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Northwestern University

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens once the grant is awarded?

  • NSF will notify you of an award; OSR sends award mailing to your advisor (PI), research administrator and department administrator.
  • Time to award varies, a good estimate is 6 months from submission date
  • OSR will set up a chartstring that you will use to charge your research expenses. This should take roughly 2 weeks from when OSR receives the Notice of Award
  • You will work with departmental staff to be reimbursed for expenses in accordance Northwestern policies.
  • Awards set up as grants at Northwestern are not income and are not taxable.

For nonfederal grants: does a grant need to be administered by OSR or can we opt to receive the funds directly?

  • All proposals for both federal and non-federal grants must be reviewed and approved by OSR prior to submission.
  • All awards for both federal and non-federal grants will be set up as sponsored projects

This protects you!

Do we need to work with OSR for ALL grants/fellowships (including private foundations etc), or just those with federal funds?

You work with your research administrator to create the proposal submission; RA works with OSR for approval and submission.

Fellowships vs. grants:

  • Who is the “applicant” in solicitation?
    • If student, then it’s probably a fellowship
    • If institution (i.e. Northwestern) is applicant, then it’s probably a grant
    • Also means you cannot do actual submission, it must be OSR
  • If you are working with Office of Fellowships, it’s a fellowship.
  • If Wenner Gren: student is applicant, but it’s a grant and OSR must review the budget, and award is run through NU.
  • Fullbright–can be run through Northwestern

Bottom Line: it’s complicated. Contact your RA to be sure.

How much can we depart from our original budget?

  • Depends on the sponsor’s policy
  • In general, you should contact your RA to discuss changes in spending
  • It may be necessary at times for you to contact your program officer
  • NSF allows flexibility in spending (within 25% of budget categories)
  • May need to work with RA to open additional spending categories (account codes)
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