by Kath Williams
A frequently asked question in the Pre-Award Office is, "Does Montana State University qualify as a501(c)(3)?" In reality, there are two answers. The first answer is "no." The university per se does not fit under that particular Internal Revenue Code section that exempts an organization from federal income tax. These organizations are non-profits, such as a private foundation. Often, it is worth a call to the granting foundation to find out if they use the designation loosely to mean all tax-exempt organizations or if they specifically target only non-profits.
The second answer is"yes." University proposals can be submitted to foundations requiring the applicants to be 501(c )(3)s. If the deliverables from the proposal will be research results, the appropriate tax-exempt organization is the Research and Development Institute Inc. (RDI) in the Advanced TechnologyPark. If the proposal simply asks for a foundation's support, the appropriate tax-exempt organization is the MSU Foundation.
The Request for Proposal(RFP) almost always asks that documentation of tax-exempt status be included. This includes the IRS designation letter that granted the501(c)(3) status and a current financial statement. These are available through your designated Grants and Contracts officer.
When the proposal is successful, the MSU Foundation or RDI will be the recipient of the grant,and an account with that organization will be established. An administrative service fee is charged by both to cover the cost of performing this service for the university. The procedure to access the account remains, however, through the Grants and Contracts office.
In other funding news, two updated Public Health Service forms are now available. The new PHS 398 and PHS 2590 application instructions and forms are available on the National Institutes of Health Web site at www.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm. Paper copies will be available in January in the Pre-Award Office, 303 Montana Hall.
And finally, MSU faculty will be receiving a form requesting keywords that correspond with individual research interests. Please complete and return this form to our office.Opportunities will be forwarded directly to the faculty member, based on these keywords.
The Pre-Award Office will be closed between Christmas and New Year's. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season.
Kath Williams is Assistant to the Vice President for Research for Special Projects. She is assisted in the Pre-Award Office by Audrey Thurlow and intern Betsy White.