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President Buchanan Outlines Stimulus Funding Opportunities


March 21, 2009 — University of Wyoming President Tom Buchanan issued to faculty, staff and administrators the following memo involving stimulus funding opportunities for UW:

On March 8, 2009, I advised the campus community that additional reporting requirements for federal funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) were being developed. This memo outlines the expectations to any entity, faculty, or staff member wishing to submit an application for federal, ARRA stimulus funds as a result of increased federal and state accountability requirements.

First and foremost, I must reiterate my intention that UW will pursue any and all funding that supports our institutional priorities. ARRA funding creates interesting institutional opportunities along with unprecedented calls for accountability and transparency at both the state and federal levels. As a result, the UW community will have to modify some of its traditional practices to insure sufficient time is available to comply with the federal and state requirements and, occasionally, to consider how certain proposals support UW's institutional priorities, e.g., in the area of capital construction.

These expanded procedures are required for several reasons:

-- There are additional federal and Wyoming state government reporting requirements when ARRA funds are being used.
-- ARRA funding is essentially one-time funding, and UW must ensure that such funding will be consistent with UW's priorities and avoids circumstances that would negatively impact UW's resources and capacity.
-- Given the foregoing, it is essential that UW units, faculty, and staff members do not devote valuable time and energy developing the details for proposals that are not likely to move forward.

Procedure:
Overview - Wyoming state government approval is required prior to any entity submitting a proposal. UW is establishing a central process so that all institutionally approved proposals will be forwarded in a timely manner for state approval. However, any proposal from UW must be institutionally approved before UW will forward it for state approval.

 

Approval process -

Step 1: Advise the Research and Economic Development Office by e-mail to Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development Dorothy Yates at dyates4@uwyo.edu of any ARRA funding you intend to pursue, the federal agency providing the funding, and the application deadline as soon as you make a committed interest to pursue ARRA funding. This advance notice, simply allows UW to note this on their internal calendar and potentially the administrative calendar of the Governor, if necessary.

Step 2: If the proposal is for traditional academic research, and the investigators believe the proposal does not directly nor indirectly require a commitment of UW resources beyond that typically required for academic research nor provide for renovation of existing facilities nor construction of new facilities at UW, proceed to Step 5, otherwise proceed to Step 3. Traditional academic research should not include any application that will result in construction or renovation of facilities, any project that will result in on-going personnel or maintenance costs, any proposal that will require institutional matching funds not otherwise immediately available, etc.

Step 3: Preparation of summary - Units, faculty or staff members contemplating submitting a proposal using funding under ARRA shall prepare a summary not exceeding 2 pages in length containing the following:

a. a brief description of the proposal;
b. the University program being supported by the funding request;
c. an explanation of how the request furthers goals and objectives of the university, e.g. as defined in UP2 or the most recent version of UP3;
d. the federal agency, the specific ARRA solicitation (including the web address for the solicitation), and the amount of funding being requested;
e. the amount of any matching funds or resources required by the applicant and a description of how the match will be provided;
f. the extent to which there are requirements or expectations that UW or the State will continue to fund the program or project following completion of work;
g. the extent to which other campus units or resources (beyond the required match) will be required to participate in the project; and,
h. a letter not exceeding 2 pages in length from the Department Head and Dean of the College (or unit head and Vice President if the primary proposer is not in an academic unit) indicating support for the request. This letter will also need to display how they will participate in any required match.

Step 4: Submit the proposal to the Office of Research and Economic Development. That Office will provide a response within 3 business days or soon thereafter as possible regarding whether the summary has been preliminarily approved. The preliminary approval determination will be made in consultation with the President. If preliminary approval is not granted, the Office will provide a brief explanation as to the reasons therefor. Except for academic research under Step 2, UW will not forward a proposal to Wyoming state government for approval unless the proposal had been preliminarily approved under this step.

Step 5: For academic research under Step 2 and preliminarily approved proposals approved under Step 4, the proposals are completed in final form as required by the federal agency providing the funds, and a copy submitted to Office of Research and Economic Development no later than five business days in advance of the federal deadline for applications. All proposals are subject to final approval of the President. If a proposal is not approved, the Office will provide a brief explanation of why the project was not approved.

Step 6: All institutionally approved projects will be forwarded to Wyoming state government for approval. If Wyoming state government approves the proposal, the proposal may be submitted. If the proposal is not approved, UW will attempt to determine the reason for such approval and advise the proposer of it.

Additional Notes:
This new process does not apply to any federal funding unrelated to ARRA funds. The traditional Research Office procedures, with green sheets, will continue to apply. In addition, the Research Office understands that minor modifications to submitted materials may be required right up until the federal application deadline. Minor changes will be allowed within the five-day windows created above. The purpose of these procedures is to comply with the new federal and state regulations and should not dissuade rigorous pursuit of appropriate funding opportunities. All submission and questions throughout these processes should be directed to Dorothy Yates, Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development at dyates4@uwyo.edu. Finally, federal grant submittal portals such as grants.gov will be experiencing extraordinarily heavy traffic so it is important that proposers take this into consideration and try submit grants well before deadline.

Please contact the Research and Economic Development Office at 766-5320 if you have questions about an existing application or a new proposal.

Posted on Saturday, March 21, 2009

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