Formula Grant Frequently Asked Questions

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General Information

Budget

Costs

Procedure

Rebudget

Travel


General Information

How long are Formula Grant projects?

Animal Health, McIntire-Stennis, Hatch, and Hatch Multi-State projects are approved for periods not exceeding four years.

What can I use Formula Funds on?

PIs can use Formula funding assigned to their approved projects for necessary direct costs related to the project and as outlined in the approved budget displayed in WISDM.

Prior approval is required for certain purchases – see the Formula Grant Policies page for additional information.

For publications resulting from Formula-funded research, what is required in the acknowledgement of USDA support?

In every publication of material that is based upon or developed under the support of Formula grants, the following acknowledgement must appear:

“This material is based upon work support by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture, [insert project type, e.g. Hatch/Evans-Allen/McIntire Stennis] project [insert accession number].”

In addition, every publication, excluding articles or papers published in scientific journals, must contain the following disclaimer:

“Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the United States Department of Agriculture.”

Why are charges to my Formula Grant for items that I requested in my proposal being disallowed?

There are a number of reasons why a charge may be disallowed.

  1. Most budgets are funded at the level of a half-time RA and a total of $4,000-$5,000 for student hourly, supplies, and travel.
    • Total expenditures above this level of support for student hourly, supplies, and/or travel will be disallowed.
    • RA support is limited to one, 50% RA per month on a Formula grant project. Exceptions require prior approval and strong justification. Expenditures are not allowed until a request has been approved.
  2. Awards are approved based on the proposed research of your project. Budgets are intensively reviewed and finalized at a later date. Items requested in your proposal are subject to disallowance based on current WAES policies and procedures and OMB Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Education Institutions. Items deemed unallowable will be reduced from your finalized budget and/or we will require that the expenditure(s) be moved to an unrestricted funding source.

Budget

What are the relevant policies regarding budget periods?

  • Budget periods are based on the federal fiscal year and run from October 1 to September 30.
  • No expenditures may be incurred before the starting date or after the termination date of the budget period.
  • Unused funds from one budget period may not be carried forward to the next budget period. To insure prompt and appropriate closure of each fiscal year and to meet reporting requirements set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the WAES has established cutoff dates for the expenditure of funds.

What is fiscal responsibility?

When researchers accept funds for sponsored projects, they also accept responsibility to comply with the regulations and contractual requirements governing how the funds are spent and how expenditures are reported. This obligation is known as fiscal responsibility.

Formula funded projects are subject to the provisions of the Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations 7 CFR Part 3015” and OMB Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Education Institutions.

In addition, Formula funding must be spent in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth by the University of Wisconsin and by the State of Wisconsin.

In order to meet these regulatory and reporting requirements, requisitions and all other forms of requests for expenditures of funds require prior approval from WAES. This includes all forms of of direct billing such as photocopying, RARC services, etc. Please send all requisitions and requests for expenditures to waes@cals.wisc.edu.

What is the funding relationship of research supported with McIntire-Stennis funds to research supported with other sources?

The McIntire-Stennis program is kept fiscally distinct from the Hatch Act and other authorizations administered by USDA because it is essential to identify progress within the McIntire-Stennis program as a specific authorization. Hatch or other USDA administered funds may not be budgeted to McIntire-Stennis projects.


Costs

Are Indirect Costs or F&A Costs allowable?

No.

Are Tuition Remissions allowable?

No.


Procedure

What is the procedure for a change in objectives?

A request must be initiated by the PI, signed by the PI and department chair, and submitted to waes@cals.wisc.edu.

What is the procedure for a change in PI?

A request must be initiated by the PI, signed by the PI and department chair, and submitted to waes@cals.wisc.edu.

What is the procedure for cost transfers and salary cost transfers?

Cost Transfers and Salary Cost Transfers for Formula Funded projects are handled in the same manner as transfers from other funding sources, per UW-Madison Research and Sponsored Programs’ (RSP) Cost Transfer Policy.

All cost transfers are initiated and routed using UW-Madison’s web-based
Cost Transfer Tool (requires valid NetID).


Rebudget

How do I rebudget between and within categories?

Rebudgets require prior approval from WAES except in cases where funds are rebudgeted only between or within supply, travel, and student hourly/LTE categories. Additionally:

  • Fringe and Capital Exercise amounts cannot be rebudgeted to other categories
  • Up to 25% of RA allocation and fringe can be rebudgeted to other categories
  • See WAES Receipt and Rebudget Submission Procedures for further rebudget policy information.

Submit rebudget requests as electronic attachments (PDF, jpeg, etc) to casey.hillmer@wisc.edu

How do I rebudget unused RA salary?

Rebudgets of RA salary require prior approval from WAES and will be considered per the following policies:

Submit rebudget requests as electronic attachments (PDF, jpeg, etc) to casey.hillmer@wisc.edu


Travel

What type of travel is allowable on Formula Grant projects?”

  • In and Out of State Travel: Allowed only for data collection/research.
  • Conference Travel: Allowed for data collection/research AND for conferences/meetings if the PI and RA is presenting research results directly related to a Capacity Grant.
  • Multi-state Travel: Allowed only for 2 appointed WI representatives attending annual Multi-state meeting.

For all types of travel, justification is required when submitting documentation/receipts for review and approval.

Are conferences/meetings allowable travel costs on Formula Grant projects?

Charges for travel to conferences/meetings are only allowed on Formula Grant projects in the following cases:

  • Research Assistant conference/meeting travel, only if the RA is presenting research results directly related to a Formula Grant.
  • Multi-state meeting travel, only for 2 appointed WI representatives.

Is there funding available for Multi-state Travel to Annual meetings?

WAES will provide funding for travel to approved Multi-state research meetings for two appointed WI representatives only.

Substituting a WI representative for Multi-state travel requires prior approval from WAES. Submit requests to casey.hillmer@wisc.edu.

What kind of documentation is required for travel charges on Formula Grant projects?

Travel charges require documentation including:

  • Traveler name
  • Travel dates
  • Destination
  • Purpose of travel
  • Mileage (if vehicle is used)
  • Copies of receipts
  • Copies of fleet vehicle reservation forms (if applicable)

What support documents are needed for Fleet vehicle travel on Formula Grant projects?