The More You Know: An Easier Way to Input Subaward Budgets in Coeus

Many Coeus users might be familiar with the process for uploading subaward budgets into Coeus–uploads of these forms are required for detailed budget submissions to federal agencies through Grants.gov. In fact, we have several posts published on the Coeus website regarding uploading and translating subaward forms. For situations that do not require an uploaded subaward form, however, Coeus users have often created the budget line items manually. Did you know there is an easier way? While the Coeus subaward budget screen is used to translate forms, it can also be used to create subaward line items without ever using a form. Simply key the direct and indirect amounts for each budget year, and Coeus will handle the rest: Step 1: Make sure your subaward organization is listed on the proposal’s ‘Organization’ tab: Step 2: Confirm that all budget periods have been generated: Step 3: Use the budget’s ‘Sub Award Budget’ screen to create an entry for your sub: Step 4:

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Spring Cleaning: Coeus Budget Cost Elements

In an effort to make the Coeus budgeting process more accurate, we have made several changes to the available list of Coeus budget cost elements. Starting immediately, these changes include the removal of old cost elements and the addition of some new cost elements to make Coeus budget creation easier and more accurate. Removing University Cost Elements VUMC Coeus no longer maintains fringe rates, indirect rates, or other financial information related to Vanderbilt University budget expenses. Therefore, the Coeus cost elements associated with the University have been disabled and will no longer appear in the budget selection list. This includes item such as 50200UF and 50600F for faculty academic and summer salaries. Please note that budget items associated with Vanderbilt University expenses are typically captured in the subaward budget and do not need to appear in the VUMC budget detail. In situations where VU expenses must be captured directly in a VUMC budget, Coeus users are encouraged to use ‘TBD’

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New Coeus Indirect Rate-Type: Foundation

VUMC’s Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) recognizes that foundations who sponsor VUMC projects may not award budgets inclusive of our full indirect costs. In such situations we accept either the foundation’s published policy or, in the absence of published policy, a minimum of 15% indirects on total direct costs. Pursuant to this approach, on Monday April 22, Coeus will debut a new indirect cost rate option that will charge TDC 15% by default for foundations. Of course, users can override this rate to match the foundation’s published policy if needed. This might be a good time for a review: Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC): VUMC and the federal government periodically negotiate indirect cost rates applicable to federally funded projects. Not all direct charges receive corresponding indirects. Equipment, patient care, and subcontract costs over $25,000 are excluded from MTDC. In Coeus, several indirect rate-types qualify as MTDC, including ‘Research,’ ‘Sponsored Training,’ and ‘Other Sponsored Activities.’ Coeus automatically excludes these costs for

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Reminder: Calculating Effort on the Key Person Tab

As a reminder, the percent effort listed within Coeus’ Key Person tab should be calculated based on the appropriate person months category for the individual’s appointment type: calendar year (CY), academic year (AY), and/or summer term (SM). For example, while VUMC personnel’s effort is calculated using the calendar year (twelve months), external collaborators may use either academic year or summer term methodologies. OSP recommends verifying the listed values and conversions prior to routing in Coeus. To convert percent effort to person months, multiply the percentage of effort associated with the project by the number of months that correspond to the appointment type: 25% of a nine-month academic year appointment equals 2.25 (AY) person months (0.25 x 9 = 2.25) Conversely, to convert person months to percent effort, divide person months by the number of months that correspond to the appointment type: 2.25 person months of a nine-month academic year appointment equals 25% effort (2.25 / 9 = .25) Please note

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Unique Budgeting Scenario: IDC (Indirect Cost) Recovery

Recently OSP encountered an unusual application budgeting scenario most often related to foundation applications. According to the foundation’s budgeting guidelines, applicants were permitted to request 20% IDC recovery, albeit with a special stipulation for those proposals including subrecipients (i.e., VUMC subcontracting with a secondary party): “Note: indirect costs for the subcontract budget may be claimed by either the primary or the secondary institution, but not both.” Because VUMC flows down the sponsor’s IDC recovery rate to our collaborating sites in order to allow these organization to collect their share of IDC (in this case 20%), VUMC would not collect IDC in this example. VUMC budget calculations must then exclude the FULL estimated subcontract budget from our IDC cost calculation base.  As a result, VUMC would only apply the 20% rate to “our” direct costs. Had this stipulation not been included in the provided guidelines, the budget and associated IDC recovery would have been assembled and processed via VUMC’s normal IDC recovery practices. This is just another

