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Sponsor: US Department of Justice (DOJ)

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Proposal Guidance

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) offers funding opportunities to conduct research, to support law enforcement activities in state and local jurisdictions, to provide training and technical assistance, and to implement programs that improve the criminal justice system.

DOJ branches that generally offer grant and cooperative agreement funding are the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office, the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). OJP includes the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), and Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). All DOJ solicitations are available at grants.gov, and a list of OJP funding opportunities is here: https://ojp.gov/funding/Explore/CurrentFundingOpportunities.htm.

DOJ proposals typically request information related to MSU in addition to the information about the proposed project. Please contact your OSP Proposal Team for assistance with some of these requirements, including:

  • NIJ list of awards to MSU
  • Research Independence and Integrity
  • Executive Compensation Disclosure
  • Financial Management and System of Internal Controls Questionnaire
  • Disclosure of Pending Applications
  • OVW’s questions related to Financial Accounting Practices
  • NIJ proposals also require their Human Subjects form and a Privacy Certificate. Once completed, these forms should be sent to IRB for signature.

Submission System

A majority of DOJ proposals are submitted through grants.gov via KC. If a solicitation requires submission through their Grant Management System (GMS), talk with your OSP Proposal Team.

JIT Information

DOJ has Standard Assurances that must be accepted prior to the issuance of an award. It is recommended these assurances be reviewed and agreed to by the PI at the time of proposal so when OSP is notified to accept these assurances, there is no delay in acceptance.

Budget Guidelines

DOJ has a specific Budget Detail Worksheet template for use in all proposals submitted.

The DOJ Grants Financial Guide is for proposals and awards from OJP, OVW and COPS after December 26, 2014.

The guidelines listed here are generally applicable to this sponsor. Please refer to the solicitation for any deviation to standard guidelines or specific requirements for a program.

Personnel

Salary
Salaries must be based on KC values unless a known increase/decrease is expected, for example due to a change in title/rank. Salary Cap: DOJ has a salary cap applicable to awards above $250,000 that limits the rate of compensation to 110% of the annual maximum salary payable to a member of the Federal Government’s Senior Executive Service (SES) at an agency with a Certified SES Performance Appraisal System for that year. A salary limit waiver may be requested from DOJ if budgeting above this rate. 
Fringe
Fringe must be based on KC values; OSP recommends providing MSU's fringe rate memo as part of the budget justification
Research Associate (Post Doc) Salary
Salaries must be based on KC values if a current employee; the current minimum salary for a Post Doc can be found at this link
Research Associate (Post Doc) Fringe
Fringe should be based on KC values; Post Docs are eligible for retirement in the 4th year of employment or if they participated in a retirement plan at a previous employer that made employer contributions. Please contact HR for more information.
Graduate Student Stipend
Stipend amounts should be based on standard/published college/department levels or HR levels
Graduate Student Fringe
Appropriate health benefits should be applied based on the current Grad Fringe Chart; 7.65% for summer hourly work, or standard health benefits during AY
Undergraduate Labor
Usually based on hourly rates; see HR standard rates
Undergraduate Fringe
Fringe of 7.65% applied during the summer; fringe only applied during AY if student is not expected to be enrolled full time
Administrative Staff
Allowable per Uniform Guidance (UG) if justified and necessary for the project; salaries and fringes should be based on KC values

Equipment

Allowable; quotes should be provided to OSP, or the PI/research administrator should keep quotes on file

Participant Support Costs

Generally allowable for some social science research with approval; allowable costs may include stipends, subsistence allowances, travel, registration fees, meals; see NIJ PSC policy

Travel

Domestic

Travel. MSU may follow its own travel policy, however, if MSU is a subrecipient of a State agency, the State’s established travel policies must be followed.    

