Office of Sponsored Programs
The Ohio State University

General Information News

Update on Grants Shared Services Center Requisition Processing

Mon, 15th March, 2021

The Grants Shared Services Center (GSSC) has cleared much of the initial requisition backlog and overall processing times have improved dramatically.  Overall average processing times have been reduced by approximately 80% in the last month.  Most transactions are now being processed within 1-2 business days, but we are continuing to deal with some backlog for lab supply requisitions.  While we work to continuously improve processing times, please be aware of the following actions you can take to help ensure your orders are processed faster:

Internal Orders

GSSC has prioritized processing of internal orders for same day processing.  Please be sure to select the correct internal supplier on your requisition so we can quickly identify your request as an internal order and expedite it.

Non-Catalog requisitions

Always use spend category SC99999 on Non-Catalog requisitions.  You don’t need to spend time trying to find the right spend category.  For Buckeye Buy orders, the correct spend category will pull from the catalog.  For Non-Catalog requests, GSSC has set up a triage to quickly review and assign the correct spend category for anything coded as SC99999.  For research, there is a tendency to code everything as Lab Supplies SC10413 which is bogging down that inbox.  By using SC99999 it will help expedite your orders, but it will also help lessen the backlog burden for everyone else and help us process everyone’s orders faster.  The use of SC99999 is detailed in the job aid for requisitions (

High Priority requisitions

Please DO select the High Priority checkbox for any urgent requests.  Please DO NOT select this checkbox for anything that is not urgent.  We are trying to prioritize these but we are finding that many requisitions marked High Priority are not and this makes it more difficult to identify and process those that are truly urgent.  Please DO email to prompt us to expedite anything that is truly urgent.

Business Purpose

Please provide as much detail as possible in the internal memo field to support the business purpose, especially for general purpose items.  The more detailed business purpose, the easier it is for our team and/or the SPO to determine allowability of the purchase without having to come back to you for additional information.

Category : General Information

New F&A rate agreement received

Wed, 13th January, 2021

The university has just completed negotiations with DHHS on a new 4-year F&A rate agreement. The agreement, dated November 27, 2020, establishes the rates shown below. New rates go into effect on 7/1/2021 and will apply through the end of FY24, and then continue to be used after that date until a new rate agreement is established.

Activity Period On-Campus Off-Campus*
Research 7/1/2020 – 6/30/2021 56% 26%
7/1/2021 – 6/30/2024 57.5% 26%
Instruction 7/1/2020 – 6/30/2024 52% 26%
Other Sponsored Activities 7/1/2020 – 6/30/2024 32% 26%

MTDC (Modified Total Direct Costs) means all costs except equipment (stand-alone items with a useful life of a least 1 year and a unit cost of at least $5,000); capital expenditures (alterations and renovations); patient care costs; tuition; scholarships and fellowships; rental of off-site facilities; participant support costs; and subaward costs in excess of $25,000.

Please see the rate agreement for additional information about on-campus/off- campus designations and the components of the F&A rate.


New proposals

Investigators should begin using the new rates in proposals expected to have a start date on or after 7/1/2021. For example, if proposing work that runs 7/1/2021 – 6/30/2022, use 57.5%.  If proposing work that begins May 1, 2021 and runs through April 30, 2022, use 56% for May and June 2021, and 57.5% for July-April.

New or competing continuation proposals submitted but not yet funded

OSP will work with sponsors to obtain the new F&A rate whenever possible. However, if we cannot obtain additional funds, direct costs will be protected and will not be reduced to cover the increase in F&A rate, unless it is required by a sponsor.

Currently active projects

These projects will continue to be charged their current rate, as proposed and awarded, until the next competitive segment or other natural break point.

If you have questions, please contact your department’s sponsored program officer.

Category : F&A Rates / General Information

New NSF-approved formats for Biographical Sketches and Current and Pending Support required for all NSF proposals with deadlines on or after June 1, 2020

Mon, 18th May, 2020

June 1, 2020:  All proposals submitted to NSF for a deadline on or after June 1, 2020 must utilize one of the two NSF-approved formats for the Biographical Sketches and for the Current and Pending Support forms.

