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Getting Started

Finalized proposals must be submitted to Kelley Mahoney 10 business days before the sponsor deadline.

As soon as you know that you will be submitting a proposal, contact Kelley with the details (solicitation, deadline, budget request, etc.) and to discuss proposal specific requirements/process.

All proposals are routed for approval by Kelley, via Kuali Coeus (KC). Please complete KC certifications promptly, as we are unable to route without all certifications having been complete. If answering "yes" to questions 2 through 13, provide an explanation to Kelley.



Typical budget items:

  • Salaries
  • Equipment
  • Travel (itemize domestic and international)
  • M&S
  • Publications
  • Subcontracts

Budget Justifications: all budgeted categories must be justified (see budget justification templates for NASA and NSF). For budgeted travel, provide destination (even if it is to be determined, name a location "to be used for estimation purposes"), purpose of trip, number of persons, number of days, airfare, hotel and subsistence, and registration costs.


PI Status

Individuals who are not Faculty, Senior Research Scientist, or Principal Research Scientist must ask Jackie Hewitt to request PI Status approval from the Dean's Office. Except for Chandra proposals, the PI Status Request must be sent to Jackie (cc: Kelley). This should be done at least 15 business days prior to the sponsor deadline. Please identify the program/solicitation and provide the proposal title, the planned period of performance, a summary of the research, and a budget estimate.

On approved proposals, Research Scientists will be PI with a faculty member as Mentor. Postdocs will be named as Co-I, with their supervisor/faculty sponsor named as Administrative PI.

For Chandra and any other Observing proposals, Kelley will prepare the request. Notify her at least 15 business days prior to the sponsor deadline.


Fellowship Proposals

Contact Kelley to discuss sponsor-specific information.


Loading Factors


MIT charges F & A (Facilities & Administrative, or Indirect) Costs on a Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) base that excludes the following:

  • subawards above $25,000
  • items of equipment/furnishing above $5,000
  • equipment rental; graduate student tuition; and
  • certain MIT Facilities charges.

General ledger accounts that are excluded from the base are marked 'not-MTDC' on summary statements and detailed transaction reports.

Current MIT F&A, Employee Benefits, and Vacation Accrual rates are shown at the OSP website. However, MIT and federal sponsors often "fix" F&A rates for the life of an award, at the rate in effect when the award was made. If you have questions about the F&A rate on your grant, cooperative agreement, or contract, please contact Kara DeNutte.

In addition to MIT's loading, the MIT Kavli Institute charges a Lab Allocation for the salaries of HQ staff and supplies used by multiple projects. Jack Defandorf, MKI's Administrative Officer, submits a detailed rate proposal to OSP every spring, who in turn submit it to the Office of Naval Research for approval. For MIT's FY18 the rates will be 7.5% for allocated salaries and 0.8% for allocated M&S. MIT's MTDC base (see above), with the further exclusion of Employee Benefits and Vacation Accrual on salaries charged directly to awards, is used as the Allocation base.

Clicking on the link below leads to a chart which shows the various loading factors on sponsored grants and contracts. If your F&A rate is different from the current rate of 59%, you can download the chart in Excel and recalculate by substituting the rate in the appropriate cell(s).

Graduate Research Assistant tuition costs are an important part of many budgets. MIT subsidizes 50% of RA tuition during the academic year, and during the summer subsidizes 100% of students who are enrolled in a research degree program and not taking courses. For FY18 (July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018) full tuition is $49,580,  leaving $24,790* per student to be paid by the project. Inflation is estimated to be 5%. There is no loading on graduate tuition.

*approximately $2,750 per month *9 months

 FY18 Sponsored Research Loading.xlsx

Fund Cost Objects

Most MIT fund cost objects start with a 2 followed by six digits, although some are in the 3****** range. Loading calculations on these vary depending on the type of funding (e.g., Pool A endowment vs. discretionary gifts) and the cost categories involved. Jack Defandorf can answer questions about these calculations.

General Cost Objects

These begin with a 1 followed by six digits, and because we are in the School of Science they are usually in the 15***** series. There is no F&A or Vacation Accrual charged on these cost objects. Employee Benefits are charged as usual. Depending on whether the cost object is administered by the MIT Kavli Institute or an academic department, it may be charged Allocation.


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