Grants: Frequently Asked Questions
Please revisit these FAQs in order to have the most current information as updates will be made periodically.
What is RAMP Grants and what are the benefits for using this system?
The RAMP Grants software provides an electronic proposal development tool and system-to-system proposal submission that links directly to grants.gov. RAMP Grants integrates with the IRB and Agreements modules and connects proposals, awards and subawards. RAMP Grants also integrates with OMNI to import salary data for personnel listed in proposals and to automate the award setup process, allowing for more efficiencies and overall transparency throughout the award lifecycle. Principal Investigators (PI) can continue to delegate proposal functions to department administrators to assist with proposal preparation within RAMP Grants. The Grants module offers transparency and flexibility to PIs and departments for managing proposals and awards.
Where do I access RAMP Grants?
All RAMP modules are accessed within the myFSU portal, which can be accessed from an icon under the myFSU Links section. RAMP is part of FSU’s single sign-on process, allowing users to conveniently access RAMP along with other university systems within a single platform using one set of login credentials. To access the Grants module within RAMP, click the “Grants” tab at the top navigation menu. RAMP Grants can also be accessed by clicking on the links within the email notifications generated by the system as action items appear in a user’s inbox.
How does a new employee obtain access to RAMP Grants?
All faculty, staff, and students active in OMNI will have access to RAMP. User data is updated in RAMP on a nightly basis as faculty, staff and students join or leave the university.
How do I add or remove a staff member from a funding proposal or an award?
The "Manage Guest List" activity is used to add or remove staff.
Is there a way to globally assign users to an award or funding proposal?
A report can be created to show awards within the department and manually go to those awards and assign users to the guest list using the Manage Guest List activity. Note that users who will be able to run this activity are those that currently have edit rights, the assigned award approver, and the assigned specialist.
Why am I not getting any RAMP Grants email notifications?
For notifications, RAMP is configured to pull in the “business email” within OMNI HR, which employees can update to be their @magnet.fsu.edu address (or other FSU email extensions specific to their department/college) if they don’t generally use their @fsu.edu address.
Where can I find training resources?
Training resources, such as reference guides, job aids, and videos, are posted to the RAMP project website and in the RAMP Grants Help Center within the Grants module. Each RAMP module has its own Help Center specific to that module.
Will the technical section of a proposal be uploaded to RAMP Grants separately, allowing the PI to update this information closer to the submission deadline?
Yes, the scope of work is uploaded into the system and can be updated as needed. SRA and the FSURF will continue to allow updates to the technical section until 9 a.m. on the submission due date; there will be no change in policy related to internal proposal submission deadlines.
What is the responsible department for a proposal?
The department that conducts the review of the proposal and associated budget is the responsible department.
How are department approvers determined?
The deans, and directors of colleges, centers and institutes have designated individuals responsible for reviewing proposals within each unit along with the number of review levels. Changes to these approvers should be requested via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the respective dean or director. In most departments and colleges, the individual or individuals approving proposals will be the same in RAMP as they are now.
Is the proposal editable by the PI or department approver when it is in the “Department Review” state?
No, the proposal cannot be edited when it is in the Department Review state. The department approver may click on the “Request Changes” activity to send the proposal back to the PI (or designee) for editing.
Are department approvers automatically editors for proposals created within their affiliated department?
When a funding proposal is in the Department Review state it is locked down for review and may not be edited. In the Department Review state, the Department approvers may review the funding proposal and add comments. Two things have to happen in order for a Department approver to be able to edit a funding proposal, first the funding proposal would need to be in an editable state, and second the Department approver would have to be named as an editor on the funding proposal smartform. RAMP Grants training materials and training courses describe which states are editable and by whom.
In what states is a funding proposal editable by the PI and Department staff with edit rights?
Draft, Department Review: Response Pending from PI, Specialist Review: Pending Changes by PI, JIT Response Required
What is the difference between the “Draft” and “Pre-Submission” states?
“Draft” is the beginning state of the overall proposal workflow when the PI (or designee) creates the proposal but hasn’t yet submitted it for department review. “Pre-Submission” is the beginning state for the SF424, before the SF424 is completed and validated. Not all proposals will require the completion of the SF424.
How do I find direct and prime sponsors in RAMP Grants?
There are multiple ways to search for sponsors in RAMP. You can just start typing the name of the sponsor in the appropriate field and select from the drop-down list. You can click on the ellipsis to the right of the field to open the advanced search options. The percent (%) sign is the best tool to use when searching for a sponsor's name using the advanced search options. Select "Organization" in the Filter by field, then enter %Health to locate the Florida Department of Health for example.
What if the sponsor is not found in the search results?
If the direct sponsor is not found in the search results, enter "New Sponsor" as the direct sponsor in question 5 as a placeholder and enter the name of the direct sponsor in question 5a. You will need to send an email to email@example.com to have the new sponsor added so the funding proposal direct sponsor can be entered in question 5 prior to submission.
Why did the F&A change when the Direct Sponsor was updated from "New Sponsor" to the actual name of the new entity in question 5?
Direct sponsor drives the F&A base, so correct the F&A base after updating the direct sponsor and prior to submission.
How do I change the Specialist on a funding proposal that is in the Draft state?
Specialists are assigned in RAMP Grants based on the Grants Officer's/Analyst's (Specialist's) departmental assignments set up in RAMP Grants. If a department does not have an assigned Grants Officer/Analyst, RAMP will assign a default Specialist. Central office can re-assign a Specialist as needed.
Will the Co-PI on a proposal automatically have access to the proposal?
The Co-PI will need to be added to the proposal team as a reader to see the proposal or as an editor to have the option to make changes to the proposal.
