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Frequently Asked Questions

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Award / Contract Information

Award / Contract Information

How do I know if my application has been awarded funding?
The OSTRaD Board meets a few times each year to review and make an approval decision regarding proposals that have been recommended for funding. Soon after this meeting the PI will receive a notification email from OGX with the funding decision. You can also simply log in to OGX and check the current status of your application. If it reads “Application Awarded” then congratulations! A status of “Application Not Funded” means your application was approved for funding but insufficient money was available for the project. A status of “Application Not Approved” means your application was not approved to be funded.

I have been awarded for funding of my proposal. Now what?
The PI will receive a Notice of Award document via email from the OCAST Contracts Compliance Officer regarding the approved funding amounts for the proposal. Included in the Notice of Award are forms that must be completed by the PI and Contract Official from the applicant organization and returned to OCAST. These forms must be sent to OCAST, along with any other documentation or information that may have been requested in the Notice of Award, before the first year contract for the research project can be initiated.

When is the estimated start date for my project?
In general, the start date is approximately 30 to 60 days after the OSTRaD Board approves the awards. The projected start date will be provided in the Notice of Award document sent via email from the OCAST Contracts Compliance Officer.

When can I begin work on my research project?
Project work (along with related expenses) can begin on the start date of the fully executed contract. In order to avoid delays, please make sure to provide all required documentation and information to OCAST by the deadlines provided.

What if I begin working on the project before the contract start date?
Any expenses incurred prior to the start date of a research contract will not be reimbursed by OCAST. Subsequently, any expenses incurred after the end of the contract period will not be reimbursed by OCAST.

How does OCAST pay me for my research?
All award contracts funded by OCAST are paid on a cost reimbursement basis. It will be necessary for the contracting organization to complete and submit an OCAST Request for Payment (RFP) on OGX in order to be reimbursed for costs directly related to the research project. Requests for reimbursement may be submitted to OCAST monthly, but at least quarterly, schedule. Please refer to the contract for additional information about RFPs.

What important dates do I need to know for my contract?
The Progress Report due date is provided on the cover page of your current year contract for your project, and the deadline for submission of the final RFP is 90 days after the contract funding period end date.   

What reports are required under my research contract?
The PI is required to submit a Progress Report no later than 60 days before the end of each contract period, except for the final year of funding. For the final funding period, a Progress Report must be submitted to OCAST no later than 30 days after the ending date of the contract. 

What if I need to extend the contract?
If you have a well justified reason for extending the contract to allow more time to complete projected-related work, a Contract Modification Request Form for a no-cost-extension can be submitted to OCAST. You will also need to submit a Progress Report with the request.

Can other changes be made to a contract after it is executed?
There may be times when the PI becomes unable to complete the research project, the contract may need to be extended beyond the original end date or the contracting organization may need to change the source of matching funds. OCAST allows for the possibility of such changes occurring throughout the duration of the research project. The contracting organization must complete a Contract Modification Request Form to formally request such changes.

Why is OCAST performing an audit of its contracts and research projects?
The purpose of the OCAST review process is to demonstrate good stewardship of taxpayer dollars and to ensure the appropriate use of research funds. OCAST does not intend to create an atmosphere of conflict. Rather, OCAST intends to partner with the audit client to aid in the strengthening of contract management.

Can the Principal Investigator also serve as the Contract Official?
Yes, in certain circumstances. This typically this occurs with small businesses.

Budgets

What do I do if my budget needs change during the contract year?
OCAST allows for flexibility in the originally approved budget. We recognize that unforeseen needs may arise, or other budget changes may occur after the budget was approved at the onset of the project. To account for any such changes, OCAST allows the contracting organization to make cumulative changes to budget line items in an amount up to 10% of the originally approved contract budget. A Budget Modification Request Form must be completed and submitted for line item changes to the contract budget greater than 10% of the approved amount.

Can federal grants be used as matching funds?
Yes. However, the PI must show a separate scope of work for the OCAST project from that of the federal project. Indicate how the project for OCAST differs from the federal project.

Where can I find information about unallowable costs (indirect costs)?

In multiple year awards, if funds are left at the end of the contract year can they be rolled over into the next contract year?
No. However, the PI may apply for a no-cost extension to complete that portion of the project and the new contract will then start after the extension period has ended.

What types of fees and costs are not allowed? What fees are allowed?
OCAST does not reimburse for tuition or fees, patent or licensing fees or indirect expenses. Allowable fees include registration fees as a part of the travel expenses. Equipment service fees are allowable expenses provided that the equipment is used specifically for the project or only for the percentage of usage for the project.

The Health Research Funding Opportunity states that faculty salary cannot be charged to the OCAST award; does this also apply to full time faculty that are not a PI or Co-PI on the application?
Yes; if the person is full time faculty and considered to have a collaborator role in the project then this person is not eligible to receive salary from a Health Research contract.

Where should I list animals in the budget?
Animals should be listed as supplies.

How do I justify the purchase of a computer or laptop for an OCAST project?
You will need to demonstrate how it is highly specialized in its design and function in carrying out experiments and how it can be easily identified with and primarily allocated to the OCAST project. This computer/laptop would not be used for general office purposes but rather for a specific research purpose set forth in the OCAST project proposal.

Application Preparation and Submission

Who can submit an application?
The Principal Investigator (Authorized Official) or Contract Official (Agency Administrator role) may submit the application to OCAST once the application has been completed. Once an application has been submitted no further revisions or additional materials will be accepted, so it is important that the application is fully completed prior to submission.

How do I submit an application to OCAST?
Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) associated with the program area you are interesting in applying. There you will find specific instructions for applying, along with eligibility requirements, award amounts, types of research projects that qualify for funding, and other important information.

Do I need to submit a Statement of Intent through OGX?
No. OCAST has phased out the intent requirements as funding programs are implemented in OGX. All Agency Administrators will receive an e-mail when an application from their organization is initiated in OGX, thus replacing the statement of intent.

How can I be sure that I have successfully submitted my application for funding consideration?
Log in to OGX and look at the current status of your application to see if it reads Application Submitted. If so, you have successfully sent it to OCAST for review. If not, you must go to the Application Menu, click VIEW STATUS OPTIONS under the Change the Status heading and then click the APPLY STATUS button under Application Submitted.

For an OARS or Intern application, I don't have committed matching funds yet. Will this be a problem?
On the matching funds certification page in OGX, just provide the proposed source of matching funds; it is okay that account numbers are not provided at this point. The matching fund sources and associated account numbers will need to be finalized prior to the start of the contract, should you receive the award.

I have a question regarding proof of submission for previously awarded OCAST funded proposals. Is providing the project number sufficient proof or do we need to submit notice of awards or face pages/abstracts, etc?
Providing just the project number is perfectly fine.

Can a PI resubmit an application that was not funded previously?
Yes, the PI is encouraged to resubmit. However, the PI must include a response to reviewer’s comments and note any changes in the proposal, as well as include copies of the reviews for the most recently submitted application. OCAST only keeps this information on file for one year, so be sure to keep your copies!

Who is required to provide a biosketch for the OCAST application?
Typically “key” personnel, whether paid or not, should have a corresponding Biosketch included in the application. The PI always needs a Biosketch. As to other key personnel, that depends on the “level” of measurable effort that person commits to the project and therefore determines if they are “key” or not. The idea with Biosketches is to bring attention to skills sets that are complementary to those of the Principal Investigator and can provide a level of assurance that the right talent are included to successfully perform the project. So, long story short, there is no specific requirement regarding who needs to submit a Biosketch other than the PI.

What if one or more sections do not apply to my project?
You must still include the section heading and indicate that it is “not applicable.”

Can a Principal Investigator budget for a salary?
The PI on a Health Research or Plant Science (basic research) project may not budget for a salary; however, the PI on an Intern or OARS (applied research) project may budget for a salary but must be on release time from the university for the time spent working on the project.

Oklahoma Grant Exchange Website

How do I change my password?
OCAST does NOT have access to passwords. To change your password, you will need to click the “Forgot Password?” link inside the Login box. You will be directed to a form asking for your username and email address. If you cannot remember your username, please contact OCAST so it may be retrieved for you. If you do not receive an email containing a temporary password, please check your spam folder. An email should be sent almost instantaneously.

Once you receive your temporary password in your email, you’ll only use this temporary password once at the login screen. After you log in, you will be prompted immediately to come up with a new password. You’ll enter that new password twice in the password boxes, and then click Save. Then, the password boxes will clear, and you will see your various tabs (My Home, My Applications, etc.) at the top of your screen. At that point, you are in the system and you are free to explore.

How do I register for access to OGX?
If you are responsible for the administration of awards at your organization (Contract Official, fiscal agent, grant administrator, research administrator, etc.) go to the OGX website and click the New User link to begin the registration process. If you are an investigator, co-investigator, etc. you must contact the grant/contract administrator for your organization to request to be set up.

How do I get registered on OGX if I am from a university, OMRF, or other large entity?
You will need to contact your organization’s Agency Administrator to get an account with OGX. OCAST is unable to approve registrations from organizations that already have an Agency Administrator in place. Go to the OGX website and click on the link below the login box that says “Agency Administrator Registration”. This will direct you to a form which needs to be completed in its entirety, and click on the Save button at the top of the page when you have finished. OCAST will receive a notification that your registration has been created, and will either approve or deny it. If your organization already exists within OGX, you will be added to your organization. If it does not, your new registration for yourself and your organization will be approved.

I’m logged into OGX, but I can’t see any funding opportunities. Why?
On your home screen on OGX, check to see what your role is, found directly underneath the “Welcome” box. In the example below, the user is logged in with their Agency Administrator role. If you are logged in under an Agency Administrator role, you will NOT be able to see the “View Available Opportunities” option. Only those logged in as Authorized Officials will be able to view that option.

I will serve as Contract Official and Principal Investigator for my project. Can I act in both roles under the same username and password?
No. You must obtain a separate username and password for each role within the system. To be both Contract Official and Principal Investigator, you must set up two usernames assigning one the Agency Administrator role and the other the Authorized Official role.

Who approves my account?
That depends. If you are affiliated with a university or large organization, your account will need to be handled by that organization’s Agency Administrator. If you are part of a smaller company, OCAST will approve your account.

What’s the difference between an Agency Administrator role and an Authorized Official role?
Agency Administrators (also known as Contract Officials):

  • Must approve the application before it can be submitted
  • Must be the last person to make any changes to an application
  • Is the only one with access to My Organization links
  • Can view, edit, and submit all applications for the organization
  • Can view, edit, and submit a Request for Payment
  • Can view, edit, and submit a Contract Modification Request
  • Are linked to all project numbers associated with the organization

In contrast, Authorized Officials (also known as Principal Investigators, or PI):

  • Are the only ones that can start an application
  • Are the only ones that can submit Progress Reports
  • Are linked only to their specific project numbers
  • Cannot see other applications associated with the organization
  • Have access to view and edit a Contract Modification Request

Requests for Payment (RFPs)

What is a Request for Payment (RFP)?
This is how you receive money from your OCAST award. A properly completed and executed RFP form serves as the documented request for reimbursements of costs incurred in the performance of the OCAST project.

Who can submit a Request for Payment (RFP)?
Only the Fiscal Agent (Financial Officer) or Contract Official (Agency Administrator) may initiate, complete, and submit an RFP.

I am ready to submit the first Request for Payment (RFP), now what?
Log in to OGX as the Fiscal Agent (Financial Officer) or Contract Official (Agency Administrator) for the project, and initiate a new RFP form. Fill out the RFP form, making sure to save often, address any errors detected, and submit the form to OCAST by changing the form status to “RFP Submitted.” Please note that there are times in the month when processing of RFPs may occur more quickly than others.

When are the Requests for Payment (RFPs) due to OCAST?
Remember that RFPs are actually requests for reimbursements, which mean that you are requesting money for expenses already incurred. RFPs need to be submitted to OCAST for expenditures on a monthly or at least quarterly basis. All requests for payments, except the final one, must be submitted to OCAST during the contract period, and the final payment request must be submitted to OCAST no later than 90 days beyond the end of the contract period. Any reimbursement request received at OCAST later than 90 days beyond the contract end date will not be paid. 

How do I submit my final Request for Payment (RFP) for the contract year?
To submit a final RFP, you simply follow the same procedures you have with the previous RFPs. The difference is, on this final RFP, you must click "YES" for final RFP on OGX when completing the RFP form. Please note that a Progress Report for the current contract year must be received by OCAST before final requests for payments are processed. Final requests for payments may take a slightly longer time to process than other requests for payment. If we do not receive an RFP form that is marked as “final,” then we will deobligate any remaining funds associated with the associated contract at the conclusion of 90 days after the contract end date.

Progress Reports

When is my Progress Report due?
The easiest way to find your Progress Report due date is to look at the cover page of your current year contract. Otherwise, if you know the funding period for your current year contract, the Annual Progress Report is due 60 days before the end of the contract period, except for the final year of funding. For the final funding period, the Final Progress Report must be submitted to OCAST no later than 30 days after the ending date of the contract.

Who can submit a Progress Report?
Only the Principal Investigator (Authorized Official) may initiate and submit a Progress Report through OGX.

What happens to my Progress Report after I submit it to OCAST?
OCAST sends the Progress Report to an external reviewer for evaluation. The reviewer is likely one of the persons who evaluated the original research proposal at the funding competition. The reviewer will compare the stated accomplishments from the Progress Report to the research aims in the original proposal to determine if satisfactory progress has been made. Continued funding of the research project is contingent upon a satisfactory performance evaluation that verifies that the PI is complying with the terms of the contract and achieving project objectives.

My year 1 Progress Report was deemed satisfactory, what happens next?
After the annual Progress Report is deemed satisfactory, the contract process for the second year of the award will be initiated. A copy of the contract will be sent to the Contract Official and all other parties on the contract to sign and return. The contract will have the new contract start and end date. In most cases it will be the same month start and same month finish as the first contract. Progress Reports that are submitted past their deadline may delay this process and result in a later start date for the subsequent contract.

Funding Opportunities

How do I know what funding programs are currently available?
You will first need to be registered on OGX. Once you log into OGX, click the VIEW OPPORTUNITIES button under the View Available Opportunities heading to see all funding programs that are open and accepting applications. Scroll down to find the desired funding program and click the APPLY NOW button.

Is collaboration with entities outside the state of Oklahoma allowed?
OCAST encourages collaborations within Oklahoma; however, if the expertise is only available outside the state, it is accepted. If out-of-state entities are involved, it is very importance to provide assurance that the benefit of the project will remain in Oklahoma.

Can I contact OCAST for help with funding opportunities from other agencies?
OCAST only has access to OCAST funding opportunities. For help with funding opportunities in other agencies, please contact that agency’s representative listed on the OGX login screen.

Audits

What is OCAST looking for in an audit?
OCAST reviews and compares contractor performance with contract language to ensure compliance with the requirements outlined in the research contract. OCAST also tests financial transactions, which have been charged to the project under review, to ensure the appropriateness of expenditures reimbursed throughout the performance period of the contract.

How are projects and contracts selected to be audited?
OCAST has created a comprehensive process of evaluating the risk of each project awarded in the past two fiscal years. OCAST randomly selects a percentage of projects within each defined area of risk. For each project selected for review, OCAST will audit all contracts associated with the project.

How long will an audit take?
It is estimated that a review will likely take four to six weeks from the engagement of the review to the issuance of an audit report. OCAST will make every effort to minimize the inconvenience to the client’s daily operations during the course of the audit. 

Who will likely be involved during the audit process?
The OCAST Programs Director will send a letter to the project’s Contract Official in order to engage the audit. Once the audit is engaged, OCAST will coordinate all auditing activities with the Contract Official. It is possible that, during the course of the audit, an auditor may confer with the Principal Investigator and others specifically associated with the research project.

What happens if an audit reveals problems?
OCAST will communicate with the client to discuss any questions or concerns that surface throughout the audit process.

Does the client have an opportunity to address any concerns or problems noted in the audit?
At the conclusion of the review, we will create an audit report to note any findings encountered during the review. The client will be provided an opportunity to specifically address the findings, to explain the circumstances surrounding the findings, and to spell out the action to be taken to correct any noted situations of non-compliance.

Is future OCAST funding contingent upon the outcome of an audit?
We will work with the client to determine appropriate corrective action to take to resolve many situations of non-compliance. However, if appropriate corrections cannot be made and non-compliance still exists OCAST does reserve the right to discontinue funding to the client and/or Principal Investigator.

Last Modified on Nov 05, 2020
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