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Links for FY15 Notices of Funding Opportunities
- IMLS Assurances and Certifications
- Instructions for Completing Budget Documents
- Grants.gov Registration and Tips
- How to Fill Out the SF-424S
- Organizational Profile
- Schedule of Completion
- Project Staff and Consultant Documents
- Proof of Nonprofit Status
- Indirect Costs
- Requirements for Projects that Develop Digital Content
- Evaluating Your Project
- Getting a D-U-N-S® Number
- SAM Registration
- Acknowledgement of IMLS Support
- Conflict of Interest Requirements
As a Federal agency, IMLS is required to obtain from all applicants certifications, including those regarding Nondiscrimination, Debarment and Suspension, Federal Debt Status, and Drug-Free Workplace. Applicants requesting more than $100,000 in grant funds must also certify regarding lobbying activities and may be required to submit a "Disclosure of Lobbying Activities" form (Standard Form LLL). Some applicants will be required to certify that they will comply with other federal statutes that pertain to their particular situation. These requirements are incorporated in the Assurances Statement below. The authorized representative must review the statement and provide the certification in item 9 on the Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organizational Form (SF-424s).
By signing the application form, the authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, assures and certifies that, should a grant be awarded, the applicant will comply with the statutes outlined below and all related IMLS regulations (see 45 C.F.R. Chapter XI and 2 C.F.R. Chapter XXXI). These assurances are given in connection with any and all financial assistance from IMLS after the date this form is signed, but may include payments after this date for financial assistance approved prior to this date. These assurances shall obligate the applicant for the period during which the federal financial assistance is extended. The applicant recognizes and agrees that any such assistance will be extended in reliance on the representations and agreements made in these assurances, and that the United States Government has the right to seek judicial enforcement of these assurances, which are binding on the applicant, its successors, transferees, and assignees, and on the authorized official whose signature appears on the application form.
Certifications Required of All Applicants
Financial, Administrative, and Legal Accountability
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant has legal authority to apply for federal assistance and the institutional, managerial, and financial capability (including funds sufficient to pay the nonfederal share of project costs) to ensure proper planning, management, reporting, recordkeeping, and completion of the project described in this application.
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will cause to be performed the required financial and compliance audits in accordance with the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. §7501 et seq.) and OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations."
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will comply with the provisions of applicable OMB Circulars.
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will comply with the following nondiscrimination statutes and their implementing regulations:
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. §2000 et seq.), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin (note: as clarified by Executive Order 13166, the applicant must take reasonable steps to ensure that limited English proficient (LEP) persons have meaningful access to the applicant’s programs (see IMLS guidance at 68 Federal Register 17679, April 10, 2003));
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. §701 et seq., including §794), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability (note: IMLS applies the regulations in 45 C.F.R. Part 1170 in determining compliance with section 504 as it applies to recipients of Federal assistance);
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (20 U.S.C. §1681–83, §1685–86), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs; and
- the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. §6101 et seq.), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age.
- the requirements of any other nondiscrimination statute(s) which may apply to the application.
Debarment and Suspension
The applicant shall comply with 2 C.F.R. Part 3185 and 2 C.F.R. Part 180, as applicable. The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies to the best of his or her knowledge and belief that neither the applicant nor any of its principals:
- are presently excluded or disqualified;
- have been convicted within the preceding three years of any of the offenses listed in 2 C.F.R. § 180.800(a) or had a civil judgment rendered against it or them for one of those offenses within that time period;
- are presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a governmental entity (Federal, State, or local) with commission of any of the offenses listed in 2 C.F.R. § 180.800(a); or
- have had one or more public transactions (Federal, State, or local) terminated within the preceding three years for cause or default.
Where the applicant is unable to certify to any of the statements in this certification, he or she shall attach an explanation to this application.
The applicant, as a primary tier participant, is required to comply with 2 C.F.R. Part 180 subpart C (Responsibilities of Participants Regarding Transactions Doing Business with Other Persons) as a condition of participation in the award. The applicant is also required to communicate the requirement to comply with 2 C.F.R. Part 180 subpart C (Responsibilities of Participants Regarding Transactions Doing Business with Other Persons) to persons at the next lower tier with whom the applicant enters into covered transactions.
As noted in the preceding paragraph, applicants who plan to use IMLS awards to fund contracts should be aware that they must comply with the communication and verification requirements set forth in the above Debarment and Suspension provisions.
Federal Debt Status
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies to the best of his or her knowledge and belief that the applicant is not delinquent in the repayment of any federal debt.
