply to foreign (non-U.S.) organizations. If given the option between a SF424 Budget form and a PHS 398 Modular Budget Form, one must choose one or the other for all budget periods in the application.
    The budget justification for amodualr budget is typically simpler than the standard SF424 and should include the following information:
    • Personnel: the role of ALL personnel should be described by position, role, and level of effort (including consultants and any "to be appointed" positions). Individual salary information should not be given. This is uploaded as an attachment.
    • Consortium and Contractual Costs should be provided with an estimate of Total Costs (Direct plus F&A) rounded to the nearest $1,000. For each key individual/organization listed, the role and percent effort should be provided. It should be indicated whether each collaborating institution is foreign or domestic. The total consortium/contractual costs should be included in the overall requested modular direct cost amount. This is uploaded as an attachment.
    • Variation in the number of modules ($25,000 increments) requested in different years should be described and justified, without providing additional budget information. For example, purchase of equipment in year 1 may result in a greater number of modules being requested in year 1 than in subsequent years. Also, any exlcusions from the indirect cost base should be explained along with any other itmes that may need additional justification. This is uploaded as an attachment.


  • TBA

American Chemical Society

  • American Chemical Society New Directions requires current and pending to be expressed as direct cost and only the annual amount.

Krell Foundation

  • TBA

Sloan Foundation

  • Follow these steps when processing Sloan Foundation Fellowships...
    1. Create a new funding proposal in AURA when the award letter is recieved. We must wait for the award letter because nominations are anonymous and the PI is unaware until the awards are made.
    2. Budget-one line general of general costs no IDCs.
    3. PI needs effort - direct draw or cost share.
    4. Complete questions 13-17 in Aura.
    5. Upload copy of award letter.
    6. Complete reconciliation.

Women's Board of the University of Chicago

  • The grants are treated as an internal funding source, therefore no entries in AURA need to be made. A 2-ledger aaccount must be created and included on the grant letter which must also be signed by the PI and returned to the Women's Boards. A copy of the signed letter should be retained for our records.

George Herbert Jones Laboratory

PSD LBC Main Office

Jones Laboratory: 5555 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

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Eckhart Hall

PSD LBC Satellite Office

Eckhart Hall: 5734 S. University Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

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Gordon Center for Integrative Science

Chemistry Business Center

Gordon Center for Integrative Science: 929 E 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

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