Allowable for employees who travel on business related to the award; travel must be itemized to include the purpose, destination (if known),  number of travelers, number of days, amounts of airfare, lodging, and subsistence; DOJ considers registration fees for conferences as an Other Direct Cost and not Travel
Foreign
Allowable for employees who travel on business related to the award; prior approval is required for any foreign travel; travel must be itemized to include the purpose, destination (if known),  number of travelers, number of days, amounts of airfare, lodging, and subsistence; DOJ considers registration fees for conferences as an Other Direct Cost and not Travel

Other Direct Costs

Communications
Allowable if not otherwise treated as F&A costs; should be allocable to the project
Computer Services/ADP
Must be based on Financial Analysis approved rates; quotes or other justification should be provided to OSP
Conferences
Generally allowable including: meeting rooms, audio-visual, printing, M&IE reimbursement, lodging at federal per diem rates, transportation, logistical conference planner (limited to the lesser of $50/person or $8,750), programmatic conference planner (limited to the lesser of $200/person or $35,000), trainer/speaker fees. Unallowable costs generally include gifts/commemorative items and meals/refreshments unless prior approval is obtained. If paying the lodging costs for 30 or more participants of a conference or workshop, the lodging rate must be at the Federal per diem rate for lodging or less. If it is above the Federal per diem rate, none of the lodging costs associated with the event are allowable. More information on these types of costs here: Conference and Workshops and here: Additional Conference Guidance. Prior Approval is required before a conference can take place on Cooperative Agreements or Contracts, or if exceeding the thresholds provided for conference costs.
Consultant Services
Provide the consultant name, service to be provided, hourly or daily fee, and estimated time devoted to the project; consultant fees in excess of $650/day or $81.25/hour require additional justification and prior approval; consulting expenses (travel, meals, lodging) may be included if itemized. If the consultant is associated with a state agency or institution of higher education, additional rules apply.
Equipment/Facility Rental
Allowable if the rental cost does not exceed the rental cost of comparable space; actual rental cost can only be charged to the grant during periods of occupancy; costs for maintenance, utilities, etc. are allowable if not included in the rental cost
Graduate Student Tuition & Fees
Must match the graduate student tuition chart unless applying to a fellowship solicitation; tuition must be prorated based on project dates; KC will apply appropriate inflation
Honoraria
Unallowable; speaker's fees or other payments for services are allowable
Incentives
Generally unallowable as incentives are considered "gifts"; may be allowable if the incentives are justified to be critical to the project; incentives must receive prior approval; incentives should be modest and in proportion to the time/effort of the participant
IRB/IACUC Fees
Not allowable as direct charges 
Materials & Supplies
Items should be listed by type/category and must be itemized to show category and computation (cost per item x number of items)
Meals/Refreshments
With the exception of per diem for individuals in Travel status, Food and Beverages (Meals and Refreshments) are NOT allowed on any DOJ project.
Publication/Dissemination
Allowable
Service Charges/CORE Services
Must be based on Financial Analysis approved rates; quotes or other justification should be provided to OSP
Subaward
Allowable; subawards in excess of $100,000 are no longer considered sole-source/non-competitive, but DOJ may require additional justification at the time of award; subaward budget, budget justification, scope of work, and commitment form must be on file internally
Visa Fees
Unallowable

Contingency
/Misc.

Unallowable

F&A

NICRA rates should be used based on project nature; a copy of the NICRA agreement should be attached to the proposal

Cost Share

Only include if cost share is required by the solicitation. Matching requirements vary across DOJ programs.

Compliance

Export Control

All DOJ awards require completion of an Export Control and Open Research Worksheet (ECORRW) prior to execution of the award. Information about Export Control policies can be found here

Human Subjects

If the project includes human subject’s research, IRB approval will be required prior to account set-up.

Animal Subjects

If the project includes animal subjects, IACUC approval will be required prior to account set-up.

