Partnering with Marquette on a Grant

Marquette faculty, staff and students are encouraged to work with collaborators and other organizations to extend the mission, education and research priorities of Marquette University. To this end, partnering often involves compensation for time spent on a project or direct project costs. If money is going to exchange hands, it’s important to go through the correct channels at Marquette to ensure support for the work and a smooth process should you get the award.  Typically, money is exchanged through a subaward or subcontract. This is negotiated at the time of award, but plans need to be made for this at the time of application. Often, the initial subaward documents are included in the application materials submitted to the funder.   

Marquette faculty, staff and students can be paid for their time working on a project. Other costs such as fringe benefits, overhead, supplies, travel, equipment or other direct costs should also be considered. All of these costs should ultimately make up the Marquette Budget for the project.  These would be the funds coming to Marquette.   

In some cases, a Marquette faculty member may be collaborating on a project, but is not using any Marquette resources – this includes, office space, computers, software, students, etc. If this applies to the nature of the work being done, it may be more appropriate for the faculty member to act as an independent consultant on the project. While this relationship does not require a subaward or University approval, the office of research and sponsored programs should still be made aware of the work and determine if additional information is needed.   

When a potential funding opportunity has been identified, discuss and decide who will be the lead organization. The lead organization will be the one to receive the grant award and administer all of the funds. Depending on that answer, you can follow the additional guidance below. 

If you are an outside organization partnering or looking to partner with someone at Marquette University on a grant proposal, the below information can help guide you through the process.  

If you do not have a partner at MU but would be interested in collaborating with us please contact the Kelsey Otero, Senior Director of Community Engagement as a first step.  

If you are currently partnering with someone at MU, continue working with them to build the project concept and identify potential funding sources.    

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Marquette University as Lead Organization

If Marquette is going to be the lead organization, we will need information and documents from your organization to include as part of the application. If awarded, Marquette will enter into a subaward agreement with your organization and the terms of that agreement come from the information submitted with the application.

STATEMENT OF WORK (SOW) - An explanation of the proposed research or work to be performed and typically includes a project timetable. It should include information about the project, such as how the work will be done, where the work will be done, and who will do the work.define. Example

BUDGET - Financial expression of the project and must include a reasonable estimate of the resources necessary to conduct the project. Most sponsors require a detailed breakdown of the budget into certain defined budget categories and a detailed budget justification. Estimated costs for the entire project period typically are broken into Direct and Indirect F&A costs. Separate budgets are necessary for all collaborating institutions or entities.

If a budget form is not provided by the sponsor, a template can be found here. 

Making sure to include applicable fringe benefit rates and indirect/overhead/F&A costs as permitted by the funder. Indirect/overhead/F&A costs  are the costs the organization has but cannot be specifically identified with a particular project or activity (facilities, administration, etc.). Any organization including indirect costs at a rate above the sponsor’s allowed de minimus rate will need to provide documentation of their approved rate. 

Budget Justification - The budget justification should clearly explain what costs will be paid for by the sponsor and how the expense was calculated. It is important to compare the scope of work to the budget and justification to ensure that all costs are accounted for, and that the requested funds align with the scope of work to be performed within the project period. The justification should follow each budget category. A sample justification can be found here.

Letter of Intent (LOI) – signed by an authorized institutional representative (sample document can be found here). This is different than a Letter of Support, which would come directly from your collaborator to further identify their role and expertise within the project.   

Depending on the sponsor the proposal is being submitted to, there may be other documents we would need from you (such as resume/biosketch, other support, letter of support, facilities description, etc.). 

Community Partner as Lead Organization

Marquette’s Project Planning and Development team, and the Marquette faculty or staff member affiliated with the project, will work with you to supply our organization’s necessary materials. Similarly, that typically involves MU providing you a Scope of Work, Budget, Budget Justification, and Letter of Intent (signed by our authorized institutional representative), but may include other information required by the sponsor.

Key Considerations

  • Does the community organization need to be registered with the sponsor?
    • For example, the National Science Foundation (NSF) requires that all organizations being named on a funding proposal be registered in their system and have other required documents submitted. These documents can include resumes and pending support information entered into SciENcv, that requires forethought. 
  • Does the community organization need SAM registration?
    • If submitting to a federal agency, yes. Guidance for SAM registration can be found here [hyperlink]
  • Does the community organization need eRA Commons ID?
    • If submitting to NIH, yes, the project lead/principal investigator (PI) will need to have an eRA Commons ID.
  • As with any proposal, carefully read the sponsor’s guidelines.
    • Be sure to confirm who is eligible to submit the proposal. If either Marquette or the community organization are eligible to submit, think about what the most appropriate choice would be (ie. with whom is most of the work being done, where are most of the funds being spent, who has the necessary infrastructure to administer the funds, etc.)