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.
When will the new system be implemented?
RAMP Grants will go live on July 1, 2020.
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 the new system?
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.
Where can I find training resources?
Training workshops began in May and will be held well beyond the RAMP Grants go-live date of July 1, 2020. Training resources, such as reference guides, job aids, and videos, will be posted to the RAMP project website until go-live. After go-live, these resources will be posted 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 email@example.com 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 would 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?
Department approvers only have the right to view proposals. If they also need to have edit rights, they will need to be added to the editors section of the proposal. Review the “How to Complete Department Edits on the Award in Draft Stage” how-to guide for instructions. It is important to note that in order to edit a proposal, the proposal needs to be in an editable state (e.g. draft, “Response Pending from PI” when in Department Review state, etc.). RAMP Grants training materials and training courses describe which states are editable and by whom.
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 are new sponsors created in RAMP?
Sponsors are updated in RAMP on a nightly basis as data is received from OMNI. If the sponsor name you’re looking for is not listed, ensure that you are searching correctly using the wild-card search feature. Searching in RAMP is different than searching in OMNI.
Use the wild-card feature by updating the “Filter by” field to search by organization and enter a “%” sign before and after the word(s), or fragments of words, you are searching for. For example, to search for the US Department of Agriculture, search for “%agriculture%”. You can also search for acronyms such as “%NSF%” or “%NASA%”. Unlike OMNI, RAMP cannot find sponsors by their ID number; for example, entering “975” will not show NSF.
If you still cannot find the sponsor, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a request to add the sponsor name. SRA and FSURF will review the request and, if necessary, the sponsor will be added to OMNI first to subsequently update RAMP. During this time, the proposal can still be submitted to SRA and FSURF by adding the sponsor name in either question 5a or 5b, depending on the proposal’s sponsor.
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 additional review, 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 50% 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.
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 Complete a Proposal Budget” 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 annualized to the 12-month value. For example, if the salary for a 9-month faculty member is $90,000 then the annualized amount displayed will be $120,000.
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?
FSU is in the process of testing a tool that would allow users to calculate one fringe rate on a per employee basis. This tool will be tested and communicated prior to go-live. RAMP is configured to obtain one fringe benefit rate per employee since most universities utilize a composite fringe rate.
How do you enter different amounts over multiple budget periods for general cost items?
RAMP only allows for one defined inflation rate per budget page. If items are inflated at different rates (for example, the PI’s salary at 12% and travel at 3%), users will need to select “no” for Question 4 (Apply Inflation Rate) on the “Add General Cost” SmartForm page information. They will then need to manually enter the different inflation rates for the general cost item(s) on the “General Costs” SmartForm page.
Will active awards appear in RAMP Grants when the system goes live?
Yes, all active awards in OMNI will be migrated to RAMP Grants, which will allow PIs and central staff to enter award modifications in RAMP.
How will advances be requested?
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 Sponsor Review tab to open the proposal workspace to notify the specialist in SRA or FSURF.