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies, as a condition of the award, that the applicant will or will continue to provide a drug-free workplace by complying with the requirements in 2 C.F.R. Part 3186 (Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)). In particular, you as the recipient must comply with drug-free workplace requirements in subpart B (or subpart C, if the recipient is an individual) of 2 C.F.R. Part 3186, which adopts the Governmentwide implementation (2 C.F.R. Part 182) of sec. 5152-5158 of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-690, Title V, Subtitle D; 41 U.S.C. 701-707).
This includes, but is not limited to: making a good faith effort, on a continuing basis, to maintain a drug-free workplace; publishing a drug-free workplace statement; establishing a drug-free awareness program for your employees; taking actions concerning employees who are convicted of violating drug statutes in the workplace; and identifying (either at the time of application or upon award, or in documents you keep on file in your offices) all known workplaces under your Federal awards.
Trafficking in Persons
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies, as a condition of the award, that the applicant will comply with the trafficking in persons requirements that are set out in the General Terms and Conditions for IMLS Discretionary Awards (2 C.F.R. 175.15 Award Term.).
Certification Regarding Lobbying Activities (Applies to Applicants Requesting Funds in Excess of $100,000) (31 U.S.C. §1352)
The authorized representative certifies, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:
(a) No Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid, by or on behalf of the authorized representative, to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of an agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding of any Federal contract, the making of any Federal grant, the making of any Federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.
(b) If any funds other than Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid to any person (other than a regularly employed officer or employee of the applicant, as provided in 31 U.S.C. 1352) for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement, the authorized representative shall complete and submit Standard Form LLL, "Disclosure of Lobbying Activities," in accordance with its instructions.
(c) The authorized representative shall require that the language of this certification be included in the award documents for all subawards at all tiers (including subcontracts and contracts under grants, loans, and cooperative agreements) and that all subrecipients shall certify and disclose accordingly.
This certification is a material representation of fact upon which reliance is placed when the transaction is made or entered into. Submission of this certification is a prerequisite for making or entering into the transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required certification shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will comply with all applicable requirements of all other Federal laws, executive orders, regulations, and policies governing the program.
Certifications Required of Some Applicants
The following certifications are required if applicable to the project for which an application is being submitted. Applicants should be aware that additional federal certifications, not listed below, might apply to a particular project.
A grantee may not make a subgrant unless expressly authorized by the Institute (see IMLS regulations at 45 CFR §1180.55).
Native American Human Remains and Associated Funerary Objects
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will comply with the provisions of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (25 U.S.C. §3001 et seq.), which applies to any organization that controls or possesses Native American human remains and associated funerary objects, and which receives federal funding, even for a purpose unrelated to the Act.
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will assist the awarding agency in ensuring compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. §470f), Executive Order (E.O.) 11593, and the Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. §469 et seq.).
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the project will comply with environmental standards, including the following:
(a) institution of environmental quality control measures under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. §4321 et seq.) and E.O. 11514;
(b) notification of violating facilities pursuant to E.O. 11738;
(c) protection of wetlands pursuant to E.O. 11990, as amended by E.O. 12608;
(d) evaluation of flood hazards in floodplains in accordance with E.O. 11988, as amended;
(e) assurance of project consistency with the approved State management program developed under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. §1451 et seq.);
(f ) conformity of federal actions to State (Clean Air) Implementation Plans under section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act of 1955, as amended (42 U.S.C. §7401 et seq.);
(g) protection of underground sources of drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, as amended (42 U.S.C. §300f et seq.); and
(h) protection of endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. §1531–1543).
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the project will comply with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, as amended (16 U.S.C. §1271 et seq.), related to protecting components or potential components of the national wild and scenic rivers system.
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will comply with the flood insurance purchase requirements of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended (42 U.S.C. §4001 et seq.), which requires recipients in a special flood hazard area to participate in the program and to purchase flood insurance if the total cost of insurable construction and acquisition is $10,000 or more.
Research on Human Subjects
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the project will comply with 45 C.F.R. Part 46 regarding the protection of human subjects involved in research, development, and related activities supported by this award of assistance.
Research on Animal Subjects
The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the project will comply with the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act of 1966, as amended (7 U.S.C. §2131 et seq.) pertaining to the care, handling, and treatment of warm-blooded animals held for research, teaching, or other activities supported by this award of assistance.
For further information on these certifications, contact IMLS, 1800 M Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20036. Or call 202/653-IMLS (4657).
You must provide two budget documents to describe the costs of a proposed project:
- IMLS Budget Form
- Budget Justification
Note: If a separate IMLS Budget Form is included in an application for a project partner’s portion of an overall project budget, please include the partner budget as a supporting document. Be sure that the primary IMLS Budget Form and Budget Justification for the lead applicant include summary explanations of all partner budget details. Project partner budgets must comply with all instructions in these Notice of Funding Opportunities regarding allowable costs and methods of budget calculation.
