Frequently Asked Questions on Sponsored Programs

Q: How will I know if a proposal has been awarded, and how can I begin charging to that award?
All proposals should be submitted through a pre-award office or contact. Faculty proposals should be submitted through the Office of Sponsored Research. Women's Center grants should be submitted through Kris Monahan and the Pre-Award office at the Wellesley Centers for Women. Proposals for the Dean's Office should be submitted through MaryPat Navins and/or Lori Friedman of the Dean's Office. Once an award has been made, the pre-award contact will notify you of the pending award. Once we have all of the necessary documents needed to set the award up in the system, you will be notified by the Controller's Office or the Accounting Manager at the Women's Center that your award is set up in the financial system and available to be charged. The FOAPAL number, start and end dates, reporting responsibilities, budgets, and other pertinent information will be forwarded to you with this notification. Information regarding Banner User Access, FOAPAL Access, and Fund Authorization will be included as well. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to review these documents and understand the deliverables and deadlines involved, the maximum amounts that can be charged to the fund, and to submit all forms for access and authorization privileges.
Q: What are Indirect Costs?
Indirect Costs, Overhead, or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs (the official term) are costs that are incurred in conducting or supporting research or other externally-funded activities that cannot be directly attributed or efficiently charged as direct costs to a specific sponsored project. General categories of these types of expenses are general administration costs (i.e. accounting, payroll, purchasing), sponsored project administration costs, utility costs, depreciation, building maintenance, etc. The amount of indirect costs charged to an award is based on a rate that normally reflects Wellesley College's current negotiated and federally approved rate. This rate is periodically renegotiated with the Department of Health and Human Services and is applied to a specific pool of costs known as the indirect cost base to arrive at the indirect costs charged on a grant fund.
Q: What is our current Indirect Cost Rate?
Our current federally negotiated and approved Indirect Cost Rate for on-campus awards is 79% of Salaries and Wages. Our off-campus rate is 17.60% of Salaries and Wages. Please note that these rates are our federal rates and do not necessarily apply to all grant funds. Please contact the Controller's Office if you have a question as to what the rate on a specific grant is.
Q: How long is the Indirect Cost Rate active?
Our current Indirect Cost rate agreement is a 3-year agreement and is scheduled to end June 30, 2013. We are required to submit a new proposal by December 31, 2012.