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User-Submitted Question: Calculating Indirect Cost Recovery

VUMC requires grant applicants to include indirect cost (IDC) recovery in accordance with sponsor guidelines. It is important to carefully read the sponsor’s funding opportunity announcement (FOA) regarding its budgetary guidelines when determining your budget calculation with IDC recovery. Calculating IDC recovery will look different depending on what method you use to determine your budget. The two main types of calculations used to determine budgets include: Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) Total Direct Cost (TDC) MTDC is the calculation used for almost all federal grants. This budget method omits some direct costs from the indirect cost calculation: these are known as “exclusions.” Exclusions include the following items: capital expenditures, equipment, tuition remission, each subcontract portion over $25,000, rental costs of off-site facilities, participant support costs, patient care charges, and fellowships/scholarships. VUMC’s IDC federal rate agreement can be found on the homepage of OSP’s website under “Forms” or by clicking here. Calculating MTDC to determine IDC recovery: While the total direct

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The More You Know: NIH Modular vs. Detailed Budgets

NIH uses two types of budget formats: the detailed or R&R budget and the modular budget. The format required depends on the total direct costs and the Funding Opportunity Announcement’s instructions. NIH uses a modular budget format for research applications requesting up to a total of $250,000 in direct costs per budget period. Modules are in increments of $25,000 and exclude consortium F&A costs. When determining how many modules to request, subtract any consortium F&A from the total direct costs for that period and then round to the nearest $25,000 increment. The modular budget justification should include the personnel justification and consortium justification. Additional justification should include explanations for any direct costs that were excluded from the direct cost category, such as equipment or tuition emission. The R&R budget is used in the majority of applications. This format is used when direct costs (less consortium F&A) are greater than $250,000 per budget period. The detailed budget justification must include a

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What Happens When OSP Requires More Documentation Than the Sponsor?

In the event that a sponsor does not request a particular item that is required for OSP review and approval, that item must still be included within the Coeus proposal. As a reminder, the following items are required for Coeus routing and approval: Sponsor guidelines – PDF or permanent link Scope of work (SOW) Final budget Final budget justification As applicable: Facilities and other resources Human subjects and/or vertebrate animals Outgoing subcontract narratives (i.e. LOI, budget, budget justification) Please contact your OSP specialist with any questions or concerns.

Common Mistakes: R&R Budgets

This post is part of OSP’s ongoing “Common Mistakes” blog post series: Error: Budget Pages – verify that the application uses either a detailed or modular budget (not both). Error: Direct Cost Requests >= $500k Per Year – any application requesting more than $500k in direct costs (minus consortium F&A) in a given year requires agreement from the IC, with the exception of those RFAs or PAs with budgetary limits. OSP recommends that applicants review the generated application PDF upon submission, as reaching this limit might not generate a warning but may cause the application to be delayed or rejected in the review process. Warning: Cumulative Direct Cost – verify that any submitted application complies with the prescribed, cumulative direct cost limitations for the FOA. Failure to adhere to this limit may result in the delay or rejection of the application during the review process. Warning: Consortium R&R Budget – verify that F&A rate is listed as a percentage and

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Resource Toolkit: Converting Percent Effort to Person Months

Person months represent the effort or amount of time PIs, faculty, and other senior personnel dedicate to a specific project. Effort corresponds to the type of appointment: calendar year (CY), academic year (AY), and/or summer term (SM). While VUMC faculty utilize calendar year methodology, please note that collaborators may use either academic year or summer term methodologies. To convert percent effort to person months, multiply the percentage of effort associated with the project by the number of months. For example: 25% of a 9-month academic year appointment equals 2.25 (AY) person months (9 x 0.25 = 2.25) For SF424 (R&R) budgets for competing applications, applicants can include up to two decimal places to represent partial months. For Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs), investigators should list person months with whole numbers rounded to the nearest whole person month. NIH has compiled a frequently asked questions page for reference. For more general information, please visit NIH’s website. As always, please reach out to your

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