CUSE Grants FAQs

2022 Proposal Submissions

The following are significant changes from the 2021 CUSE Grant cycle:

  • Introduction of a priority area for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA)-related proposed projects.
  • Discontinuation of the separate COVID-Relief mechanism, but inclusion of a request to identify any COVID-related challenges for proposed projects in the rational section of the project narrative.
  • Inclusion of a prohibition for postdocs serving as PIs.
  • Inclusion of a requirement for a one-year gap between active CUSE Awards held by a PI (with exceptions noted below).
  • Change of the formatting of the required Conflict of Interest (COI) form to one form per project.
  • Requirement of Current and Pending form for all CUSE Grant applications.
  • Change of the evaluation scale from a five point scale to a ten point scale.
  • Revision of review criteria to better align with program intent and proposal contents.
  • Inclusion of an acknowledgement of Syracuse University intellectual property policies.
  • An encouragement that all CUSE grant applicants attend or view a CUSE Grant information session, and that awardees attend other proposal development training hosted by the Office of Research, especially those awardees with little or no prior grant experience.

Yes, you are eligible to apply as a PI if you were a Co-PI in a previous cycle.

If your award was for a seminar grant in 2020 or a seminar or COVID-Relief grant in 2021, you can apply as a PI for a Seed, I&I, or G2G grant in 2022. Similarly, if you were awarded a Seed, I&I, or G2G grant in 2020, you can apply for a seminar grant in 2022. However, all other possibilities are unallowable, as there must be a one-year gap between active CUSE Awards held by a PI. See the table below for a breakdown of eligibility for PIs of 2020 and 2021 awards to submit new applications:

Year of Prior Award as PI Award Type PI Eligibility as New Applicant
2020 Seminar Seed, I&I, G2G
2020 Seed, I&I, G2G Seminar
2021 Seminar Seed, I&I, G2G
2021 COVID-Relief Seed, I&I, G2G, Seminar
2021 Seed, I&I, G2G Seminar

While PIs with 2020 and 2021 awards are eligible to apply for new CUSE awards on a limited basis as noted in the table above, such applicants must thoroughly address the “results from prior CUSE Grant” section.

Generally, applicants may not submit multiple proposals as PI for CUSE Grants. However, a PI may apply for a Seminar Grant in conjunction with any other type of grant. While PIs are technically allowed to apply for a Seminar Grant in conjunction with another grant type, considering the spirit of the CUSE Grant Program to provide broad support across the University research community, it is unlikely that a single PI will receive more than one award this year.

For all grant categories, Principal Investigator (PI) eligibility follows the institutional requirements set forth in the University’s Statement of Principal Investigator Eligibility.  Visiting Assistant Professors are not eligible to serve as PI or Co-PI, as these are not permanent appointments. Waivers for PI eligibility may be requested by submitting a completed Request to Waive PI Eligibility form to Stuart Taub, Director of Sponsored Programs at staub@syr.edu. Waiver requests must be received by Monday, February 22, 2021.

As noted in the CUSE Grant RFP, postdocs and PhD students may not serve as PI on a CUSE grant. Additionally, postdocs and PhD students are not eligible for Co-PI status.

However, faculty are strongly encouraged to involve postdocs, undergraduate, and graduate students in their CUSE projects, including allowing for partial salary support as part of the budget. Postdoc and student CVs are not included as part of the required proposal documents, but postdoc and student information may be included in the project description as member of the potential team.

No, CUSE funds may not be subcontracted out to other institutions, as they are intended to further the research that is conducted by SU personnel. While CUSE Grants do allow external Co-PIs, they should be unfunded Co-PIs.

Collaboration with external colleagues is permitted, either as individual consultants, or as unpaid collaborators. A distinction is made between hiring an individual consultant (allowable) vs. proposing a formal subcontract to a colleague’s institution (not allowable). Total funding for consultants cannot exceed 25% of the budget costs.

