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My Arnold School

Q & A


If you answer YES to any of the following, it needs approval through USCeRA. 

  1. Is this an institutional grant?
  2. Does it require a budget?
  3. Does it need a University of South Carolina (USC) Authorized Signature?

Arnold School of Public Health (ASPH) requires completed proposals to be entered in USCeRA and the submission software of your choice 7 business days before the sponsor’s or submitting institution’s deadline. 
Example: If your proposal is due to the sponsor on Friday at 5 p.m., you must submit a completed, ready-to-review proposal to USC by 5 p.m. on Wednesday the week before.  

To comply, a completed proposal must be loaded in USCeRA, and the submission software must be ready for review. A PI may still tweak the Aims and Research Strategy sections during review, but all other areas of the proposal must be complete.  

Yes, you can continue working on these up until submission. 

In USCeRA, while completing the PAP (Proposal/Award Processing form), answer the collaboration questions under the “Funding” section.  Then, under the “Questions” section (last section), click yes to question number 5 (Sole source considerations: subcontracts, outside consultants, equipment?) and complete the sole source certification that will pop up under “My Forms” after the PAP form is completed. NOTE: complete ONE certification for EACH collaborating institution (i.e., 3 collaborating institutions = 3 certification forms). Click the “Add Certification” button under the tools section for additional certifications. 

  • CSOW (scope of work)
  • Budget
  • Budget justification 
  • Letter of intent/collaboration approved by the SAM (Sponsored Awards Management) equivalent representative for the institution
  • USC Subrecipient commitment form 
  • Facilities document
  • Biosketches
  • Equipment, if applicable
  • Performance site
  • LOI (Letter of Intent) from PI (per solicitation)
  • LOI from consultant (per application) that reflects SOW, the time frame, and the fee 

Your proposal is due in USCeRA 7 business days before the institution has requested your paperwork. Please use the prime institution’s deadline in USCeRA instead of the main sponsor’s deadline. 

  • Scope of work (a description of USC’s portion of work in the project; be specific).
  • Budget and budget justification (ask the collaborator if the institution requires specific forms).
  • Any other required forms from the collaborating institution.
  • SAM representative will write the letter of intent/collaboration.
  • In the comment section, add contact information and how the documents are being submitted once approved.  

You can change the budget, but it will then have to be routed again for signatures. All documents must be in final form in USCeRA and for the submission application at the time of routing for approvals. Rerouting a proposal with revisions not requested by ASPH OoR or SAM resets the 7-business-day deadline. 

Yes.  Please answer yes to the question on the Costs section of the PAP form and choose from the following: 

  • If the sponsor has published an IDC rate in their guidelines, USC will allow that rate.  Please choose “The sponsoring agency has a formal policy limiting indirect costs.”  Please include the guidelines; you do not need anything further.
  • If you request a “voluntary reduction in rate or waiver of indirect costs,” please choose this option and contact the OoR for a waiver form. 


USC does not require you to use specific submission software. ASPH OoR suggests using ASSIST, Workspace, and for federal proposals. 
Once you have USC approval (ASPH and SAM), you may submit to other portals for nonfederal sponsors. 

Cost share or matching is the portion of the project costs not paid by the funding agency.  The university or a third party can provide a cost share. 
As a rule, ASPH does not allow cost sharing on a proposal unless the sponsor requests/requires it.  
First, determine that the call for proposal requires cost share.  If you do need cost share, on the PAP form, in the questions section, answer yes to question 1 (Does this proposal involve cost share?).  This will create a new form on the main page of the proposal.  Once you open that form, you have 2 options. 
1.       Commitment of Department cost share 
2.       Commitment of College/Other Entity cost share 
Click on the (+) sign next to the one you want to enter.  
ASPH Department cost share: A new screen will pop up. You will then enter the PI /Co-I information requested and denote the category from which the cost share will come (e.g., salary, fringe, travel, IDC, etc.). You will need to do this for each year with a cost share. 
Other College or Entity cost share: A new screen will pop up. You will then enter the requested college or institution information and denote which category the cost share will come from (e.g., Salary, Fringe, Travel, IDC, etc.). You will need to do this for each year with a cost share. 
Your chair will approve the cost share at the departmental level.  The Associate Dean for Research and the Dean’s business manager will authorize for the college level.  Any other college at USC will be alerted to approval through USCeRA.  
If you receive money from a third party outside the university, you will need a signed letter stating they are committing the cost share loaded into USCeRA. 
The university must track all cost share. Any In-Kind effort over 5% is also considered a cost share that must be tracked. 

The  Agreement 

Use a modular budget if your direct costs are less than $250,000 per year. Use the detailed budget if your costs are more than $250,000 per year.  

Always review the guidelines to ensure there are no specifications on what kind of budget to submit.

Yes, your modular budget justification will include personnel only.  

Your sub’s budget justification should be detailed, labeled foreign or domestic, and rounded to the nearest $1,000. 

Submit a detailed budget in USCeRA regardless of the budget template used for submission.

Please contact the ASPH OoR. You will be given a waiver form to complete and submit to request your proposal be processed. These will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If you know a few days before the deadline, please contact the OoR, and we will try to work with you. 

