CUSE Grants FAQs

Project FAQs

CUSE grantees have the ability to request no cost extensions 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 or final report in 2021. This is only applicable for 2019 CUSE Grant awards; 2020 CUSE Grant awards do not need to apply for an extension at this time.

CUSE grantees have the ability to rebudget their grant. Changes in excess of 25% of project costs require an email request 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.

2021 Proposal Submissions

The following are significant changes from the 2020 CUSE Grant cycle:

  • The addition of a fifth grant type – the COVID-Relief Grant – to support ongoing research projects impacted by COVID-19.
  • An increase in the amount of funding that can be requested for equipment on the I2 and G2G grants, from $5,000 to $10,000.
  • A reduction in the number of proposal documents needed for all grant applications, especially for the smaller funding opportunities, to reduce the burden of application completion.
  • A reduction in the amount of funding for Seminar Grants from $10,000 to $7,500.

Yes, you are eligible to apply as a PI if you were a Co-PI in 2020.

Yes, if your project will be complete by the end of your project period (May 1, 2021 for 2019 CUSE Grants), and you turn in your final project report by May 1, you will be eligible. While you may apply reply, you must thoroughly address the success of your first CUSE grant and provide substantiating evidence of that in the “results from prior CUSE Grant” section. If you have already or will expend your 2019 CUSE Grant funds before May 1, it is highly recommend that you submit your final project report early. The report may be accessed here.

Generally, applicants may not submit multiple proposals as PI for CUSE Grants. Exceptions include following:

  • Exception 1: Seminar Grants: A PI may apply for a Seminar Grant in conjunction with any other type of grant.
  • Exception 2: COVID-Relief Grants: A PI may apply for a COVID-Relief grant with any other type of grant.

No, the 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 the 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

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.

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.

It is your decision to apply for either a Seed grant or an I2 Grant, but the funding limit is different and the competition may be different within each pool of applicants.

Department procedures are left to the individual departments. You should work with your departmental or college budget administrator when planning your budget to ensure it is correct and appropriate for the project.

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, 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.

Please include a description of additional funding sources that are being sought for the project, and a contingency plan if funds are not received. Awards will not be announced earlier than May, so project planning should be in accordance with the award timeframe

Yes, you should still complete the form. 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).

The section contents are required. However, content can be shifted as long as all the elements are in narrative and are identifiable.

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

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

Added 1/14/2021

For foundation grants and/or other funders that do not provide concrete ranking scales, applicants should justify their submissions based on their interpretation of “good-to-great” and any type of feedback received from reviewers. Reviews from the funder should reflect a "good" or mid-range rating.

If you have existing, unexpended funds left on your CUSE Grant, it will not be competitive to apply for COVID-relief funding. As noted in the RFP, the funding request must be justified as proportional to the size and scope of the research project impacted by the pandemic.

No. If you have a current research project that was negatively impacted by the pandemic, and that you were spending your own research funds on or other internal funding (such as a seed grant from a research center), you may request a COVID-Relief grant to supplant expenses incurred due to COVID.

Yes, in the Project Narrative detail how CUSE funding will move the stalled project forward, and what progress will be enabled that would otherwise not be possible without relief funding.

Yes, you may still plan for travel over the course of the 2-year grant. We would suggest that travel should not be planned for Summer 2021 at this point.

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 and Co-I. 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.

In a prior year, the Office of Research did have a Small Equipment Grant Program, which allowed for more funding specifically for equipment purchases. This program is not active for this year.

For I2 and G2G proposals, the equipment limit is $10,000. The proposal should describe how the proposed project is innovative and/or interdisciplinary in nature, how the PI is competitively positioned for success, and include the information as described in the “Application Types” section of the RFP.

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

Current and Pending documents that have been generated by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) are allowable as long as proposals and awards not captured in the OSP version - such as internal grants from a school or college - are added by the applicant before submission.

Salary support is allowed on Seed, Seminar, and COVID-relief proposals, in addition to the I2 and G2G proposals noted in the RFP. Those grant mechanisms are not sufficient to provide for a full-time Graduate Research Assistant or post-doc, but are sufficient to support hourly student researchers.

Budgets and budget justifications should only indicate the funding limit as noted in the RFP. However, in your proposal narrative you can speak to the full scope of the planning, how you will address additional budget needs, and what you will do if you cannot secure additional funding. Having a stated plan to secure the additional funding (other on-campus grants, research funds, having external participants pay a portion of their costs, etc.) and a contingency plan/scaled back plan if the full funding is not secured will show how you are ensuring success for you project.

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 Waiver requests must be received by Monday, February 22, 2021.

For COVID-Relief projects, proposals should explain the project and the relevant sponsored award received briefly, so that the reviewers understand what the project is. More focus should be on the negative impact the pandemic had on the project, and how the CUSE grant will help complete project activities. You can point to your budget justification for what specific activities the CUSE grant will fund (ex. if you are budgeting for student time, how much time and what will the student do on the project). Make sure to justify the proportionality of your request to the financial impact of the pandemic on your award and note how these funds will be leveraged for additional gains (intent to leverage section).

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.

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 narrative length.

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.