Frequently Asked Questions

As Principal Investigator (PI), how do I get started?

Talk to a DOM Grants & Contracts Administrator (GCA) about how to get started in the research process.  If uncertain of who to contact, visit Contact Us to get assistance. Once the PI has identified a funding opportunity, the GCA will request the funding announcement, a budget justification and an SPS questionnaire to get the process moving forward. 

If the project has a subrecipient, what should be considered before submitting the proposal?   

If the project has a collaborator the PI should first determine if they are a subrecipient, contractor or consultant (see Tips on Writing the Proposal on our Proposal Development page).  Each has unique conditions and restrictions, so know the role of the collaborator before submitting.  Talk to the GCA for clarification.

What is the PI’s role in the research process?

The PI is ultimately responsible for the financial and programmatic aspects of the research. The GCA is here to assist with research administrative responsibilities and offer guidance throughout the research process.

NIH provided a JIT notification, what now?

First, determine if the JIT notification is automated or received directly from the sponsor's Grants Management Specialist.  If automated, notify your GCA and do not take further action.  If notification is from the GMS, please forward to your GCA. 

How does the PI know when a project has been awarded?

A Notice of Award or a fully executed contract will be sent to Duke University.  The GCA or the Office of Research Administration (ORA) will inform the PI that the award has been received. Award documentation received by the PI should be sent to the GCA for routing, review and approval.  A PI should never sign award documentation unless advised by a Duke central office. 

When can work/spending begin on an awarded project?

Review the award notice for terms and conditions associated with pre-award spending.  A fund code may be requested in advance of a pending award by the GCA if pre-award spending is allowed.

How can the PI get financial balances?

A set of reports is available to PIs through the MyResearch tab on the Duke at Work website. These reports provide information such as: project start and end date, updates on activity on research accounts, account balances, and personnel effort. 

How can the PI get a projection for a project budget?

The GCA will provide projections at intervals based on the PIs needs, be it monthly, quarterly, etc. A projection tool is also available through the MyResearch tab on the Duke at Work website to help general total summaries and effort forecasts. It is best used in conjunction with the GCA. A step by step guide is available on the MyResearch tab. 

What steps are necessary to rebudget?

Contact the GCA to initiate a rebudget form.  PI approval of the rebudget form is required via Duke at Work portal through the Universal Worklist tab. (FireFox or Internet Explorer are recommended.)

What steps are necessary to initiate a No Cost Extension (NCE) for a project?

Review the award notice for terms and conditions associated with a no-cost extension.  Contact the GCA a minimum of 90 days before the project end date for guidance on the NCE process.

Genomic Policy at JIT

For research that requires large-scale human genomic datasets, investigators should register all studies that fall within the scope of the GDS Policy in dbGaP by the time data cleaning and quality control measures begin, regardless of which NIH-designated data repository will receive the data. After registration in dbGaP, investigators should submit the data to the relevant NIH-designated data repository (e.g., dbGaP, GEO, SRA, the Cancer Genomics Hub). NIH expects investigators to obtain participants’ consent for their genomic and phenotypic data to be used for future research purposes and to be shared broadly.

Who can help with a Biosketch?

My NCBI has a feature that allows the PI to create an NIH biosketch via Science Experts network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv).  For further assistance, contact the Department or Division Administrative Assistant or a GCA.

What do all of these acronyms mean?

For assistance understanding the many acronyms used at Duke University, visit the Duke Acronyms wikipage.