Policies and Procedures

Updated March 2024

The Simons Foundation International, Ltd. (SFI) has adopted the following policies and procedures. Investigators and their institutions must abide by all applicable laws, statutes and regulations, as may be in effect from time to time, including those governing the conduct of research on humans or animals.

SFI has an agreement with The Simons Foundation, Inc. (SF), to provide program operations and grant administration services, including payments. Throughout the life of your grant or gift you will be contacted by employees of SF regarding the administration and payment of your grant or gift.  “SFI Staff” herein may refer to employees of SFI or SF, as appropriate.

Each grant or gift mechanism has unique characteristics, such as duration, funding levels, eligibility requirements and project requirements. These characteristics are outlined in the Requests for Applications (RFAs), as well as in the individual award letters. SFI requires all grantees to submit financial and progress reports as outlined in this document, unless otherwise specified in the grantee’s award letter. If any discrepancies exist between the award letter and these policies, the grantee is to follow the policies outlined in the award letter.

SFI reserves the right to modify or amend its policies and procedures governing grants from time to time at its sole and absolute discretion. Copies of these policies are available online at https://www.sfi.org.bm/

1.   Our mission

The mission of SFI is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. SFI makes grants primarily to scientific institutions, providing general support.

2.   Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Many of the greatest ideas and discoveries come from a diverse mix of minds, backgrounds and experiences. SFI is committed to grantmaking that inspires and supports greater diversity and inclusiveness by cultivating a funding environment that ensures representation of all identities and differences and equitable access to information and resources for all applicants and grantees.

SFI provides equal opportunities to all applicants for funding without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability, veteran status or any other protected category under law. SFI also funds programs directed at supporting scientists from disadvantaged backgrounds or underrepresented groups, often working closely with professional societies and other funding agencies.

3.   Demographic data

Providing demographic data is voluntary. The demographic data provided by applicants and grantees to SFI will serve multiple purposes: (i) it helps SFI understand how SFI’s grantmaking reflects the communities SFI seeks to serve; and (ii) it equips SFI’s staff with critical data to help create equitable funding opportunities as one part of SFI’s overall commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. By providing demographic data, applicants and grantees consent to the collection and processing by SFI and its affiliates of personal data relating to the applicant and/or grantee, so that SFI can fulfill the purposes outlined above. Demographic data will not be shared with reviewers or otherwise used during the application review process unless otherwise indicated in the applicable request for application (RFA). Aggregate data may be used publicly. Demographic data may be visible to a subset of SFI staff, such as programmatic and grantmaking staff. If you wish to review our data collection and uses practices, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

4.   Grant Code of Conduct

SFI is committed to the conduct of science in an environment that conforms to the highest ethical, professional, and legal standards.

Accordingly, in connection with a grant from SFI, a grantee institution must maintain an environment that complies with all applicable law, professional codes of conduct, its own policies and procedures as well as those of SFI that may be in effect from time to time.

All grantee institutions are expected to implement and adhere to policies and procedures that:

  1. foster an environment free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation;
  2. actively promote professional codes of conduct;
  3. ensure employees understand, and are fully aware of, applicable laws, policies, and codes of conduct;
  4. provide an accessible and effective process to report Prohibited Conduct (as defined below), with protection from retaliation;
  5. respond promptly to reports of Prohibited Conduct, investigate the report thoroughly, and impose Administrative Action (as defined below) where appropriate.

Personnel (as defined below) funded by SFI must comply with this Grant Code of Conduct.

Notifications

SFI requires grantee institutions to provide notice, within 10 business days of the following occurrences, to the extent permissible by law:

  1. any Determination (as defined below) involving Personnel (as defined below) relating to Prohibited Conduct; and
  2. any Administrative Action (as defined below) involving Personnel (as defined below) relating to Prohibited Conduct.

Such notice should be submitted through SFI’s secure portal.

SFI will make every effort to maintain the confidentiality of any reported Determination and Administrative Action as well as all related information to the extent required by law.

Individuals should report any Prohibited Conduct that impacts a grant funded by SFI to the designated persons at their institution. If the institution does not address the report, the individual may contact SFI through its secure portal.

If Prohibited Conduct is reported to SFI by an individual, SFI may follow up with the institution, as appropriate, to confirm that the grant is being performed in a workplace consistent with this Grant Code of Conduct.

Review of grant status following notification

SFI will review the Determination and/or Administrative Action, consider the impact on performance of the grant, and determine whether it is appropriate for the grantee institution to proceed with the grant.

Pursuant to its Policies and Procedures, SFI has the right to suspend or terminate any grant at any time upon advance written notice.

Definitions

For purposes of this Grant Code of Conduct, the following definitions apply:

Administrative Action: Any disciplinary or corrective action, including termination or suspension, taken with respect to Personnel.

Determination: The final disposition of a matter involving Prohibited Conduct.

Personnel: Principal investigators and all other members of the research team working on a grant funded by SFI.

Prohibited Conduct: Any violation of applicable: anti- discrimination, anti-harassment, anti-retaliation laws and criminal laws, including those with respect to physical assault; institutional policies and procedures relating to anti- discrimination, anti-harassment, and anti-retaliation, including this Grant Code of Conduct; and/or professional codes of conduct.

5.   Research Misconduct Policy

SFI will not tolerate research misconduct, defined as fabrication, falsification and plagiarism.  Honest errors or differences of opinion do not constitute research misconduct.

6.   Glossary of Terms

Award or Grant

SFI uses the terms award and grant interchangeably. The award or grant is the provision of funds by SFI, based on an approved application and budget or progress report, to an organizational entity to carry out the approved project.

Grantee

SFI uses the terms institution and grantee interchangeably.

Key Personnel

Key personnel includes the Principal Investigator and other individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they receive salaries or other compensation. This may include co-investigators, collaborators, postdoctoral research associates or equivalent positions.

Principal Investigator

The individual(s) judged by the applicant institution to have the appropriate level of authority and responsibility to direct the project or program supported by the grant. All principal investigators (PIs) must hold a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent degree and have a faculty position or equivalent at a college, university, medical school or other research facility. The PI is responsible and accountable to the applicant institution and SFI for the proper conduct of the project or activity, including the submission of all required reports. The PI will act as the main point of contact for SFI and should be noted as personnel in the budget even if not requesting salary. There is no minimum percent effort required for a PI, but it is expected that the PI will join the collaborative community of SFI Investigators, and that the PI will partake in certain conferences, workshops and symposia that SFI organizes.

The applicant institution may designate multiple individuals as PIs who share authority and responsibility for leading and directing the project, intellectually and logistically. Each PI is responsible and accountable to the applicant institution or, as appropriate, to a collaborating organization for the proper conduct of the project or program, including the submission of all required reports. The presence of more than one identified PI on an application or award diminishes neither the responsibility nor the accountability of any individual PI. Each such designated individual will have the title of PI, as SFI does not use the role type co-PI.

In circumstances where the applicant institution designates multiple PIs, the PI under whose name the application is submitted will serve as the contact PI for administrative purposes. The contact PI must be affiliated with the institution submitting the application. The contact PI will be responsible for communication between SFI and the rest of the leadership team.

Due to the limitations of proposalCENTRAL Postdoctoral Fellowship, recipients and institution contacts may be listed as a PI in the grants management system, but only those individuals who meet the requirements above are considered by SFI to be PIs.

Co-Investigator

An individual involved with the PI in the scientific development or execution of a project. The co-investigator must hold a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent, and be employed by or be affiliated with the applicant/grantee institution or another organization participating in the project under a consortium agreement. A co-investigator is considered key personnel and should be noted as personnel in the budget even if not requesting a salary or other compensation. SFI does not require a minimum effort from the co-investigator. The designation of a co-investigator, if applicable, does not affect the PI’s roles and responsibilities, nor is it a role implying multiple PIs.

Collaborator

An individual involved in the scientific development or execution of a project. A collaborator is considered key personnel and may or may not be supported by funds from the grant.

Consultant

An individual providing professional advice or services on the basis of a written agreement. These individuals are not normally employees of the organization receiving the services. Consultants also include firms providing professional advice or services.

Postdoctoral research associate or equivalent employee position

An individual who received a doctoral degree (or its equivalent) and who is engaged in a temporary and defined period of mentored advanced training to enhance the professional skills and research independence needed to pursue their chosen career path. The postdoctoral research associate performs specific services in exchange for compensation and is treated as an employee of the grantee institution, with benefits.

SFI funds may only be used for personnel who are employees of the grantee institution and who are eligible for benefits. Funds may not be used for fellowship stipend supplementation unless specifically authorized by SFI staff.

Postdoctoral fellow

An individual who has received a doctoral degree (or its equivalent) and who conducts independent research at a host institution under the guidance of a mentoring PI(s).

Before submitting the fellowship application, the applicant must identify a sponsoring institution and an individual who will serve as a sponsor (mentor or supervisor) and who will supervise the training and research experience. The applicant’s sponsor should be an active investigator in the area of the proposed research.

Postdoctoral fellows are not employees of SFI. Unless stated otherwise in the postdoctoral fellow’s Request for Application (RFA) or award letter, a postdoctoral fellow is not treated as an employee of the grantee/sponsoring institution. The fellow will receive a stipend and funds toward a health allowance from SFI. No indirect costs may be taken on the stipend or health allowance. If the fellow is required to be an employee, with benefits, of the grantee/sponsoring institution per the terms of the RFA and/or award letter, the fellow’s salary will be outlined in their award letter. If the fellow is required to be an employee, per the terms of the RFA and/or award letter, indirect costs may be taken per the terms of SFI’s indirect policy.

The stipend or salary may be supplemented by the postdoctoral fellow’s sponsoring institution or sponsor to meet the institution’s stipend or salary levels, but SFI must be the main source of support. The postdoctoral fellow may not hold another postdoctoral fellowship concurrent with the SFI fellowship. The stipend or salary may not be less than the stipend or salary awarded by SFI.

Institution Profile

The Institution Profile is a means for managing the institution’s primary officials, user access and electronic fund transfer (EFT) payment information in the Simons Award Manager (SAM). The institution is required to submit an EFT form and manage contacts and users through the SAM Institution Profile. Anyone from the institution can create an Institution Profile in SAM, but only an authorized institution official (AIO) or an approved contact delegate can manage the SAM Institution Profile. Each institution must have at least two certified AIOs to receive payments. It is the institution’s responsibility to maintain an up-to-date list of active contacts in their SAM Institution Profile.

Authorized Institution Official

An authorized institution official (AIO) has the authority to legally bind the institution in grants administration matters. Two AIOs are required per institution. The AIO manages their institution’s profile in SAM. The AIO may or may not fulfill the role of signing official (SO) or financial officer (FO) on individual proposals or grants. Users filling both an AIO role and another institution role should select only the AIO role as their system role, as the AIO role will permit users to perform all necessary tasks.

The individual fulfilling this role may hold any of a number of titles at the applicant/grantee institution. The label AIO is used in SAM as a system role and is not necessarily the title of the individual.

SFI certifies new AIO users after they register. Certified AIOs can view all applications and awards at their institution. Uncertified AIOs can view only applications and awards to which they have been assigned access.

Signing Official

A signing official (SO) has the authority to legally bind the institution in grants administration matters. The individual fulfilling this role may have any number of titles in the applicant/grantee institution. The label signing official is used in conjunction with proposalCENTRAL (pC) and the Simons Award Manager (SAM) as a system role and is not necessarily the title of the individual. The SO is responsible for the proper administration of the grant, including but not limited to overseeing the submission of the electronically signed award letter, budgets, Activation Agreements, Reallocation Requests, Progress Reports, Carry Forward Requests and No-Cost Extensions. Additionally, the SO is required to certify that all information submitted is accurate, that the terms of the award are acceptable, and that the applicant/grantee institution will comply with all applicable laws and SFI policies. SOs may be given access to any number of awards on pC and SAM. Each award must have at least one SO.

For most institutions, the SO is located in its Office of Sponsored Research or equivalent.

Financial Officer

The financial officer (FO) is designated by the grantee institution and is responsible for the proper accounting of grant funds. The individual fulfilling this role may have any number of titles in the applicant/grantee institution. The label financial officer is used in conjunction with proposalCENTRAL (pC) and the Simons Award Manager (SAM) as a role and is not necessarily the title of the individual. In this role, the individual is required to complete the required annual Financial Statements and any budgets. Additionally, the FO is required to certify that all information submitted in the Financial Statement or budget is accurate, that the terms of the award are acceptable, and that the applicant/grantee institution will comply with all applicable laws and SFI policies. FOs may be given access to any number of awards on pC and SAM. Each award must have at least one FO.

For most institutions, the FO is located in its Office of Sponsored Research or equivalent.

Contact Delegate

In proposalCENTRAL (pC), the contact delegate is an individual, selected by the authorized institution official (AIO), who will act on the AIO’s behalf to add or remove signing officials (SOs) or financial officers (FOs) in the institution profile. Requests received by the contact delegate are assumed to be valid and authorized by the AIO.

In the Simons Award Manager (SAM), a contact delegate is designated by the grantee institution and shares responsibility for managing contacts at their institution. In this role, the individual may review and approve SOs, FOs and other contact delegates, as well as deactivating the accounts of individuals who cease to be associated with their institution.

The label contact delegate is used in pC and  SAM as a system role and is not necessarily the title of the individual. The individual fulfilling this role may hold any of a number of titles at the application/grantee institution. There may be more than one contact delegate per institution.

7.   Online grant management

In 2024, SFI will transition from proposalCENTRAL (pC) to a new grants management system, the Simons Award Manager (SAM). During this transition, award funded through Requests for Application (RFAs) in SAM will be managed in SAM.

Until notified otherwise, awards with start dates before March 1, 2023, will continue to be managed in pC, as well as some awards not selected for funding through a competitive RFA. Principal investigators, postdoctoral fellows, authorized institution officials, signing officials, financial officers and contact delegates, as well as any additional staff members as needed, will be granted access to and must use the web-based tools pC and/or SAM for submitting signed award letters, progress reports, financial statements, publications and other documents to SFI during the award period. The applicant/grantee institution must submit all required documentation to SFI through pC and/or SAM; hard copies will not be accepted.

To access pC, go to http://proposalcentral.com/.

To access SAM, go tohttps://sam.simonsfoundation.org/.

8.   Institution Profile in proposalCENTRAL and SAM

Each institution that applies for funding or receives an award from SFI must maintain an Institution Profile in the Simons Award Manager (SAM) and an Institution Profile in proposalCENTRAL (pC) if required, until further notice.

Within the SAM Institution Profile, institutions must provide a comprehensive list of all active authorized institution officials (AIOs), contact delegates, signing officials (SOs) and financial officers (FOs). Additionally, all institutions must manage their banking details using the SAM Institution Profile. Institutions are to access applications and funded awards, if submitted in SAM, via the SAM Institution Profile.

Anyone from the institution can set up an account in SAM, but only an AIO or an approved contact delegate can manage the SAM Institution Profile. Only an AIO can approve users in the roles of financial officer, signing official and contact delegate. Each institution must have at least two certified AIOs to receive payments. SFI certifies new AIO users after they register. It is the institution’s responsibility to maintain an up-to-date list of active contacts in their SAM Institution Profile.

To create a new institution profile in SAM, please select the “Register Here” button on https://sam.simonsfoundation.org/ and then select the “Register New Institution” button.

As SFI transitions from pC to SAM, each institution that has awards managed in pC must maintain a pC Institution Profile in pC as well. Within the pC Institution Profile, institutions are to provide a comprehensive list of all active SOs, FOs and contact delegates. This list of contacts is authorized but will not automatically be able to access to all institution awards managed in pC.

SFI will initially create the pC Institution Profile at the time that an institution receives its first award through pC and will contact the institution with detailed instructions for profile setup.

All institutions will be required to complete the Contacts & Users Certification to establish the initial list of active SOs, FOs and contact delegates in their pC Institution Profile. After this certification is submitted, it is the institution’s responsibility to keep the list of active institution contacts up-to-date by submitting a web form in pC entitled “Institution Contact Update Request.”

9.   Contacts & Users Access in proposalCENTRAL and SAM

Contact & User Access in proposalCENTRAL

Each award in proposalCENTRAL (pC) contains its own list of institution contacts within the Contacts & User Access section. When the award is made, the contacts listed in this section reflect the institution staff that an applicant added during the application stage. SFI strongly prefers that applicants provide the SOs and FOs for both pre- and post-award management in the application.

Once an award activates, only SFI’s grants staff can assign roles and add/remove users to the Contacts & Users Access section of an award. pC staff cannot assign roles or add/remove users to an award. SFI allows only users to have Edit access on its awards. Importantly, only the SO and FO listed in the Contacts & Users Access section have the authority to sign reports.

In order to add or remove a SO, FO or Administrator to an award, the grantee institution must e-mail [access@sfi.org.bm with the following details:

  1. Name of the individual requiring a change in grant access
  2. Impacted pC Award ID
  3. Role on the award (e.g., SO, FO, Administrator)
  4. Indication if access should be added or removed
  5. Email address associated with the contact’s pC account. If a contact does not have a pC account, the contact must create one before the request is made.

SFI will then determine if further information is required to give award access.

proposalCENTRAL User Profile Modification

SFI grant staff cannot modify the details of pC user profiles. If a user needs to update their contact information (e.g., title, address, phone number, email) the user must update this within their own pC profile. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the institution and users to maintain up-to-date pC accounts, which includes current email addresses.

Shared proposalCENTRAL User Accounts

If an institution permits multiple singing officials and financial officers to use a single proposalCENTRAL user account and log in to administer and transact on awards (e.g., ops@university.org), then the PSO or PFO must submit a web form entitled “Grantee Acknowledgement” of Shared pC User Account” on an annual basis within the SFI Institution Profile to certify the authority of all individuals who use the shared account.

Contacts & User Access in SAM

Each SFI award in SAM includes a list of institution contacts in the Contacts & Personnel section. This list is created during the application stage. It is strongly recommended that applicants provide both pre- and post-award signing officials (SOs) and financial officers (FOs) during the application stage.

Once an award is activated, users with application access can add or remove institution personnel from the award at any time using the Institution Administrative Contacts table in the Contacts & Personnel section. In the application and intent-to-fund stages, changes to project personnel must be made by grants staff.

To add or remove project personnel from an award, please send an email to the appropriate grants staff as outlined in the Contact section below, with the following details:

  • Name(s) of the project personnel
  • SAM Award ID
  • Role on the award (e.g., subcontract PI, postdoc, etc.)
  • Indicate if access should be added or removed
  • Email address associated with the contact.

SAM User Profile Modification

SFI staff are unable to modify SAM user profiles. If a user needs to update their contact information (such as their title, address, phone number or email), they must do so within their own SAM user profile. It is the responsibility of both the institution and its users to ensure that their SAM accounts are kept up-to-date, including email addresses.

Shared SAM User Accounts

If an institution allows multiple signing officials and financial officers to access and manage awards using a shared SAM user account and email address, the AIO or contacts delegate must certify the authority of all users who use the shared account. Instructions on how to certify users can be found in the Institution Information section of your SAM Institution Profile in the Shared Email Address section.

Only institution administrators, financial officers and/or signing officials can register a shared email address. The role(s) that you select when creating the shared account will determine which tasks users are authorized to perform when logged in to that account. Shared email addresses may not be registered with an authorized institution official or contact delegate role.

The required naming convention for shared email accounts is as follows: The first name of the user account must be the name of the institution (plus the relevant department, if applicable) and the last name must be “Shared Account.” For example, Simons Foundation International (first name) Shared Account (last name).

10. Electronic signatures

The grantee institution agrees to consent to transact business using electronic communications, to receive notices and disclosures electronically and to utilize electronic signatures (e-signatures) in lieu of using paper documents.

Documents signed electronically and transmitted by facsimile, email, or other means of electronic transmission shall be deemed to have the same legal effect as delivery of an original executed copy of the document for all purposes. The grantee institution is not required to sign documents electronically only in countries where e-signatures are not legally binding. If the grantee institution is located in a jurisdiction where e-signatures are not legally binding then SFI will accept a PDF of the signed document.

In proposalCENTRAL, the grantee institution should follow the procedures outline below:

  • First, the phrase “Electronic Signature Not Legally Binding” should be typed in the electronic signature section of the web form or electronic financial statement.
  • Second, submit the deliverable by clicking SAVE AND SUBMIT.
  • Third, print out the entire deliverable, and then have the FO or SO, whichever is appropriate, physically sign the deliverable.
  • Fourth, create a PDF of the physically signed deliverable.
  • Fifth, upload the deliverable to the Deliverables section on pC by selecting ADD DELIVERABLE on the Award Deliverables page, then select “Signed deliverable for institutions that do not submit electronic signatures” as the Deliverable Type, then click on BROWSE and upload the signed PDF, and then click SAVE.

In the Simons Award Manager (SAM), the grantee institutions should follow the instructions found within SAM.

11. Non-U.S. awards

For grants outside the United States (U.S.), SFI requires that an organization be the equivalent of a U.S. public charity before awarding the grant. If an organization has a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the U.S. or legal opinion from a U.S. law firm stating exemption under 501(c)(3) and furthermore, either a 509(a)(1), (2) or (3) classification, this letter or legal opinion must be included in the grant application. If a non-U.S. institution does not have the aforementioned documentation, SFI will require that the institution complete an equivalency determination if an award is recommended for funding. All costs associated with the determination will be paid for by SFI.

The purpose of the equivalency determination is to conclude whether an organization is the equivalent of a U.S. public charity. SFI contracts with NGOsource, http://www.ngosource.org/, an independent U.S.-based service, to assist in the equivalency determination process. NGOsource handles all administrative and financial aspects of this determination. A representative of the institution will be required to complete an online questionnaire. Once an institution is determined to be the equivalent of a U.S. public charity, the institution will be approved for funding for all awards made to the institution for a period of two (2) years from the date of the fiscal year documents that the institution provided to NGOsource. Three (3) months prior to the end of this period, an equivalency renewal process will be initiated by NGOsource to determine if the institution has remained the equivalent of a U.S. public charity.

If an institution is already approved by NGOsource as an equivalent of a U.S. public charity for a period beyond the award start date, the institution will not be required to complete the equivalency determination paperwork; however, the institution may be required to submit equivalency determination paperwork mid-award if the approved period expires.

An institution’s failure to comply with the equivalency determination process will result in a termination of all awards at the institution. Furthermore, a mid-award determination that an institution is not the equivalent of a U.S. public charity may also result in the termination of all awards at the institution if the institution is not able to fulfill the requirements of expenditure responsibility outlined below.

Grantees are solely responsible for the eligibility of any subcontractors.

For more information regarding the IRS classification of exempt organizations, please see the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/life-cycle-of-a-public-charity.

12. Use of funds

SFI grant funds and income earned on those funds (if SFI permits earned interest to be retained by the grantee institution) may be spent only for charitable, religious, scientific, literary or educational purposes. Grants are made only for the purposes stated in the award letter, and it is agreed that these grant funds will be used only for such purposes, substantially in accordance with the budget submitted with the grant proposal. It is also understood that no substantial changes will be made from the approved budget or grant proposal without obtaining SFI’s prior approval in writing.

Grantees with subcontractors are responsible for entering into agreements with the investigators and/or other institutions that are consistent with the terms of the grant and SFI policies.

To assure appropriate use of funds provided by SFI, it tracks the requirements for an expenditure responsibility grant in accordance with Section 4945(h) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and the regulations thereunder. Grantees agree to cooperate with SFI to assure that SFI is able to satisfy such requirements. In addition, grantees agree to the terms outlined below:

  • All SFI grant funds received by the grantee institution must be maintained in a separate account dedicated to the charitable purposes described in the award letter. SFI defines a separate account as a 1) a physically separate bank account restricted to the described charitable purposes or 2) a separate bookkeeping account (limited to the described charitable purposes) maintained as part of the Institution’s financial records.
  • Grantees are required to maintain records of receipts and expenditures and make its books and records available to SFI at reasonable times. Financial records with respect to a grant, along with any copies of annual reports submitted to SFI, are required to be maintained by the awardees and their institution for at least four (4) years following the year in which all grant funds are fully expended.
  • Grantees will repay any portion of the amount granted not used for the approved purposes of the grant.
  • Grantees agree not to use grant funds for any of the following restricted activities:
    • To carry on propaganda, lobbying, or otherwise to attempt to influence any legislation (within the meaning of Section 4945(d)(1) of the U.S. IRC).
    • In support of a candidate or party seeking elected office or to influence the outcome of any specific public election or to carry on, directly or indirectly, any voter registration drive (within the meaning of section 4945(d)(2) of the U.S. IRC).
    • To make grants to individuals for travel, study or other similar purposes by such individuals (such as scholarships, fellowships or grants for research), unless such grants satisfy the requirements of section 4945(g) of the IRC.
    • To make any grant to any other organization (other than to public charities or exempt operating foundations) that does not comply with the requirements of section 4945(d)(4) of the U.S. IRC.
    • To undertake any activity for any purpose other than the charitable purposes specified in section 170(c)(2)(B) of the U.S. IRC.

Grantee agrees to use the funds provided in conjunction with this award in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including the Export Administration Regulations, Executive Order 13224, the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations set forth in 31 C.F.R. Part 594, and other applicable U.S. anti-terrorism laws and regulations. Grantee certifies that it will not knowingly provide financial support to, employ, or transact business with terrorists, terrorist organizations, or designated state sponsors of terrorism as defined in U.S. anti-terrorism laws and regulations. Grantee certifies that it will not knowingly distribute the received award funds directly or indirectly to terrorist organizations or to designated state sponsors of terrorism as defined in U.S. anti-terrorism laws and regulations.

13. Earned interest

If the grantee institution is a U.S. 501(c)(3), earned interest up to $5,000 per project may be kept by the grantee institution to be used for general operating support of the institution. Any amount over $5,000 must be returned to SFI within 60 days of the end date of the grant.

If the grantee institution is not a U.S. 501(c)(3) any earned interest must be returned to SFI within 60 days of the end date of the grant.

14. Organizational assurances

Investigators and their institutions must abide by all applicable laws, statutes and regulations, as may be in effect from time to time, including those governing the conduct of research on humans or animals. SFI follows the NIH guidelines for the humane care and use of animals, which can be viewed at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/olaw.htm, in research and for the use of humans, which can be viewed at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/hs/, in research.

All grants with human participants and/or animal research must have up-to-date ethical approval documentation as of the start date of the grant and at all times throughout the life of the grant or fellowship. The grantee is responsible for obtaining all human and/or animal ethical approvals.

Grants shall not activate without current human participant and/or animal research ethical approval documentation, unless prior written approval is provided by SFI staff.

15. Publications and acknowledgment

Publication expenses, including Open Access costs, are allowable budget costs.

Published research, including articles, preprints and books resulting from projects supported by SFI must carry the following acknowledgment: “This work was supported by a grant from The Simons Foundation International (Grant Number, Awardee Initials).”

There is no formal approval process currently in place for publications by SFI grantees; however, it is SFI’s strong preference that PIs notify SFI when manuscripts are accepted for future publication. All publications resulting from projects supported by SFI must be submitted via the Annual and Final Progress Report web forms. Please note that the PI’s professional profile populates the Publication section.

All activities supported by or arising as a result of SFI funding such as posters, presentations, conferences and recruitment for SFI-supported positions must carry the following acknowledgment, unless stated otherwise in the award letter: “This work was supported by a grant from Simons Foundation International.”

