Let DER Guide You Through the Research Maze! (Tip #3: Your Scope of Work – Another Best Actor in a Supporting Role)
The Scope of Work (also called the Statement of Work) is commonly referred to as the SOW and is a vital piece of the proposal process throughout the award cycle. The SOW may mirror what is included in documents such as abstracts, deliverables, or even your project description and in some form is likely a required component of your proposal. Additionally, MSU’s Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) can review your budget more efficiently if accompanied by a SOW, and it must be attached to your proposal development document before routing for final approvals.
The most notable uses of a SOW include:
Pre-award: OSP uses the SOW to understand the overall project. Yes, in the budget justification you describe what the expenses will be used for and why each expense is necessary, but the SOW completes the picture for OSP. For example, if you are building a conference proposal, but have no travel budgeted, OSP may want to shine some light on the overall goal that you may have overlooked.
Cost share commitments: Obligations specific to a single deliverable will be used by the sponsor when MSU submits their cost share commitment report. The SOW will have this detailed so the sponsor will know how the cost is covered and what should be reported by MSU.
Export Control and Open Research Review Worksheet (ECORRW): Your SOW is used by Dr. Dan Segalman (College of Engineering export control contact) when reviewing your export control worksheet online. Dr. Segalman will look for 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. For more information on ECCORW procedures click here.
Sponsor review: Upon receipt of your proposal, the sponsor will review your SOW or Project Description to determine if the work you are proposing matches the solicitation criteria.
Post-award: Once awarded, MSU Contract and Grant Administration (CGA) will use this SOW to help approve project expenses that your post-award department will process through MSU’s financial system. If an expense doesn’t seem to fit into the scope of your work, they may have questions prior to granting approval.
Protection: Your final and full proposal should be sent to DER if you have submitted directly online or by email. This ensures the authenticity of your SOW should the sponsor make any edits without your knowledge. Yes, this has happened to MSU. For your security, please read the award and compare it with your original submission. We don’t want you to be stuck performing a task that the budget can’t cover.
Subrecipient invoice processing: Each subrecipient will have its own SOW which should then be incorporated into MSU’s SOW. The individual SOWs will be used to process invoices when a subrecipient completes a task.
Overall: In addition to scientific and technical sections, the SOW is your opportunity to describe your overall objective, specific written or physical deliverables, third party responsibilities, project management plan, and staff qualifications, roles, and responsibilities.
As always, DER is available to review your overall SOW and other technical documents to ensure they include all of the specific solicitation requirements. We look forward to watching you accept your awards! If you have additional questions regarding your scope of work or other resources to create your strongest SOW, please send an email to email@example.com.
Do you have a proposal that needs a little more data collected or
analysis before submitting? The TIFF awards are designed to provide
resources to enhance/finalize a research proposal. The maximum fundable
budget for this special call may be as high as $8,000* (eligibility
Proposals are due Monday, November 15, 2021 with awards announced by Monday, December 13, 2021. Learn more Here.
Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., and other university leaders officially introduced the new STEM Teaching and Learning Facility on the East Lansing campus to the community with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The building represents the first time in nearly 50 years that MSU has built a new academic building with state funding. Learn more Here.
The ONR Summer Faculty Research Program is accepting applications for
2022. ONR sponsors the Summer Faculty Research Program for U.S.
citizens who hold teaching or research appointments at U.S. colleges and
universities. This program provides an opportunity for faculty members
to participate in research of mutual interest to the faculty member and
professional peers at U.S. Navy Laboratories. Learn more Here.
DER's Proposal Volume
The chart above shows DER's Proposal Volume from 2018 to 2022 as of (09/17/2021).