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Frequently Asked Questions
Collective Behavior
Q:  Whom do I contact with questions about Futures Grants?
A:  Please send an email to keckfutures@nas.edu, and a NAKFI staff member will respond to your inquiry within one business day.
 
Q:  Whom do I contact if I experience technical difficulties submitting my application?
A:  Please send an email to keckfutures@nas.edu, and a NAKFI staff member will respond to your inquiry within one business day.
 
Q:  When is my grant application due?
A:  All grant applications are due by 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time on February 12, 2015.  In order to ensure fairness in the process, late applications will not be accepted and incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
 
Q:  Do I need to get approval from our office of sponsored projects before submitting an application? They already know about the 20% overhead, etc., but do I need to get an approval?
A:  Approval is not required until the grant is funded.  However, since changes to the grant agreement will not be accepted, please show the agreement to your institution prior to submitting a proposal.  Please do not submit a proposal if your institution is unable to accept the agreement as written.  The only allowable change is going silent on Jurisdiction (Article XIV). (This is usually required by state institutions). 
 
Q:  Is there a limit on the number of grant proposals in which an individual can participate?
A: There is no limit on the number of grant proposals or grant awards in which an individual can participate.
 
Q:  How are the grant proposals reviewed and selected?
A: Members of the Collective Behavior Steering Committee review and select the grants.  NAKFI’s goals with Collective Behavior Futures Grants are to fund scientifically-innovative research that supports ideas generated at the conference, interdisciplinary collaboration, and student involvement.  Proposals will be judged on these criteria, as well as their potential impact (societal, scientific, etc.), riskiness (risk is considered good in this context) and overall scientific merit. 
 
Q:  The grant instructions suggest that the maximum overhead for a grant proposal budget is 20%.  Does this mean that up to $20,000 in overhead and $80,000 in direct costs can budgeted for a $100,000 grant? Or is the total grant proposal budget $120,000, with $20,000 allocated for overhead and $100,000 for direct expenses?
A:  Overhead is calculated at 20% of the total grant budget.  The highest award currently allowed is $100,000, so the overhead would be calculated as 20% of $100,000, or $20,000; with the budget demonstrating $80,000 in direct expenses and up to $20,000 in overhead.  NAKFI recognizes that some institutions calculate overhead differently.  Overhead must be calculated as described in these guidelines for the purposes of this grant application.
 
Q:  Does the 20% limit on indirect expenses/overhead costs include those from subcontracts?
A:  Yes, indirect expenses/overhead costs from the PI’s institution as well as any from subcontracts cannot exceed 20% when added up together.


Q:  My grant will have a co-PI from another organization.  When submitting the budget, do we need to submit the entire budget from one institution (and treat the co-PI’s portion as a subcontract) or can you take two separate budgets?
A:  Since grants are awarded to a single institution, only one budget will be accepted.   The institution that is awarded the grant will serve as the fiscal agent.
 
Q: Where should tuition be included in the budget?
A:  Per the National Academies policy tuition is considered an indirect cost.
 
Q: Are Graduate Students and/or Post Docs eligible to apply for a NAKFI grant and serve as the PI?
A:  Yes, NAKFI allows both graduate students and post docs to apply for grants and serve as the PI.  Please check your university/institution’s policy on PI status.  If you are ineligible per your university/institution’s policies please email keckfutures@nas.edu for additional information.
 
Q: Do I have to work only with members of my assigned IDR Team or iDEA Group?
A:  No, you may put a proposal together with conference participants from other teams or iDEA Groups, researchers who did not attend the conference and/or members of your assigned IDR Team or iDEA Group.  The PI on the proposal must have attended the November conference and be at a U.S.-based institution.
 
Q:  What do I do if the word count in the online application differs from the word count for the same text in Word?
A:  Text that is copied and pasted from Word may contain hidden formatting which will interfere with the word count in the online application.*  Completely remove the text from the text box in the online application and hit your delete/backspace key multiple times to remove all leftover hidden formatting.  Then copy and paste the text from your Word document into notepad, once you’ve done this paste the text from notepad into the form. *The best way to achieve the most accurate word count is to key the text directly into the boxes.
 
Q: How should subcontracts be accounted for in the budget?
A: Subcontracts should be accounted for in the corresponding budget line item along with the main institutions budget items.  Please use the description box to indicate how much money in each line item going to each institution involved in the project.  A sample budget with subcontracts is included in the grant guidelines.