IMLS Budget Form
The IMLS Budget Form is designed to accommodate up to three years of project activities and expenses. Project timelines, allowable costs, and other budget details vary by program. Be sure to review the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the grant program/category to which you are applying before you complete the IMLS Budget Form. The Year 1 columns should include costs for activities that begin on the project start date (as listed on 6c of the SF-424S) and end 12 months later. If the project timeline exceeds one year, list the costs for the next 12 months in the Year 2 columns. If the project extends beyond two years, list the costs for the next 12 months in the Year 3 columns. If the program/category to which you are applying permits a fourth year as part of the budget, enter Year 4 budget details on a second copy of the IMLS Budget Form.
The budget should include the project costs that will be charged to grant funds as well as those that will be supported by cost sharing. In-kind contributions to cost sharing may include the value of services (e.g., donated volunteer or consultant time) or equipment donated to the project between the authorized start and end dates of your project. All the items listed, whether supported by grant funds or cost share, must be necessary to accomplish project objectives, allowable according to the applicable federal cost principles, auditable, and incurred during the grant period. Charges to the project for items such as salaries, fringe benefits, travel, and contractual services must conform to the written policies and established practices of your organization. You must report all revenues generated with project funds during the grant period as program income and apply it to your cost share.
1. Salaries and Wages: Include both temporary and permanent staff as well as volunteers engaged in project activities. Document the method of cost computation (e.g., as percentage of a person’s time devoted to the project, a number of days, a number of hours) in your Budget Justification.
2. Fringe Benefits: Fringe benefits may include contributions for Social Security, employee insurance, pension plans, etc. Limit direct cost fringe benefits to those not included in your indirect cost pool. Fringe benefits may be claimed only on the portion of Salaries and Wages identified for this project.
3. Travel: Before completing this section of the IMLS Budget Form, please consult the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the program to which you are applying for any special guidance.
Explain the method of cost computation for each travel cost, including subsistence and transportation, in your Budget Justification.
You must use the lowest available commercial fares for coach or equivalent accommodations, and you must use U.S. flagged air carriers for foreign travel when such services are available, in accordance with applicable U.S. legal requirements.
4. Supplies, Materials, and Equipment: List the costs of supplies, materials, and equipment purchased specifically for the proposed project. For definitions and other information regarding supplies, materials, and equipment, please see 2 CFR Part 200.Use the Budget Justification to explain or describe these items in further detail.
5. Contracts and Subawards: List the costs of project activities to be undertaken by a third party, including a formal partner, as a single line item that shows the amount that will be charged to IMLS grant funds and any cost sharing that will be contributed by the third party. Itemize these third party costs in the Budget Justification.List any individuals or groups who will provide consulting services for the project and their fees. Explain the method of computation for fees in your Budget Justification. Click here for more information on partners.
6. Student Support: If you are applying for a program that allows student support, enter those costs in this section. Student support can include costs such as scholarships or fellowships or student participant support costs. Other student items such as wages, materials including books or other supplies, student memberships in professional organizations, and travel should be included elsewhere in the budget (e.g., under supplies, contracts, travel categories) and identified as student items (e.g. “student wages”).
7. Other Costs: Use this section for costs that are not assignable to other categories. Please do not use the "Other Costs" section to list items that did not fit in the number of lines allotted for another section. If you need more lines for a specific section, summarize the information in the IMLS Budget Form and explain it further in the Budget Justification.
8. Total Direct Costs: These amounts will total automatically.
9. Indirect Costs: Indirect costs are the same as "overhead" or "administrative costs." They are costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and cannot be easily identified with a particular project. Examples are charges for utilities, general insurance, use of office space and equipment that you own, local telephone service, and the salaries of the management and administrative personnel of the organization. Before completing this section of the IMLS Budget Form, please consult the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the program to which you are applying for any special guidance regarding indirect costs. Click here for more information about Indirect Cost Options.
10. Total Project Costs: These amounts will total automatically.
IMLS Budget Form:
Adobe® PDF (212KB)
Cost share is that portion of the project costs that is not charged to IMLS funds. These costs may be supported by your cash outlays; contribution of property and services; and in-kind contributions, such as staff or volunteer time that support project activities. Cost share requirements may vary by project or program. For more information regarding cost sharing, refer to specific Notice of Funding Opportunity for the grant program to which you are applying.
All listed expenses, including cost sharing, must be incurred during the grant period unless otherwise specified. Federal funds may not be used for cost sharing. All federal, agency, and program instructions regarding use of funds apply to both requested IMLS funds and cost sharing.
