Grant Application and Awards FAQs
Note: The information below provides answers to frequently asked programmatic questions regarding CPRIT. For technical questions regarding the CPRIT Application Receipt System, visit https://cpritgrants.org/FAQ/.
Eligibility for CPRIT Grant Awards
A: To be eligible to receive CPRIT funds, an applicant must be a Texas-based entity, including a public or private institution of higher education, academic health institution, university, Government organization, nongovernmental organization, other public or private company, or an individual residing in Texas.
A: There is no restriction on the type of research than can be supported by CPRIT other than it must be relevant to cancer. Proposals will be evaluated based on their significance and importance, as well as their feasibility, the qualifications of the investigator(s), etc.
A: Yes. Although an investigator may serve as PI on only one Individual Investigator application during a particular funding cycle, the same investigator may be listed as a collaborator (e.g., Co-PI, Other Senior Personnel) on a different Individual Investigator application directed by another PI during the same funding cycle. Furthermore, an investigator submitting an Individual Investigator application as a PI may submit a High-Risk/High-Impact application during the same funding cycle and vice versa. (Please note that the High-Impact/High-Risk applications are subject to an institutional cap on the total number of applications submitted).
A: Current funding from a cancer-related grant is not required. However, this forms some basis to demonstrate the ability and qualification to complete the proposed work.
A: As long as a grantee is in good standing with CPRIT on a current grant, they may apply for grants in each grant cycle. Applications will be judged on their merit and criteria outlined in each RFA. Awards will be made based on available funds.
An application previously submitted to CPRIT but not funded may be resubmitted once.
Research Grant Matching Funds Requirement
A: The matching requirement must be met before the CPRIT grant is officially awarded to the recipient via an executed contract. An applicant is not required to provide documentation of the ability to meet the matching requirement when the CPRIT grant application is submitted. However, all applicants should be aware of the legal requirement to demonstrate matching funds and be prepared to demonstrate compliance.
A: Organizations (Institutions, private companies, etc.), not individuals, are the recipients of most grants. Texas Administrative Code 25 §703.11 requires that at the time of the grant award (and then annually for multi-year awards), the organization certifies: (1) that it has funds, not yet expended, that equal one-half of the grant award(s); and (2) that those funds will be spent on the same area of cancer research that is the subject of the grant. For purposes of this requirement, the applicant may rely upon a "Notice of Grant Award" to demonstrate funds that have been awarded and encumbered but not yet received by the applicant.
A: Texas Administrative Code 25 §703.11 provides five categories of cancer research that encompass most cancer projects. The subject matter of the grant and the recipient’s available funds must be grouped in the same category.
The categories are:
- Cancer Biology and Genetics (includes molecular characterization of tumors)
- Cancer Immunology (includes vaccines)
- Cancer Imaging and Diagnostics
- Cancer Epidemiology, Population Research, Behavioral Research, and Outcomes
- Cancer Treatment (includes drug discovery and development and clinical trials)
There are at least three different ways that this can be done. An applicant may use one or more than one in combination to fulfill the requirement.
- The recipient institution or organization may certify that it will be spending money from whatever source on cancer research in one of the same five categories as the subject matter of the research grant.
- The recipient may also rely upon funds received from other sources (Federal, State, or nongovernmental) for cancer research in the same category as the grant.
- The recipient may satisfy some portion of the match requirement (up to 10% of the total grant award amount) by demonstrating that the recipient’s own money will be spent on costs not directly associated with a specific project but that are, nonetheless, true costs. These indirect costs may not be recovered with CPRIT funds and the recipient must have a documented Federal indirect cost rate or a rate that has been certified by an independent accounting firm.
For example, the recipient of a $2 million, one-year grant for research into cancer vaccines meets the requirement if the recipient institution certifies that it has budgeted and/or received other funds totaling at least $800,000 for cancer immunology research over the next year and will spend at least $200,000 on unrecovered indirect costs associated with the CPRIT research project.
A: No. Organizations (institutions, private companies, etc.), not individuals, are the recipients of most grants. For the matching requirement, the funds available to be spent on cancer research are measured at a category and institutional level, not by PI. For example, this means that all money to be spent by the recipient institution for cancer immunology research counts toward the match for a cancer immunology CPRIT grant, even if some of the institution’s money is used for cancer immunology research conducted by a different PI on a different project.
A: Either institution may certify that it has the funds available in the same area of cancer research as the subject of the CPRIT research award or both institutions may work together to meet the requirement.
A: In the case of several collaborators or a consortium, CPRIT will take a global view regarding the match and require a grant award–level certification of the total match required, rather than looking to each collaborator or participant for their pro-rata share of the match.
For example, on a multi-collaborator project (eight different participating organizations) award totaling $20 million, CPRIT will require certification that, together, the collaborators have available funds equal to $10 million dedicated to the same area of research as the grant award.
A: No. The recipient may demonstrate available funds on a year by year basis. For example, if the recipient is awarded $10 million for a five-year project where the recipient will receive $2 million each year, the recipient’s match requirement would be $1 million for each year of the project to be certified at the time of each annual progress report.
A: Texas law prohibits a CPRIT research grant recipient from spending more than five percent of the grant proceeds on indirect costs. To the extent that the recipient relies upon unrecovered indirect cost expenditures to satisfy the matching funds requirement, these funds are the recipient’s own money and are not grant proceeds.
Research Grant Award Indirect Costs Limit
A: State law prohibits CPRIT research award recipients from spending more than five percent of the total amount of CPRIT funds awarded on indirect costs. For example, a recipient of a $100,000 award from CPRIT may spend up to $5,000 of the CPRIT funds on indirect costs and $95,000 on direct costs.
A: Texas Health and Safety Codes §102.203(c) defines “indirect costs” as the expenses of doing business that are not readily identified with a particular grant, contract, project, function, or activity but are necessary for the general operation of the organization or the performance of the organization’s activities.
A: Costs that are clearly associated with the research funded by the grant are considered direct costs and are not subject to the five percent limitation on indirect cost recovery.
A: Direct costs are identified specifically with a particular grant and directly assigned to grant activities relatively easily and with a high degree of accuracy. In general, direct costs must be allowable, allocable, and reasonable.
A: Allowable costs are costs that are not otherwise prohibited from recovery by state law, regulation, or grant guidelines. Texas Health and Safety Code §102.203(c) provides that CPRIT funds be spent only on authorized expenses, including honoraria, salaries and benefits, travel, conference fees and expenses, consumable supplies, other operating expenses, contract research and development, capital equipment, and construction or renovation of state or private facilities. State law limits the amount of money that may be spent on certain items like indirect costs and facility construction, remodeling, or renovation. Certain CPRIT grant applications further limit or prohibit recovery of specific costs. For example, an RFA may indicate that a recipient is not permitted to spend any grant funds on travel expenses or construction costs.
A: Goods or services paid for with CPRIT grant funds must be generally recognized as necessary for the performance of the grant and may be considered reasonable if the nature of the goods or services acquired and the amount involved reflect the action that a prudent person would have taken under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision was made to incur the cost.
A: A cost is allocable to a particular sponsored project if the goods and services involved are chargeable to the sponsored project. A cost is allocable if it:
- Is incurred solely to advance the work under the sponsored grant; or
- Benefits the grant project and can be assigned to the project through the use of reasonable methods. Some direct costs may simultaneously benefit other work of the institution.
- Salaries and fringe benefits of personnel including faculty, technicians, postdoctoral fellows, graduate research assistants, and other personnel directly engaged in performing the sponsored project’s scope of work subject to certain limitations by grant guidelines
- Tuition and fees for personnel directly engaged in performing the sponsored project’s scope of work
- Costs such as travel, scientific/equipment maintenance and repairs, utilities, communications costs, and other directly related costs necessary for performing the grant’s specific scope of work unless specifically prohibited by grant guidelines
- Supplies and materials (including cost of animals) necessary for performing the grant’s scope of work including educational material when approved in the budget
- Research costs including institutional review board costs, facility fees, research office, etc., that are reasonable, directly associated with the grant’s scope of work, and approved in the budget
- Rental/leasing costs for grant projects conducted in rental space not owned by the grant recipient may be approved in extraordinary circumstances
- Subcontracts necessary for performing the sponsored project’s specific scope of work and approved in the budget. Please note that the limit on indirect costs is measured by looking at the total project expenditures, including subcontractor costs
- Consultant services contracted to accomplish specific grant objectives and approved in the budget
- Equipment, including capital equipment (as established by the State of Texas capitalization threshold) that can be allocated to the grant and that is specifically approved in the budget
- Service/maintenance agreements on equipment and facilities (including animal facility maintenance) directly associated with the grant and approved in the budget
- Salaries of clerical and administrative personnel engaged in routine departmental or administrative work that benefits all activities of the department (instruction, research, training, public service, etc.); i.e., there is no direct relationship to the sponsored grant’s scope of work
- Supplies and materials for routine departmental or administrative activities of the department that benefit all activities of the department (instruction, research, training, public service, etc.); i.e., there is no direct relationship to the sponsored grant’s scope of work
- Other costs such as repairs, fees and services, local and long distance telephone expenses, copying and postage that are for routine departmental or administrative use, and do not have a direct relationship to the sponsored grant’s scope of work
- General office items with multifunctional use such as computers, fax machines, answering machines, staplers, hole punches, filing cabinets, chairs, desks, calculators, waste baskets, etc., that do not have a direct relationship to the sponsored grant’s scope of work
- Costs being paid by another source
- Advertising for general promotion, including promotional items, memorabilia, gifts, and souvenirs
- Alcoholic beverages
- Alumni or fund-raising activities
- Donations or contributions
- Commencement expenses
- Cost overruns; any cost overruns allocable to another agreement may not be shifted to the sponsored grant
- Decorative objects for private offices
- Meals or any food items
- Fine/original art
- Fines and penalties
- First-class/business-class air travel differentials
- Gifts or prizes
- Goods or services for personal use
- Memberships in airline travel clubs, civic, social, community organizations, or country clubs
- Social events and entertainment costs
- Bad debts
- Labor relations costs
- Grant proposal costs
- Sabbatical leave costs
- Trustee expenses
A: No. There are no exclusions to be made before calculating indirect costs. The five percent limit is based upon the total award amount.