SFI’s support, unless stated otherwise in the award letter, should be acknowledged by the grantee and by the institution in all public communication related to work resulting from the grant, including scientific abstracts, posters at scientific meetings, press releases or other media communications and Internet-based communications. Unless stated otherwise in your award letter, press releases or other media communications and internet-based communications do not require SFI’s prior written approval. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any advertisement or marketing publications must receive prior written approval. Please contact Roxanne Delaney at rdelaney@sfi.org.bm to submit your request for approval.

SFI may distribute information regarding the project and/or grant, including, without limitation, the project title, abstract, publications, PI biographical information and photo, for publicity purposes on SFI’s website, annual report, press releases or any other venues at SFI’s sole and absolute discretion.

16. Preprints and Open Access

SFI encourages PIs to post preprints on recognized servers, such as arXiv https://arxiv.org/ or bioRxiv http://biorxiv.org/, in parallel with (or even before) submission to a peer-reviewed journal. SFI also encourages PIs to publish under Open Access licenses, which are allowable budget costs. All preprints and Open Access publications resulting from projects supported by SFI must be submitted with the Annual and Final Progress Report web forms. Please note that the PI’s Professional Profile populates the Publication section where preprints are added.

17. ORCID

ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier (an ORCID iD) that researchers own and control, and that distinguishes them from every other researcher. Researchers can connect their iD with their professional information — affiliations, grants, publications, peer reviews and more.

SFI funded PIs are required to provide their ORCID iD as part of the application process.

Anyone supported by the Project, unless stated otherwise in the award letter, must have an ORCiD ID (including PIs, Co-Investigators, collaborators, visitors, postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral research associates, graduate students, etc.) ORCID iDs will be collected for all individuals supported by the Project as part of the annual progress report.

18. Intellectual property

SFI does not wish to participate in the commercialization of any intellectual property that may result from a grant. Notwithstanding this commercialization disclaimer, SFI has the right to release a summary of findings of the applicable research or project within a reasonable period of time following the grant expiration, typically within six (6) months of the date of the grant expiration.

19. Renewable reagents and data sharing

It is essential that institutions and PIs share renewable reagents and data developed using SFI funds with other qualified investigators. PIs will be required to have a renewable reagents and data-sharing plan in place prior to receiving a grant. At SFI’s sole and absolute discretion, the PI may be required to provide SFI with an electronic copy of all properly de-identified research-generated data prior to the end of the grant. In all reasonable cases, the foundation will assume financial responsibility for costs associated with the data transfer.

SFI personnel may, at their sole and absolute discretion, release this data to other qualified investigators who agree not to publish on the data until after an embargo period expires. The length of this embargo period will be established on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the PI(s) but will generally not exceed one (1) year after the end of the grant or until publication, whichever comes first. This data may eventually be integrated with other SFI data collection effort.

How, when and if such data is made available to the wider research community will remain under the sole and absolute discretion of SFI. In addition, upon publication of results, the PI(s) shall make every effort to deposit all research-generated data into public databases that are widely accessible, without charge, to the scientific research community. If no such databases are available that properly fit the type and content of the research-generated data, the PI(s) shall make every effort to make this data available through electronic supplementary tables and figures, which are now routinely associated with publications.

Genetically modified model organisms (e.g., mutant mice, rats, drosophila, C. elegans, zebrafish) as well as primary or genetically modified cells (e.g., fibroblasts, induced pluripotent stem cells, lymphoblastoid cell lines) are considered renewable reagents, and PI(s) and their institution(s) are required to share renewable reagents developed with SFI funding or used in a SFI–funded project by deposition at a third-party repository (e.g., the Jackson Labs, the Mutant Mouse Research and Resource Center, the Drosophila Genomics Resource Center, the Zebrafish International Resource Center, the Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository) or at a repository indicated by SFI. In instances where a legally binding restriction prevents deposition of a reagent in a third-party repository, SFI expects the PI(s) and the PI(s) institution(s) to work with the licensed grantor, the repository and SFI staff members to identify an acceptable solution. SFI prefers that this be done before use of the reagent. Failure to reach a mutually satisfactory solution may affect future funding decisions.

To close the grant, the PI(s) must deposit the renewable reagents into the repository by the end of the grant and/or within a month of the initial publication, whichever occurs first. An embargo period for access to a model organism or a cell lines, negotiated on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the PI(s), will be maintained until the initial results are published by the PI(s), at which time it will expire. The PI(s) is responsible for transferring the animals/cells to the appropriate center. Once the transfer has occurred, SFI will pay reasonable costs assessed by the third-party repository for maintenance of the reagent at the depository. In specific cases at the foundation’s sole and absolute discretion, SFI may contract with the repository to pay the additional costs necessary to maintain the model organism as a viable colony versus preservation in a frozen repository or to backcross the model into a different strain in the case of rodent models.

20. Salary and stipend support

SFI salary and stipend support guidelines are outlined below.

Faculty

There is no salary cap for PIs or other faculty on a SFI grant; however, the compensation is prorated according to the individual’s percent effort on the grant.

There is no minimum percent effort required for PIs or other personnel on any SFI award type, but it is expected that PIs will join the collaborative community of SFI Investigators and partake in certain conferences, workshops and symposia organized by SFI.

Postdoctoral research associate/scholar/scientist/fellow or equivalent employee position

The postdoctoral research associate or equivalent employee must be an employee, with benefits, of the grantee institution. There is no salary cap for a postdoctoral research associate or equivalent employee position.

SFI funds may only be used for personnel who are employees of the grantee institution and who are eligible for benefits. Funds may not be used for fellowship stipend supplementation unless specifically authorized in writing by SFI staff.

Graduate research assistant or equivalent

There is no cap on the compensation package for a graduate research assistant (GRA) on a SFI grant; however, the compensation package is prorated according to the GRA’s percent effort on the grant. It is expected that graduate student compensation will be within the usual norms of the relevant department or program.

The compensation package may include: salary, stipend or wages; healthcare allowance or fringe benefits; and tuition remission. Indirect costs may be taken on GRA salaries, stipends or wages and healthcare allowances, but not on tuition.

Postdoctoral fellow

Postdoctoral fellows are not employees of SFI. Fellowships are administered by the host institution, and payment cannot be made directly to fellows.

Unless stated otherwise in the postdoctoral fellow’s Request for Application (RFA) or award letter, a postdoctoral fellow is not treated as an employee of the grantee/sponsoring institution.

Fellows’ stipend amounts are outlined in their award letters. In addition to the stipend, fellowships will include a research allowance and an allowance for health insurance or equivalent in the country where the fellow’s institution is located for the fellow and the fellow’s family. Approved research allowance and allowance for health insurance amounts are outlined in the fellow’s award letter. No indirect costs may be taken on fellows’ stipends, research allowances, or health insurance allowances.

If the fellow is required to be an employee, with benefits, of the grantee/sponsoring institution per the terms of the RFA and/or award letter, the fellow’s salary will be outlined in their award letter. If the fellow is required to be an employee, per the terms of the RFA and/or award letter, indirect costs may be taken per the terms of SFI’s indirect policy.