Use the Budget Justification to explain all the costs included in your IMLS Budget Form. Address the purpose for each expense and explain the basis or method of cost computation used to determine each dollar amount. Itemize and explain any costs that you consolidated and summarized in the IMLS Budget Form. Follow the format of the IMLS Budget Form’s section headings.
We encourage you to contribute as cost share the salaries of permanent staff to be employed on a project in proportion to the amount of time they will spend on the project. If you are requesting IMLS funding for salaries of permanent staff, explain the reason for the request and how the regular duties of these individuals will be performed during the grant period. Explain the role of any outside consultants and third party vendors to be employed on the project and how each was identified and selected. Document costs for third party service providers through bids or similar means.
List the cost of project activities to be undertaken by a third party under "Contracts and Subawards" on the IMLS Budget Form as a single line item that shows the amount that will be charged to IMLS grant funds and the cost sharing that will be provided by the third party. Include a complete itemization of these costs as part of the Budget Justification. If there is more than one contractor or subrecipient, list the costs of each contract or subaward separately on the IMLS Budget Form and include an itemization as part of the Budget Justification.
You must register with Grants.gov before submitting your application to IMLS. Click here to learn more about the multistep registration process. Make sure your D-U-N-S® Number and SAM.gov registration are accurate, current, and active. We recommend that you allow 4 weeks to complete all steps in the Grants.gov registration process. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE WEEK OF THE APPLICATION DEADLINE TO REGISTER.
Before submitting an application, your organization must have a current and active D-U-N-S® Number, SAM.gov registration, and Grants.gov registration. Check your materials and registrations well in advance of the application deadline to ensure that they are accurate, current, and active.
Tips for Working with Grants.gov
Start early! Click here to learn more about Grants.gov resources, which include checklists, FAQs, and online tutorials to assist you in preparing your organization to submit applications.
You must designate at least one Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) to use Grants.gov. Consider designating more than one AOR when you register. This will help avoid last-minute crises in the event that your one AOR is unavailable when you are ready to submit your application. Also, you should update the AOR at Grants.gov when staff at your organization changes, and make sure passwords are current.
Make effective technological choices.
Download the most recent version of Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® onto your computer for best results. Make sure to submit all documents in Adobe® PDF format.
Follow the instructions in the Grant Program Notice of Funding Opportunity to convert your documents into PDFs. Click here to learn more about PDF conversion programs. Use Internet Explorer® as your browser when submitting the application to Grants.gov. Click here for more information about browsers.
Contact the Grants.gov help line (1-800-518-4726) for assistance with hardware and software issues, registration issues, and technical problems. The help line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except for federal holidays, when it is closed.
If you create a document in Microsoft® Word, you must convert it to PDF format before submitting it. Click here for assistance in converting documents to PDF. Do not send secured or password-protected PDFs; we cannot process these files.
The SF-424S is the "Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organizational Form" on Grants.gov.
Items 1-4 are automatically filled in by Grants.gov
Item 5. Applicant Information
a. Legal Name: Enter your organization’s legal name as it appears in its SAM.gov registration. See grant Notice of Funding Opportunity for eligibility details. If your organization is eligible but does not have the authority to apply directly for funding, enter the name of the parent organization that is submitting the application on your organization’s behalf. In that case, enter the name of your organization in the space provided for "Organizational Unit" on the Program Information Sheet, Question 1d.
b. Address: For Street1, enter your organization’s street address or post office box number, whichever is used for its U.S. Postal Service mailing address. Street2 is not a required field and should be used only when a suite or room number or other similar information is part of the address.
In the ZIP+4/Postal Code box, enter the full nine-digit ZIP code assigned by the U.S. Postal Service. Click here to retrieve your full ZIP code.
c. Web Address: Enter the Web address of the legal applicant organization.
d. Type of Applicant: Select the one code that best characterizes your organization from the menu in the first dropdown box. Leave the other boxes blank.
e. Employer/Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN/TIN): Enter the Employer or Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN or TIN) assigned to your organization by the Internal Revenue Service.
f. Organizational DUNS: Enter your organization’s D-U-N-S® Number received from Dun and Bradstreet. Click here for guidance in obtaining a D-U-N-S® Number.
g. Congressional District: Enter your organization’s Congressional District. Use the following format: two-letter state abbreviation, followed by a hyphen, followed by a zero, followed by the two-digit district number. For example, if the organization is located in the 5th congressional district of California, enter "CA-005." For the 12th district of North Carolina, enter "NC-012." For states and territories with "At Large" congressional districts—that is, one representative or delegate represents the entire state or territory—use "001," e.g., "VT-001.
