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Grants - FAQ

I want to submit a grant proposal. What do I do?
Notify the Business and Grants Manager Terri Moorer of your intention to submit and forward a copy of the sponsor guidelines. Terri will assist with the pre- and post-award process, which includes budget preparation; application forms; compliance of UofSC, federal, and state guidelines; USCERA and workspace navigation; and serve as the liaison between Sponsored Awards Management (SAM) and the PI. If you would like the associate dean of research or others to review your proposal for content, please notify Brooke McKeever as well. She and/or others who have expertise in your area may be able to help review for content before you submit.

If a grant is limited submission, what does that mean?
Foundations and federal agencies occasionally limit the number of applications or nominations an institution may submit for a specific funding program.  

What is the process for limited submissions?
When a call for proposals is limited, the Research and Grant Development office will issue a call for two-page preproposals and impanel an internal review committee of three anonymous volunteer faculty with previous experience with the sponsor. The internal review committee will review the preproposals based on how well each addresses the criteria in the sponsor’s solicitation and return its rankings to the SmartState Program Manager Richard White along with pro and con comments of each preproposal. White will then notify the applicants of the final status of their preproposals and include the pro and con comments for constructive purposes.

What is USCeRA, and why is it important?
The University of South Carolina Electronic Research Administration (USCeRA) is the web-based electronic research administration system used at UofSC. USCeRA is the central system through which UofSC performs proposal and award administration functions including the following:

  • UofSC electronic proposal routing and approval
  • Electronic award account set-up
  • Searchable proposal and award data

Drawing from faculty-maintained research profile information, USCeRA also powers USC’s searchable Faculty Expertise Database (FacED), a tool designed to foster research collaboration and to showcase the wide array of expertise and talent offered by USC faculty. By unifying all of these vital functions into one easily accessible web-based system, USCeRA saves faculty time in developing and managing sponsored awards and serves as a valuable tool for researchers system-wide.

Do all proposals have to go through USCeRA?
All proposals that require UofSC to enter into a contract, account creation, and involve UofSC departments such as SAM, payroll, accounts payable, Contracts and Grants Accounting, etc., MUST go through USCeRA. Once a proposal is submitted, your Director and Dean will review, approve, and it will be sent to SAM for review and submission to the sponsor.  Only SAM has the authority to submit a proposal and enter into a contract with a sponsor. If you are listed as a consultant on a grant outside of UofSC and do NOT require a contract with UofSC or account creation, then you do not have to submit through USCeRA, but please alert Terri so your work can be noted. If you have other questions related to specific grants and USCeRA, please ask Terri. She is our liaison to SAM.

What if I do not have time to submit through USCeRA?
There are very rare occasions when SAM will permit the PI to submit to the sponsor as long as the proposal has been reviewed by Terri, the Dean, and the Director. There is no guarantee this will be permitted by SAM. SAM requires a minimum of 3 business days for review and submission. If there is a potential problem meeting the deadline, Terri will alert SAM for guidance.

Who do I go to if I have questions about the grant process?
Terri should be your first contact if/when you are working on a grant. Terri will work closely with SAM.  If you would like assistance in reviewing the content of your grant proposal (the idea, the writing, etc.), please reach out to the Associate Dean of Research. Time permitting, Brooke will be happy to review proposals and/or she might be able to solicit feedback from the school directors and/or other experts in your area of research.

Where can I go to search for grant opportunities?
Terri routinely searches for funding opportunities for the college.  Faculty are also encouraged to search for funding. Two external and two internal sites for funding are listed below. UofSC has a subscription to PIVOT (see second link below). Faculty can sign up for an account and receive alerts based on research interests and areas of expertise.

What if I have an idea for research or other programming or scholarship that would require funding, but would need collaborators or other help?
Please notify Terri and Brooke about your idea. They can help you search for possible grant funders and/or help you find collaborators who might be able to help pursue your goals.

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