The stipend or salary may be supplemented by the postdoctoral fellow’s sponsoring institution or sponsor to meet the institution’s stipend or salary levels, but SFI must be the main source of support. The postdoctoral fellow may not hold another postdoctoral fellowship concurrent with the SFI fellowship. The stipend or salary may not be less than the stipend or salary awarded by SFI.

21. Equipment

SFI will own equipment purchased with SFI grant funds with a unit cost of $50,000 or more, unless stated differently in the award letter. At the end of the grant funding period or in case of grant termination for any reason, SFI reserves the right to retain ownership or cede ownership to the PI’s institution. Equipment with a unit cost of $50,000 or less shall become the property of the PI’s institution, unless otherwise indicated by SFI.

Indirect costs may not be taken on equipment with a unit cost of more than $10,000.

22. Research supplies

SFI does not require a detailed justification of research supplies, unless stated otherwise in the award letter.

SFI reserves the right to purchase and provide to grantees some research supplies (e.g., human DNA microarray kits). We expect SFI Investigators and grantees to share renewable reagents and data developed with SFI funds with other qualified investigators. Access to the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC), a resource of rigorously characterized phenotypic data, genetic data and biomaterials, will be available to all approved scientists through SFARI Base at https://sfari.org/resources/sfari-base. We encourage applicants and grantees to use this resource. Policies regarding acquisition of SSC biospecimens are available online at SFARI Base at https://sfari.org/rescources/sfari-base. For more information on the SSC, go to https://sfari.org/resources/simons-simplex-collection.

23. Indirect costs

Indirect costs to the primary institution are limited to 20 percent of direct costs with the following exceptions: equipment [over $10,000], tuition and any portion of each subcontractor cost in excess of $25,000. The primary institution may include indirect costs on the first $25,000 modified total direct costs of each subcontractor. Indirect costs paid to a subcontractor may not exceed 20 percent of the modified total direct costs paid to the subcontractor.

The indirect cost rate is non-negotiable. No indirect costs may be taken on SFI Postdoctoral Fellowships unless stated otherwise in the Request for Application (RFA) or in the award letter.

24. Payments

All payments are made in U.S. dollars. Payments to institutions will be disbursed biannually by the end of the first and third quarters, unless stated otherwise in the award letter. SFI makes payments via electronic fund transfer (EFT) unless otherwise specified. All payments will be made by international wire transfer (WT). All payments are made payable only to an institution, university or equivalent organizational entity. Under no circumstances will SFI make payments payable to an individual. The awardee institution will be responsible for providing SFI with accurate and complete EFT information.

Acknowledgment of the payment is not required. A payment reference on the EFT will state the PI’s Last name, first initial and SFI award ID. No other reference will be made.

SFI will not reimburse or grant funds to be used for costs or losses of funds that are a result of exchange rate fluctuations or bank fees associated with the transmission of funds via EFT.

25. Withholding of payments, Suspension and Termination

Failure to provide timely and complete Financial Statements, Progress Reports or other required deliverables may result in the withholding of payments, suspension of the grant, early termination of the grant and/or reimbursement to SFI of any unexpended funds.

If a grantee does not provide Financial Statements or Progress Reports by the due dates, payments will automatically be withheld. After 42 days, the grant will be suspended. After 72 days, the grant may be terminated.

In addition, payments may be withheld, the grant suspended or the grant terminated if the investigator’s Annual Progress Report or Annual Financial Statement indicates limited progress toward goals, as determined by SFI in its sole and absolute discretion. Payments may be resumed upon written approval. This approval will be based on stated plans and discussion with the investigator and must include a new timeline for reporting research progress.

In addition, a grant may be suspended or terminated if a change in key personnel is deemed unacceptable by SFI. Additionally, changing the research plan without prior written approval from SFI will result in the termination of the grant and reimbursement of all funds to SFI.

Additionally, SFI may initiate programmatic termination if progress on the project is substantially less than anticipated. SFI will make this determination, based on the required Progress Reports and/or additional programmatic information submitted to SFI.

All early terminations require within one hundred and twenty (120) days after the effective date of termination the submission of a Final Progress Report, a Final Financial Statement and within thirty (30) of the submission and approval of the Final Financial Statement a refund for any unexpended funds after withholding any costs that were not cancelable.

Either party may terminate the grant upon thirty (30) days’ advance written notice to the other. If the institution wishes to terminate an award, a Termination web form must be signed by the institution’s SO and submitted to the Deliverables section of the award. In the event of such termination, the grantee may not incur new obligations after the effective date of termination or suspension and must cancel as many outstanding obligations as possible. SFI will allow full credit to the grantee for SFI’s share of otherwise approved and allowable costs if the obligations were properly incurred by the grantee before suspension or termination — and not in anticipation of it — and, in the case of termination, are not cancelable.

26. Participation

Because interaction among scientists working at different levels can facilitate the evolution of questions, theories and methodologies, SFI will foster communication among research groups by hosting small workshops, teleconference lab meetings and using online tools for data sharing and discussion. SFI Investigators are expected to share data, results, reagents and other research products developed with SFI funds. We welcome suggestions for ways to improve communication within the scientific community at large.

We expect that SFI Investigators will participate in certain conferences, workshops and symposia organized by SFI. All travel and accommodation expenses exclusively related to these meetings will be reimbursed by SFI in addition to the award funds.

27. Grant activation

Grants will not be activated without current human participant and/or animal research ethical approval documentation, if applicable, unless given prior approval by SFI.

Applicants/grantees who are notified that they have been selected for funding via proposalCENTRAL (pC) must submit a Signed Activation Agreement web form, which can be accessed and completed in the Deliverables section of the award at https://proposalcentral.com/. This Activation Agreement web form is due on or before the start date stated on the award letter, and must be signed by the designated SO. If required, it must include a color photograph of the PI(s) suitable for use for publicity purposes.

For applicants/grantees who are notified that they have been selected for funding via the Simons Award Manager (SAM), an electronically signed copy of the award letter is due on or before the start date of the award.

If the grantee does not submit the signed and completed Activation Agreement web form or submit an electronically signed copy of the award letter within thirty (30) days of the start date, the award will be terminated without activation. No funds will be paid toward the award.

28. Electronic Fund Transfer Payment Information — Annual

EFT Payment Information forms are due annually for each institution. EFT payment information must be submitted using an EFT form, which can be accessed and completed online in the SAM Institution Profile. The EFT form must be signed and submitted by the appropriate authorized institution officials (AIOs). Failure to submit the EFT form by the due date annually will result in the withholding of funds for all awards at the institution.

29. Progress Reports — Annual and Final

Annual Progress Reports are due on or before the end of each funding year of the award, unless a Carry Forward is requested or as otherwise stated in the award letter. If required, a Carry Forward Request must be submitted at least thirty (30) days prior to the end of the funding year, unless stated differently in the award letter.

Note: For most awards, Carry Forward Requests are not required. Check your award letter or contact SFI to determine if your award requires a Carry Forward Request.

