Direct costs are expenses that can be clearly linked to a specific grant-funded project.
Calculating Summer Salary. In accordance with Bowdoin policy, an employee may receive up to 100% of a twelve-month salary. Therefore, faculty, who are generally on a nine-month contract, may receive up to 2/9 of their base faculty salary, as summer salary. Summer salaries are based on a faculty member's coming academic year’s annual salary rate.
Requesting Sabbatic Pay. Faculty who anticipate being on sabbatical during the proposed project period and who wish to include part of their salary in the project budget, must obtain approval from the dean for academic affairs prior to submitting the proposal. In accordance with Bowdoin policy, an employee may receive up to 100% of a twelve-month salary, but may not exceed it.
Requesting Course Release. Under certain circumstances, PD/PI may request funds to support release time from teaching. The PD/PI must discuss this possibility with his/her department chair and the dean for academic affairs well in advance of submitting a proposal for review. If the grant is awarded, the faculty member must notify the department chair and dean for academic affairs of which semester the course release will take place.
Requesting Compensation for Non-Faculty Employees. Grant proposals may include funds for new or continuing staff positions (e.g., laboratory technicians) to support a project. All costs associated with the position, including salary or wages, benefits, startup costs, computing equipment, etc., must be fully supported by the grant. The College does not normally provide matching support for salary-related costs nor is the College committed to continuing a position once grant funding ends.
Grant-supported personnel are employees of the College and their terms and conditions of employment, including salary ranges, are governed by College policy; therefore, the dean for academic affairs or the senior vice president for finance and administration & treasurer must explicitly approve any request for support of new personnel in a grant proposal. PD/PI who wish to include new positions in a proposal should contact the director of academic budget and operations to discuss an appropriate salary range and other related issues, including space considerations. In general, the College does not provide additional space, such as an office, for research-related staff positions.
In order for the College to plan for the successful use and maintenance of equipment purchased with grant funds, the PD/PI must fill out an Equipment Vetting Form and contact the Director of Academic Budgets and Operations to discuss space requirements, maintenance contracts, insurance, and annual supplies.
Summer Fellowships. PD/PI may wish to include in their proposal budget summer research fellowship opportunities for students who will conduct independent research in cooperation with the PD/PI. The work should be comparable to what would be done on a College-sponsored fellowship such as a Surdna or Coles student fellowship. Under a fellowship, the grant must support a weekly stipend ($480/week), summer housing ($650/summer), any supplies the student may use (usually a set amount ranging from $500-$1,000 per student), and travel.
Materials and supplies used for the performance of the award may be charged as direct costs. Purchased materials and supplies must be charged at their actual prices, net of applicable credits. Computing devices are allowable if they are essential and allocable, but not solely dedicated, to the performance of the award.
Indirect Costs, also referred to as “Facilities and Administration Costs” or overhead, support the College's efforts to create an environment conducive to faculty research and curriculum development. Indirect Costs are defined as costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives, and therefore cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project (e.g., library services, facilities maintenance, utilities and administrative support). The College negotiates the Indirect Cost Rate with the Department of Health and Human Services, and it is used for all grant applications unless another rate is specified in the guidelines. The current rate can be obtained from the Rates and Useful Facts page. At Bowdoin, the Indirect Cost Rate is calculated as a percentage of salaries and non-student wages (excluding benefits) budgeted for the project.
Matching Funds and Cost Sharing
Funders may require institutions to contribute to the cost of the project through either matching or cost-sharing funds. Matching funds are generally defined as a cash amount (i.e., a percentage of the cost of a piece of equipment) and are either supplied by the institution or by other, usually private, funding sources.
Cost sharing occurs when the institution makes an in-kind contribution towards a project's required resources. Faculty salary, fringe benefits, computer use and indirect costs are often proposed for cost-sharing.
It is the College's practice not to propose matching funds or cost sharing unless the funder requires it. PD/PIs are encouraged to meet with the dean for academic affairs to discuss support from the College to meet matching requirements. Discussions with the dean regarding the availability of such funds should begin early in the planning stages of the proposal. The dean requires an explanation of the project's impact on the instructional program, accompanied by a written statement of support from the department chair.
Typical sub-award situations include arrangements in which two (or more) qualifying legal entities/institutions are working collaboratively on a grant project. Each institution has its own PD/PI; however, one of the collaborating institutions takes on the role of prime awardee with the funder. Sub-award agreements are made in the form of a legally binding agreement generated by the prime awardee, which is also referred to as the lead organization.
If a Bowdoin PD/PI wishes to include a sub-award in his/her grant proposal, prior to submission, the Bowdoin PD/PI must send the following to the Office of Sponsored Research:
- A statement from an authorized representative of the sub-recipient institution, indicating a commitment to perform the scope of work proposed, assuring the accuracy and reasonableness of the budget, and agreeing to enter into a formal sub-award if the proposal is funded.
- A written scope of work to be completed by the PD/PI at the subrecipient institution.
- A detailed budget and budget narrative of the sub-awardee's project that meets the requirements of the funder and Bowdoin College. Budget must be approved by the sub-recipient institution.
- All required certifications and assurances relating to the sub-awardee's proposed scope of work.
- A written scope of work to be completed over the period of performance.
- A detailed budget and budget narrative that meets the needs of the funder and the College.
- All required certifications and assurances related to the proposed scope of work.