Office of Sponsored Projects
The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) supports research and other sponsored projects and facilitates connections among people, resources, and opportunities to move toward an anti-racist research environment.
We provide comprehensive pre-and post-award services to faculty and researchers at the School of Social Work, including proposal and budget preparation; grant and financial management; regulatory oversight to ensure compliance with sponsor and University policies; and consultation on a wide range of administrative, financial and compliance issues. OSP serves as the primary point of contact with University central grants administration offices on behalf of researchers and the School. OSP also provides training, guidance and mentorship to CSSW grant and center administrators. We work with all types of funding – government, foundation, contracts, gifts, institutional, and others.
OSP utilizes a portfolio approach where each staff member works with a specific group of faculty members on all aspects of their sponsored projects. This allows one point of contact for each Principal Investigator (PI), and means that OSP staff can provide better service through becoming familiar with their PIs’ work.
We strive to work in ways that will decrease the burden on and increase the funding for researchers of color. Please click here for our 2023 Anti-Racism Strategic Plan. If you have feedback please contact us at email@example.com or fill out our contact form here: https://forms.gle/HY6Vfi9rzhase4U18
OSP staff includes a director and three grants managers, and reports to the Associate Dean for Research.
Here are some frequently asked questions:
Who’s who in OSP?
OSP reports to Heidi Allen, PhD, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Research. We are located on the 6th floor and are comprised of the following staff:
Brea Pichon, Grants Manager
Brea (like the cheese!) has worked at Columbia since 2016 in progressing financial capacities via its Institutes and Centers. She is happy to boomerang back to Social Work with expanded institutional knowledge and ready familiarity with the community.
Samanta Padalino, Grants Manager
Before joining Columbia University in 2023, Samanta Padalino was a Research Program Administrator and Research Journalist at Drexel University. She greatly enjoys working with faculty and is devoted to lifelong learning. Higher education is an exciting change in career path for Samanta, who worked for the British Government as an economist and public policy professional for two decades, advising Ministers on pension protection, local economic growth, housing, and the economic regulation of energy, water and postal service sectors.
We are hiring grants managers! Please reach out if you are interested in joining our team.
Please click here to view portfolio spreadsheet/list.
What kind of services can I expect from OSP?
In general, OSP provides the following services:
Support researchers and grants
- Proposal and budget preparation and submission in collaboration with central Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) and the PI
- Award review, negotiation and setup, in collaboration with SPA and the PI
- Post-award grant and financial management
- Budget vs actual and projections including quarterly expenditure certifications
- Review expenses including salaries for allowability and budget impact
- Process salary distributions and cost transfers to sponsored projects, including faculty course buyout and summer salary
- Facilitate prior approvals such as rebudgets, no cost extensions, approval for specific expenses, and others
- Financial reporting in collaboration with Sponsored Projects Finance (SPF)
- Coordinate all administrative and financial aspects of grant closeout process, and any post-closeout issues including audits
- Interpret federal rules and regulations, as well as University policies, as they pertain to sponsored projects
- Work closely with faculty and research scientists to review their effort and the effort of staff charged to their grants for the annual effort reporting process.
- Ensure that PIs and staff complete and update required trainings, conflict of interest disclosures and and other compliance requirements.
Facilitate connections among people, resources and opportunities
- Share updated information on funder and university policies and procedures including organizing trainings, brown bags and other workshops and events
- Provide consultation and guidance on a wide range of administrative, financial and compliance issues
Participate in strategic planning, anti-racism and other OSP and School activities
- Attend weekly OSP anti-racism strategic planning meetings
- Serve on DEI Advisory, ADR Advisory and other committees as requested
I’m thinking of applying for a grant. What should I do?
It is never too early to reach out to OSP when considering or planning a proposal submission!
All sponsored projects are awarded to the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York. SPA is the only office authorized to submit proposals on behalf of the University and they require five business days for review prior to the sponsor deadline. OSP is available as early as necessary in the proposal process to help develop the budget and work on administrative aspects of the proposal package. SPA is unable to guarantee thorough review for proposals submitted with less than five days review time, and reserves the right to pull a proposal from funding consideration if any compliance issues are identified post-submission.
(PI -> OSP -> SPA -> Sponsor)
As soon as you know you are planning to submit a proposal please reach out to OSP to discuss the funding opportunity and include any guidance documents you may have from the sponsor.
We can provide assistance on the following for proposal preparation:
- Proposal checklist with requirements and timeline for on-time submission
- Completion of sponsor’s required forms including portal data entry
- Budget development and assistance with budget justification
- Assistance with biosketches and Other Support documents
- CSSW facilities and resources information, and other templates and standard language
- Institutional information and forms including rate agreement, tax-exempt documentation, and audited financial statements
- Communication with subawards, consultants and other external partners
- Coordination of review and submission process with SPA
A colleague at another University wants to include me in a proposal as a subawardee. What is required?
We treat subaward proposals the same as any other proposal. Even though the prime proposal will not be submitted by Columbia University, institutional sign off is still required and SPA will need five business days for review.
Meet with your OSP representative as you would with any other proposal. At a minimum, you will need to develop a scope of work, budget and justification for the activities that will take place at Columbia University. You will likely also need to submit a biosketch. The prime institution may request our facilities and resources page or other documents.
In addition, if the prime institution does not have specific forms to demonstrate institutional sign-off, we will be required to complete the facepage found on the SPA website.
A colleague in another department within Columbia University wants to include me in a proposal. What is required?
Please connect OSP with the Department Administrator (DA) of the department that will be submitting the proposal. The School of Social Work will need to be listed as an approver on the Proposal Data Sheet in RASCAL. This serves as the official record demonstrating that the School has reviewed the budget and is aware of SSW faculty and/or staff’s participation in the proposed project.
OSP will work with the external department to ensure that they calculate base salaries and effort correctly for SSW personnel. OSP must receive a copy of the portions of the final budget and justification that relate to SSW support.
Once an award is made, please notify OSP so we can ensure that salary support is properly charged to the project.
I just received an award. What happens next?
NIH awards typically go to both SPA and the PI. Awards from other funders come on a variety of paths, so if you receive a notification of funding please forward it to your OSP rep. We will review the terms and conditions with you and in collaboration with SPA. SPA performs a legal review while OSP and the PI are responsible for reviewing the scope of work, deliverables, and reporting requirements. The SPA lawyer may ask for your feedback on terms related to publications, publicity or other issues that have a direct impact on the project. You must confirm that you are overall in agreement with the terms and conditions before we can finalize the award. If you have questions about any part of a new grant agreement please raise them during the review process so we can address them before the award is finalized!
Please note that PIs are not authorized to sign grant agreements on behalf of the University. SPA serves as the official business officer and authorized signatory for all sponsored projects.
OSP will work with you and/or your center staff to review the budget and scope of work to determine if any revisions are needed. Once the budget is agreed upon, OSP will send the project set-up form to SPA to create a chartstring in Columbia’s financial system. The chartstring is the “account number” for the project and gives Columbia’s financial system the information needed to hold funds and charge expenses in the right place.
OSP will share the chartstring with you and your team, and we maintain a list of active project chartstrings. It is important to use the correct chartstring for expenses related to each project.
OSP is responsible for confirming funding for all charges against sponsored projects at the School of Social Work. Please reach out for guidance about specific expenses.
You and your team are responsible for narrative reporting to funders. OSP will work with central Sponsored Projects Finance (SPF) on invoicing and financial reporting. Please note that NIH RPPRs require SPA review and submission.
OSP is here to support you and your projects! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.
I need space for my research, who should I contact?
If you need additional space for your project please contact Gerard Bueno (firstname.lastname@example.org), Associate Dean for Administration, Finance & Planning with a copy to Heidi Allen (email@example.com), Associate Dean of Research, and include the following:
- Justification for additional space including projected timeline for how long space will be needed
- Funding source(s) for new personnel who will occupy space, including notice of grant award or approved budget if applicable
OSP can provide verification of funding and duration of award.