No, the policy is 7 full business days. 

No. The prior 4-day policy will continue to apply. Please reach out to Charlotte Stalvey, OoR Director, for specific questions. 

Example/exception: RPPRs 

Costs to support the activities described in the Data Management and Sharing Plan must be requested in the appropriate cost category(ies), e.g., personnel, equipment, supplies, and other expenses. 


Investigators must also include a justification of the costs associated with the activities proposed in the DMS Plan. This justification must be labeled "Data Management and Sharing Justification" within the budget justification attachment, followed by the estimated dollar amount. 


The justification should include a summary of the type and amount of scientific data to be preserved and shared and the name of the established repository(ies) to be used. It should also indicate general cost categories (such as curating data and developing supporting documentation, local data management activities, preserving and sharing data through established repositories, etc.); each category should include an amount and a brief explanation. 


The recommended length of the justification should be no more than half a page and should be included as follows: 


The PI should request approval from their department chair and then submit it to Charlotte Stalvey in the OoR. Risk Accounts  

Budget revision requests allowed on a project should be initiated by the PI and/or the associated department business manager. Check the guidelines first. 

Email your SAM administrator and provide the award number, the requested project end date, the estimated amount of carryforward, and an explanation of how the funds will be used to complete the project. The SAM admin will work with your GFM accountant to verify the remaining funds and email the official request to the sponsor. 

The New Award Checklist is a valuable tool for ensuring that your award is set up according to the approved budget.  

The PI and/or Business managers should review report activity monthly using the Monthly Payroll Account Funding Review Checklist to ensure expenses are posted appropriately and timely.  


Submitting Organization Legal Name: University of South Carolina 
Type of Organization:   Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education 
Congressional District:  SC-006  
View USC  business information .

Authorized University Signatories: Your SAM administrator is the designated signing official. DO NOT sign them yourself 
Financial Contacts: Denise Koon, Senior Director of Grants & Funds Management 
Federal Cognizant Audit Agency:  USDHHS, Erenst Kinneer, 301-492-4855 
View USC  business information

The decision about whether it is a gift, or a grant is made at the OoR and SAM levels, not by the PI. 
Grant Checklist 

  • Money or property is provided to achieve a specified scope of work or to provide a specific product, service, or other expected result within a specified time.
  • There is an exchange of money/property (financial assistance) for research/instruction/public service activities to fulfill the institution’s mission (a quid pro quo arrangement).
  • Use of funds is restricted by the sponsor, prior sponsor approval is required for budget revisions, and the disallowance of specific types of expenditures is included in the terms.
  • The sponsor retains the right to revoke the award based on stated circumstances.
  • Sponsor is a governmental agency or is awarding governmental flow-through funds.
  • The award is a contract, cooperative agreement, consortium agreement, grant, sub-grant, or sub-contract.
  • The sponsor requires external audits, detailed financial reports, invoices, and/or technical status reports as a condition of the award.
  • Sponsor defines how unused funds are to be handled. 

Gift Checklist 

  • Donor refers to funding as a gift, a donation, or a contribution and intends for the financing to be a charitable gift as reflected by the absence of any quid pro quo arrangement.
  • Donor provides funding to the university without expectation of direct economic or other tangible benefits commensurate with the amount of funding. Indirect benefits such as tax advantages, business or personal goodwill, or benefits derived from donor club status are immaterial and insufficient to negate the gift intent.
  • Funding is provided with few terms beyond specifying general intent. Any conditions or stipulations placed on the use of the funding are reasonable and serve only to direct the funding to support the donor's desired area of interest.
  • Funding is irrevocable, with the donor relinquishing the right to reclaim any portion.
  • Funding is from a non-governmental source and is provided for activities like endowments, capital projects, general student financial assistance, or other general operations of the University.
  • Technical and/or progress reports are NOT required. These reports should not be confused with general stewardship reports, which should occur regularly or upon request from a donor on an ad-hoc basis.
  • There is NO requirement for a line-item budget, and no restrictions are placed on the use of the funding other than that expenditures must be consistent with the donor’s stipulations.
  • Often, there is no time specified with the funding.
  • No deliverables (reports or rights) are provided to the donor in exchange for the funding provided. 

Lauren Johnson, MPA, CFRE, Senior Director for Development 

The U.S. Government is increasingly concerned about inappropriate influence by foreign entities over federally funded research.  A primary focus from this concern is ensuring that federally funded researchers at U.S. institutions disclose their relationships and activities with foreign institutions and/or funding agencies, which could jeopardize an individual’s eligibility for future funding. UofSC encourages international collaborations while reiterating the importance of our faculty and investigators being transparent about their involvement with foreign entities.  The following information guides the research community in meeting the obligations of reporting outside activities to federal agencies. 
The funding agencies' message is clear: investigators and their universities must disclose all foreign activities to their federal funding sponsors. 
Please see the below link for additional information and guidance on disclosing international relationships:

Documents must be kept for at least three years after the study has closed unless the sponsor lists other specific requirements. See the Data Access and Retention policies for more details. 


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.