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Table of Contents
1. Proposal Development and Budget Preparation
Q: How can OSP help me write a winning proposal and develop a project budget to be submitted to an external sponsor?
A: OSP offers workshops on proposal writing and budgeting. Please call us at 202-633-7110, or visit OSP’s website for class schedules and additional information. OSP offers Principal Investigators (PIs) individualized guidance developing proposal business and administrative plans. OSP helps PIs develop proposal budgets that accurately reflect project direct and indirect expenses, and comply with sponsor guidelines and Smithsonian regulations.
Q: How can OSP help me identify a potential sponsor for my proposal?
A: OSP does the following:
Q: I have drafted a proposal and identified a potential sponsor. How can OSP help me obtain institutional approval and send my proposal out?
A: OSP prepares a Proposal Brief Form to streamline the internal approval process and assists with obtaining required signatures. Smithsonian policy requires that requests for external support be reviewed and approved before submission to the sponsor. The Director of OSP has delegated authority from the Secretary to sign sponsored project proposals.
Q: What is OSP’s role in ensuring that I comply with institutional, sponsor, and Federal guidelines?
A: OSP can help you in several ways by:
Q: Who negotiates the terms and conditions of my award, and who signs for the Institution?
A: OSP does both. OSP negotiates award terms that are in the best interests of the PI and the institution. The Director of OSP is delegated the authority by the Secretary to sign all sponsored project award documents.
Q: Once the award is signed, when can I begin spending on my project?
A: Immediately, upon receipt of the award document. OSP sets up a PeopleSoft designated code and establishes spending authority and the budget for your project.
Q: How do I access the accounting system and monitor the financial aspects of my projects?
A: Through your fund manager. It is the responsibility of the PI to identify an individual in his/her unit to take care of project accounting, usually referred to as the “fund manager.”
Q: How does OSP help me during the life of my project?
A: OSP helps PIs manage sponsored projects by:
Q: Where do indirect cost rates come from?
A: OSP uses Federal regulations to calculate and negotiate annual indirect cost rates with the Office of Naval Research. OSP then monitors the use and application of indirect cost rates in compliance with the OMB Circular A-122 — Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations. For the current rates, see OSP’s website.
Q: Who is responsible for taking care of audit issues?
A: OSP. As the Smithsonian’s liaison with federal auditors, OSP staff coordinate all audits of grants and contracts initiated by government auditors, external auditing firms, sponsors, and the Office of the Inspector General. OSP also coordinates the audits of projected and actualdirect and indirect costs in compliance with grant/contract requirements.
PIs are advised of their responsibility to retain all relevant project documentation for three years, following project completion, in case of an audit.