The two approved formats are SciENcv and an NSF Fillable PDF. NSF will prevent submission of any proposals that do not use one of the approved formats.

More information available here: Biographical sketch and Current and Pending Support.

Additional resources:

Biographical Sketch Resources

Current and Pending Support Resources

Category : General Information

FAQs on sponsored programs during COVID-19 emergency

Thu, 2nd April, 2020

The Office of Sponsored Programs has received a number of questions related to the impacts of COVID-19.  Below is a list of the some of the most frequently asked questions.  We will update with new questions and information as they becomes available. If you have additional questions please email


In light of COVID-19, how do I charge personnel expenditures (salary, fringe benefits, stipend) to my sponsored program?

  • On federal awards, continue to charge personnel expenses as usual, even if full effort is not possible. Track when you do this and provide to your SPO; some sponsors require notification (ACF, DOD) and some do not (e.g. NIH, NSF). Please review the matrix developed by Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) for more detailed information on federal grants.
  • On awards from foundations or associations (i.e. private agencies) and from industry (non-federal flow-through):
    • Continue to charge as normal if the work can be performed.
    • If only partial effort or no effort can be performed, and the award is cost-reimbursable, charge for the effort only if the sponsor allows (American Heart Association).
    • If the award is fixed price/deliverable based (as are the vast majority of industry awards) you may continue to charge these expenses, but consider whether you’ll be able to produce deliverables given funding.

How do I charge non-personnel expenditures to my sponsored-programs?

  • While the university is bracing for the financial impacts of COVID-19 and has limited purchases to only business critical items and services, this limit does not necessarily apply to sponsored programs funds. However, per previous guidance from the Office of Research, only critical research that meets specific criteria is allowed to be performed on campus.  If critical research is being conducted then the lab can be open and order and receive shipments as normal.
  • For non-critical research, we can place orders for services, for equipment with longer lead times and/or to be held by the supplier until after labs reopen, or for appropriate goods (no hazard to shipping/storing/using at home) that can be shipped to homes to support research being done by researchers working from home.

How should I track COVID-19’s financial impact to my individual research programs?

  • For non-personnel costs that are captured in the general ledger, use standard expenditure codes but add the new COVID-19 program code: 22521:COVID-19. This will allow reports that will capture this type of impact to be run out of the university financial system.
  • For costs not captured this way, such as donations of PPE and other materials, or researchers being paid at full rate from a federal award but contributing diminished effort due to closure of facilities, the COVID expense donation tracking spreadsheet has been developed to better track impacts. This type of tracking could also help support later requests for supplements to awards to help offset the impacts.
  • Costs to track could include ramp-down and ramp-up costs, such as:
    • loss or destruction of cell cultures and biological samples
    • disposal of hazardous materials and other environment or safety costs,
    • the care or replacement of animal subjects
    • restarting experiments that could not be completed due to the closure of research facilities
    • inability of personnel to interact in the field or missed seasonal opportunities such as plant or animal life cycle
    • non-refundable costs related to canceled events/travel
    • ramp-up costs for COVID-19 related-research for such things as supplies, equipment, additional analytic capabilities
Category : General Information

PCard Program Transition

Wed, 12th February, 2020

Applications for OSP Project AMEX PCards will no longer be accepted as of September 18, 2020. As we transition to the new WorkDay financials system and business processes, new OSP Individual PCards will be issued through the central University PCard Program Office. Please check back for additional updates. We will be providing more information about the new process and PCard program transition over the next several months.

Category : General Information / Purchasing

New Online Training – Being a Principal Investigator: Roles, Responsibilities and Resources

Tue, 26th February, 2019

The Office of Research has launched a new online training to provide guidance for principal investigators and their staff. Being a Principal Investigator: Roles, Responsibilities and Resources is strongly recommended for principal investigators, but will benefit all members of the research community.

