SECTION 1: PURPOSE OF FOUNDATION GRANT ADMINISTRATION POLICIES
1.0 CCIRF’S Grant Administration Policies establish standards for the funding for recipients of CCIRF grants. These policies provide procedures through the entire grant life cycle-from submission of the grant application, evaluation and selection of qualified applicants, awarding grants, managing and monitoring performance, and closing out of the grant.
1.1 Except where otherwise provided, these policies are applicable to all areas of CCIRF, and apply to respective staff, that has grant administration responsibilities. Individuals awarded CCIRF grants are expected to adhere to these policies unless otherwise indicated in the Notice of Award.
1.2 These policies are intended to establish the framework to ensure that all aspects of grant administration including the solicitation, notification, administration, risk assessment, data collection, reporting, documentation, and monitoring are administered ethically and fairly.
1.3 In addition to providing comprehensive procedures, these policies are adopted to meet additional objectives as follows:
- To ensure consistent and uniform processes for administering CCIRF grants;
- To support CCIRF’s ability to accomplish its mission;
- To ensure that procedures are applied ethically and fairly and in accordance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations;
- To ensure fair and equitable treatment and full competition for those interested in requesting grant awards; and
- To provide safeguards to ensure the integrity of the grant application process
SECTION 2: PUBLICATION OF GRANTS NOTICES AND REQUESTS
2.0 CCIRF shall publicize grant opportunities and shall include sufficient information including, but not limited to, information about the grant program, application criteria, application requirements, and grant reporting requirements, in its notices of grant opportunities for potential applicants.
2.1 CCIRF may, with or without notice, withdraw a grant notice at any time after it has been made public.
2.2 The notice of grant opportunity is drafted by appropriate staff. The notice of grant opportunity shall clearly communicate grants program information that will assist potential applicants in determining whether and how to submit an application.
2.3 Essential elements of a notice of grant opportunity shall include:
- Description of the grant program
- CCIRF’s goals and priorities in making the grants
- Eligibility requirements for applicants
- Grant outcome expectations and reporting requirements
- Deadlines and timelines for each step in the application and award process
- Amount of money for distribution and how it will be allocated
- Selection criteria and weight
- Standardized scoring system
- Detailed application, formatting instructions, or an application template
- General information about the review process and composition of the review committee
- Name and contact information of the Grant Officer
- Statement about whether the information in their grant application becomes public data.
- Records retention requirements pertaining to the grant award
SECTION 3: GRANT APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
3.0 CCIRF’s policy is to grant monies to individuals who have complied with the grant application requirements through a competitive process. This process includes an evaluation of grant applications to determine how funds should be awarded to achieve a specific purpose with an anticipated set of outcomes.
3.1 Applicants are encouraged to pursue needed funds with the objective of advancing the quality of patient care and/or contributing to the scientific foundation (knowledge) of perioperative nursing practice through research.
3.2 In its discretion, CCIRF shall not consider grant applications from individuals who have been excluded or suspended under federal or state health care programs, have repeated instances of non-performance under previous grant awards, or have engaged in any other behavior that CCIRF deems unethical.
3.3 Grant Applications received by CCIRF will be stamped with the date and time of receipt and will be logged in by the Program Manager or supporting staff member. All applications must be date and time stamped by the Request for Grant Application (RFGA) deadline. Applications that are not received by the specified deadline will not qualify for the evaluation process.
3.4 The Program Manager or supporting staff member will conduct the administrative review of applications to ensure compliance with the deadline and mandatory requirements as set forth in the RFGA.
3.5 Grant applications must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the information provided in the RFGA, which include clear and measurable deliverables. All grant applications must be transmitted via the electronic submission process on the CCIRF website. 3.6 There will be a method outlined in the RFGA to assess service delivery, and to measure accomplishments. Applicants will be informed in the RFGA that failure to identify deliverables will affect their opportunity to receive an award.
SECTION 4: GRANT REVIEW PROCEDURES
4.0 The Program Manager will review all applications prior to releasing them to the Evaluation Committee to ensure deliverables are included and clearly identified in each application.
4.1 The Program Manager or supporting staff member will review applications for completeness. Applications with deficiencies will be returned to the grant applicant with a letter of deficiency and resubmission requirements.
4.2 Applications with no deficiencies will be accepted and presented to the Evaluation Committee for consideration. Each Applicant will be notified of the status of their respective application within 30 days after its receipt by CCIRF.
4.3 The Evaluation Committee evaluates and scores each grant application. Each grant application is evaluated against the criteria or eligibility requirements identified in the RFGA.
4.4 Applications with scores falling below the minimum threshold will be returned to grant applicant with a letter of deficiency and resubmission requirements.
4.5 Applications with passing scores will be accepted and presented to the CCIRF Board of Trustees for consideration. Each applicant presented to the Evaluation Committee will be notified of the status of their respective application within 60 days after its receipt by CCIRF.
SECTION 5: EVALUATION PROCESS
5.0 The overall purpose of the evaluation process is to analyze the project and budgetary approach proposed by the application, relative to the requirement in the RFGA, and to assign the appropriate score or value to each evaluation criterion.
5.1 Evaluation of grant applications will be conducted by the Evaluation Committee, which shall be comprised of no less than three members. Reviewers should be reflective of relevant expertise and experience in the subject matter of the grant.
5.2 The Program Manager will review all applications prior to releasing them to the Evaluation Committee to ensure deliverables are included and clearly identified in each application. Each grant application is evaluated against the criteria or eligibility requirements identified in the RFGA prior to its release to the Evaluation Committee.
5.3 Applications are pre-screened on a pass/fail basis during the administrative review, which includes determination of compliance with requirements outlined in the RFGA.
5.4 Each member of the Evaluation Committee will sign a Non-disclosure Statement and Conflict of Interest Form. Prior to the meeting of the Evaluation Committee, all members are required to disclose in writing any relationship with an Applicant which would reasonably be expected to exert or could be perceived as exerting an influence on the individual’s judgment if the individual was called upon to make a decision regarding the disposition or disbursement of grant funds. Throughout the evaluation process, the members of the Evaluation Committee shall maintain the confidentiality of the evaluation process. No member shall transmit, communicate, or otherwise convey preliminary conclusions or results concerning the Grantee responses or the likely outcome of the evaluation process. Each member shall agree that all internal workings of the Evaluation Committee will be kept confidential until the selected Grantees have been officially announced by CCIRF.
5.5 Grant applications are evaluated for the quality of their response to the information required in the RFGA, and based on the reasonableness and appropriateness of accompanying budgets/costs to complete the proposed project and impact to targeted patients.
5.6 After completing their review of the grant applications, the Evaluation Committee will make their recommendations. The scores from each application are tallied and final evaluation scores and funding recommendations will be presented to the Board of Trustees. Remarks made by the members of the Evaluation Committee are reviewed and confirmed to be appropriate by the Board of Trustees, reflecting relevant strengths and weaknesses of the application.
5.7 A recommendation for award is made using the process of consensus.
5.8 Each Applicant considered by the Evaluation Committee will be notified of funding decisions by CCIRF on their respective application within 120 days after its receipt by CCIRF.
5.9 Evaluation processes and templates for the grant program shall be developed. CCIRF shall select and appoint members to the Evaluation Committee for the grant program.
SECTION 6: GRANT SELECTION PROCESS
6.0 CCIRF grant evaluation processes shall be conducted using review criteria that are identified in the notice of grant opportunity and a standardized scoring system to rate each application against the selected criteria.
6.1 Grants shall be awarded to the applicants that are rated the highest against the selection criteria, based on the availability of grant funds.
6.2 The review criteria for the grant process shall be the standard by which the grant applications will be evaluated. A standardized scoring system shall be used to assess and to rate each applicant on each of the selected criteria.
6.3 Grant applications are assigned a score for each criterion, based upon the extent to which they meet the standard. Scores for each criterion are tallied to determine the cumulative score for each application. The scoring system shall include weighted criteria that identify verifiable and measurable performance.
6.4 Grant Scoring Procedures:
- Grant review criteria are selected and ranked according to their importance to the purpose of the grant program.
- The notice of grant opportunity describes the selection criteria and their relative weight in the ranking system.
- CCIRF staff develops a grant application scoring sheet that facilitates the scoring process and the scoring sheet shall be used by Evaluation Committee members. To score grant applications, CCRIF shall use a quantitative and/or qualitative rating or ranking system.
- Evaluation Committee members conduct review meeting(s) to discuss each application and their scores.
- After the Evaluation Committee members have met and the scores have been finalized, the scores will be incorporated into final funding recommendations.
SECTION 7: AWARD NOTIFICATION PROCESS
7.0 The Program Manager (or appropriate staff) shall draft all documents for grant awards packages for proper approval and release by CCIRF. Such documents may include:
- Notice of Award (NOA) or Intent
- Budget Format,
- Scope of Services and Deliverables,
- Grant Agreement,
- Budget Report,
- Grantee Invoice Balance Sheet,
- Any other document deemed necessary to fulfill the grant objectives by CCIRF.
7.1 The Program Manager (or appropriate staff) shall send all grant recipients an official NOA to award funding for the services outlined in the RFGA via express mail or electronic communication within 120 days of receipt of the RFGA.
7.2 The NOA will inform the applicant of the grant award, and the amount of funding if accepted by the Applicant, and
- Identify the point of contact at CCIRF for funding administration
- Explain the funding disbursement process
- Outline the specific scope of services to be performed
- Identify Grantee’s responsibilities for conducting the funded research project
- Request a written and signed notification of intent from the Applicant to accept the award, which must be submitted to CCIRF within 10 business days of receipt of the NOA.
7.3 Grant award packages shall be sent to Grantee by CCIRF within ten (10) business days after its receipt of signed acceptance of grant award by Grantee.
7.4 Grantees shall be required to disseminate the findings made in their projects and provide copies of publications, posters or presentations to CCIRF to verify such dissemination of their findings. Grantees shall not be required to obtain CCIRF’s prior approval of the publications, posters or presentations.
7.5 CCIRF reserves the right to publish summaries of funded research by all Grantees on its public facing materials.
7.6 Applicants who are not unsuccessful in receiving an award will receive written correspondence and where applicable, strengths and weaknesses of the application.
7.7 There shall be no appeal by an Applicant for denials of any grant award.
SECTION 8: GRANT REPORTING AND MONITORING
8.0 The purpose of grant monitoring is to review and ensure progress against the grant’s objectives, to address any problems or issues before the end of the Project Period, and to build rapport between the program staff and the Grantee. CCIRF shall develop plans, procedures, and templates for grant monitoring and disbursement of grant funds during the Project Period.
8.1 Grantees shall be required to submit quarterly progress reports documenting accomplishments and compliance with the terms of the NOA during the Budget Period.
8.2 CCIRF shall conduct monitoring conferences with the Grantee on a quarterly basis by telephone or video conference during the Budget Period.
8.3 A financial reconciliation shall be required by the Grantee on a quarterly basis and shall be submitted to CCIRF within five (5) business days prior to the quarterly telephone or video conference with the Grant Officer. The financial reconciliation shall include supporting documentation, such as purchase orders, receipts, and other records required by CCIRF in the NOA.
8.4 Financial reconciliations and quarterly progress reports that have been submitted by the Grantee shall be reviewed by the program staff before the monitoring call with the Grantee. Program staff shall schedule, conduct, and document the monitoring calls and/or video conferencing with Grantees during the Project Period.
8.5 If the Grantee fails to comply with any of the reporting requirements. CCIRF may temporarily withhold payment until the Grantee achieves compliance with the terms of the NOA.
8.6 Upon any Suspension of the NOA during the Project Period, CCIRF may opt to deny payment for all or part of the reported cost(s) if the Grantee remains out of compliance with the reporting requirements.
8.7 Funding of the grant award shall continue until the project is satisfactorily completed, or the funding limit is reached.
8.8 The grant program shall use a standardized form and procedures for monitoring, so that grant management information is tracked consistently. Documentation for all monitoring telephone calls and video conferencing shall be maintained in the grant file.
8.9 Any unused grant money must be returned to CCIRF.
SECTION 9: GRANT CLOSEOUT EVALUATION
9.0 Grantees shall be required to submit a final progress report to CCIRF to closeout any grant that has reached the end of the Project Period. The final progress report is due within thirty (30) days after the end of the Project Period. CCIRF may withhold final disbursement on the grant until the final progress report is submitted by the Grantee and approved by CCIRF to close out the grant.
9.1 At a minimum, the final progress report shall comply with the terms of the NOA and shall include relevant information relating to the grant objective as follows:
- Statement of progress made towards the achievement of the grant objective
- List of results (positive and/or negative) considered significant
- List of publications resulting from the grant award, including plans, if any, for further publication (copies of publications should accompany the final progress report)
- Description of data, research materials, protocols, software, or other information resulting from the grant project.
9.2 CCIRF shall develop procedures for Closeout of the grant award.
9.3 Foundation program staff shall schedule call and/or video conferencing with Grantees to close out the grant award. The Grantee’s final progress report and financial reconciliation that have been submitted shall be reviewed by the program staff before closeout of the grant award with the Grantee.
9.4 Foundation program staff shall conduct and document the call and/or video conferencing with the Grantee to close out the grant award.
SECTION 10: DOCUMENT RETENTION POLICY
10.0 CCIRF’s policy is to ensure that necessary records and documents relating to grant awards are adequately protected and maintained and to ensure that records that are no longer needed by CCIRF are discarded at the proper time. This policy shall apply to the retention and disposal of records and the retention and disposal of electronic documents.
10.1 CCIRF shall comply with all federal and state regulations and statutes applicable to the retention and disposal of records, including any exceptions thereto (e.g, any litigation, claim, or audit), that relate to the grant award during the Project Period.
10.2 Grantees shall be apprised of their responsibilities to retain financial, statistical, and research records, supporting documents, and all other records that are required by the terms of a grant, or may reasonably be considered pertinent to a grant, in the NOA.
10.3 CCIRF shall determine applicable retention schedules for all categories of documents and records pertaining to the grant awards for CCIRF and the Grantee. The Program Manager shall develop procedures for the retention, storage, and disposal of records and electronic documents for its grant awards.
SECTION 11: AMENDMENT
11.0 CCIRF has adopted the foregoing policies. Applicants for grant awards must abide by all applicable laws and regulations, including those governing the conduct of research on humans. Each grant has unique characteristics, such as duration, funding levels, eligibility requirements and project requirements. These characteristics are outlined in the RFGA, as well as in the NOA. CCIRF requires all Grantees to submit financial and progress reports as outlined in these policies, unless otherwise specified in the NOA. If any discrepancies exist between the NOA and these policies, the Grantee is to follow the requirements outlined in the NOA.
11.1 CCIRF reserves the right to modify or amend its policies governing grants.