Frequently Asked Questions

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Michigan State University added steps to safeguard personal and institutional data by applying a new multi-factor authentication solution. What is MFA? By late 2021, MSU will complete the transition from two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA or Symantec VIP) to a new multi-factor authentication solution (MFA or Okta Verify). After this date, Symantec VIP/2FA options will no longer work. Stronger authentication methods, like multi-factor authentication, are needed to protect systems that store sensitive and restricted information. Like many organizations, MSU uses MFA to safeguard personal and institutional data within our community by pairing something an individual has (e.g., a randomized security code) with something they know (e.g., a password). An MFA credential is a method by which you receive your randomized security code. To register credential or learn more about MSU Multi-Factor Authentication, please visit Additional Help is also available. If you have questions or need help, contact MSU IT Service Desk at (517) 432-6200 or

Provisions for cost sharing are arranged on an individual proposal basis by the Office of the Associate Dean for Research.

1. If a faculty member is planning to respond to a request for proposals which will require a cost share, he/she should approach his/her department chair before devoting significant time to the development of the proposal in order to discuss the appropriateness of the potential cost share request and to explore what the limits to the amount of possible cost share might be. If the department chair supports this request, he/she should then discuss the request with the Office of the Associate Dean and must be prepared to provide an amount to be negotiated with the Office of the Associate Dean (typically 1/4).

2. Cost share requests should be limited to those that are REQUIRED by the funding agency. Cost shares to "make the proposal look more appealing" or to "offset some of the indirect costs" will not be approved. If a VERY strong case can be made for a cost share that is NOT REQUIRED, the central administration is willing to listen but such requests will only be granted in very rare circumstances.

3. Every effort should be made to maximize the in-kind cost share (Effort, Fringes, Unrecovered indirect costs, Subcontractor contributions, etc.) so that the amount of cash per proposal is minimized, allowing more proposals to be supported throughout the year.

4. All cash cost sharing must be arranged through the Associate Dean's office by email:
See Sponsored Programs Administration Cost Share Policy for details on the different types of cost share and expected use.

Check out the MSU Scholars webpage.

You can search by areas of expertise and explore researcher's profiles.

The questions faculty are required to answer from the federal agencies are continually changing and this allows the answers to be addressed and updated as changes are made at the federal level.

Several were not updating the old version before submitting and we were receiving PPF forms that were 10+ years old with Social Security numbers on them. DER has updated all electronic and paper files purging SS#'s per the University guidelines.







Phase I
Level of Effort

Minimum of 2/3 of the effort must be performed by small business

Minimum of 40% of the effort must be performed by small business

Maximum of 1/3 of the effort may be performed by consultants and/or subcontractors

Minimum of 30% of the effort must be performed by a non-profit research institution.

Phase II
Level of Effort

Minimum of 50% of the effort must be performed by small business

(Same as Phase I)

Maximum of 50% of the effort may be performed by consultants and/or subcontractors

(Same as Phase I)


May have subcontractors involved

Must have non-profit research institute involved as subcontractor

Project Duration

Phase I–Approximately 6 months

Phase I–Approximately 1 year

Phase II–2 years

Phase II–2 years

Maximum Award Amount

Phase I–$150,000

Phase I–$150,000

Phase II–$750,000

Phase II–$750,000

Number of Agencies Participating



Principal Investigator

Must be employed with small business

May be employed with either small business or non-profit research institution. (This requirement varies among agencies.)


All PIs and other project personnel are individually responsible for compliance with export controls and trade sanctions.

Michigan State University is required to comply with a variety of U.S. Government statutes and regulations dealing with export controls and trade sanctions. ECTS has developed the on-line Export Control and Open Research Review Worksheet (ECORRW) to help identify export controlled technologies or materials found on the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) list, and/or the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) list, and to identify research activities planned with international entities that may be subject to trade sanctions.

1.   If the project (in whole or part)
    • is outside of the United States,
    • suggests a military application, defense service or article,
    • requires the delivery of a prototype (including software), or a chemical or biological sample or product, when the provided material or information will not be made freely available to the public.
    • involves encryption or cryptology,
    • entails a restriction on open publication of MSU research results, other than allowing for a brief delay for a funder or other contractor(i) to check for erroneous inclusion of proprietary information it provided to MSU, (ii) to pursue patent protection and/or (iii) to accumulate reports from multiple subcontractors and coordinate publication of a multi-site clinical trial.
    • involves bacteria or viruses (or their toxins or genetic material) or radiation (or counter measures to it),
    • involves plant or animal pathogens,
    • entails a restriction on the citizenship of permissible project participants,
    • requires prior approval of project participants on an individual basis by the funder, OR
    • involves parties within, collaboration with, or funding from, a country on the Office of Foreign Assets Control country list:
2.   For projects where funding originates with the U.S. government, MSU also requires that a review be completed if such funding comes from any of the following Federal agencies (with or without involvement of non-Federal prime contractors other than MSU):
    • US Department of Defense (DoD), including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
    • US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
    • US Department of Justice (DOJ)
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    • US Department of Commerce (DOC)
    • US Department of Energy (DOE)
    • US Department of State (DOS)
    • US Agency for International Development (USAID)
    • National Security Agency (NSA), and
    • Any intelligence agency (including DNI and  IARPA)
3.   For projects where funding originates from a non-U.S. Government source, MSU also requires that a review always be completed UNLESS it is the case that BOTH

NO condition set forth in #1 above applies, AND the project is one of the following:

    • Consumer software development in the United States,
    • A project focused on K-12 education services or testing in the United States,
    • A clinical trial being conducted in the United States,
    • Non-military human or animal health research, to be conducted in the United States
    • A seed testing or seed field trial conducted in the United States
    • An agreement with a Michigan or United States agricultural commodity group
    • Survey research or polling being conducted in the United States for a U.S. client.
    • A project to be conducted in the United States for a U.S.-based food or beverage producer or packager or Business planning, market assessment, or similar business services to be performed in the United States OUTSIDE of the defense, aerospace, and cyber-security industries.

ECORROW may be found at

Engineering export control issues should be directed to Dan Segalman, John Verboncoeur or Leo Kempel.

Frequently Required Budget and Proposal Data 

If you're still not finding the info you need, contact DER and we will do our best to help find an answer for you.

Proposals that require submission by an Authorized Organization Representative are submitted by the Office of Sponsored Programs. There is only a small number of individuals that are able to sign on behalf of the University:
“Signature Authority for OSP”.  Proposals that do not have requirements for who submits the proposal are submitted by the PI. These proposals may still require a signature by an OSP Signature Authority (sponsor form or MSU Commitment Form).

Sponsored Programs Administration has Notice of Award/ Award Types & Timelines pages that provide more background. Please notify DER& OSP if you receive a notice of award directly from the sponsor.

At-Risk proposals will need to be endorsed by the Associate Dean of Research, John Verboncoeur, (or dean delegate) before OSP will begin review and submission.

Please send an email including:

  • Proposal due date
  • Principal Investigator’s name
  • eTransmittal App number
  • Explanation detailing the extenuating circumstances for the exception
  • Other optional information: provide any other helpful status information for the research dean to use in their decision making (e.g. is the technical portion complete, has the detailed budget received approval from OSP, is the abstract complete, are the agency forms complete, etc.)

PIs will need to send all award documents to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) for review and processing. OSP will request that Contract & Grant Administration (CGA) set up an account number and release the information to the PI and department. Award Process at MSU- Sponsored Programs Administration Overview

Exception approval is required from the department chair, the associate dean for research, and OVPRGS. Requesting PI Exception- University Procedures