When can ancillary reviews be created for a proposal?
RAMP Grants allows for additional reviews, called ancillary reviews, to be created at any time while the proposal is routing internally. Business processes determines which types of reviews are required and whether they need to be resolved before the proposal can be submitted to the sponsor.
The following are a few examples of when the ancillary review function may be used:
- PI adds a Co-PI or colleague to review the technical components of a proposal.
- When a chair or dean needs to review a proposal if they are not in the department’s proposal review process.
- To document another department’s review of a collaborative proposal.
- To provide legal review of a proposal that is binding upon submission; or
- To secure OVPR approval when a PI is proposing to subaward more than 75% of the total award.
Ancillary reviews happen in parallel to the department review of proposals, which means that ancillary reviews do not prevent proposals from moving forward in the workflow process. Any individual or department can be chosen as an ancillary reviewer.
How do requestors and reviewers comment on ancillary reviews?
Ancillary review setup includes a comments box to which notes can be added about the review. The ancillary review “Submit” activity also provides a comment box in which the reviewer can enter comments to the requestor.
Are people assigned as ancillary reviewers automatically granted editor rights to a proposal?
No, ancillary reviewers will be able to view the proposal but cannot edit it unless they are assigned as an editor.
Can an attachment on a proposal be updated?
Yes, an updated attachment can be uploaded by clicking the ellipses beside the current attachment.
Are attachments copied when a proposal is copied?
Yes, attachments are copied along with the copied proposal.
Is it possible to download the proposal and associated attachments as a PDF document?
The proposal SmartForm (electronic proposal form) can be saved or printed as a PDF document. For grants.gov submissions, the SF424 has an activity to generate entire applications (attachments included) as a PDF document.
Can edits be made to a proposal in Specialist Review?
If a proposal in Specialist Review requires edits, SRA or FSURF will click the “Specialist Requests Changes” activity and provide information on the requested changes. The proposal will then route back to the proposal creation team to address. Once the changes are complete, the PI (or designee) clicks the “Submit Changes to Specialist” activity to send the proposal back to Specialist Review. If the specialist has requested changes be made that require Departmental Approval, it will be routed for Department Review before routing back to the specialist.
Where should I attach proposal documents when my proposal is not being submitted system-to-system?
Click on the "Add Attachments" activity in the funding proposal workspace.
How are budget periods defined on a proposal?
The system defaults to 5-year-long periods but provides the ability to add and remove periods or change the length of a budget period. Please refer to the “How to Create a Proposal” guide in the RAMP Grants Help Center for additional information.
Is the faculty salary displayed on the proposal budget for 9 months or 12 months?
The faculty salary on the proposal budget is imported from OMNI HR as an annualized salary. If the person is a 9-month faculty member, the salary displayed is the 9-month salary. If the person is a 12-month faculty member, the salary displayed is the 12-month salary.
How are TBD graduate students, post-docs and other unnamed staff added to a proposal?
TBD graduate students, post-docs, and other unnamed staff are added to the Personnel Cost Definition page of the Budget SmartForm using the “Staff Member to be Determined” option in the Staff Member drop-down list.
How do you calculate a composite fringe benefit rate for personnel within RAMP when normally we use multiple fringe rates?
A fringe query has been provided in OMNI HR for assistance with calculating an employee's composite fringe rate. Instructions for locating this query in OMNI HR and completing the query fields can be found in the RAMP Grants Help Center.
How do you enter different amounts over multiple budget periods for personnel/general cost items?
To apply inflation at different rates, you will need to select "No" to apply inflation to a cost. This will allow each year of that cost to be edited as necessary.
How do I update the SF-424 budget without making changes to other sections of the SF-424?
Select the Create-Update SF424 activity. On the Create-Update SF424 page, select only the Research & Related Budget form, then click ok.
How do I make changes to the SF-424 when the funding proposal is in the Specialist Review state?
In the funding proposal workspace select the "send email" activity and request that the Specialist route the funding proposal back to you for editing.
Why are the person-months reflected as a decimal in the Cal. Months and what does this decimal represent?
The decimal represents the portion of the staff members appointment that will be devoted to working on the project. Example: A staff member with a 9-month appointment is requesting 1 month of salary 1/9 = 0.1111 or 11.11% of the staff members salary. 11.11% of the staff members 9-month appointment is 0.9999 Cal Months (rounded would be 1-person month). You may modify the Cal. Months to the nearest whole person month or delete from the Cal. Months field and enter in the Acad. Months/Sum. Months field: however, this is not necessary and will be overwritten should the budget require further updating.
How do I search by Project ID?
To find an award by Project ID, on the Grants tab, click the Reports tab, then Custom Reports tab, then under Award Reports select the "FSU REPORT: Crosswalk for Projects and Awards" and enter the Project ID in the filter by field, this will return the associated award ID under which the project can be found.
How will advances be requested?
To request an advance for an anticipated award, the PI (or designee), will notify SRA or FSURF that the PI wishes to request an advance by performing the “Notify SPO of Grant Status” activity in RAMP Grants. The PI or designated requester will click on the Grants tab, then click on the Pending Sponsor Review tab to open the proposal workspace to notify the Specialist in SRA or FSURF.
To request an advance on an existing award, the PI (or designee) will request an award modification.
How do I request an award modification if I don't have access to the parent award?
A staff member who currently has edit rights can add you as an editor.
Why don't I have access to an ancillary review that's been assigned to me?
Ancillary reviews that are assigned to organizations are sent to all of the organization’s reviewers. Once an ancillary review is marked completed by at least one reviewer, the reviewers for that organization no longer have access to that review.
How do I access a review that I completed?
The PI or a staff member with edit writes can provide you with read only rights to access the review.