Below you will find the answers to research-related questions that are frequently asked by new faculty members. Additional information can be found on the Conducting Research at Illinois Tech page.
Procurement is supported by the Office of Procurement Services. Below you will find the answers to procurement-related questions that are frequently asked by new faculty members. For more information, visit its website.
What is Buy It eMarketplace? How do I get access? When should I use it for my grants and university-funded purchases?
Buy It eMarketplace is Illinois Tech’s eProcurement system and the preferred portal to purchase all goods and services for and by the university, including faculty and researchers. You can email procurement services (Snow Rutkowske and Malcolm Brown) to get access to Buy It, which should be used as much as possible for all purchases for your work at the university, including for grants/research projects. Your departmental administrative coordinators can show you how to use Buy It as a browser, and there are also Buy It How-To videos and training guides posted on the Procurement Services website.
What process do I need to follow to purchase sensitive materials and products, including animals, radioactive materials, laser, hazmat material, and industrial alcohol?
All purchase of sensitive materials and products MUST go through Buy It eMarketplace, and the correct account codes must be used during the check-out process so that it can go through the appropriate approval process—your departmental coordinator will be able to assist with this as well when you reassign the shopping cart to them during the check-out process.
What do I need to do if I want to hire a consultant on my grant-funded research project?
If you are engaging consultants or professional services on sponsored research/grant-related funds, please contact the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs (OSRP), and they will assist you with the contracting process, including completing the Agreement for Consulting Services (Sponsored Research Related).
What do I need to do if I’m purchasing large equipment that costs more than $10,000?
For all equipment purchases that cost more than $10,000, according to Illinois Tech policy, three quotes are needed from different vendors to support the purchase. Please note that you do not have to select the lowest-cost vendor if another vendor/product is able to better meet your needs. If a piece of equipment is truly unique and no other company can make it or there are no competitors in the market, then a Sole Source Justification Form (SSJ) needs to be completed and approved by Procurement Services. Please note that if the purchase is made with a University Buy It preferred supplier, three quotes or SSJ are not needed, and only a Vendor Selection Form needs to be completed in Buy It. A requisition must be completed in Buy It and the appropriate approvals must be received before an order can be placed with a vendor.
How do I get a P-Card? hat can, and cannot, P-Card be used for? What is the correct receipt reconciliation process?
Please note: In our current COVID-19-related extreme cost-containment environment, all applications for non-grant- and non-three-funds-related P-Cards will be declined.
You must go through the P-Card application process, take an online training course, and get 100 percent on the associated test to get your P-Card, and you must bring your test score and your ID when picking up your card. You can use your P-Card for legitimate university purchases of goods/products under $2,500 if they are unable to be purchased through Buy It eMarketplace, and for university-sanctioned business travel and conferences to pay for airfare, hotel, ground transportation, and meals. You cannot use your P-Card to buy gift cards, services, service agreements, hazardous materials, animals of any type, any capital equipment (greater than $2,500), or fuel for personal vehicles.
Your P-Card statement must be carefully reviewed, reconciled, and approved accurately and timely on a monthly basis. Failure to reconcile your P-Card for an extended period of time will result in your P-Card being suspended. A digital copy or picture of the receipt MUST be attached/uploaded into Visa IntelliLink for any transactions of $75 or greater for non-grant-fund purchases. If the transaction is being charged to a sponsored research/grant-related fund, then a receipt is required for every transaction regardless of the dollar amount. The Visa Spend Management app can be used for easy receipt capture and linking.
What do Research Administration Services (RAS) Staff Do for Faculty?
The Research Administration Services staff provides post award financial support to ensure the ongoing activities during the life of your grant adhere to regulations and system requirements. Your RAS person will review budget to actuals, assist in reviewing expenses and allocation, rebudgeting, forecasts, Effort completion, and much more.
What do Grant and Contract Accounting (GCA) Staff Do for Faculty?
Grant and Contract Accounting provides all financial review and completion of the requests that result from grant fiscal operations. GCA sets up the financial spending for your grant in the IIT Banner financial system, and also assists in routine audit and reporting needs.
Why do I need assistance from RAS or GCA staff? Why should I interact with any of these staff members?
Grants, whether Federal or non-Federal, must comply with the awarding agency's policies, requirements and regulations. These can be complicated and are frequently subject to change. For example, a seemingly simple request, such as asking to convert budgeted funds for graduate research assistants to budgeted salary and benefits for a post-doctoral fellow, may require requesting special permission from the awarding agency. Asking for our assistance ahead of taking action on your own will not only save you time, but will also likely prevent missteps in managing the grant. Our goal is to help you navigate the financial management of your grant to avoid problems when the grant ends.
I would like to submit a proposal, how do I get started?
Please start a routing sheet (SP proposal) in Illinois Tech’s grants system, which is Cayuse.
How soon should I start my Cayuse routing sheet?
Please start the first page, General tab, of the Cayuse routing sheet as soon as you know you are going to submit a proposal. OSRP prefers that you start your routing sheet at least 3 weeks prior to the grant submission deadline.
What internal deadlines must I comply with?
The administrative portions of the proposal (budget, budget justification, current and pending support started by OSRP, biographical sketch, facilities, equipment and other resources, letters of collaboration, and solicitation specific administrative documents) are due to the assigned OSRP research administrator no later than 5 business days prior to the grant submission deadline. All proposal components, including all technical portions (project abstract, project narrative, and references) are due to the OSRP research administrator no later than 2 business days prior to the grant submission deadline.
How will I know who my assigned research administrator is?
After you start your Cayuse routing sheet, OSRP will contact you with the name of the research administrator assigned to your proposal. Proposals are assigned to research administrators in a way that balances the current workload in the department. OSRP does our best to assign proposals each morning. Your proposal will usually be assigned within one day of the creation of the routing sheet. If more than a couple of days have passed since you started the routing sheet, and your proposal has not been assigned, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does the Office of Sponsored Research Projects (OSRP) handle only Federally-sponsored projects?
OSRP handles all sponsored projects for the university, including federal, state, local, foundation and industry.
As a faculty member, do I have authority to legally bind Illinois Tech?
Faculty members do not have the authority to legally bind the university. The policy regarding who has Authority for Negotiation and Approval on Contract at Illinois Tech is available on the General Counsel’s website.
I am working with an industrial partner, and the company has asked me to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). What should I do
Please email OSRP at email@example.com to request assistance with negotiating the NDA. Also see the answer to the previous question.
What are indirect costs (also called facilities and administrative or F&A costs)?
Indirect costs are actual costs that Illinois Tech incurs to maintain its research enterprise, but cannot be allocated to a specific project (for example, rent, utilities, phones, equipment depreciation). The formal definition found in the Uniform Guidance is “those costs incurred for a common or joint purpose benefitting more than one cost objective, and not readily assignable to the cost objectives specifically benefited, without effort disproportionate to the results achieved.”
What are Illinois Tech’s indirect cost rates?
Illinois Tech’s federally-negotiated indirect cost rate is 54 percent of modified total direct costs for work performed on campus, and 24 percent for work performed off campus. The indirect cost rate, set by the Provost, is 60 percent. More information on indirect costs are available here.
Can I negotiate my own indirect cost rate for my proposal?
Faculty cannot negotiate their own indirect cost rate. You must use the established Illinois Tech rates.
I am submitting a proposal to a foundation that does not allow indirect costs, or limits indirect costs to a rate lower than the IIT established rates, what do I do?
If a foundation does not allow indirect costs or limits indirect costs, Illinois Tech will accept those rates, provided that the Department Chair and/or Dean approves the proposal, and so long as the foundation applies this policy equally to all applicants.
Where can I find more information on how to prepare my proposal?
The OSRP website contains information on how to prepare the proposal and budget, including templates.
Where can I find more information on Illinois Tech’s sponsored research policies?
For information on research policies, please see the A-Z guide on the OSRP website.
When do I need to submit an invention disclosure?
Innovations as the result of use of sponsored funding, lab space and equipment, student research resources, and paid research employment are typically considered University Research, and therefore require submission of an invention disclosure.
What computing resources are available to me as a researcher?
Illinois Tech provides two research data centers to host faculty-owned research clusters. These clusters are connected to GridIIT and, in turn, the Open Science Grid. These grids allow researchers that may not have their own resources to utilize the unused processing power of the various clusters for their research while giving priority to the resource owner.
Other resources are available on the Office of Technology Services website
I have grant funds available to purchase a research cluster (computer). How do I get it installed?
Simply contact the OTS Support Desk at 312.567.3375 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone there will put you in contact with our research data center administrators.