Below is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the online submission process. Please note that this information only applies to Sigma small grants and co-sponsored grants. For all other grants, please check with the administering organization for submission information.
What can/should be included in the appendix section?
Where applicable, the following documents should be included:
- Human subject consent form (IRB approval)
- Copies of instrument(s)
- Interview format or other instruments
- Scoring instructions
- References cited in the text using the current APA format
The following items may be included, if needed:
- Hard copies of the letters of support.
Please note that it is preferred that the people supplying letters of support follow the online system process (see “Letters of Support” section below). Exceptions can be made if the person supplying the letter does not speak English, or if you are working with people/an institution in another country and they are unable to use the online system.
- A chart/graph/table/etc. that will help to illustrate and explain your proposal.
When referring to the item in the proposal, be sure to mention that the item can be found in the appendix section.
What is the difference between Amount Requested Total Budget?
In the system, there are two columns. One is “Amount Requested”, and the other is “Total Budget." “Amount Requested” refers to the amount being requested from this grant. “Total Budget” refers to the total budget of the project (this may be greater than the amount of the grant).
What items are/are not covered by the budget?
Sigma does not fund indirect costs or costs related to completing an education program (e.g., tuition). Additionally, costs associated with attending a conference cannot be included in the budget.
Expenses may be included for the following items:
- Personnel (Requests for investigator salaries may be included. Include hourly rate for personnel in justification section.)
- Secretarial staff
- Typing costs (These must be directly related to the research. Typing of dissertations will not be funded.)
- Research assistants
- Consultants (limit of US $100 per hour)
- Computer costs (software only)
- Travel expenses (data collection only)
What time does the system shut off on the deadline?
The system shuts off at midnight on the deadline.
The formatting of my proposal does not hold when I type it in the text box.
The proposal text can be entered into the text boxes provided or uploaded as either a .html or .txt file.
If the text is entered into the boxes provided, the formatting will not hold. Additionally, charts, graphs, tables, etc. cannot be included in the text box but can be uploaded as an appendix (see “Appendix” section above for more information). Reviewers are aware that information typed into text boxes will not hold its original formatting, and this does not affect the score of the proposal.
If the proposal is uploaded as either a .html or .txt file, it will hold its formatting.
Which version of APA should I use to format my references?
The most recent version of APA should be used.
Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval
I do not have/cannot get IRB approval before the deadline.
There is a place in the online system for you to indicate if you have received IRB approval, or if it is pending. Proof of IRB approval is not required for your proposal to be reviewed. If you are awarded a grant, proof of IRB approval must be shown before the funds can be released by the honor society.
Letters of Support
Who should supply letters of support?
A letter of support is required from the following:
- At least one research adviser/committee chair, if the proposal is dissertation research
- At least two colleagues who are knowledgeable about this research
- Any collaborating institutions
- Any consultants
What should the letters say?
The letters of support should address the merits of the proposal and how it contributes to nursing. The colleagues should be people who are knowledgeable about the work being done, but do not have to be at the same institution as the principal investigator.
How am I supposed to get the letters of support in by the deadline? Do I have to complete my proposal before the deadline so that my letters of support can be entered?
It is recommended that the principal investigator start and finish the submission in the online system prior to the deadline to allow the people supplying letters of support enough time to enter the information. Emails will not be sent to the people supplying letters of support until the proposal is complete. Please note that the letters of support must be received online by the deadline, in order for the proposal to be sent out for review. We are unable accept the letters by email, fax, or mail.
Why is this done?
The system was designed to allow the principal investigator to make changes to his/her submission at any time until the deadline. There have been instances where a person supplying a letter of support indicates he/she is unable to endorse the proposal until some of the information is changed. Because it is before the deadline, the principal investigator is able to enter the system and make any necessary changes in order to obtain support from the person.
What do I do if the person supplying the letter of support does not speak English or is located in another country and unable to access the online system?
It is preferred that the people supplying letters of support follow the online system process. Exceptions can be made if the person supplying the letter does not speak English, or if you are working with people/an institution in another country and they are unable to use the online system. In that case, a hard copy of the letter of support should be uploaded in the appendix section.
What is the process for submitting letters of support?
After you have finished entering the proposal, completed all of the steps listed in the left-hand control panel and clicked the final button in the online system, emails are automatically generated by the online system to the people listed in your proposal as supplying letters of support. It is recommended that you double check the email addresses listed in the system for the people supplying letters of support to assure they are correct. If the email addresses are incorrect, the people will not receive the message.
The email gives the person supplying the letter of support a separate website and their own unique ID number and password. The person is then able to upload or enter the letter of support into the site.
How can I see if the email has been sent to the person supplying a letter of support?
Emails are automatically generated by the system when you complete the submission. You can check to see if a person’s letter has been entered by logging in to your proposal and scrolling down on the right-hand side to the letters of support section. If the emails have not been sent, it will say, “Unsent” next to the person’s email address. If the emails have been sent, you will either see “No Response” or be able to access the letter of support entered.
What is the “Resend” link in the Letters of Support section?
The resend link is available to provide you with the ability to resend the email to the person supplying a letter of support. Clicking this link will automatically generate another email to the person.
How can I see if the letter of support has been entered?
You can check to see if a person’s letter has been entered by logging in to your proposal and scrolling down on the right-hand side to the letters of support section. If the letter has been submitted, you will see the text of the letter or a link to view the letter. If the letter has not been submitted, you will see “No Response”.
Do I have to be a member of the organizations?
Membership requirements are listed with the requirements for the specific grants. Please visit the grants page to view requirements for individual grants.
Submitting a Letter of Support
The link in the email does not work.
In the email received about supplying the letter of support, the web address may have been truncated. If this happens, it may be helpful to copy and paste the address into the browser window. If you are still unable to access the website, please contact Sigma Research Services.
I cannot find the place to submit my letter of support.
To submit your letter of support, please scroll down to the bottom of the page. When you log into the site, you will first see the proposal. Your name is listed under the “Letters of Support” section in the proposal. To submit your letter of support, scroll down to the very bottom of the proposal. Then, you will see a place to upload or enter the text of your letter.