Stanford researchers can use this quick guide to launch global health research projects, access the university’s many helpful resources, and navigate administrative systems to secure fundraising and project startup.
Collaborators could include Stanford faculty, students or fellows, external researchers, or in-country partner organizations.
Develop an early concept note and budget for the project. Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health Research Director and Professor Steve Luby teaches a 2-day Global Health Research Methods Retreat and also developed this global health scientific writing guide.
If you are responding to a sponsor’s Request for Proposals (RFP) or Program Announcement, note their deadline for submission. Is there sufficient time for you and your collaborators to develop a competitive proposal, AND for you to obtain Stanford approval to submit a proposal? Make a go/no-go decision.
We strongly recommend you schedule a meeting with Global Business Services (GBS), Office of Research Administration (ORA), and the Research Management Group (RMG) to discuss the scope of your research. Talking live with all three administrative groups together, and at an early stage, will streamline your administrative process ahead. Please reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org. They will respond with an intake form to help guide a 30-minute consultation, to ensure a smooth administrative process for you.
In the meantime, please prepare answers to the following questions:
Indirect costs are also known as Facilities & Administrative (F&A) costs. F&A costs are related to expenses incurred while conducting or supporting research, or other externally funded activities, but not directly attributable to a specific project (e.g. space, utilities, administration).
F&A rates are established in accordance with federal policy. They are negotiated between Stanford and the ONR (Office of Naval Research), the cognizant federal agency, which oversees the administration of sponsored agreements at Stanford. A listing of the rates and application can be found on the DoR website. Stanford is prohibited by statute from reducing its indirect cost rate for a foreign sponsor.
Assuming that Stanford will accept reduced Indirect Costs (Facilities & Administrative Rates): Stanford negotiates rates with the federal government. As a result, the University has established policies on the application of the rates and when a waiver of the negotiated rates to a lesser rate can be requested. University policy only allows indirect cost waivers for sponsors (excluding foreign sponsors) who meet the following criteria:
If the sponsor meets all of the criteria, an indirect cost waiver should be requested through the Research Management Group. Contact your Research Process Manager.
Organize and manage the proposal workflow. Develop a scope of work for collaborators and a draft budget early. They can be worked through iteratively and will become the basis for the administrative agreement.
No later than 30-days prior to your sponsor’s deadline, complete a Proposal Intake Form (PIF) in the Stanford Electronic Research Administration System (SeRA) to engage the RMG and be assigned a Research Process Manager (RPM).
A PIF requires you to identify the sponsor and provide the following:
For more information refer to the Proposal Intake Form on the RMG Website.
Draft your research proposal. (Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health and Professor Steve Luby teaches a 2-day Global Health Research Methods Retreat, and this global health scientific writing guide produced by him may also be informative)
If you have not yet been in touch with the Global Business Services (GBS) team, we recommend reaching out to them for a quick consultation on the scope of your in-country activities. GBS will include Stanford’s Global HR as necessary.
Iteratively revise proposal and budget based on input from collaborators and from RMG.
Work with your RPM in RMG to finalize budget and budget justification, any other funder required documents e.g. biosketches, letters of support, GANTT chart, or Monitoring & Evaluation Plan.
If Stanford is the grantee institution and you will be subcontracting pieces of work, ensure that your collaborator/subaward recipient has the requisite support and understanding to complete the Stanford paperwork required of all subcontractors:
Providing insufficient time for RMG to complete proposal components, perform the review, and submit in time to meet the sponsor deadline.
To manage the workflow and consider any special considerations of the study that may need additional approvals from various University offices, RMG asks that you initiate the Proposal Intake Form (PIF) as early as possible — a minimum of 30-days in advance of the sponsor deadline. Failure to engage with RMG timely could impact your ability to successfully submit the proposal.
For NIH/NSF proposals, RMG must submit on behalf of the Principal Investigator/Stanford.
For other proposals, there is often a choice. If the Principal Investigator submits, they are typically well-placed to address questions that arise and receive feedback from the donor. If the Principal Investigator submits, they need to cc their assigned Research Process Manager on the email.
Celebrate! Get to work.
Engage the Stanford Office of Research Administration (ORA) to review and sign the award letter or contract from the funder, and set up subcontracts with your partners.
Obtain human subjects (IRB) approval to proceed with the work.
Assuming that ORA will promptly reach a contractual agreement with the donor:
Mismatch between donor’s expectation of project / research start date, and Stanford’s timeline for completing administrative processes: