Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is the proposal process at WCSU?

To initiate the proposal review/approval process, use the Intent to Apply form to obtain preliminary approval from your department chair, dean, the VP of Finance & Administration, and the Provost & VP of Academic Affairs. If your proposal involves the hiring of personnel or staff, you also will need the approval of the Interim Associate VP for Human Resources. The form is available online at: Please complete and submit the Intent to Apply form at least 30 days prior to the proposal submission deadline.

If your project involves research with human subjects or with vertebrate animals, you will need to get the approval of WCSU's Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The IRB form and instructions are available online at: The IACUC form is available online at:

At least two weeks prior to the submission deadline, provide a copy of your complete grant application/proposal, along with a completed Internal Administrative Approval Form signed by your department chair, to the director of the Office of Sponsored Research Administrative Services to allow sufficient time for the internal review and approval process. The director will facilitate the timely review and approval of your proposal by the appropriate dean and officers. The Internal Administrative Approval Form is available online at: This final step is very important since WCSU may refuse an award for an application or proposal submitted without administrative approvals. 

4. Where can I find basic facts about the University?

WestConn Facts & Figures

3. What is the University's indirect cost rate (F&A rate)?

For grant applications that allow indirect costs, WCSU's current negotiated indirect cost rate for activities on campus is 50% of direct salaries and wages including vacation, holiday, sick pay and other absences but excluding all other fringe benefits.  It is 32% for activities off campus. 

4. What is the University's Indirect Cost Distribution Policy?

Indirect reimbursements from grant awards are distributed as follows:

  • Principal Investigator (PI) or Project Director receives 25% of indirect costs;
  • PI's/Project Director's Department receives 10% of indirect costs;
  • PI's/Project Director's School or Division receives 5% of indirect costs;
  • Office of Sponsored Research Administrative Services receives 20% of indirect costs; and
  • University's General Reserve receives 40% of indirect costs.

5. Where can I find information on external funding opportunities?

    To facilitate sponsored research, WCSU subscribes to Pivot, a valuable search tool for locating funding opportunities, fellowships, and research collaborators. Pivot provides access to the most comprehensive global source of funding opportunities. You can access Pivot from any on-campus computer by going to To use Pivot off campus, you need a Pivot account.

    To create a Pivot account, go to and click the "Sign up" option in the upper right corner of the screen. After entering your name, email and password, indicate that you are affiliated with Western Connecticut State University. Pivot is easy to use and the website provides links to tutorials and training videos.

6. On the Pivot Website, there's a tab for Profiles. What is a Pivot Profile?

    Pivot creates online profiles of WCSU faculty through information that the search engine pulls from the university's website. Faculty members are urged to check their profile on Pivot to ensure that the information is correct and current.  New faculty members should create their profile on Pivot.

    Why review, update, or add your profile to Pivot? In addition to looking for funding opportunities, researchers apply Pivot to identify and recruit potential collaborators for their projects. Media organizations use Pivot to identify experts and specialists that they can interview or contact regarding news, developments or research in a particular field or discipline. If your profile is not on Pivot or current, you may be missing opportunities to collaborate or present information in your field.

7. How can I be successful at securing grants?

  • The single most important advice: follow the application guidelines! State your objectives clearly, demonstrate a compelling need for the proposed research or activity, offer evidence of your ability to complete the project successfully, and leverage previous grants, if possible.
  • Consult with the director of the Office of Sponsored Research Administrative Services in the early stages of project and proposal development.
  • Don't wait until the 11th hour of the last day to submit your proposal, especially if it has to be submitted electronically!




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