HST Cycle 26 Grant Funding and Budget Submissions
This sections is intended to be an overview of the budget proposal and funding policies process for STSCI grants. Contact STScI Grants Administration with questions concerning funding policies, budget submissions, allowable costs, or grant activities.
Phone: (410) 338-4200
Budget Proposal Deadline
Budget proposals are due:
December 05, 2018
by 8:00 pm EDT. Late proposals will not be considered.
Budget proposals are submitted via STGMS (https://stgms.stsci.edu). Contact the Sponsored Research Office at your institution if you need an STGMS account.
STScI General Grant Provisions
STScI grants will be awarded in accordance with the 2018 General Grants Provisions (Draft, hereafter GGP 2018). The terms of this Call for Proposals are incorporated into and are considered to be part of the GGP 2018.
Eligibility for STScI Grant Funds
Reference GGP 2018 Section 3, Eligibility for STScI Grant Funding for specific details regarding eligibility. Review the requirements carefully and contact STScI Grants Administration if you have any questions.
STScI funding will not be used in any way to support research efforts by non-U.S. investigators or institutions. Regardless of where he or she resides, an investigator who has a formal or contractual affiliation (funded or unfunded) with a non-U.S. institution is considered a “non-U.S. Investigator” and may not apply for funding.
Eligible U.S. investigators with successful Phase I proposals are eligible to submit a budget proposal to support their HST research efforts. To request support, an investigator must meet the criteria of a U.S. investigator at the time of budget submission.
Certification, Assurance, and Representations
Budgets submitted to STScI or the acceptance of an STScI grant award by a grantee institution, signify that the Authorizing Official or Authorizing Official Representative of that institution certifies compliance with the STScI and regulatory certifications, assurances, and representations in the GGP 2018, Section 36 and Appendix A.
STScI Review of Risk Posed by Applicants
STScI has an obligation and the authority to ensure that grantee institutions meet the requirements related to the award of federal funds. See GGP 2018, Section 7 for criteria considered in STScI’s evaluation of risk posed by applicants.
The budget is a detailed financial expression of the project or program and it shall be related to performance for program evaluation purposes whenever appropriate. GO/AR budget proposals are reviewed in detail and evaluated by the STScI Financial Review Committee (FRC) to assess funding that is appropriate to reduce and analyze HST data in conjunction with the work in the approved Phase I proposal.
The responsibility of a complete, accurate proposal rests with each investigator and their institution. It is important to include clear, detailed, and complete information in your budget, budget narrative, and management plan. Missing or incomplete information may result in a reduction of funding allocated to the program.
Reasonable, Allowable, Allocable
Costs to complete the science goals submitted in the approved Phase I proposal must be reasonable, allowable, and allocable (Ref. GGP 2018, Sections 9 and 10). Costs outside the original scope of work will not be considered during budget reviews.
Funding will not be provided to support Phase II preparation activities.
Grant Administrative PI
Each budget must have an Administrative PI who will have overall fiscal and reporting responsibility for the grant proposal and subsequent award. Grant awards are issued to the proposing institution at which the Administrative PI is employed and not to the PI personally.
Period of Performance
It is anticipated that the period of time required to analyze HST data will be one to two years depending on the type and complexity of the project. Key, long-term, and other major projects may range up to three years.
Generally, grants are awarded with a 3-year period of performance to allow time to conduct and complete the research. The period of performance will be stated in the Grant Award Document.
Budget proposals submitted in the first cycle of a continuation program will include costs for that cycle only. Costs for effort budgeted beyond the first cycle will not be considered. Budget narratives should include a description of the overall effort for the entire multi-year project. A new budget proposal will be submitted for each new cycle of the continuing program and will be reviewed by the FRC.
Program Management Plans
Management Plans are required with the budget proposal submission for all General Observer proposals. The FRC reviews the Management Plans to determine if the costs requested are commensurate with the level of effort required to complete the project. The FRC cannot accurately assess budget proposals for programs that do not meet the requirements. Detailed information is provided in the Budget Requirements document located on the STScI Grants Administration Webpage, http://www.stsci.edu/institute/grants.
Priorities of the Financial Review Committee
The FRC reviews budget proposals based on the tasks, level of effort, and other costs required to complete the project. Key questions to assist proposers with preparing budgets and narratives:
- Are the responsibilities, contributions, and level of effort for each team member (including foreign and unfunded) clearly stated, justified, proportional (directly linked), and in conjunction with their role in the project and the approved Phase I proposal? Note that only tasks that are specifically identified or absolutely necessary for the Phase 1 science will be considered.
- Is the budget justification correct and consistent with the budget request?
- Is the travel requested really required for the project? Provide the specific reason project personnel must travel to specific conferences. Avoid generic TBD conferences whenever possible. Are higher costs for travel (i.e. international travel or attendance of multiple team members) well justified?
- Are the computers (laptops, desktops) and computing costs requested justified for the project?
- Are the publication costs commensurate with the level of the project? Be sure to justify an unusually high number of pages or publications.
- Are unusual or particularly high costs well justified?
- Is it very clear that foreign team members are contributing their appropriate share of the costs (e.g., Labor, Travel, and Publications)?
Budget Review and Approval Process
Following the notification of approved Phase I programs, the STScI Grants Administration Office will send instructions for budget preparation and submission to eligible U.S. investigators. Budget requests are reviewed by the STScI Financial Review Committee (FRC) and funding recommendations are presented to the STScI Director for approval.
Availability of Funds
All grant awards are made contingent upon the availability of funds from NASA.
In some of the more recent cycles, funding requests and recommendations have exceeded the amount provided by NASA for the HST GO/AR Grants Program. To remain within the funding guideline authorized by NASA, additional reductions to the FRC recommended amounts have been required, and may potentially recur in Cycle 26.
STScI is not obligated to reimburse grantee institutions for costs incurred in excess of the total funds allotted by STScI. The grantee institution is not authorized to continue performance beyond the amount allotted and allocated to the grant award.
Allowable costs for all budgets, awards, and expenditures will be determined in accordance the GGP 2018, the Cycle 26 Call for Proposals, and the applicable institutional, NASA, and federal guidelines, policies, and regulations. STScI has the final authority to determine whether or not a cost is allowable for an STScI grant and reserves the right to recover grant funds that were unexpended or were spent out of compliance with the terms and conditions of a grant.