For budget preparation and post-award spending
Please see below some specific information about selected budget categories. Upon submitting a grant proposal, please be sure that you can justify the need for all budget items requested. Most applications request a detailed budget justification. The project narrative should also reflect all aspects of the budget as needed to facilitate the project. Once funding is received, be sure that you keep track of your budget. If you have not allocated adequate funds, contact the Office of Sponsored Research (OSP) about a budget reallocation. A reallocation may have to be formally requested from the sponsor and/or RFCUNY.
RFCUNY grant funds are utilized to hire different types of project employees. For example, tutors, instructors, administrative assistants, and technicians are common RF positions. RF can support full-time and part-time employees. Please note that in addition to the salary amount a grant is charged fringe benefit rates for full-time, Part time A (20-34 hours per week) and Part Time B employees (19 hours a week or less), rates should be budgeted at 37.84%, 37.84% and 9.34%, respectively. Annual increases should also be budgeted for staff. After receiving grant funding contact the OSP before you hire an employee on your PSC CUNY grant. Send the name, email address and start date to OSP at email@example.com. Research Foundation will be contacted to determine if this is a new hire or a rehire and what paperwork is necessary. If I-9 is required employee will be sent an email containing a link to complete section 1 of an electronic I-9 form. PI will be sent the applicable paperwork and instructions which he/she will then provide to employee. PI will also be required to log onto RF website and generate a Wage & Title Form specific to each employee. Once the PI and employee have completed all parts of the employment packet employee will make an appointment with OSP to process the paperwork and complete section 2 of the I-9 form. Employee will need to bring with them their I-9 acceptable identification, none of which may be expired.
Full time instructional CUNY faculty can receive summer salary from grants for work from June 1 to August 31 for conducting grant activities, if they are not teaching. Fringe benefits at 26% must also be budgeted. The CUNY Payroll Office remits summer salary payment. However, OSP must submit online for RFCUNY to charge the grant for summer salary. If your grant is budgeted for summer salary, request a City Tech OSP summer salary form, if one is not sent to you. Payment is typically issued the following month, e.g. payment for June is issued in July. As PI you will be requested to electronically certify all summer salary on your grant via rfcuny.org when the summer period ends.
Upon requesting travel funds on a grant, please be aware of the sponsor’s policies on travel. Some grants require travel to an annual project directors meeting, some may only allow domestic travel. Please be sure to check guidelines to ensure that you are requesting allowable expenses. You must book your travel on a U.S. Flag carrier. For PSC CUNY Awards all carriers used must be members of the “Open Skies” program.
After you are awarded travel monies and plan to travel you may request a partial advance of travel funds at least a month prior to your date of travel. This would be based on your estimated costs and would cover 100% of your
transportation and 80% of all other costs. For PSC CUNY awards advances are limited to 80% of your total travel budget. You may also pay out of pocket. Upon return from trip a travel expense form must be submitted. The travel advance and travel expense forms are available in electronic format on the RF web site. Forms must be completed and uploaded to an E-payment Request via the RF web site. Enter yourself as a new vendor if you are not already in the system and attach scanned copies of all receipts, boarding passes, hotel bills, credit card statements and meeting agendas or invitations to collaborate. Travel must take place within the grant period, and if IRB is required for your research, within the approved IRB dates as well.
Release time from teaching is requested on grants to allow a faculty member time to conduct grant activities during the semester. Full-time faculty members cannot be paid salary from RFCUNY grants, they must request release time. The college will recover funds for a teaching replacement. Release time is charged at the rate of $1,500 per credit/hour ($1,000 for PSC CUNY) and fringe benefits are 51%. Before a grant is submitted approval of the department chair is required. Upon receiving funding, faculty must consult with their department chairs to determine which semester(s) they will receive release time for. If you are the principal investigator (PI), please notify OSP prior to the start of each semester who will be receiving release time on your grant. After the semester begins you will receive a CUNY Staff Effort Notice for your signature from OSP. Upon completion the form will be forwarded to RFCUNY to charge the account. The RFCUNY web report will show a deduction for each month. As PI you will be requested to electronically certify all release time on your grant via rfcuny.org when each semester ends.
When requesting supplies and/or equipment please make sure that your request is within the sponsor’s guidelines. When creating a budget please note that any single item over $5,000 should be budgeted as equipment, anything less should be budgeted as supplies. For PSC CUNY awards any single item over $1,000 is considered equipment but you still purchase it via the supply method.
When requesting supplies please make sure that your request is within your approved budget. You can search for vendors by name in the E-payment request system to check if they have done business with RF CUNY before. All supplies are to be shipped to the college and invoices should be addressed to yourself here at the college. Ordering supplies is a two-step process.
Step 1: Placing an order
Items and orders under $5,000 are placed directly by the PI with vendor. If they will not take an order via the telephone use a Small Order form available in OSP (N227). You would assign your own number, enter your grant number, list items or attach a quote and sign the form. RFCUNY is tax exempt and the number is on the small order form. If a vendor requests a tax exempt form please contact the OSP.
Any equipment to be paid with RF funds that is either:
- a single item (equipment) costing $5,000 or more OR
- an order from a single vendor that totals $5,000 or more
must be ordered by RFCUNY. The PI must obtain a quote from vendor and submit with a Purchase Requisition form to RFCUNY to place order. An Equipment Screening Certificate must also be submitted for any single item over $5,000 requested. Email form and quote to PO@rfcuny.org.
Step 2: Requesting Payment
Upon receipt of items, either equipment or supplies, the PI must create an E- payment request via the RF web site and attach a scanned copy of original vendor invoice and packing slip. If the vendor is not currently in the RF database you will also be required to upload a W-9 form. Payment will be issued directly to the vendor.
In rare instances a PI may purchase supplies using his/her own funds. In this case you would request reimbursement via an e-payment request with yourself as the vendor. You would need to attach the receipt and, if paid by credit card, a copy of your credit card statement.
An independent contractor is an individual or firm providing services free from direction and control of performance including the means and methods used.
Independent contractors fall into two categories:
- A company or firm providing service to the public or to a broad clientele.
- Individuals who are clearly in business for themselves such as self-employed physicians, lawyers, photographers, artists, construction contractors, electricians, and others in an independent trade, business or profession. This includes one-time professional lecturers and short-term professional consultants.
Before an independent contractor begins to work you must submit documentation to RF CUNY
Forms are available on the RFwebsite https://www.rfcuny.org/RFWebsite/guides/content.aspx?catID=2840
If the payment to an Independent Contractor is less than $5,000 you would complete RF Form 804 signed by both contractor and yourself as PI.
Attachment A: scope of work (what the contractor will be responsible for providing)
Attachment B: Payment schedule (deliverables and dates & amounts of payments that will be requested)
Attachment C: Additional Terms (on form)
Attachment D: Insurance Statement (on form)
Also required are the resume of the contractor, client list, and a W-9 form. All documents must be emailed to RF804@RFCUNY.org for review. Once approved by RF CUNY the funds will be encumbered on your account and a PO returned to you. The contractor can then begin work. To pay the contractor for deliverables submit an E-payment request and attach a dated, numbered invoice that has been signed by the contractor. RFCUNY would issue payment directly to the contractor.
If payment to an Independent Contractor is $5,000 or more complete RF Form 803, Independent Contractor Request, and attach scope of work, client list, resume/CV, reporting/payment schedule, W-9, sole source justification and statement of need for hiring an independent contractor. Email all documents to firstname.lastname@example.org for review. Upon approval, RF Legal Affairs would draw up a Contract and forward directly to the contractor for signature. Once signed contract is received by RF CUNY and fully executed contractor may begin work. For payment to contractor submit an E-payment request and upload a dated, numbered invoice that has been signed by the contractor. You will be required to upload the W-9 if the contractor has never done business with RF CUNY. RF CUNY will issue payment directly to the contractor.
If your grant includes cash, metrocards or gift card payments to subjects you must complete form RF037: Request for Petty Cash available on RF website (https://www.rfcuny.org/FilesDirectory/OTPS/documents/Petty%20Cash%20Fund%20Request.pdf) You must explain why the funds are necessary, who will hold the funds and how they will be safeguarded. You can request up to 80% of the amount budgeted. You would create an E-payment request with yourself as the vendor and attach the signed form. Funds will be encumbered and a check will be issued to you from RF CUNY. You will need to keep a strict accounting of how the funds are used. Recipients will be required to sign a log upon receipt that includes the dollar amount, date of service and date of receipt of funds. The receipt and proof of purchase of any gift cards or metro cards would be attached to an E-payment request along with log sheets upon completion of the distribution of funds. Any additional monies owed would be paid to PI. Any unused funds must be returned to RF CUNY in the form of a check made payable to RF CUNY to reimburse the grant.
A note about PSC CUNY Research Awards
PSC CUNY Research Awards run from July 1st through June 30th. A one-time extension through December 31st will be given to any PI making this request, no justification needed.
If you wish to change any of the budget items you need to include a justification for this new expense and explain why these monies are not being spent as originally budgeted. All requests must be in writing and emailed to Katherine_Sifford@rfcuny.org