If your organization does not have a congressional district (e.g., it is located in a U.S. territory that does not have districts), enter "00-000." To determine your organization’s district, visit the House of Representatives website by clicking here and using the "Find Your Representative" tool.
Item 6. Project Information
a. Project Title: Enter a brief descriptive title for your project. IMLS may use this title for public information purposes.
b. Project Description: Enter a brief description of your specific project, not your organization. Tell us what your project will do, for whom or what, and why. Use clear language that can be understood readily by readers who might not be familiar with the discipline or subject area. Note: There is a 1,000 character limit (including spaces) for this section in Grants.gov! Your application may be rejected if you exceed this limit.
c. Proposed Project Start Date/End Date: Enter the proposed start date and end date for your project in the format mm/dd/yyyy. Your project must begin on the first day of a month and end on the last day of a month, as directed in the program Notice of Funding Opportunities.
Item 7. Project Director
Enter the requested information for the person who will have primary responsibility for carrying out your project’s activities. Please select a prefix, even though it is not required.
Item 8. Primary Contact/Grants Administrator
Enter the requested information for the individual who has primary responsibility for administering the grant. If the Primary Contact/Grants Administrator is the same as the Authorized Representative, please complete both Items 8 and 9.
In some organizations, particularly smaller ones, this individual may be the same as the Project Director. If this is the case, check the box and skip to Item 9.
Item 9. Authorized Representative
Enter the name and contact information of the person who has the authority to enter into legal agreements in the name of your organization. The Authorized Representative cannot be the same person as the Project Director. By checking the "I Agree" box at the top of Item 9, this individual certifies the applicant’s compliance with relevant federal requirements (the IMLS Assurances and Certifications). IMLS will address written correspondence to the Authorized Representative whose information you enter in Item 9.
The "Signature of Authorized Representative" and "Date Signed" boxes will be automatically populated by Grants.gov upon submission of the application. This will be the person whose name was listed as your organization’s Authorized Representative when you registered with Grants.gov. Please note that this name might not be the same as the name and other information you entered in Item 9 above; however, the person whose name appears in the “Signature of Authorized Representative” box must have authorization from your organization to submit this application on behalf of your organization. Submission of the electronic application acknowledges that your organization certifies compliance with relevant federal requirements, including but not limited to the IMLS Assurances and Certifications, to the same extent as the signature does on a paper application.
An organizational profile must be no more than one page and include the following information:
- Your organization’s mission or statement of purpose, noting the source, approving body, and date of the official document in which it appears. If your organization’s mission statement is longer than one page, you may excerpt from it or summarize it to convey the essential points.
- Your service area (communities and/or audiences served, including size, demographic characteristics, and geographic area)
- A brief history of your organization, focusing on the unit that will be directly involved in carrying out the work
The Schedule of Completion should reflect each major activity identified in your application narrative and the project dates identified on the Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organizational Form (SF-424S) and IMLS Budget Form. It should show when each major project activity will be undertaken, mark important milestones for the project, and be no longer than one page per project year. If any proposed activity is part of a larger project, make sure the IMLS-funded portion is clearly identified. Click image below for a larger view.
List of Key Project Staff and Consultants
Provide a one-page list of the staff, consultants, and service providers whose expertise is essential to the completion of the project. Do not list the entire staff involved in the project. This list must include the Project Director listed in Item 7 of the SF-424S.
Resumes of Key Project Staff and Consultants
Provide resumes of no more than two pages each for all project staff, consultants, and service providers identified on the List of Key Project Staff and Consultants described above.
If you cannot identify key project personnel by the application deadline, then submit position descriptions instead. A position description does not identify a specific individual; it identifies the qualities and range of experience and education necessary to successfully implement and complete project activities.
If your organization is a private, nonprofit institution, you must submit a copy of the IRS letter indicating your eligibility for nonprofit status under the applicable provision of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended. We will not accept a letter of State sales tax exemption as proof of nonprofit status.
What are indirect costs?
An indirect cost is an organization’s incurred cost that cannot be readily isolated or identified with just one project or activity. These types of costs are often referred to as “overhead costs.” Typical examples of indirect costs are general telephone service, postage, office supplies, office space expenses, and administrative or financial operations for an entire organization.
What are my options for calculating and including indirect costs in my project budget?
You can choose to:
Use a current indirect cost rate already negotiated with a federal agency;
Use an indirect cost rate proposed to a federal agency but not yet approved;
Use a rate not to exceed 10% of modified total direct costs if you have never had a federally negotiated indirect cost rate and you are not subject to other requirements (e.g., for States and Local Governments, and Indian Tribes); or
Not include any indirect costs.