Final Progress Reports are due within one hundred and twenty (120) days of the award end date, unless submitting a No-Cost Extension Progress Report, a No Cost Extension Request or as otherwise stated in the award letter. No-Cost Extension Progress Reports and No Cost Extension Requests must be submitted thirty (30) days prior to the end of the funding year, unless otherwise stated in the award letter.

Progress Reports, Carry Forward Requests and No-Cost Extensions must be submitted using a web form, which can be accessed and completed online in the Deliverables section. Each web form must be signed and submitted by the appropriate SO.

If any report shows substantially less progress than anticipated, SFI reserves the right to withhold further payment (See Section 25 above) or redirect the remaining portion of the grant.

30. Progress Reports with subcontractors

If relevant to the progress of the award, the progress of the subcontractors must be included on the grant’s overall Progress Report Form. A separate Progress Report Form for the subcontractor should not be submitted, unless stated otherwise in the award letter.

31. Progress Reports with multiple principal investigators

The contact PI/collaboration director must submit one overall Annual or Final Scientific Progress Report for the entire project, even if the project has PIs at different institutions, unless stated otherwise in the award letter.

32. Financial Statements — Annual and Final

Financial Statements are due within one hundred and twenty (120) days following the end of each funding year, one hundred and twenty (120) days following the end date of the grant or within one hundred and twenty (120) days of the termination of an award, unless stated otherwise in the award letter.

Expenses must be reported in the award period such expenses are incurred. SFI does not allow negative expenditures.

Financial Statements are due within one hundred and twenty (120) days following the end of the funding year even if the grantee submitted a Carry Forward Request or No-Cost Extension Request.

All reporting to SFI must be denominated in USD. Using the institution’s normal practices for currency exchange, expenses incurred in local currency should be reported to SFI in USD and may not exceed the amount in USD awarded for any given annual award period. Any gains or losses due to exchange rate fluctuations will not result in increases or decreases to the total USD award amount. SFI will not reimburse for, nor will It grant funds be used for costs or losses of funds that are a result of exchange rate fluctuations or bank fees associated with the transmission of funds via EFT to the institution or to subcontractors paid by the institution. Under-spending due to expected costs not being incurred remain subject to SFI’s carryforward and unspent funds policies.

SFI will not accept revisions under $500 to financial statements that were previously submitted and approved by SFI. SFI will accept revisions over $500 within one year of the due date of the financial statement only while the grant is active. SFI will not accept any revisions over one year of the due date of the financial statement or if the award is inactive and closed out.

Financial Statements can be accessed and completed online in the Budget section.

33. Financial Statements with subcontractors

Please upload a PDF of the Subcontract Financial Statement to the Deliverables section of the award on pC. Grantees must use the Subcontract Financial Statement template available for download in the Deliverables section of the award on pC. Financial Statements must be submitted for each subcontract. Insert additional Subcontract Financial Statement tabs into the Excel workbook as necessary.

Record the total of each subcontract separately in your overall Electronic Financial Statement online. Subcontract direct costs must be included in the Consortium & Contractual Direct section, and subcontract indirect costs should be included in the Indirect Cost section of the overall Electronic Financial Statement online. For each subcontractor, please add a separate line for direct costs and a separate line for indirect costs.

34. Financial Statements with multiple principal investigators

A separate Financial Statement must be completed online in the Budget section of the award for each institution that receives funds directly from SFI.

35. Unexpended balance

After review and approval of the Financial Statement, SFI will email the grantee institution to request any unspent funds via an international wire transfer. Unexpended funds must be returned to SFI within thirty (30) days of submission of the request for unspent funds.

Do not remit payment for the unspent funds until SFI has approved the Financial Statement and requested the unspent funds. Otherwise, you may return an inaccurate amount. If you have any questions about an unexpended balance email SFI at grants@sfi.org.bm.

Alternatively, if allowed by the award type, funds may be carried forward to the next funding period or paid out during a No-Cost Extension; see Carry Forward and No-Cost Extension policies for additional terms and conditions.

36. Out-of-scope expenditures

Unless noted in the award letter, SFI will not be responsible for any expenditure made before funds are committed (i.e., the date the award letter is issued). Expenditures must be consistent with the approved budget. SFI is not responsible for unallowable expenditures as noted in the Request for Application (RFA), expenditures that are inconsistent with the approved grant proposal or research plan, or expenditures that exceed the total funded amount of the grant annually.

37. Reallocation of funds

Funds may be reallocated without SFI’s prior approval across budget categories within a funding year in a manner consistent with the approved budget and grant proposal or research plan, unless stated otherwise in the award letter. Funds may not be moved across budget categories if the result exceeds any maximum allowable cost set for a budget line item, such as salaries/wages or indirect costs. Reallocations may not exceed annual funding of the grant.

38. Carry Forward

If an unexpended balance remains at the end of a funding year for a multiyear grant, SFI may allow the grantee to carry forward the funds into the following year.

Unless stated otherwise in your award letter, unspent funds will be automatically carried over from one year to the next to use within approved budget categories toward the approved aims of the grant.

Grants that require a formal Carry Forward Request, as stated in the award letter, must submit the request 30 days prior to the end date of the funding year.

Grants with $200,000 or more of unspent funds will have subsequent payment(s) withheld until the unspent balance is less than $100,000 and then reported to the foundation via the Funds Expended webform deliverable. The Funds Expended deliverable is not a Financial Statement; it is an attestation by the institution that the unspent balance is less than $100,000. The deliverable must be signed and submitted by a Signing Official or Financial Officer.

Note: The total award amount will not be reduced.

As part of the Annual Progress Report, grantees must provide an estimate of the unspent funds that must include any funds previously carried forward, as well as indirect costs. If they can, grantees must also indicate the month the unspent balance will fall below $100,000.

If the grantee provides an estimated month by which unspent funds will be less than $100,000 in the Annual Progress Report, the Funds Expended deliverable will be due by the first day of that month. If the unspent balance is less than $100,000 before the originally estimated month, the grantee may submit a Funds Expended deliverable as soon as that happens. The next payment will then be released on or before the last day of the following month. If the Funds Expended deliverable is submitted by the first day of the month in which the unspent balance is less than $100,000, payments will be released by the last day of that month.

If the grantee is unable to estimate the month by which the unspent balance will be less than $100,000, a Funds Expended deliverable will be due by the first day of the month of the grantee’s next scheduled payment. Please reference your award letter to determine your grant’s payment schedule.

If the grantee does not submit the Funds Expended Deliverable by the due date, payments will be withheld for an additional three months and not released before the end of the third month. The Funds Expended deliverable must indicate that the remaining balance carried forward is less than $100,000, or it must specify a new date when the unspent balance carried forward is estimated to fall below $100,000.

39. Carry Forwards with investigators at different institutions

The contact PI must submit one overall Carry Forward Request for the entire project, even if the PIs are at different institutions, unless specified differently in the award letter.

40. No-Cost Extension

Unless stated otherwise in the award letter, grantees are permitted a one-time extension, without additional funding, for a period of up to twelve (12) months. No prior approval is required. Funds during the No-Cost Extension must be used within approved budget categories toward the approved aims of the grant. A No-Cost Extension Progress Report web form is due thirty (30) days prior to the end date of the funding year.