Award Guidance

DOJ awards come with special conditions based on the type of award (grant or cooperative agreement) and project. Several of these special conditions state that we may not “expend, obligate or drawdown” funds until a Grant Adjustment Notice (GAN) is issued removing that special condition. Be prepared to answer questions and provide additional information on these topics:

  • Budget: approval of the budget may bring up questions on how costs within the budget were estimated; additional breakdowns may be needed
  • Human Subjects: DOJ may ask for IRB documentation
  • Privacy Certificate: additional questions may arise during review of this document
  • Environmental Assessment: depending on the work of the project, DOJ may ask for this to be completed to help determine environmental impact

Subawards

OSP Contract Teams draft subaward documents for DOJ awards. Aside from the documents required at the proposal stage (commitment form, SOW, budget, and budget justification), copies of the sub’s rate agreement and financial audit are needed. 

Prior Approvals

Sections 3.5 and 3.6 of the DOJ Grants Financial Guide outline costs that require prior approval. Common prior approvals include, but are not limited to:

  • Budget modification with a proposed cumulative change greater than 10% of the total award amount. The 10% rule does not apply to an award of less than $150,000.
  • Budget modification that proposes to add a cost category that was not included in the original budget.
  • Change in scope, duration, activities, or other significant areas.
  • Change in project period must be submitted no later than 30 calendar days before the project period end date.
  • Any changes to Indirect Costs (for OJP/OVW grants)
  • Consultant rates above $650/day
  • Conference Costs: an approved award budget is not a prior approval. All requests must be submitted within the required number of days (90 or 120) in advance of the start date. See DOJ Financial Guide, Chapter 3.10: Conference Approval, Planning, and Reporting.
  • Foreign Travel
  • Equipment not included in the budget
  • Pre-award costs

Submission System

Requests to make a programmatic, administrative or financial change to a grant must be submitted electronically through the GAN (Grant Adjustment Notice) module in Grant Management System (GMS). Requests through GMS must be submitted by an Authorized Representative in CGA. Send all requests for prior approval to awards@cga.msu.edu.

Reporting

Progress Reporting

Progress reports are submitted annually or semi-annually, depending on the award type.

  • Semi-annual progress reports are due within 30 days after the end of the reporting period (June 30 and December 31) for the life of the award.
  • Annual progress reports are due within 30 days after the end of the reporting period.
  • Final progress reports are due within 90 days after the end date of the award.
  • If specified in the Award Document, submit a Draft Final Summary Overview report 90 days prior to the end of the project period. Report must be submitted through GMS as a “Special Report”.  Report must not exceed 10 pages.
  • If specified in the Award Document, submit a Final Summary Overview by the end date of the project. Submit through GMS as a “Special Report.”

Financial Reporting

  • Quarterly Financial Reports (SF-425) must be submitted no later than 30 days after the last day of each quarter. 
  • The Final Financial Report is due within 90 days after the end date of the award period.

Other Reporting

Provide an invention report (DD882) within 90 days after the end date of the award listing all subject inventions, if applicable.

Submission System

All financial and technical reporting must be submitted through GMS by an Authorized Representative.

Effort Reporting / Cost Share

Salary Cap

For awards over $250,000, grant funds may not be used to pay cash compensation (salary plus bonuses) to any employee at a rate that exceeds 110% of the annual maximum salary payable to a member of the Federal Government’s Senior Executive Service at an agency with a Certified SES Performance Appraisal System for that year. The amount of pay in excess of the annual maximum may be paid with non-Federal funds or a waiver request may be submitted to DOJ.

Effort Reporting

MSU effort reporting overview and FAQ’s can be found on the Sponsored Program Administration website at the following link: https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Effort/EffortReportingTools.aspx

Effort reporting instructions can also be located on the Sponsored Program Administration website: https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/231/EffortReportingInstructionsEffortAdministrators

For additional questions and information, please contact the CGA Effort Reporting inbox at effortreporting@cga.msu.edu

Cost Share

Information on cost share can be found on the Sponsored Program Administration website at the following link: https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/249/CostSharePolicy

In cases where salaried cost share has been committed, MSU uses the effort reporting system for tracking and documentation.  Non-salary cost share is documented through PI certified operating statements.

Record Retention

Per the DOJ Grants Financial Guide, “Retain all financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to the award for a period of 3 years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report.“ Exceptions to this retention rule are located in section 3.16 of the DOJ Financial Guide.

Sponsor Resources

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