What is a federally negotiated indirect cost rate, and how do I use one?
Federally negotiated indirect cost rates are negotiated agreements between federal agencies and non-profit organizations. If your organization already has an existing negotiated indirect cost rate in effect with another federal agency, you may use this rate to calculate total project costs, as long as you apply the rate in accordance with the terms of the negotiated agreement and include a copy of the current negotiated agreement with your grant application. We will only accept federally negotiated indirect cost rates that are current at the time awards are announced.
How do I use the 10% indirect cost rate?
Except for those non-Federal entities described in Appendix VII to 2 CFR Part 200 (States and Local Government and Indian Tribe Indirect Cost Proposals, paragraph (d)(1)(B)), you may choose to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC) if you have never had a federally negotiated indirect cost rate. MTDC means all direct salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and subawards and subcontracts up to the first $25,000 of each subaward or subcontract. MTDC excludes equipment, capital expenditures, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs, and the portion of each subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000. If you choose to use this rate, you must be careful to exclude from the budget all indirect-cost-type items, such as general telephone service, postage, office supplies and office space expenses, and administrative or financial operations for the applicant's entire organization.
As long as you are an eligible entity and have never had a federally negotiated indirect cost rate, you may use this rate with no additional documentation required.
What if my organization is currently in indirect cost rate negotiations with a federal agency, or my organization’s current indirect cost rate will change or expire before grants are awarded in this IMLS program?
If your organization is in the process of negotiating an indirect cost rate with another federal agency, you may use the indirect cost rate that was proposed to the federal agency to estimate total project costs. You must include with your grant application a copy of the indirect cost proposal. In such situations, if we award a grant, we will accept the rate only if the negotiations are final by the award date and a copy of the final agreement is submitted to us. It is possible that we may reduce the amount of the award if the final negotiated rate is less than the rate that was used for budget estimates in the application budget. However, we will not increase the amount of the award if the final negotiated indirect cost rate is higher than the rate that was used for budget estimates in the application budget.
Can I apply my indirect cost rate to the cost sharing portion of my proposal budget?
Yes. You may apply your indirect cost rate to the cost sharing portion of your total direct costs, but you must count it as cost share. IMLS will provide federal funds for indirect costs, but only for the portion of the total direct costs for which you are requesting IMLS funds (the Grant Fund column).
Are there any other project costs that cannot be included in my indirect cost calculations?
You should follow your federally negotiated indirect cost rate document. If you are eligible for and using the 10% de minimis rate, you may charge 10% of the modified total direct costs (MTDC) (please see above question on this 10% rate as well as 2 CFR sections 200.414(f) and 200.68).
What are the requirements for projects that develop digital content?
IMLS is committed to expanding public access to IMLS-funded research, data and other digital products: the assets you create with IMLS funding require careful stewardship to protect and enhance their value. They should be freely and readily available for use and re-use by libraries, archives, museums, and the public.
If your project involves the creation of new digital content such as online collections or databases, new metadata about collections, software tools or electronic systems, or digital datasets, you must explain the need, the intended uses, and identify the audiences for this content in your narrative, with details included in your work plan. We urge you to include the Digital Stewardship Supplementary Information Form with your application. Your responses to the questions on this form are used by IMLS staff and by expert peer reviewers to better understand technical aspects of your proposed work.
The form consists of three parts. Part I and Part II contain questions relevant to a variety of digital projects, while Part III is a data management planning questionnaire for projects that will create research datasets. The form’s embedded instructions will help you decide which questions to answer. You need answer only those questions relevant to your project.
Additionally, IMLS participates in the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI), a collaborative effort by federal agencies to define common standards, guidelines, methods, and best practices for creating digital collections. The FADGI website includes a growing list of links to relevant standards, recommendations, and other resources. While this list is not exhaustive—nor do we endorse any specific resource—applicants considering digital projects may find the information useful.
Resources for Projects Developing Digital Products
Your proposed plan for tracking and measuring your success in achieving your intended results is a significant element in the review process. You should include specific and sufficient resources dedicated to evaluation activities in your detailed work plan, project budget, and schedule of completion. Examples of relevant costs associated with evaluation include payments for consultants or qualified project staff, development of effective instruments, information collection, and analysis of project data. Include the costs of evaluation, reporting, and sharing project results in your project budget. You may budget any of these as grant funds or as cost share. Keep in mind that effective evaluation strategies often use multiple techniques not just to measure and analyze final project outputs and outcomes but also to inform and help shape your project design as the project progresses.
