Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Research


Q: My funding opportunity is from a sponsor that has an electronic (online) submission system. The sponsor doesn't require institutional signatures. May I submit directly to the sponsor?

A: Regardless of the method of submission (electronic or hard copy) or whether an authorized institutional official signature is required, all proposals must be reviewed and endorsed by the Office of Research/Sponsored Projects including proposals to UC-wide funding programs such as UC MEXUS, Pacific Rim Research Program, UC Discovery Program, UC Energy Institute, Tobacco-Related Disease Research program, etc.

However, if the sponsor considers the submission a letter of intent or a preliminary proposal without detailed budget information or cost share commitments, then routing through ORA/SP may not be necessary. Please discuss this with your Business-Research staff representative to determine if ORA/SP approval is required.



Q: My research will include gathering subject information at a non-University affiliated location. Do I need approval or an agreement?

A: Yes, you must indicate the location(s) of performance sites of the research in your grant application and on the Administrative Approval form. In some instances, prior consent or approval to conduct research at the site may be required before proposal submission.

The UCI IRB may approve/register human subjects research, clinical investigations, derivation and use of human stem cells, or use of state death data records that is proposed to occur at or in collaboration with offsite locations when appropriate documentation demonstrating the support and collaboration of the offsite location(s) and compliance with federal requirements is provided. The documentation necessary for UCI approval/registration of offsite human subjects research is dependent upon several factors, including but not limited to the degree of risk to subjects, UCI's relationship with the site, the source of funding for the research, and the degree of responsibility UCI personnel will assume. For more detail, contact IRB and see this link:



Q: A subaward to XYZ University will be included in my NIH application. What is needed?

A: An institutionally approved proposal packet from XYZ University that includes a scope of work, budget (using the correct budget format based on type of submission), budget justification, biosketch and a face page or letter endorsed by an authorized official at XYZ University. As a reminder, this documentation will be required from XYZ University by UCI at least 2 weeks before the NIH due date.

Q: Another university has asked me to collaborate on a research project to be submitted for funding. Do I still have to complete a budget through the Business-Research Services Office or can I just send this information directly to the other university?

A: Your participation in a sponsored project that will be primarily awarded elsewhere is considered a subaward/subcontract. UCI's ORA/SP is responsible for negotiating and signing subcontracts. For you to participate, all required documents (i.e. scope of work, budget, budget justification, AA form, financial disclosure, etc) must be completed and routed first through Social Ecology and then to ORA/SP for institutional endorsement. A subcontract or subaward is the means by which a portion of the project work (programmatic or technical effort) is transferred to another university. It also is the basis by which award funds are sent to UCI if the application is funded.

Q: My proposal is likely to need the services of a faculty consultant from another university. What do I need to include him/her on my budget?

A: If the individual is providing only professional advice or services for a fee and does not perform a portion of the programmatic work, he/she may be budgeted and paid as a consultant. Consultants are used to provide such advice or services when no other University employee with like expertise or experience is available to participate in the proposed project. Cost estimates should be secured in writing to include area of expertise, number of days of service, daily rate of pay, and whether travel is to be included. However, if the work to be performed entails more than advice or consulting services and he/she is performing a portion of the project (either programmatic or technical), then a subaward/subcontract may be more appropriate to reflect the true nature of the research collaboration. Please see preceding Q&A regarding documentation for subawards/subcontracts.

Q: May I pay a faculty member from my department as a consultant on my research grant?

A: University policy prohibits University personnel from serving as paid consultants on grants or contracts awarded to UCI. They should be listed as investigators or collaborators.



Q: I'm preparing my preliminary budget. Where can I get current salary levels and fringe benefit information for research assistants (graduate students)?

A: The UCI website has information on published UCI salary scales by employee classification. For graduate student levels of pay, see academic salary scales - graduate students - at this link:

To determine fringe benefit rates, see rates applicable for graduate students either as academic year or summer hires:

Q: Am I obligated to pay fees/tuition for graduate student researchers?

A: If you are employing a graduate student at least 25% time during any academic quarter, you are required by UC policy to pay fees and/or /tuition that are considered fringe benefits for students. Graduate students must meet eligibility criteria for this benefit: