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- Authorizing Official (AO): The AO is the individual who is legally responsible to accept grants on behalf of the grantee institution.
- Certifying Official (CO): The CO is the individual responsible for the financial reporting on behalf of the grantee institution.
- Program Administrative Principal Investigator (Program Admin PI): The Program Admin PI is the primary administrative contact for program-related correspondence and has overall fiduciary responsibility for the program.
- Program Science Principal Investigator (Program Science PI): The Program Science PI is responsible for leading the overall investigation, proper conduct of the research, and informing the community of the results.
- Grant Administrative Principal Investigator (Grant Admin PI): The Grant Admin PI has fiduciary responsibility at the grant level, and ensures that grant administrative requirements are met, such as the submission of interim and final performance reports.
- Grant Science Principal Investigator (Grant Science PI): The Grant Science PI is responsible for scientific performance at the grant level.
- Principal Investigator (PI): Generic term for a principal investigator at the program or grant level.
- Co-Investigator (Co-I): Any other individual contributing to the science who is actively involved in the proposal. Co-investigators may or may not receive funding.
- Senior Faculty: An individual with teaching responsibilities at an institution.
- Senior Researcher/Management: An individual affiliated with an institution who does not teach.
- General Observer (GO): GO programs request new observations.
- Archival Researcher (AR): AR programs use data that is publically available in the project-specific archive.
If you do not have an STGMS account, contact STScI Grants Administration at email@example.com for a list of STGMS User Account Managers at your institution who can assist you in creating an account. Levels of access to STGMS system are maintained by the grantee institution. If you require a revision of your access level, contact an account manager at your institution.
To unlock your account, reset your password from the STGMS homepage. Click “Login” and then select “Forgot Password?” Enter your full email address to receive an email with a link to reset your password. If you haven’t received the email within a few minutes, check your spam or junk folder.
The dates should correspond with the fiscal year in which the work will be completed. This is an estimated timeframe and does not determine when funding will be awarded.
An institutional identifying number is assigned by some institutions to link the STGMS grant number to their internal system. An entry is not required in this field; it may be left blank.
STScI does not have a formula to judge cost reasonableness. Investigators should submit budgets that reflect the funding amount they think necessary to reduce, analyze, and publish the data. All costs must be fully justified in the budget narrative section.
No. Each institution sponsoring a Co-I requesting funding must submit their own budget and narrative in STGMS.
Budget proposals submitted in the first cycle of a continuation program will include costs for that cycle only. Costs for effort budgeted beyond the first cycle will not be considered. However, the budget narrative will include a description of the overall effort for the entire multi-year project.
A new budget proposal will be submitted for each new cycle of the continuing program. The narrative will include a description of the work that has been completed to date.
The negotiated rates for overhead, indirect costs, and fringe benefits apply to an institution’s fiscal year. If the proposed budget crosses an FY, either use a separate row for each cost item and apply the appropriate FY rate, or use a composite rate. Provide a justification in the budget narrative for the method used.
Administrative and IT support are allowable costs and should be listed in the “Other” cost category of the budget. The costs must be fully described and justified in the budget narrative.
No. In accordance with the General Grant Provisions (GGP), Section 3, Eligibility for STScI Grant Funding: “STScI funding will not be used in any way to support research efforts by non-U.S. investigators or institutions. Regardless of where he or she resides, an investigator who has a formal or contractual affiliation (funded or unfunded) with a non-U.S. institution is considered a ‘non-U.S. investigator’ and may not apply for funding.” STScI funding cannot flow from a U.S. investigator to support the activities of a non-U.S. investigator.
Yes, a proposal may support students to carry out the proposed research under the direction of the PI or a Co-I. If known at the time of proposal submission, identify the student by name in the budget and the budget narrative. In accordance with the General Grant Provisions (GGP), “Costs for graduate students, post-doctoral associates, and science data aides to assist in the analysis of data are allowable. All salaries must be in accordance with the standard policies of the grantee institution.”
The total cost calculates only when there is a value in every column. Enter the per-day rate in the “Lodging and Subsistence” column, and the number of travel days in the “Number of Days” column.
STGMS requires a four-digit date format for the year (e.g., 2018).
The Program Admin PI should complete sections I through V. Co-Is are only required to complete sections IV and V. Only the Program Admin PI is required to complete the Table of Investigators in Section I of the budget narrative template. Whether funded or unfunded, each person participating in the project must be identified. Failure to provide this information may result in a reduction of funding allocated to your program.
Whether funded or unfunded, each person participating in the project must be identified (e.g., PI, Co-Is, postdoctoral associates, other professionals, graduate students). The percentage of effort to the project is only required for unfunded labor contributions. Failure to provide this information may result in a reduction of funding allocated to your program.
Only Program Admin PIs are responsible for entering this information for GO and AR programs in STGMS.
For AR programs, add a row to enter the instrument used to obtain the original observations. If only one instrument is involved, list that instrument as the primary instrument. Enter the number of science images/spectra that will result from the AR work and the number of distinct science targets for your program. For AR Theory programs, select “Theory” from the drop-down menu. It is not necessary to enter image or target amounts for Theory Programs.
For GO Programs, add a row to select the instrument to be used for your primary or parallel observations. Enter the number of science images. Repeat for multiple instruments. Enter the number of distinct science targets for your program. Select the “Save” and “Done” buttons to save the information in STGMS.
Note that STGMS blocks budget submission if this information is not included.
Explain in the narrative that the number of images is much larger and many are taken in parallel mode. For science-related questions, contact your program coordinator.
Current and Pending Support
There is no required template for the current and pending support information; however, your document, which must be uploaded as a PDF in STGMS, should include:
- Title of award
- Name of the PI
- Program name and sponsoring agency or organization
- Performance period
- Total budget
- Details about the commitment of the PI or Co-I, including how many months per person per year, for each year
Submitting a Budget
STGMS will notify you by email that a Co-I budget has been submitted and needs your approval. Log into STGMS:
- Select “PI Program Management” from the main menu.
- Enter program number and click “Search.”
- Select program populated below to open the page.
- In the “Grants” section, click “Needs PI Approval” for the Co-I’s grant, a dropdown box will appear. Select “PI Approved.”
- Click “Save” at bottom of the screen.
If you have the budget prepare privilege, click “Save & Notify” and STGMS will notify the sponsored programs official to review and submit the budget on behalf of the institution. If you have the submit privilege, click “Submit” and enter your password to complete submission. Upon submission, if you are the Program Admin PI, the budget will be sent to STScI. If you are not the Program Admin PI, the budget is forwarded to the Program Admin PI for approval prior to submission to STScI.
Use the “Budget Search” option under the “Budget” section in the main menu to retrieve a budget. The status is located in the second column under “Budget Status” will indicate one of the following:
- Saved: The budget has been created and/or submitted to the AO for review, but has not been officially submitted to STScI.
- Needs PI Approval: A Co-I budget needs approval from the Program Admin PI.
- PI Approved: The Program Admin PI has approved the Co-I budget and it has either been officially submitted to STScI or the AO at your institution has approved the PI’s budget and it has been officially submitted to STScI.
- Pending FRC: STScI Grants Administration has received the budget and will submit to the Financial Review Committee (FRC) for review.
- Superseded: The Admin PI replaced this budget with a revision.
- Approved: STScI Grants Administration approved the budget.
- Denied: This budget has been denied.
- Needs Revision: STScI requires submission of a revised budget.
Each institution manages the budget submission process differently and it depends on your assigned access level in STGMS. Contact your Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) to find out what your institution requires.
The Grant Admin PI and institution will receive an automatic email notification from STGMS stating that the budget was approved.
Yes. If a program is reduced, the Program Admin PI determines the amount to be allocated to each Co-I. If the amount is lower than the original budget submission, the investigator’s institution must submit a revised budget and narrative. These should accurately reflect any changes to the scope of work and project goals necessary to remain within the allocated funding.
No. Each investigator may decide how to reallocate their budget up to the revised amount, with the exception of removing any specifically unallowable costs identified by the FRC or STScI.
Award and Funding
After the STScI director reviews and approves the Financial Review Committee (FRC) recommendations, STScI requests funds from NASA to support programs for the current cycle. After NASA provides funds to STScI, the Program Admin PIs and their institutions are notified of the approved funding for their programs. It is the responsibility of the Program Admin PIs to notify each funded Co-I of the amount approved for their portion of the project. Due to the confidentiality of the information contained in the budgets, STScI may not provide information regarding budgets other than your own. It is at each institution’s discretion to provide budget information to other institutions.
GO awards are typically issued within 30 days after the first successful observations. AR awards are issued shortly after the Program Admin PI receives notification of the approved amount for the program. All awards are contingent based on the submission of overdue reports from previously awarded grants.
The legal recipient of the STScI grant is the grantee institution and not individual investigators.
The period of performance stated in the Grant Award Document is the time during which STScI sponsorship begins and ends, and the time during which grant expenditures may be incurred. STScI generally issues grants with a three-year period of performance to allow enough time to conduct and complete the research. If the work is completed in less than three years, final reports must be submitted and the grant will be closed. STScI expects that the PI and grant personnel will complete the objectives of the proposed project within the grant period of performance. If the work is not completed within that period, a one-time only request for a no-cost extension of the award may be requested at least 30 days prior to the end date of the award. Requests received after the end date of the award may be denied. No further requests will be accepted.
STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., (AURA), for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under Contracts NAS5-26555 and NAS5-03127. NASA provides contract funds to STScI to directly support scientific research using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). There is no CFDA (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance) number associated with STScI grant funds.
STScI generally issues electronic notification letters within a day to two-day timeframe. If you haven’t received your notification, check your spam or junk folder. If you have not received the letter, contact STScI Grants Administration at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The approved amount is the total for all funded PIs on the program.
Preparatory funding is available for GO programs. Investigators may request up to 25 percent of the approved budget amount as preparatory funding to begin essential work prior to observations. Preparatory funding will be released after the funding for the program is approved for the new cycle, and upon submission of revised budgets, if required. Preparatory funding should be requested on Line 22 of the budget.
