Budget Questions

I don’t deal with finances or purchasing very often. What do I need to know about IITG funds?

The University-wide funding that supports the Innovative Instruction & Technology grants is a line item in the New York State budget and is backed by NYS tax dollars. This grant funding is NOT associated with the Research Foundation. Because there are differences in the way funding works at state-operated campuses and community colleges, information below is provided for each group. If a campus office you are dealing with has questions about the IITG funding, sharing a copy of this FAQ with the office might be helpful.

(Note: the following three questions all have the same response)

Can an institution partner with a non-SUNY campus (or other entity)?

Can we work with vendors outside of New York State? International?

May I sub-contract a portion of my work to a vendor?

Yes, as long as the relationship is clearly articulated and in the best interest of the University and achieves the desired results. Any local campus policies and procedures that apply to partnerships must be followed.

When do funds need to be expended by?

June 30th of each round is the end of the annual fiscal year. No exceptions to spending cutoff deadlines. Each campus may have earlier cut off dates to process purchases – follow your campus guidelines.  No-cost project extensions are handled on an exceptional, case-by-case basis, if requested in writing () by May 1st.

Do I need to include any campus overhead in my budget? (e.g., Income Fund Reimbursable (IFR))

No, this grant funding is backed by state tax dollars and is not subject to the overhead charges that are typically levied against some funding sources (e.g., fringe benefit charges, administrative overhead, maintenance/operations overhead).

Community colleges are governed by local county policies and employee contracts which might impose fringe benefits and account overhead charges, meaning some community colleges may have to pay fringe or account overhead on the monies. Community colleges have to follow local purchasing policies and procedures.

Do I need to run this proposal through my local campus Research Foundation office?

The Office of the Provost requires the grant application include an endorsement from either the campus president or provost. If local campus policy requires you to run the grant proposal through the local Research Foundation, please do so.

Do I need to follow state procurement guidelines and get competitive bids for any materials supporting my proposal?

This grant funding is backed by state tax dollars, and is subject to all state procurement policies and procedures in place at the local campus.

Can this grant be used to fund faculty salary recovery (course buy-out) or other types of personnel expense (e.g., student assistance)?

Yes, as long as those items are directly related to the grant, included in the grant budget, and approved as part of the award.

Can a portion of my salary or my student’s salary be considered “in-kind”?

Campus resources qualify as in-kind contribution for this grant if the answer to these questions is YES:

    • Is this expense directly related to the grant award?
    • Is the campus only paying this expense because this grant award was received?
    • Is it possible to assign a value to this contribution, and will the awardee maintain records that documents this value, e.g., appointment/salary change notices, student timesheets, PO/invoice, etc.?

The following are two examples of qualifying in-kind contributions related to personnel:

1.  A full-time faculty member with a continuing appointment works on the grant. As a direct result of the grant award, the campus reduces this faculty member’s workload by one-course during the Fall semester, and hires an adjunct at $2,500 to teach the course.  The $2,500 campus expense is an in-kind contribution because it is directly related to the grant and an expense that has to be paid only because the campus received the grant award.

2.  A student assistant is hired by the department and tracks the number of hours s/he spends on work directly related to the grant.  The payroll expense for the student’s documented hours qualifies as an in-kind contribution.

May I budget funds from this grant for Summer Salary or extra service compensation (particularly in cases where reduced course load is not an option in my department)?

Summer salary, faculty release, and extra service is
 allowed. The reviewers will assess from the budget and justification if the expense is valid.

When is extra service applicable?

Extra service for professional staff of the University is defined in two ways:

1. Work performed by academic and professional staff in a “payroll agency” other than the “payroll agency” to which the employee is regularly assigned.

2. Work performed by academic and professional staff at their own campus that is different from or in addition to an individual’s professional obligations.

*Please note that the extra service policy at the home campus (“payroll agency”) must also be adhered to.

Do we need to pay individuals at their state salary rate?

No.

Do we need to calculate benefits as part of personnel expenditures?

No.

Are there any limits on how much can be spent on equipment vs. salary?

No, not for this round of grants.

Can these funds be used to support travel?

Yes, as long as the travel directly supports grant activity and results is an allowable expense.  Local campus policies and procedures in place for travel will apply.