Questions and Answers
2017 Ohio Coal Research Consortium
Document #: DEV OCA 1801
Question: I received the following question from a faculty member: "I am looking at the most recent guidelines for from OCDO regarding what we can charge (pages 8, 9) and I cannot see anywhere that they do not allow for Surface characterizations for the materials we study. Actually, these characterizations can be categorized under contracts (item #7)." Is this correct? Or do the characterizations fall under the "other" category covered in item #6 on page 9 of the RFP? Thanks
Answer: It depends on who is doing the work. Are you hiring an outside company to conduct this work? If so, ODSA would typically consider that to be a Contractual expense. Or are university/college employees doing these characterizations? Then their time to conduct the characterizations would most likely be considered personnel charges. Are graduate students conducting this work under a tuition stipend? Then this would be considered tuition charges for their time. Or are you talking about paying computer or lab fees that are to be paid to university/college facilities to use these facilities to conduct the surface characterizations? If so, these charges need to budgeted under other and come from University/college cost share portions.
Question: Hello, The RFP states that "Applicants may not submit the same project to ODSA more than once per funding cycle. This includes submitting the same project to both the OCRC and the Demonstration and Pilot Program RFP." When a current demonstration project is under a consideration of no cost extension request, can I still submit a proposal to the OCRC with the same topic? What if the no cost extension request is approved after the submission of a proposal with the same topic to OCRC? Thank you.
Answer: The no cost extension for this request was rejected on 9.12.2017. You are free to submit a new proposal for this new project to the OCRC.
Question: Hi, The RFP states, "The maximum ODSA award for an individual project under this RFP will be limited in accordance with the following parameters: Up to $160,000 for a two-year project, or up to $80,000 for a one-year project." If we submit a two-year proposal should each year be as close to $80K as possible? Or, is it ok if one year has significantly more money than another year? Thanks
Answer: It should be close to $80k per year. If some equipment needs to be purchased in year one that front loads some of the costs, that is acceptable. Not knowing what budget split you are proposing and not knowing the nature of your work, it is hard to respond fully, but generally, one-year projects cannot be spread out over two years just to request the higher amount. If you’d like to submit a query that includes the overall ratio between the two years of your project and an explanation for why one year is heavier than another, a more definitive answer can be provided.
Question: I have three questions: 1. The RFP states that the sponsoring university needs to be in Ohio. Can I have a partner (or two) in another state who will receive a relatively small portion of the funds to conduct small parts of the work, or provide input/guidance? 2. There is a limit of one proposal per PI, which I assume means that a specifice person can only be the lead investigator on one proposal. Can someone be the lead on one proposal and a co-PI on another proposal? 3. I often do systems-level investigations (sometimes regional) that are very relevant to the RFP, but its not clear if these fall under the purvey of this opportunity. Is this RFP focused on technology development or are systems-scale investigations also consistent with the RFPs intent?
Answer: 1. You could have a partner that is outside the state, but if they are international, they would need to be supported by cost share funds. One condition for non-Ohio contractors that is listed in the grant agreement is that you would need to use your best efforts to procure Ohio-based services. If none are available though and you wanted to use domestic contractors who are outside of Ohio, that would be allowable. Regardless, all contractors need to conduct work that benefits Ohio coal. 2. Yes, you can be the lead PI on one proposal and the co-PI on another proposal. You couldn’t be the lead PI and the co-PI on two other proposals though. 3. There needs to be clear benefits for Ohio coal. Also, the proposed cost share portion needs to be relevant to the Ohio-based project. Regional projects that are requesting Ohio funds, need submit budget requests that are in proportion to the benefits that are demonstrated/expected to come to Ohio, and Ohio funds can only go towards the portions of the regional project that benefits Ohio coal.
Question: Hi, I am a senior research associate-engineer at the Ohio State University. It is not a post-doctoral fellow or a faculty (professor, associate professor, or assistant professor) position. Can I serve as a PI in a proposal? Thank you.
Answer: You may serve as a Co-PI in a proposal. The PI must be a Professor, Associate Professor, or an Assistant Professor
Question: Hi There, Im just curious if post docs and undergrads can be funded on this project? The guidelines state the personnel is limited to faculty and graduate students but I just want to be sure Im understanding this correctly. Thanks
Answer: Yes, post docs and undergrads can be funded under this project. “Graduate students” was meant to represent all qualified students who are actively enrolled in the college/university.
Question: Good morning, I’m working with faculty member at UC on a proposal to respond to RFP# DEV OCA 1801. We are going to request a reduced F&A rate for this proposal and were wondering if we are allowed to use the unrecovered F&A as cost share? Item #8 on page 9 of the RFP states the following: Indirect charges cannot exceed the college/universitys most recent federally approved indirect rate for research and must only be charged on direct expenses billed to ODSA. Indirect charges on cost share will not be eligible for reimbursement by ODSA. Indirect charges on cost share can only be eligible for counting as cost share. The last sentence leads me to believe that maybe we cannot use unrecovered F&A as cost share? Is that correct? Thanks in advance for your help, Lesley
Answer: The RFP is silent on this issue. The current language restricts applicants from requesting ODSA funds to cover indirect expenses on the applicant's direct costs that are going to be claimed as cost share. If an applicant wants to reduce ODSA's indirect budget (through unrecovered indirect expenses) on eligible direct expenses, that would be acceptable. The combined requested indirect rate and the unrecovered indirect rate still needs to not exceed the applicant’s most recently federally approved indirect rate for research.
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