In accordance with STScI General Grant Provisions (GGP), pre-award costs are an allowable expense. Please note that such costs are incurred at the grantee’s own risk and will not impose an obligation on the part of STScI or NASA if an award is not subsequently made, or if an award is made for a lesser amount than the grantee anticipated. The costs must be for project activities directly related to a specific STScI program and necessary for efficient and timely performance of the scope of work. Such costs are allowable only to the extent that they would have been allowable if incurred after the date of the grant award.
The criteria for these roles are determined by the policies of the grantee institution.
Submit a Transfer Request through STGMS. STScI Grants Administration will provide detailed instructions regarding your specific transfer process.
Updating the AO requires a formal signed request on your institution’s letterhead. Email a PDF to email@example.com. Include the full contact information for the AO (honorific, email, address, phone).
From the main menu, select “Update Your Profile.” Enter the changes and click “Save.”
The user’s account can be disabled but not deleted. To disable the account at your institution, uncheck the “Enabled Institutions” box and the “Is an Administrator” box, if applicable, and click “Update.”
STGMS does not allow a global email account to be used by multiple individuals. However, the institution may assign an email address to receive a copy of all the notifications sent from STGMS. Locate “Institution Address/Payee Address” under the Institution menu option. In the “Institution Info” section, add the global email address for your institution in the “Email” box. The email address listed will be copied on all documents sent by STGMS.
Reporting in STGMS
To avoid the submission of duplicate financial reports, STGMS blocks the financial reports option on grants that have reports pending processing. STScI generally processes financial reports twice a month.
If the report was prepared but not submitted, find the saved report in the “Financial Report” section, and submit or delete the report to make it available again in the list of reports.
Equipment is defined as a per unit acquisition cost of $5,000 or more with a useful life of more than one year.
NASA presently defines new technology as follows: “What qualifies as new technologies and innovations is very broad. They include any invention, discovery, improvement, or innovation that was either conceived or first actually reduced to practice in the performance of NASA work. This includes any new and useful processes, machines, manufacture, or composition of matter; or any new and useful improvement in existing processes, machines, manufacture, or compositions of matter. Also included are new computer programs, and improvements to, or new applications of, existing computer programs, whether or not copyrightable. A representative list of new technologies and innovations includes, but is not limited to: new or improved techniques, products, devices, materials, methods, processes, chemical compositions, systems, machines apparatuses, articles, fixtures, tools, or software.”
For additional information, visit the NASA Technology Transfer Program FAQs.
Submit a new technology report through STGMS within 90 days of the end of the grant period. The grantee must state that either there was no new technology resulting from the grant or that new technology did result from the grant-funded work. If the latter, a description of the new technology must be included in the report.
If no new technology is reported, there is no further requirement. If new technology is reported to STScI, the grantee is also required to formally report the same new technology to NASA. Submit NASA form 1679 as either a PDF or Word document, or electronically through the NASA e-NTR website. Either method is acceptable.
There are two options to submit your New Technology report to NASA. Both require completion of NASA form 1679 (NF 1679):
Option 1: Email a PDF or Word document of NF 1679:
A PDF and Word version of NF 1679 are located on the NASA e-NTR website. Email the completed form (PDF or Word) to the New Technology Representative at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Find a current list of New Technology Representative contacts for each NASA center.
Option 2: Submit NF 1679 electronically
To use the electronic reporting system you must have a NASA Launchpad account or an e-NTR account. If you do not have either you can request an e-NTR account. Visit the NASA Technology Transfer Program, click “Report your NTR or NTSR,” then click on “e-NTR Account Registration.” Once an account has been established, the New Technology report may be submitted at this site.
The grantee is required to provide written confirmation to STScI immediately after reporting the new technology to NASA. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Grant number
- The date the new technology was reported to NASA
- The method used to report the new technology to NASA (paper/electronic)
Foreign Agreement Letters
The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is required by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to send foreign agreement letters to non-U.S. institutions that have investigators listed on Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Programs. NASA requires acceptance of the agreement of Financial Arrangements, Data Rights, and Liability for activity connected with the use of the HST.
No, the language may not be revised in any way. The language of the agreement was written by the NASA Director of International Affairs and STScI is not authorized to change the wording. Requests for revisions will be denied. There are no exceptions.
Failure to return the properly executed agreement may result in the restriction of HST data to the applicable non-U.S. investigator during the proprietary period.
Yes. Acceptance of Data Rights (concerning the proprietary period during which data can be accessed) does not pertain to AR programs however, the institution must agree to the terms of the Financial Arrangements (potential costs incurred on their part) and Liability.
The letters are sent to directors and investigators at each foreign institution.
Each institution has an Authorizing Official (AO) who is able to commit the institution to the terms listed in the agreement. The investigator should ensure that the letter is signed by the institutional AO (For example: the Director, President, Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Dean, Department Head, or Legal Office) and returned to STScI via email, fax, or hard copy.
Fax: (410) 338-4211
Mailing Address: ATTN: Paula Sessa, Head / Grants Administration, Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore MD 21218, USA