Q. Can I start working on the project and spend the grant money even though we haven't yet received the money from the funding agency?
A: In general yes, once a research grant agreement or contract letter is signed by the funding agency as well as an AUB representative, project implementation could begin. However, in some cases and depending on the funding agency, PIs may not be allowed to expend until partial receipt of funds are received.
Q. How can I hire a research assistant (RA) on a grant and what's the salary rate used?
A: Once a faculty member decides on the RA he/she wants to hire for a certain project he/she prepares a memo to the Dean detailing the period of employment, the status (part-time or full-time) of the candidate, the degree (M.A. or M.S), Account (Cost Center)/Grant to charge, and the tasks the RA will be performing on the grant. Attached to this memo the faculty member should have the following:
a. A filled out employment form (Available at Dean's Offices)
b. A copy of the Highest Degree of RA candidate
c. Two passport photos of RA
d. A copy of RA's ID.
The Dean's Office is then responsible for filling out a Letter of Appointment and submitting it to the Office of Human Resources. Once the contract is ready, the RA will be asked to go to the Office of Human Resources to sign it. Once signed, it will be sent to the Comptroller's Office for processing. Faculty members should always refer to the cost center to which the salary should be deducted from.
The monthly rate of Research Assistants varies according to degrees. Rates for RAs with a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Degree are around:
L.L. 1,200,00 or $800/month, excluding the 25-26% fringe benefits for full-time research assistants.
Rates for RAs with a Master of Arts Degree or Master of Science Degree is around:
L.L. 1,500,000 or $1000/month, excluding the 25-26% fringe benefits for full-time research assistants.
Q. Can Consultants on my project/grant be AUB Faculty Members?
A: Project directors and principal investigators may not serve as Consultants on sponsored research projects except in certain specific circumstances, and if approved by the Dean and the Provost at the proposal stage. For exceptions, please refer to the Policy on Consultation, professional Activities and Research Support from Outside Activities. If the exceptions apply and the use consultants has been approved by the Dean and the Provost, then faculty members are allowed a maximum of one day of consultation per week and not exceeding 16 days per semester, and not exceeding 5 days for the summer semester.
Q. What if my proposal involves a service contract or a consultancy project, and is not defined as "research"?
A: Service contracts are usually administered by the Office of Regional External Program (REP), however OGC sometimes manages research contracts that involve some services and consultancy work. Faculty members are advised to contact OGC to define the nature of the project.
Q. Can I make expenditures on the project after its end date or completion date?
A: No, all expenditures should be incurred within the period of the project as stated on the research agreement or contract.
Q. May I purchase equipment under my project towards the end of its duration?
A: Ideally, equipment should be purchased at the beginning of the project. Equipment from local sources needs to be ordered at least one month before the project's end date. Equipment from abroad needs to be ordered at least three months before the project's end date.
Q. As the PI of the project, can I order items directly on my own?
A: Yes, PI can order needed items electronically using the i-procurement system, and according the procedures of the Purchasing Department.
Q. How can I assign a Graduate Research Assistant on my grant?
A: A special application form is prepared for this purpose at your Dean's Office.
Q. How can I process travel requests?
A: PIs can process their travel request by submitting a 1) travel request form, and 2) a leave request form to the Department chairman and Dean for their approval. In turn the Dean's office will forward to the Auxiliary Services and Human Resources Departments for processing.
Q. As a Principal Investigator, how can I get paid on my grant?
A: In one of two ways: 1) if PIs are not on contract with AUB during the summer, PIs can receive up to two months summer salary, and the requests for summer salaries must be approved by Dean's Office 2) Faculty Research Inventive Plan (FRIP) where the PI is entitled to receive a supplement to his/her salary, and only if the grant budget includes the max overhead recovery as well the PI's salary recovery for his/her percent effort on the grant. For more details please refer to the Faculty Research Incentive Plan Policy (FRIP).
Q. How can I record cost sharing on my project?
A: Approved cost sharing should be detailed and defined by the PI and communicated to OGC and the Office of the Comptroller on a regular basis throughout the period of the project. For more information on Cost Sharing please refer to the Policy on Cost Sharing for Sponsored Research.
Q. Can I use the funds of the grant for assignments other than the grant?
A: No, all grant funds must be used for the purposes of the grant only.
Q. Do I have a limitation regarding the expending of grant funds?
A: Yes, all grant funds need to be spent as per the agreed upon budget breakdown specified in the research agreement/contract.
Q. When is the best time to request extension on the project?
A: Ideally, an extension needs to be requested from the funding agency at least one to three months before the project's end date. The PI should send an e-mail to OGC requesting an extension, the email should include the needed time, and a justification for the need to extend the period. In turn, OGC will then send an official request on behalf of the PI to the funding agency.