A: Yes. Texas law (Texas Health and Safety Code §102.203(c)) prohibits spending more than five percent of CPRIT funds on indirect costs. No exception is made for subcontractor costs.
A: While State law does not specifically address a limit on indirect cost recovery for CPRIT-funded cancer prevention programs, it is the agency’s longstanding policy to not allow recovery of indirect costs for prevention programs unless truly exceptional circumstances compel recovery of indirect costs.
Grant Application - Required Information
A: No preference is given based on appointment level alone. The investigator must demonstrate qualifications and the ability to complete the proposed work (publication track record, etc.).
A: Yes, in this scenario, it is possible for the PI to also be the designated ASO. The individual that will be the PI and the ASO for the same application must register for two different accounts and user names.
A: Unless the request for application (RFA) states otherwise, it is sufficient to describe the design of the trial and the plan for obtaining necessary approvals. The applicant may be contacted for additional information during the review process. If the application is recommended for funding, comprehensive information regarding the trial and evidence of necessary approvals will be required before the award contract is executed.
A: A person (the PI/PD/Applicant) registers and records his/her organization as part of his/her application. Organizations do not register on behalf of the applicant. At the time of the application submission, the PI/PD/Applicant will have to name an ASO, who will then review the application and submit the application on behalf of the PI/PD/Applicant.
A: For Research, submit “Current and Pending Support” forms for all people for whom a biosketch was provided. For Commercialization, submit a “Current and Pending Support” form for the Company. For Prevention, list all current and pending support related to the submitted project.
A: Actual clinical trial protocols are not required unless this information is vital to the evaluation and review of the proposed research. Such documentation may be uploaded as an “Institutional/Collaborator Support and/or Other Certification” file in the “Required Documents” tab. Please note, however, that: (i) each RFA has instructions and guidelines for submission; (ii) documents should be combined and submitted as a single PDF document; and (iii) that this category should not be used to provide appendix material such as publications, figures, and/or data.
Grant Application - Budget
A: No, cost adjustments to capped salaries are not allowed for multi-year projects.
A: The maximum direct salary that an individual can request is $200,000. Thus, an individual with a base salary of $250,000 can request the salary cap of $200,000 with 100% effort. The same individual that contributes 50% effort may request $100,000.
A: Yes, everyone who is paid personnel should be listed. If the individual is to be paid by a matching fund, the direct salary requested can be shown as “$0” with a note in the justification section. (Please note that if a $0 salary is requested, the budget form preparer will have to uncheck the “Calculate Salary” box in the “Salary Requested” cell so that $0 can be manually entered). If individuals (students, etc.) are not defined, “TBN” may be used; furthermore, a single line may be used to define several to-be-defined individuals.
A: No, prior approval is not necessary to include a request in the application for funds for equipment costing more than $5,000 per unit. CPRIT will make an evaluation of the equipment cost request as part of the peer review process. Approval of the application constitutes approval of the proposed expenditure.
A: Unless otherwise specifically stated in the RFA or the grant contract, funds will be distributed to the primary institution, which will have to manage the subcontracts.
Out of State Collaborations/Subcontractors/Expenses
A: CPRIT-funded research and delivery of prevention programs and services must be conducted in Texas with Texas-based employees.
A: The legislative intent regarding the use of CPRIT funds is to support research and prevention programs occurring in Texas and to induce researchers outside of Texas to relocate to Texas. For this reason, collaborators located outside of Texas are not eligible to receive CPRIT funds. Money used to pay out-of-state collaborators may count the recipient's matching fund requirement.
A: Texas Health and Safety Code §102.258 establishes a goal of at least 50% of the goods and services to be purchased from Texas-Based suppliers. This provides some flexibility for recipients to purchase items from vendors located outside of the state of Texas.
A: Collaborations are encouraged. However,collaborators who do not reside in Texas are not eligible to receive CPRIT funds.
A: Yes. Investigators who are supported by CPRIT grant funds must reside in Texas during the term of the research project.
A: Comprehensive information regarding subcontractors should be submitted at the time of the application, including specific budgets for subcontracting expenses.
A: Yes. A recipient of a CPRIT research grant may not spend more than five percent of the total funds awarded by CPRIT on indirect costs.This limit includes subcontracting expenses .
A: Yes. However, collaborators that reside outside of Texas are not eligible to receive CPRIT funds.
A: CPRIT encourages businesses to relocate to Texas. To the extent that a company establishes a corporate office in the State and hires Texas-based workers to perform research that is the subject of the funding award, it would be eligible to receive a CPRIT funding award. Consideration would also be given to the company’s commitment to remaining in the State after the term of the funding award.