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Gallaudet Internal Funding Policies and Procedures


Selected Policies and Procedures for Gallaudet Research Grant Funds:

Small Research Grants & Priority Research Funds


Grantee's department takes primary responsibility for preparing grant paperwork.

Because research is an institutional priority, it is expected that staff within a grantee’s academic department will provide administrative support. Please keep in mind, however, that it is ultimately the responsibility of the grantee for following the correct protocol in the use of grant funds, including initiating requests for disbursements or reimbursements. In your grant application, you and your department chair affirmed that you will receive unequivocal support from your department, including:

  • Secretarial assistance in meeting University regulations and paperwork.

  • Necessary equipment and space.

The University’s process calls for paperwork to be generated by the grantee and his or her department, according to University guidelines, and then sent to RSIA for approval and processing.

Use of funds must adhere to University policies.

Funds must be used according to established Gallaudet policies and procedures. It is the responsibility of the grantee to learn about applicable policies relating to the use of these funds, such as for travel. The policies and procedures can be found at Administration and Operations Manual.


How much time do I have to use the funding I have been awarded from RISA?

  • Funds are for use during the current fiscal year, which ends on September 30.

  • Documentation for all expenditures should be submitted no later than September 7. Expenses submitted after this date may not be covered.

  • Funding cannot be “carried over” to the next fiscal year, so, again, bear in mind that you risk losing any expenses submitted after September 7.

Although there have been occasions when RSIA has agreed to a written request for a “no-cost extension” of an award if it felt the request was justified, therefore allowing grantees to proceed with their project into the next fiscal year, there is no guarantee. The point of contact for this matter is

REPORTING DUE: For Priority Research Fund Grantees only (faculty and staff)

Providing timely progress reports and final report: Funding may not be continued if a document is not received or if progress is not judged to be satisfactory.

    DUE FEBRUARY 15: Scope of Work for Summer Research
Grantees must provide a scope of work for their upcoming summer research plan if they plan to receive a summer research stipend.

    DUE MARCH 15: Progress Report (for second and third year)
The progress report should include a detailed account of progress towards objectives and timelines. Describe any major problems encountered in the implementation of these objectives. The reports will be reviewed by RSIA and a campus panel.

    DUE SEPTEMBER 15: End of Summer Research Report
The report should include the outcome of the summer work -- a narrative or reflective statement explaining how the funding enabled the researcher to meet goals, along with the research timeline.

    DUE SEPTEMBER 15: Revised Budget Report (for second year)
The revised budget report should have a summary of a revised budget report for the next fiscal year.

     DUE OCTOBER 30: Final Report  
The final report should be sent to the fund officer no later than 30 days following the end of the grant. Eligibility for future Priority Grants is contingent upon receipt of a final report. For those applicants proposing to apply for external funding, identify the agency and funding opportunity targeted and the timeline.

Annual Report of Achievements report: DUE Immediately after receiving an award (applies to all grantees)

Once a year, Gallaudet University has an obligation to submit an Annual Report of Achievements to the United States Department of Education. In order to support the University’s Annual Report of Achievements to the federal government, you are required to submit a summary of your project in the Gallaudet ARA database in the section on research activity.  Once awarded grant funding, researchers must create a profile by following the instructions at Annual Report of Achievement (ARA) submission information. Additionally, this information should be entered into an online database, Research and Scholarly Achievement at Gallaudet”.


Verification Services  (Transcription; Translation; Data Collection, Entry, and Analysis)
Average cost: $15-$20 per hour

Small Research Grants (SRGs) are considered a small university’s  “seed” grant that offers students their first exposure to common practices in the research field (e.g., transcribing, data collecting, translating, and/or analyzing). First-hand and intensive engagement such as this with information that has been collected, whether through a personal interview or a videotape, is at the center of the work of a qualitative researcher. SRGs discourage hiring other people to engage in these tasks because this tends to defeat the core purpose of the grant, thereby diminishing the new researcher’s intimate understanding of nuances in meaning, forms of expression, behavior, and so on. With this approach, SRG feels it provides an enriching opportunity to learn fundamental aspects about the importance -- and the challenges -- of meticulous data collection and analysis.  

Therefore, SRGs strongly encourage “do-it-yourself” work done by the researcher, which leads, in turn, to student researchers learning skills that will prove invaluable as they reach for greater heights in their exploration for new findings and insights within their disciplines.