In rare circumstances, requests for additional time beyond the established expiration date of the first extension may be approved. A formal request for a No-Cost Extension beyond the first extension is due thirty (30) days prior to the end date of the first extension. To request approval, manually add and complete the No-Cost Extension Request web form in the Deliverables section of the award in pC.

If a No-Cost Extension is not requested, a Final Progress Report is due within one hundred twenty (120) days of the award end date, unless stated differently in the award letter.

An approval notification will not be sent for the first automatically approved No-Cost Extension.

41. No-Cost Extensions with investigators at different institutions

The contact PI must submit one overall No-Cost Extension Request for the entire project, even if the PIs are at different institutions, unless specified otherwise in the award letter.

42. Auditing

SFI has the right to request and receive from the grantee institution and/or PI(s), or review during a site visit, copies of any and all documents including research records and other information related to the grant at any time during or after the term of the grant for up to four (4) years following the year in which all grant funds are fully expended, unless specified otherwise in the grant agreement.

As a condition of accepting the award, the grantee institution agrees to maintain books and records documenting the expenditure of SFI grant funds in accordance with customary accounting procedures. SFI reserves the right to review all financial books and records of the grantee institution and PI related to the grant and to perform an audit or other accounting procedures of all expenses related directly or indirectly to the grant.

Research records are materials that document the research effort for laboratory research, animal research and clinical trial research. These may be kept as electronic or hard copies, such as various forms of logs, notebooks, correspondence, libraries, videos, computer databases or records, audio or digital records, or even the actual products of experiments, such as gels. In addition to maintaining accurate and complete research records for data analysis, all records relating to the conduct of the project are important, including those that document the management of the research funds and the intellectual property.

Although not an exhaustive list, research records typically include, but are not limited to:

  • Laboratory research: lab notes, notebooks, computer databases, microscopic slides, gels, images, photos, videos, laboratory equipment printouts and records of statistical and other data analysis.
  • Animal research: protocol binders that include Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)–approved protocols with all approved modifications, animal health records, surgical or treatment records, breeding records, drug records and research data files.
  • Clinical trials: regulatory binders that include Committee on Human Research (CHR)

approvals, protocols, informed consent documents, monitoring reports, adverse event reports and other documents pertaining to sponsors, drugs and devices. Other clinical records can include records for research data, data analysis, audio and videotapes of subjects, images of subjects and any other type of record that can identify persons from whom those data were collected.

  • Funding: records and correspondence relating to the grant financial records, purchasing records, scope of work, budgets and service records.
  • All correspondence with granting agencies, institutions and collaborators.

Site visits and evaluations may occur in connection with any SFI grant. Grantees will be notified in advance of an upcoming on-site evaluation. Payments for subsequent funding periods may be tied to the evaluation results.

43. Other reports or engagements

SFI, with reasonable notice to the grantee and accommodating the grantee’s scheduling conflicts, may require additional reporting or require the grantee to participate in site visits, telephone conferences, presentations or other speaking engagements.

44. Parental or Personal Leave

SFI defers to the institution’s policies for any parental or personal leaves. If you wish to request personal leave, your institution’s SO must sign and submit a Parental or Personal Leave web form. We review all personal leave requests on a case-by-case basis, and your request must comply with your institution’s leave policy.

45. Change in approved proposal, research plan or aims

Any changes to the original grant proposal, research design and/or specific aims require a formal request and prior written approval before implementation. All requests can be accessed and completed online in the Deliverables section of the award. Minor adjustments in approach do not require written approval; however, they should be communicated to and further documented in the Progress Report. Changes without prior written approval may result in suspension of payments, early termination of the grant and/or reimbursement to SFI of any expended or unexpended funds.

46. Change of institution

With SFI approval, SFI PIs may transfer their grant to a new institution, provided that both the old and new institutions agree to the change of institution. PIs may transfer their grant to nonprofit organizations and public and private institutions, such as colleges or universities, unless specified otherwise in the Request for Application (RFA) or award letter. The award cannot be transferred to for-profit organizations.

The following documentation is required for a change of grantee institution:

Required from the original institution:

  • A Transfer Web Form for Original Institution web form signed and submitted by the institution’s SO. The web form must state the reason for departure, plans for continuation of the project, confirmation that the transfer will not alter the project’s plans and an effective date of transfer.
  • A Financial Statement completed online.
  • Unexpended funds must be returned to SFI within thirty (30) days following the successful submission and approval of the Financial Statement.

Required from the new institution:

  • A Transfer Web Form for New Institution web form signed and submitted by the institution’s SO. The web form must confirm the PI’s appointment at the new institution and indicate the new institution’s support for the project, the PI start date and the updated contact information for the PI, SO and FO.
  • A renewable reagents and data sharing agreement, if applicable. The agreement must be uploaded to the web form as a PDF.
  • A budget for the remainder of the funds. The budget must be uploaded to the web form as a PDF.

Change of institution approval

Once SFI has approved the change of institution web forms from both institutions, SFI will send a close-out letter to the original institution and an award letter to the new institution. The new institution must complete an Activation Agreement that must be signed and submitted by the new institution’s SO. Upon receipt and approval of the signed Activation Agreement, unexpended funds received from the original institution will be made payable to the new institution.

47. Change of Principal Investigator

Under rare circumstances, a change in PI will be approved. All changes in PIs require a formal written request. A Change of Principal Investigator web form must be signed and submitted by the institution’s SO. The web form must state the reason for the personnel change and provide verification of the new person’s eligibility, qualifications and availability and a description of how the change will affect the scope of work, implementation and timeline of the research project. The new PI’s curriculum vitae and/or biosketch must be uploaded to the web form.

48. Change in project or key personnel (other than PI)

Changes in project personnel or key personnel do not require submission of a prior request or SFI approval.

49. Change in percent effort of project or key personnel

Changes in percent effort of project personnel or key personnel do not require submission of a prior request or SFI approval.

50. Close out

To close out a SFI grant, the grantee must submit the following:

  • Final Progress Report web form, due within one hundred and twenty (120) days of the end date.
  • Final Financial Statement, due within one hundred (120) days of the end date.
  • Unexpended funds must be returned to SFI within thirty (30) days following the successful submission and approval by staff of the Financial Statement.
  • Do not remit payment for unspent funds until the Financial Statement is approved and a refund is requested.
  • Refunds must be paid via an international wire transfer.

Upon receipt and approval of all deliverables and refund if applicable, an email notification will be sent to confirm that the award is closed out. In this email the institution will be notified if SFI will cede or maintain ownership of any equipment over $50,000.

51. Contact

Please reference the PI’s name, the title of the grant and the record ID in all correspondence.

To update contacts: access@sfi.org.bm

For Pre-award and Post-award questions: grants@sfi.org.bm

For payment related questions: payments@sfi.org.bm

If you have any questions regarding the use of proposalCENTRAL, please contact Customer Support:

Phone: (800) 875-2562

Email: pcsupport@altum.com