Your evaluation plan should
- clearly link the performance goal(s) stated in your proposal and the outcomes you intend to measure to the program/project you are proposing,
- identify the primary beneficiaries (people or organizations) of the project and the methodology for collecting outcome information from them (if applicable)
- explain how things will be different as a consequence of this project and what data you will collect to determine whether or not these changes occurred
- indicate the methods you will use to analyze your data and to judge the overall effectiveness of the project
- describe the qualifications of staff and consultants involved in evaluation activities,
- include all plans you have to monitor the project’s effectiveness on an ongoing basis so that you can make needed midcourse corrections
- describe how you intend to use the evaluation results and how they may affect long-term program planning
- describe how you will share the evaluation results with people and organizations outside your organization
Your proposal narrative should address as many of these points as possible. If you do not have all this information at the time you submit your application, your proposal should explain how you will obtain it if the project is funded by IMLS.
All non-Federal entities are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S®) Number in order to apply for, receive, and report on a Federal award.
You should verify that your organization has a D-U-N-S® Number. If you find you do not, you can acquire one at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free D-U-N-S® Number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by visiting https://www.dandb.com/free-duns-number/.
Be sure that the D-U-N-S® Number is the same as the number you use in the System for Award Management (SAM) as part of Grants.gov registration.
The System for Award Management (SAM) is a federal repository that centralizes information about grant applicants and recipients. You must be registered with SAM.gov before registering with Grants.gov. Click here to find information about registering with SAM.gov.
Registration cannot be completed in a single day. Once you have completely and accurately entered all of the information into SAM, it will take an average of 7-10 business days for processing to be completed. Some information must be validated by outside parties before your registration can be activated. This includes TIN validation with the IRS and CAGE validation/assignment with Department of Defense. The activation timeframe may be longer if the information you provide is flagged for manual validation by any party. You will receive an email alerting you when your registration is active.
You must renew and revalidate your registration in SAM.gov at least every 12 months from the date you last certified and submitted the registration in SAM--and sooner, if your information changes. An expired registration will affect your ability to receive awards or payments, submit applications via Grants.gov, or receive certain payments from some federal government agencies.
Please note that grant payments will be made to the bank account that is associated with your SAM.gov registration.
Many IMLS-funded projects involve collaboration. The successful completion of project activities often requires organizations to work together. These partnerships or collaborations can take many forms, both informal and formal. Sometimes partners provide cost share toward a project; sometimes the grantee provides federal grant funds to a partner. Below are some frequently asked questions about partnerships within IMLS grants.
In projects that involve partnerships, what are the responsibilities of the lead applicant and its partners?
The lead applicant organization in a project that involves one or more partners is the grantee. It is legally responsible for the use of all grant funds and for ensuring that the project is carried out by the partner(s) in accordance with the terms of the grant and all applicable federal laws, regulations, and requirements. The grantee must be the fiscal agent but may provide federal grant funds to its partners for specific activities or services. Each partner is legally responsible for carrying out the activities that it agrees to perform and for complying with the terms of the grant and all applicable federal laws, regulations, and requirements.
We encourage the lead applicant to include a letter of commitment from each partner, detailing the activities that the partner plans to perform and indicating that the partner agrees to comply with the terms of the grant and all applicable federal laws, regulations, and requirements. Letters of commitment should be signed by a person authorized to sign on behalf of the partner organization.
New government-wide grants regulations, 2CFR Chapter II Part 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, provide new rules for situations where federal funds are provided by the grantee to its partner, whether through a contract or a subaward. Click here to find these regulations. These regulations are anticipated to become effective for IMLS awards that are made after December 26, 2014.
Are partnerships with federal agencies permitted?
You may partner with federal agencies when appropriate. However, no IMLS grant funds may be provided to the federal agency partner. In addition, it is important to remember that federally appropriated funds, whether they are disbursed directly to you by a federal agency or indirectly through another organization, do not count toward your cost share. Click here for more information about cost share.
Are international partnerships permitted?
While we do not make grants to non-U.S. entities, such entities may partner with eligible U.S. organizations on IMLS-funded projects, subject to applicable law. Applicants and grantees must ensure that the non-U.S. entities are not on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS), which has been incorporated into SAM.gov, or otherwise not eligible to receive federal funds. Click here to view the Excluded Parties List System.
What are the requirements for acknowledging work done with IMLS grant funding?
We require acknowledgement of IMLS assistance in all publications and other products resulting from the project, such as research reports, websites, and presentations. All work products should reference IMLS and include the associated grant award numbers. Grant recipients will receive further instructions on how to acknowledge IMLS support and tips on how to share information about their projects.
