CUSE Grants FAQs

Project FAQs

My CUSE project is impacted by the changes due to COVID-19. What accommodations are being made for CUSE projects?

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 and will need to submit a final project report in 2021.

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

CUSE grant 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.

2020 Proposal Submissions

For the Conflict of Interest form, all of my Syracuse University-based co-authors/collaborators over the past 3 years have been on project unrelated to the project I am proposing. Should I still list those collaborators?
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 Current and Pending form says that it is required for “each investigator and other senior personnel.” The RFP says “The Form is required for the PI of the CUSE Grant only.” Which is correct?
The Current and Pending form is required for the PI only. A corrected form has now been uploaded to the web site and the Syracuse University Application Portal.

There are a lot of requirements in the Introduction/Key Personnel section. It seems that I should move the literature review to Section II to help with readability. Is that acceptable?
The section contents are required. However, content can be shifted as long as all the elements are in narrative and are identifiable.

My project will continue work that has already been approved by the IRB. I would request modifications to the protocol because we are making some changes based on this CUSE grant. Do I still check Human Subjects Research?
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.

What has been changed since the 2019 round?
The following are significant changes from the 2019 CUSE Grant cycle:

  • Project Narrative Introductions should now incorporate roles and responsibilities of PI, Co-PI(s), Co-I(s) as applicable. An additional, single-page upload for “Key Personnel” is no longer required.
  • Project-specific software package(s) and/or computer purchases may be allowed with significant justification. Limitations are noted in this year’s RFP.
  • Pre-approval from the PIs Associate Dean of Research is no longer required for submission

I’m having trouble with the Syracuse University Application Portal. Who can I contact for assistance?
For a narrated guide on using the Syracuse University Application Portal, download this narrated PowerPoint presentation. To listen to the narration, view the file in Slide Show mode; narration will begin automatically and slides will be advanced for you. A narration text is also provided in the notes section of the presentation. If you still have questions, please send them to VPR@syr.edu.

I have been awarded by CUSE Grant as a Co-PI in 2019. Can still apply this year as a PI?
Yes, you are eligible to apply as a PI if you were a Co-PI in 2019. Only PIs cannot apply in a subsequent year.

Can I apply as the lead PI for two CUSE grants simultaneously?
No, each eligible applicant may submit only one Seed, I2, or G2G proposal serving as the lead PI. A lead PI can serve as Co-PI or Co-Investigator (Co-I) on as many projects as the investigator wishes. In addition, an eligible applicant may submit a second proposal as the lead PI for a Seminar Grant.

Can I subcontract CUSE grant funds to another university to assist in the conduct of my research?
No, the CUSE grant 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.

How can I collaborate with external colleagues on my CUSE grant?
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 can not exceed 25% of the budget costs

It sounds like CUSE grants are expected to be interdisciplinary. My project is strongly disciplinary and does not lend itself to an interdisciplinary approach. May I still apply for a CUSE grant?
Yes, you can apply for a research CUSE grant as the only PI. While the CUSE grants 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.

My proposed project duration is shorter than two years long. Is it allowable to submit a one-year project instead of for two years?
Yes, the RFP references funding durations of up to two years. It does not mandate that projects must be two years in duration. However, in terms of future eligibility, if you receive a CUSE grant as the leading PI in 2020, you cannot apply for a second CUSE grant until 2022 (i.e.- 2 years after receiving initial CUSE grant), even if the project is less than 2 years in duration.

I am writing a research proposal for the application to a CUSE grant, but not sure I should apply for a seed grant or for an innovative and interdisciplinary research grant. Can you advise?
It is your decision to apply for either a seed grant or an innovative and interdisciplinary research grant, but the funding limit is different and the competition may be different within each pool of applicants.

Does my department need to approve my budget?
Department procedures are left to the individual departments. You should work with the appropriate entities to ensure your budget is correct and appropriate for the project.

How should I structure my budget between student support, consultant, materials, etc?
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.

Should I include summer salary or course buyout funding for the PI in my budget?
In prior years, reviewers have not looked kindly at PI salary funding. The predominance of the budget should be other research expenses or support for students. Faculty salary would need to be well-justified.

For the Conflict of Interest form, the RFP states “This form is required for the PI and all Co-PIs of the CUSE grant, but not for the Co-I or other project personnel. “ Slides from 1/20/20 session states “PI and all Co-investigators must complete.” Should a Co-I submit this form, or only the PI and Co-PIs?
The Conflict of interest form is required only from the PI and any Co-PIs. A Co-I does not need to submit the form.

I am proposing activities to start in May 2020. However, if funding decisions are not received until April, I will have trouble having enough time to plan the activities. I believe this will hurt my application as it will be obvious that time will be tight. How should I address this?
Please include a description of additional funding sources that are being sought for the project, and a contingency plan if funds are not received.

I would like to propose a seminar for May 2021. I know that it is over a year away. However, I worry that next year’s CUSE cycle will not allow me enough time for advance planning. Is there another avenue to request funding for 2021?
Any CUSE funding for 2021 would follow a similar timeline. In your application, be sure to emphasize that planning for the May 2021 seminar will be occurring in this upcoming academic year and much of the expenses will be incurred far in advance.