Grants Manual - Vanderbilt School of Nursing

General Guidelines for Proposal Submission

  1. Begin the process as early as possible. In case of an RO1, nine months should be allotted.
  2. Contact internal/external reviewers to determine when they will be available. You will need to revise per their feedback so allow at least a month between receipt of their feedback and the deadline. For example, if grant is due June 5, contact reviewers in January and February and determine their availability for review of your “close to final” proposal in April so that they can return it to you in early May.
  3. You must alert the appropriate Senior Associate Dean(s) regarding the date you will have a close to final product for them to review. Review is labor intensive and cannot be done well in a rush. Additionally, other equally pressing responsibilities may result in inability to review before the submission deadline with the result that the grant cannot be submitted. You should allow at least two weeks prior to the deadline for the final internal review with processing.
  4. Preparing a competitive grant requires extensive and expensive resources. Ensuring the best possible quality of each submission will reduce the costs associated with unsuccessful attempts.

Proposal Submission Steps

  1. Principal Investigator (PI) develops idea for project and identifies possible sponsored funding source.
  2. PI meets with his/her supervising Senior Associate Dean to get approval to pursue grant.
  3. Regardless of grant type, PI makes appointment with Senior Associate Dean of Research to discuss:
    a. viability of idea
    b. potential funding sources
    c. scheduling of work/timetable of preparation activities
    d. identification of help needed to complete proposal
    e. how grant will be reviewed (internal and external)
       prior to submission.

    Based on this discussion, the Senior Associate Dean for Research will assign resources to assist with grant preparation.
  4. Prior to grant submission but during the grant writing process, the PI makes an appointment with the Senior Associate Dean of Research, Grant Manager (GM) and Research Team Leader to discuss the budget, space and equipment needs, and research assistance for proposal submission. No grant budget may assume additional Vanderbilt School of Nursing support without the written agreement of the Senior Associate Dean for Research.
  5. Space and equipment needs are entered into the Research and Equipment data base by the GM.
  6. PI works with supervisors of all named personnel to ensure willingness to release these individuals should the grant be funded.
  7. PI completes draft proposal with Center for Research Development and Scholarship (CRDS) help as previously determined and submits it for review prior to submission. The review will be that agreed upon during Step 3.
  8. The GM completes a draft budget and returns it to PI for review. GM revises budget based on PI’s revisions and circulates it along with the draft proposal to obtain required authorizations.
  9. After Senior Associate Dean for Research receives reviews of grant, required signatures/statements listed below are completed.

    Required Signatures
    Principal Investigator/Program Director Grants Manager (Budget) Supervising Senior Associate Dean of PI Supervisor/Chair of all other named personnel Dean of the School of Nursing Authorized Signing Official for VUMC

    Other signatures based on nature of proposal (regardless of PI’s appointment)
    Senior Associate Dean for Academics
       Dr. Norman must review all academic grants
    Senior Associate Dean for Practice
       Dr. Pilon must review all practice grants/contracts
    Senior Associate Dean for Research
       Dr. Minnick must review all research grants
    Senior Associate Dean for Informatics
       Dr. Weiner must review all grants involving informatics

    Conflict of Interest Statement for PHS and NSF proposals
    All faculty listed on proposal must sign

    If personnel from other schools are included:
    - Signature of chairman of respective school
    - Signature of dean of respective school
    - Signature of Sponsored Research Department
      (for non-medical center personnel)

    If personnel from other institutions are included:
    - Consultants: Letter of agreement to participate
    - Personnel paid a portion of salary: Letter of
      agreement to participate
    - Consortium agreement (letter of intent form) signed
      by institutional representative.
  10. PI provides final documents to GM (or designee) for assembly per grant guidelines & PI instructions. GM sends to Signing Official for submission to funding agency. GM (or designee) prepares copies of final document, retains one for Vanderbilt School of Nursing, and distributes others as indicated by Vanderbilt University polices and PI needs.

Post Notification Steps

  1. Notify via email the Sr. Associate Dean for Research, supervising Sr. Associate Dean and Grants Manager (GM) as soon as possible that an award is imminent. Forward any communications from agency regarding this award.
  1. As soon as award notification arrives:
    1. Notify Sharon Stinson and Kathy Rivers regarding PR announcements.
    2. Forward copy of award & terms to GM.
    3. Complete Effort Certification Training and provide date it was taken to the GM. (Must re-certify every three years.)
    4. Complete IRB and provide approval letter to GM.
    5. Coordinate with GM to establish a cost center.
  1. Set up meeting with Sr. Associate Dean of Research and GM to review resource needs and finalize project and budget based on actual funding as well as other administrative/scientific issues. Topics of the meeting will include:
    1. Personnel:
      - Identify how grant paid positions will be filled
      - Faculty release time
      - New staff: full time, part time
      - Student RAs
    2. Resources:
      - Identify what must be purchased by grant and when
      - Equipment
      - Computers/printers
      - Office space, telephones, etc.
      - Long distance v-net, copy code, etc.
      - Other specialized items
    3. Science:
      - Intellectual property, data, inventions & publications
    4. Contracting issues if Vanderbilt School of Nursing is the subcontract, or has one with another institution
  1. Determine start date of project, notify GM, personnel and staff assigned to the project.

During the Grant: Project Management/ Grant Administration General Guidelines

Terms and Conditions
Upon receipt of award, be sure to review the terms and conditions. They are outlined in the award document and failure to comply may result in disallowance of funds. Review upon occasion to be sure reporting requirements are addressed.

Alert Senior Associate Dean for Research regarding your progress and any problems when completing the monthly email communications. In most cases a progress report is due at least annually. Coordinate with Grants Manager to submit required reports well before the deadline to ensure that all requirements are met.

During the life of a grant, changes occur. Personnel may change, effort might increase or decrease, a change in scope may result in the need to re-budget or require additional resources, etc. Be sure to notify GM and appropriate parties of any change as soon as it has been identified. This will ensure that payments/expenditures are accurate and up to date.

Periodically assess funding levels against project timeline. Is there a significant balance remaining because certain project activities have been delayed? Are funds being expended more quickly than anticipated? Will you need to request carry forward or a no-cost extension in order to complete the project? The Grants Manager reviews expenditures and will alert PI to any issues identified through the accounting system; however, a meeting can be arranged any time the PI wishes in order to assess funding level.

Publicity During the Grant
Follow Vanderbilt University rules regarding any requests from the media. Contact Kathy Rivers regarding questions you may have.


Grant/Contract Termination Steps

  1. Grants Manager notifies PI and appropriate Senior Associate Dean a minimum of 90 days before grant ends. If a no-costextension is needed, contact the GM and appropriate Senior Associate Deanas soon as this is ascertained.
  1. PI meets with GM to discuss close-out:
    1. Outstanding expenses and when they will charge to the grant
    2. Reassignment or termination of personnel (faculty, staff, students)
    3. Cancellation of v-nets, copy codes, calling cards, standing orders, etc.
    4. Termination of subcontracts
    5. Data storage/IP
    6. Reallocation of space and equipment
  1. 30-90 days after grant end date (depending on grant terms) PI will:
    1. Submit final progress report to agency (copy to GM).
    2. Notify Sharon Stinson and Kathy Rivers regarding any significant findings that the School of Nursing should publicize. (Note: This can occur at any time during the project as findings occur.)
    3. Coordinate with Grants Manager to submit Final Invention Statement and Financial Status Report to agency.