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SSP Funding Process: How do I get my money?

Funding processes for USGS Principal Investigators will differ depending on the type of activity to be conducted (research or technical assistance) and the year it was approved (is it a new activity or an on-going activity from previous years).  

New Research Activities

New Technical Assistance Activities

On-going Activities (both Research and Technical Assistance)

New Research Activities

If your research proposal has been approved for SSP funding, you will be notified via email from the National SSP staff in Reston. It is not until this email from USGS arrives that a proposal is officially selected and approved for funding. These email announcements are made to the USGS Regional SSP Contacts, with copies to the appropriate Center Directors and Principal Investigators.  Lists of approved studies may also be found on this web site.

The SSP Program requires that all research study plans be peer reviewed.  SSP does not have unique peer review guidelines, rather we defer to the local Science Center and Cooperative Research Unit peer review policies.  As a check on this requirement, funding for research will not be released without an approved, peer reviewed study plan being on file in Reston.  Approved study plans may be sent electronically (preferred) or hardcopy (if needed) to BRD National Staff.  If sent electronically, it must include some form of documentation that it has met local peer review requirements.  This may take different forms, such as including a scanned or faxed copy of a signature sheet, or an email from the approving official indicating it has been approved. Individual peer review comments are NOT required.

Upon receipt of an approved plan, two actions are taken:

1.  Funding is dispersed

Exactly how this happens depends on where we are in the budget allocation process.  If the initial budget allocation has not yet been issued by Reston, the SSP activity will be added to the initial allocation table and sent when funds are first dispersed for the year.  If the initial allocation has already been issued, funds will be provided via Change of Allocation.  We make every effort to clearly indicate which project this money is for; included on the COA will be the PI's name, SSP activity title, SSP ID number, and BASIS+ task number (see 2. below).  COAs are generally sent to Fiscal Services for processing within 2 days of receiving a study plan.

2.  Activity is added to BASIS+

All SSP activities are maintained under project 3210APN.  Within that project each Science Center has its own Task, and each  individual SSP activity is a Subtask.  Reston staff will create each Subtask and inform Center/CRU staff of that Subtask Number at the time of funding dispersal.  The PI and Administrative Officer will automatically be listed as Subtask Leaders.  If you wish to include others as Leaders, you may inform the National SSP staff at the time you submit the study plan, or add them yourself once you have access to the subtask.   Reston will populate the title and funding information. PIs are responsible for populating the narrative fields in BASIS+ throughout the study's duration.

Some Science Centers have begun the practice of changing the subtask number to match local study tracking systems.  There is no prohibition against this, as long as the changes are communicated to Reston staff. 

New Technical Assistance Activities

If your technical assistance activity has been approved for SSP funding, you will be notified via email from the National SSP staff in Reston. It is not until this email from USGS arrives that a proposal is officially selected and approved for funding. These email announcements are made to the USGS Regional SSP Contacts, with copies to the Center Directors and Principal Investigators.  Lists of approved activities may also be found on this web site.

Unlike research activities, technical assistance supported by the SSP Program does not require a study plan or other documentation beyond the approved proposal.  Details and requirements for the technical assistance activity should be determined and agreed upon by the PI and FWS Project Officer.  It is incumbent on these individuals to ensure the activities are appropriate and conducted as planned. 

Therefore, as soon as BRD National staff are able, two actions are taken:

1.  Funding is dispersed

It is anticipated that funding decisions for SSP proposals will be finalized prior to the initial budget allocation.  If this is the case, all technical assistance activities will be included and funded on the initial allocation.  If for some reason the initial allocation has already been sent, funds will be provided via Change of Allocation.  We make every effort to clearly indicate which project this money is for; included on the COA will be the PI's name, SSP activity title, SSP ID number, and BASIS+ task number (see 2. below).

2.  Activity is added to BASIS+

All SSP activities are maintained under project 3210APN.  Within that project each Science Center has its own Task, and each  individual SSP activity is a Subtask.  Reston staff will create each Subtask and inform Center/CRU staff of that Subtask Number at the time of funding dispersal.  The PI and Administrative Officer will automatically be listed as Subtask Leaders.  If you wish to include others as Leaders, you may inform the National SSP staff at the time you submit the study plan.   Reston will populate the title and funding information. PIs are responsible for populating the narrative fields in BASIS+ throughout the study's duration.

Some Science Centers have begun the practice of changing the subtask number to match local study tracking systems.  There is no prohibition against this, as long as the changes are communicated to Reston staff. 

On-going Activities

Approved SSP activities which span multiple fiscal years need not submit proposals in subsequent years.  Once approved, it is the intent of the SSP program that they will be supported through the life of the agreed upon study plan, contingent on project progress.  Funding for subsequent years will be provided upon the initial budget allocation.  This includes both research and technical assistance.

Fund Sources

All SSP activities are funded by either the Wildlife: Terrestrial and Endangered Resources Program (31040-CY) or the Fisheries: Aquatic and Endangered Resources Program (31060-CY).  Funds for a given plan will come from one or both of these two sources. In some cases,the fund source will not match the work being done (i.e., Fisheries dollars sent for a bird habitat study). This is not an error, rather an artifact of how much money we have from the two Programs vs. the type of work FWS recommends to fund each year.

For any questions about the budget process, please contact the BRD National Staff in Reston.

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Page Last Modified: Monday January 14 2013