Seed grants are intended to initiate new projects, produce preliminary data, or to conduct small projects. I&I grants are intended for projects that are innovative and/or interdisciplinary in nature, and competitively positioned for success, especially for follow-on external funding. Additionally, the funding limit is different and the competition may be different within each pool of applicants. We suggest reviewing the lists of prior awardees on the Office of Research Answer page for examples of successful I&I and Seed projects.

Yes, you can apply for a research CUSE grant as an individual PI. While the CUSE Grant program promotes interdisciplinary collaboration, applications from disciplinary research areas with great potential to further scholarship, or that may lead to extramural funding opportunities are also encouraged. Individual applicants must demonstrate the potential for success without the need for collaboration.

CUSE Grants are intended to support Syracuse University faculty and their projects. As such, internal interdisciplinary collaborations are strongly supported. CUSE Grants do allow external collaborators, as Co-PIs. However, subcontracts (funding to external collaborator institutions/organizations) are not allowed. External collaborators may receive funding as individual consultants, as long as consulting costs do not exceed 25% of the proposal budget.

You may submit a project with activities designed to be completed in one year. However, all CUSE Grant awards are made as two-year awards. If you plan activities to occur in one year, but experience changes during the project period, you will be able to use your grant in the second year. Whether or not your project activities are completed in a single year, you will be required as PI to submit an annual report at the end of the first project year, and a final report at the end of the second year.

While PIs are not required to receive department approval for their CUSE budget, you should work with your departmental or college budget administrator when planning your budget to ensure it is correct and appropriate for the project and for any department, school, or college-based budgeting considerations, such as hourly rates for students.

There is no prescribed balance for funding distribution between categories. All budget items should have a good explanation of the role of item in the overall project. Funding for consultants should note the necessity of the work for the project and the special expertise a consultant brings to the project.

In prior years, reviewers have not looked kindly at a proposal budget made up exclusively or predominantly of PI salary funding. The predominance of the budget should be for other research expenses or support for students. Faculty salary is allowed and is limited to one month per year but needs to be well-justified as appropriate and necessary for the scope of the project.

Yes, open access publication costs are an allowable budget item.

Only project personnel who are requesting salary as part of their CUSE Budget need to enter their base salary. It is not required for project personnel to be listed on the budget if no salary is being requested.

Yes, any project that includes Human Subjects Research should select that requirement. This is used for internal tracking and information, not as the start to any IRB approvals.

Yes, you should still complete the form with those collaborators. If you have no co-authors or collaborators in Syracuse University in last 3 years, you can list “none”. However, if you have had SU co-authors and/or collaborators on different projects unrelated to the proposed project, these should be listed. It is not the nature of the project that determines inclusion, it is the nature of the relationship (co-author, collaborator, former students/mentor).

Letters of support are not allowed as an additional attachment, but you are welcome to include it as the last page of your narrative, as long as you stay within the required narrative length for the applicable grant type.

Yes, the PI can designate a Proxy to start, submit, edit, and/or submit a proposal. The PI must designate that person as a Proxy in the system. Please see detailed instructions here.

Project FAQs

CUSE grantees have the ability to request a one-year no cost extension due COVID-19 complications, by emailing Christina Leigh Docteur with a description of the reason for their request. Grantees will still be required to submit an annual report if granted an extension. This is only applicable for 2020 CUSE Grant awards; 2021 CUSE Grant awardees do not need to apply for an extension at this time.

CUSE grantees also have the ability to rebudget their grant. Changes in excess of 25% of project costs require submitting an email request to Christina Leigh Docteur with a detailed description of the change.

CUSE Grants can cover unanticipated costs incurred from changes due to COVID-19 restrictions, such as (if documented): Facility rental deposits, catering deposit, travel change fees. However, CUSE grantees will not be provided with supplemental funds. Therefore, any budgetary changes to the grant must be absorbed within the existing budget.