Course content explores the lifecycle of a sponsored project, covers research administration and compliance processes and provides access to many useful resources and tools.

To access the training:

  1. Log in to
  2. Search for Being a Principal Investigator: Roles, Responsibilities and Resources to register
  3. Click [Request], and select course from transcript to launch the training
  4. The course takes approximately 45 minutes to complete

For more information contact Jeff Agnoli, senior staff training and development specialist for the Office of Research.

Category : General Information

University Laboratory Safety Committee Excellence in Safety Awards

Thu, 31st January, 2019

The University Laboratory Safety Committee’s Excellence in Safety awards recognize a university faculty or staff member, student and a laboratory research group who have made a considerable contribution to improving laboratory safety on the Ohio State campus. Such contributions can be defined as actions taken to prevent injury or illness, outstanding response and cooperation given to resolve unsafe conditions, consistent improvement during laboratory inspections, or any other consistent and proactive demonstration of efforts in support of a positive laboratory safety culture.

Environmental Health and Safety and the Office of Research coordinate the University Laboratory Safety Committee (ULSC). The ULSC works to enhance the safety culture at Ohio State by helping to shape safety programs, review and distribute new regulatory information and provide feedback from the university community regarding current laboratory safety incidents or issues.

Nominations for 2019 individual, group and student awards will be accepted through February 25, 2019.

Read more.

Category : General Information

Uniform Guidance Grants Procurement: Update 9/24/18

Mon, 24th September, 2018

Ohio State implemented the procurement sections of the Uniform Guidance on July 1, 2018.  These regulations are more prescriptive than the guidance we had used before that date.  We believe that the Uniform Guidance regulations increase administrative burden, particularly the $10,000 Micro-Purchase Threshold for soliciting multiple price quotes. In an effort to reduce the impact and keep administrative burden for researchers as low as possible, we requested and received approval from the University’s federal oversight agency to reinstate the $25,000 threshold.

This means that the Micro-Purchase Threshold for Ohio State is revised to $25,000; purchases lower than the Micro-Purchase Threshold do not require multiple quotes or sole source justification.

Additionally, per OMB memo M-18-18, the simplified acquisition threshold is raised to $250,000 from $150,000.  Purchases of $250,000 or higher require competitive bidding or sole source justification.

For detailed information, review the 5 methods of procurement with the new thresholds.

Category : General Information

New federal regulations for grant-related purchases go into effect July 1

Wed, 27th June, 2018

Effective July 1, 2018, The Ohio State University Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) will be implementing new purchasing policies and procedures in order to comply with the procurement requirements (2 CFR 200.318 – 326) of the Office of Management and Budget’s “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards,” commonly known as “Uniform Guidance.” Uniform Guidance changes focus on ensuring full and open competition and increased transparency in the procurement process. In general, the new Uniform Guidance procurement regulations are more prescriptive than the previous guidance (OBM Circular A-110).

We recommend that you read the full text of the procurement sections of Uniform Guidance.  Additional information is posted on the OSP website:

OSP Procurement staff are available to assist you with the new regulations and answer any questions you may have. Call 614-292-6871 for assistance.

Category : General Information

2018 NIH Salary Cap

Tue, 5th June, 2018

Per NIH notice NOT-OD-18-137 (as finalized in legislative mandates notice NOT-OD-18-181), the salary cap for grant, cooperative agreement and contract awards remains tied to Federal Executive Level II. Effective January 7, 2018, Executive Level II increased to $189,600, up from $187,000.

Investigators may use the 2018 cap of $189,600 in preparing proposal budgets. However, in keeping with the practice we have used in the past, Ohio State will start utilizing the new cap limit for salary cap processing on eligible projects effective July 1, 2018. The reason for this practice is to mitigate to some extent the impact on current awards where funds will have to be re-budgeted to cover the increased salary costs.

For additional information, contact your Sponsored Programs Officer.

Category : General Information / NIH