Keeping this goal in mind, SRG is keen on supporting a verification service for research work (e.g., reviewing data gathering, entry,  analysis, translation, or transcription). SRG expects anyone who serves as an assistant to limit their role to quality assurance -- double-checking the researcher’s data, transcripts, or analytical procedures, and sharing feedback concerning accuracy and completeness. In essence, this is an area for compromise, particularly when a student engages in the critical act of transcription but has assistance in verifying accuracy. There are many other aspects to data management and quality assurance but, indeed, permitting data review falls under best practices.

Peer Debriefing/Data Reviewer

SRG agrees to support peer debriefing only when the researcher is the primary data collector. Quality assurance can be provided by another individual who serves solely to double-check the researcher’s data and analysis procedures and share feedback concerning accuracy and completeness.

Average cost: 3 hours transcription for every hour of interviewing, $15-20 per hour

Transcribing is something that can be a huge learning experience for student researchers, and therefore should be encouraged. Hiring a transcriber may affect the quality of the research study because it runs the risk of diminishing the researcher’s understanding of nuances in meaning, forms of expression, and behavior of research subjects. Therefore, SRG encourages student researchers to do their own transcription. They are allowed to hire assistants to verify accuracy.  

The one exception to the rule is if it is determined that a component of the study cannot be conducted by the investigator for a specific and justifiable reason (e.g., because of linguistic barriers or other limitations).

Interpreting Services (for communication access purposes)

The primary intent of hiring interpreters is to help an investigator communicate with research participants. On the matter of transcribing signed information to written English, SRG strongly encourages researchers to engage in this practice, but maintains that the transcription should be done themselves rather than relying on the services of an interpreter. The rationale is that hiring a transcriber may affect the quality of the study because it runs the risk of diminishing the researcher’s understanding of nuances in meaning, forms of expression, and behavior of research subjects. However, researchers are allowed to hire assistants to verify accuracy. The one exception to the rule is if it is determined that a component of the study cannot be conducted by the investigator for a specific and justifiable reason (e.g., because of linguistic barriers or other limitations). If this is the case, the researcher should clearly state their case as to why an interpreter’s transcription services are crucial to the integrity of the research, and SRG will take the request into consideration.

Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART)* (for communication access purposes)

CART service is designed for deaf and hard of hearing participants who are not fluent in sign language communication nor have the ability to listen to spoken communication in a focus group setting. CART is extremely expensive and should be used only when absolutely necessary to close a “language and communication gap” for the research study. Hiring a CART service may be supported for focus group activities only and does not apply to face-to-face interviews. Before confirming CART service, the researcher should determine if there is sufficient need to warrant paying for CART by asking the participants if they wish to have the service. If the intent is more to use CART for assisting with translation/transcription to English, this purpose should be clearly stated, and will be reviewed accordingly.

*The Small Research Grants (SRG) program does not have sufficient financial resources to fulfill every researcher’s request for services, and therefore asks that they limit these requests so that SRGs can serve as many researchers as possible.  


Reimbursement for course release (faculty only):

Upon submission of an approved Special Personnel Action Form (SPAF), RSIA reimburses grantees’ departments only for the actual amount paid to the substitute instructor who is hired to teach a course.

Payment to research subjects
Average cost: $15-20 per hour/interview/activity; $5-10 per online survey

Payment to research subjects should not be used to compensate for the loss of working hours. Paying faculty or staff for taking part in a research study during working hours is not permitted. Tangible gifts for a research subject are not permitted. If interpreters are recruited as research subjects, they should be compensated at the subject rate. Travel and childcare reimbursement for subjects is not permitted. 

Procedures for Paying Research Subjects

There are three alternatives for making payments:

  1. The grantee asks the RSIA secretary for a Research Subject Payment Voucher for each subject to be paid. Each form is signed by the RSIA secretary and the grantee adds the dates and names for each subject. The vouchers are then issued to the subjects for redemption at the Cashier’s Office.

  2. When the Cashier’s Office is not a convenient option for a research subject, a check is mailed. The grantee first submits the subject’s name, address, social security number, and documentation of participation to the department secretary. A check request is submitted to the Accounting Office, the request is processed, and the check is sent to the subject.

  3. If the grantee pays a subject out of pocket, documentation (usually each subject’s signature verifying participation) is submitted to the department secretary. A check request is then submitted to the Accounting Office, and a reimbursement check will be issued for pick up at the Cashier’s Office.

  4. Special exceptions in compensating research participants. The Office of Finance at Gallaudet University prefers that participants in research studies be compensated in one of three ways:

  • The participant takes a cash voucher to the Cashier’s Office.

  • The researcher pays out of pocket and seeks reimbursement by check afterward.

  • The University prepares a check and sends it to the participant afterward.

These three methods satisfy an accounting requirement that the University has documentation that a named individual received payment. All researchers are expected to use these methods for paying compensation to participants in their research studies.

An exception may be made when the research participants are off-site and participate in ways such as filling out a research survey. However, prior approval must first be given by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the research advisor, and the budget unit head. In such circumstances, it may be acceptable to use gift cards purchased from an online vendor. However, documentation must be provided to ensure that the gift cards are going directly to the participants without the researcher’s involvement (hence, the advantage of online gift card vendors). The researcher should choose a vendor of gift cards that provides a standard invoice showing that the cards went directly to the participants (shown by name and/or email address). Amazon, for example, provides the necessary information on their gift card invoices. It is the full responsibility of the researcher to ensure that the generated invoice will be acceptable to the Office of Finance. As a side note, the researcher should be aware that some gift card vendors charge substantially more in handling fees than other vendors.

Another exception may be permitted when, for protection of anonymity, the identity of the research participant is not to be documented on financial paperwork that is given to the University administration. The rationale for maintaining anonymity must be stated explicitly in the research design and approved by the IRB) which is charged with protecting human subjects in research. In this case, it would be acceptable to black out the names and/or email addresses, whether on cash voucher, check request, or gift card invoice.  As such, the Finance Office at least has a record of payment to an individual. However, it is required that the researcher or research group maintain a list of the names and contact information for the research participants in the event that the University’s auditor should request additional information. Additional information on this policy can be provided by the Office of Finance.

 Using Gift Cards to Pay Research Subjects

  • In some situations, it may be acceptable to use gift cards as a form of payment to research subjects. An example would be if research subjects were participating in a survey remotely. In such cases, there must be prior approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the research advisor, and the budget unit head.

  • It is recommended that researchers choose an online gift card vendor to ensure they never are in possession of the gift card. The gift card vendor should have an invoice showing that the cards go directly to the subjects, either by name or email address. Amazon is an example of such a gift card vendor that will provide this necessary information. Remember, if is the full responsibility of the researcher to ensure that the invoice is acceptable to the Office of Finance.

          • DO NOT buy gift cards at the store. 
          • DO NOT buy gift cards online and then give them directly to the research subjects.
          • YOU CAN buy gift cards online and have them SENT DIRECTLY FROM the online retailer to the research subject's house. 

Out of Pocket Expense Reimbursement

Steps to follow in being reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses. Please remember that all awards by RSIA can only cover expenses that occur after the date of the award, which is noted in the award letter. Researchers will not be reimbursed for any expenses incurred prior to the date of the award. There are no exceptions to this policy, as it prevents RSIA’s ability to properly evaluate and review other grant requests and budget justifications.

  1. Petty Cash. There is a $100.00 limit on each petty cash reimbursement. The grantee submits receipts or other documentation to the department secretary and obtains a Petty Cash Receipt, which is then redeemed at the Cashier’s Office in College Hall (Gallaudet ID required). The department secretary will send an Interdepartmental Invoice (II) to the RSIA secretary for reimbursement.  

  2. Check Request. For requests exceeding $100.00, all receipts or supporting documentation for items purchased are submitted to the department secretary for processing. A check request will be submitted to the Accounting Office. According to the Accounting Office, checks are usually processed the same day that submission is received from RSIA, and checks are printed several times per week. The check will be available to the grantee for pickup at the Cashier’s Office. (Direct deposit is also an option if the investigator normally receives a Gallaudet paycheck in this manner). The department secretary will send an Interdepartmental Invoice (II) to the RSIA secretary for reimbursement.  

What if my research subjects want to maintain anonymity and not share their names and/or email addresses with the Finance offices?

  • There are exceptions that may occur, such as maintaining the anonymity of a research subject. The reason for maintaining anonymity must be stated in the research design and approved by IRB. Only then will it become acceptable to black-out names and/or email addresses.

  • It is required that the researcher maintain a list of names and contact information for the research subjects in the event that the University’s auditor requests additional information. 

How many principal investigators can apply for one SRG fund?