Sharing IMLS-Supported Work Products and Copyright
How is information shared about IMLS projects and for what purposes?
We encourage creators of works resulting from IMLS funding to share their work whenever possible through forums such as institutional or discipline-based repositories, open-access journals, or other media. Wide dissemination of the results of IMLS-funded projects advances the body of knowledge and professional practice in museum, library, and information services.
We require that your final report include one copy of each product you create, unless otherwise instructed. We may share grant applications, products, and reports with grantees, potential grantees, and the general public to further the mission of the agency and the development of museum, library, and information services. These materials may be disseminated and made available in a variety of ways and formats, including online.
What do I need to know about copyright and works produced with IMLS support?
You may copyright any work that is subject to copyright and was developed under an award or for which ownership was purchased. However, we reserve, for Federal government purposes, a royalty-free, worldwide, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the work and authorize others to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the work.
All work products resulting from IMLS funding should be distributed for free or at cost unless we have given you written approval for another arrangement. We expect you to ensure that final peer-reviewed manuscripts resulting from research conducted under an award are made available in a manner that permits the public to access, read, download, and analyze the work without charge.
What do I need to know about digital assets produced with IMLS support?
IMLS is committed to expanding public access to IMLS-funded assets, including research data and other digital products: the assets you create with IMLS funding require careful stewardship to protect and enhance their value. They should be freely and readily available for use and re-use by libraries, archives, museums and the public. Applying these principles to the development of digital products is not straightforward; because technology is dynamic and because we do not want to inhibit innovation, the IMLS does not want to prescribe set standards and best practices that would certainly become quickly outdated. Instead, IMLS defines the digital assets your projects should achieve in a series of questions; your answers are used by IMLS staff and by expert peer reviewers to evaluate your proposal; and they will play a critical role in determining whether your grant will be funded. Together, your answers will comprise the basis for a work plan for your project, as they will address all the major components of the development process. See the Digital Stewardship Supplementary Information Form for more information.
Data sharing is an essential component of research and expedites the translation of research results into new knowledge and practices. If your project involves the collection and analysis of data, we expect you to include, as part of your application, a data management plan (Part III of the Digital Stewardship Supplementary Information Form) that provides for long-term preservation and access. We expect you to deposit data resulting from IMLS-funded research in a broadly accessible repository that allows the public to use the data without charge no later than the date upon which you submit your final report to IMLS. The data should be deposited in a machine-readable, non-proprietary digital format to maximize search, retrieval, and analysis.
Your project budget may include the costs of preparing the data for public release and for making the data publicly available. In your final report to IMLS, you will be required to identify where your data have been deposited and can be accessed by the public
We recognize that data sharing may be complicated or limited in some cases by institutional policies; local Institutional Review Board (IRB) rules; and local, state, and federal laws and regulations, including those protecting confidentiality and personal privacy. The rights and privacy of people who participate in IMLS-supported research must be protected at all times. Thus, data intended for broader use should be free of anything that could lead to disclosure of the identity of individual participants. You should identify and explain the reasons for any limitations in your data management plan.
For the purposes of this section, “data” is defined consistent with OMB guidance (please see 2 CFR 200.315). We reserve a royalty-free, worldwide, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to: (1) obtain, reproduce, publish or otherwise use the data first produced under a grant; and (2) authorize others to receive, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use such data for Federal purposes.
What Conflict of Interest requirements must I follow?
As a non-Federal entity, you must follow IMLS conflict of interest policies for Federal awards. You must disclose in writing any potential conflict of interest to an IMLS Program Officer, or to the pass-through entity if you are a subrecipient or contractor. This disclosure must take place immediately whether you are an applicant or have an active IMLS award.
The IMLS conflict of interest policies apply to subawards as well as contracts, and are as follows:
As a non-Federal entity, you must maintain written standards of conduct covering conflicts of interest and governing the performance of your employees engaged in the selection, award, and administration of subawards and contracts.
None of your employees may participate in the selection, award, or administration of a subaward or contract supported by a Federal award if he or she has a real or apparent conflict of interest. Such a conflict of interest would arise when the employee, officer, or agent, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated herein, has a financial or other interest in or a tangible personal benefit from an organization considered for a subaward or contract. The officers, employees, and agents of the non-Federal entity must neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from subrecipients or contractors or parties to subawards or contracts.
If you have a parent, affiliate, or subsidiary organization that is not a State, local government, or Indian tribe, you must also maintain written standards of conduct covering organizational conflicts of interest. Organizational conflicts of interest means that because of relationships with a parent company, affiliate, or subsidiary organization, you are unable or appear to be unable to be impartial in conducting a subaward or procurement action involving a related organization.