Dear U of I Principal Investigators,
I’m writing to you today to let you know of a change in F&A distribution for research that is affiliated with one or more of the ORED-administered Level 3 Research Institutes.
Effective July 1st, new awards that are affiliated with an institute will have F&A distributed 50% Central – 25% College(s) of PI(s) – 25% Institute. This compares with the “normal” F&A distribution or proposals that are not affiliated with an institute, which remains unchanged at 75% Central – 25% College(s) of PI(s). This new distribution has these major impacts:
- Colleges will receive the same F&A distribution whether a proposal is affiliated with an institute or not – this removes a prior concern with institute research reducing funding to colleges. All deans are supportive of PIs participating in institute research and affiliating proposals with institutes, where appropriate (criteria described below)
- All institutes have the same F&A distribution, resulting in greater simplicity
- The F&A distribution applies to all F&A received, regardless of source (industry, federal, etc)
- F&A supplied to the institutes will be used to support institute missions, including critical university research infrastructure, such as research computing.
Concurrently with this change, we are now requiring that all proposals that will use the personnel, facilities, or other resources of any institutes affiliate with the institutes involved. This affiliation will trigger the 50-25-25 F&A split, returning more F&A to the university research mission. The affiliation can be created in two ways upon VERAS submission:
- In VERAS Part 3, the proposal can be submitted with the institute as the submitting organization. This will place financial responsibility of administering the grant with the institute and is currently the mechanism for “submitting through an institute”. For PIs who currently affiliate with an institute through this mechanism, you will likely continue to do this and not see a change in your normal submission process.
- In VERAS “Other” Section, a new question will be added with check-boxes to indicate if the research will use any institute facilities, personnel, or resources. Checking this box will trigger the correct F&A split, but financial responsibility for administering the grant will not change (that is, it can remain with the College/Center/Department). For PIs who currently do not submit through institutes, but who use institute facilities or services, this is the mechanism you will use to create an institute affiliation and trigger the correct F&A distribution.
PIs should continue to have grants administered by their normal unit – PIs currently submitting through Institutes may continue and PIs currently submitting through colleges should continue to do that. To avoid overwhelming institute grant administrators, PIs should get approval of institute directors before naming an institute as the primary submitting organization in Part 3.
I encourage any PIs with questions about this, including whether they should affiliate with one or more institutes to first reach out to the institute director involved for a discussions. The institutes that this change covers includes:
- Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies (IBEST) – Barrie Robison, Director
- Institute for Modeling Collaboration and Innovation (IMCI) – Holly Wichman, Director
- Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI) – Brian Small, Director
- Idaho Water Resources Research Institute (IWRRI) – Alan Kolok, Director
- Idaho Geological Survey (IGS) – Claudio Berti, Director
- Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) – John Russell, Associate Director
Some examples of the research resources related to the facilities above include: the Computational Resources Core, the Genomics Resources Core, the Modeling Core, the Northwest Knowledge Network, Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station, Moscow Aquatic Animal Research Facility.
I am also happy to answer questions and any of us would be delighted to join any faculty meeting to talk about institutes and potential collaborations. Additionally a few FAQs are appended below.
Thank you all for your great work in support of the university’s research enterprise and our efforts to better develop university research facilities. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.
- Brad Ritts
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I indicate an affiliation with more than one institute?
A: Yes, multiple institutes can be selected in the “Other” section of the VERAS submission. When multiple institutes are selected, institute directors will agree on the F&A split between institutes.
Q: Where does the “college” distribution go for PIs that are appointed in a Center or directly in an Institute or other unit?
A: The 25% “college” distribution is the same for PIs whether it is Institute-affiliated (50-25-25 split) or not (75-25 split). That is, the distribution to the PIs normal administrative unit is unchanged, whether a proposal is submitted in affiliation with an institute or not. For example, IGS employees, who are not appointed in colleges, continue to have the 25% “college” distribution made directly to their appointment unit, IGS. Similarly, a CAES proposal from an Idaho Falls Center PI typically will have the “college” distribution made to the Idaho Falls Center (50 Central – 25 IF Center – 25 CAES) In contrast, a Moscow-based PI affiliated with CAES will typically have the college distribution made to one of the academic colleges. Currently this “normal” distribution follows grant account location. Future changes in F&A distribution over the future fiscal years may change how this is tracked.
Q: What about PI and department distributions?
A: Institutional F&A distribution is only made to the college level. Onward distributions of F&A are controlled by colleges, centers, and institutes. These distributions vary across the colleges and are not controlled by central or ORED procedures. Consult your chair, dean, or institute director for how F&A distribution is handled in your unit.
Q: Will my department/college get credit for my work if it is affiliated with an institute?
A: Yes, your college will get the same F&A distribution, whether your grant is affiliated with an institute or not. Further, colleges should claim full “credit” in whatever way is necessary for the work of their faculty and all of the institutes will support each college in developing a full picture of contributions by its faculty. The institutes exist to provide facilities, services, and communities that enable greater success of college faculty.
Q: Does this change the F&A distribution for existing grants?
A: No, this will impact awards beginning on 1 July 2021