  • Only one principal investigator is allowed per study. One faculty member may apply for funding of a study. If faculty or staff members seek to build a research team, consider applying for external funding. You may also consider applying for a Priority Research Fund grant (PRF), which can support multiple investigators and assistants.

How to pay wages for work related to research projects.

Some studies call for the payment of wages for work that researchers cannot complete themselves. RSIA will transfer funds to cover these wages via Interdepartmental Invoice (II) to the researcher’s department where the work is being done, supervised, and documented in the eTime payroll system. Each month, the department is asked to submit to the department secretary a copy of hours submitted to the Payroll Office, either using eTime or a paper time card.


If a grantee is approved to use grant funds for travel, he or she will be required to follow the normal procedures for making arrangements, including preparing and getting approval for a Travel Order (See Gallaudet’s Finance Office webpage for form) well in advance of the travel date, and providing documentation afterward of related expenses.

  • Local Travel. If a grantee is approved to use grant funds for travel by any means of transportation, he or she will be required to follow the normal procedures for making arrangements. If a grantee is traveling by car only, the simpler Local Transportation form, available from the department secretary, may be used. If not, the grantee will need to prepare and get approval of a Travel Order. Either method requires documentation of expenses afterward.

  • International Travel. International travel clearance must be sought starting three months before the anticipated travel date. The researcher must fill out the International Travel Plan. University administration approval for travel cannot be assured by RSIA.

When the trip is completed, the Travel Form, showing itemized expenditures, is submitted to the RSIA secretary, and funds budgeted for the travel will be transferred to the account of the researcher’s department. If the funds must be transferred prior to the travel, the researcher or his/her department’s secretary should submit a copy of the Travel Form showing expected expenditures, and an Interdepartmental Invoice (II) will be used to transfer the funds to the department’s account. Documentation of expenses is submitted to the department secretary when the trip is completed. 


Gallaudet’s policy on requests for food and drink reimbursement.

All purchases of food and drink fall under the “entertainment” policy of the University, which states in part: “All entertainment expenditures [within your Division] must be approved in advance by the budget head [Dean of the Graduate School and Professional Programs].” Failure to adhere to this policy means that any later attempts to obtain reimbursement will not be accepted. The department secretary can help with making a request for entertainment through a memo with the attached award letter.

SRG funds cannot be used for food and entertainment costs if research participant payments are provided. 


Can I buy software packages and equipment to help with my research?

  • The fund doesn’t cover the cost of software that may be considered a general work tool, such as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), as this is considered a personal obligation of the research scholar. RSIA has a list of software packages that are well suited to the needs of researchers and students for their data collection method at Gallaudet. Many of them are available at no cost and unencumbered by proprietary licensing restrictions. The software list is shown at RSIA Software Resources.

    If a researcher needs to borrow software or equipment, and RSIA has agreed to lend it, please contact Susan Larrison at

Small Research Grant Funds CANNOT Be Used for:

  • Full cost of equipment, accessories, hardware, or software. Durable equipment and specialized software are sometimes lent to the investigator, or a cost-sharing arrangement may be made with the applicant's department.
  • Equipment such as an iPad or iPhone, computers, laptops, video recorders, voice recorders, or tripods.
  • Incentives/Incidentals 
  • Salaries, wages, stipends.
  • Course release time or sabbaticals.
  • Hiring students as assistants to students.
  • Hiring students as assistants to faculty, unless the study meets criteria. 
  • Cost of travel to present research findings at professional or school meetings.
  • Presentation and/or conference fees.
  • Cost of typing or preparing a manuscript.
  • Cost of publishing a research report.
  • Payment to specialists or technicians for completion of work customarily expected of the investigator.
  • Hiring others to do work for the investigator unless it is determined that a component of the study cannot be conducted by the investigator for a specific and justifiable reason (e.g., because of language, accessibility, or other limitations).
  • Training and curriculum development studies.
  • Costs for typing or editing a manuscript.
  • Out of pocket expenses incurred prior to the date of the grant award.


If there are questions regarding the design of a study and its review, please contact Dr. Charles Reilly, Priority Research Fund officer,, (202) 651-5794 (V).

For questions regarding administrative policies of the grant, contact Susan Larrison, Coordinator, Research Support and Special Projects, or (202) 470-1193 (VP).

For routine matters relating to processing paperwork, contact Susan Larrison, Coordinator, Research Support and Special Projects, or (202) 470-1193 (VP).





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