MSI Support for Grant Proposals

MSI supports preparation of research proposals in three different ways:

  • We provide summary technical information about MSI infrastructure and computing resources, and also letters of commitment or support upon request.
  • MSI's Application Development, Research Informatics Support Systems, and User Support Services provide assistance in grant preparation, including design of computational elements, data management elements, and/or informatics protocols. See consulting and also the information below for information about consulting support provided by MSI staff, both for proposal preparation and more generally.
  • MSI can also serve as the host unit of computational proposals. In this case, in addition to (b), MSI provides budget and grant preparation assistance. Indirect Cost Recovery rates are different than in other collegiate units, and will be discussed at proposal preparation time.

Questions about grant preparation should be directed to Brian Carlton (612-626-6487,

Proposal Routing Form (PRF) signing chain for projects involving MSI

Proposals that involve MSI and require MSI’s signing of the corresponding PRF must be signed by Jorge Vinals <jvinals> of MSI and Frances Lawrenz <lawrenz> of the Office of the Vice President for Research.

MSI staff, as mentioned above, will provide free of charge limited help with the proposal development process, and MSI Administration can provide letters of support that indicate the types of support MSI can offer for projects. For more extensive MSI support, please see page that discusses MSI's fee-based services.

Data Management Plans

Principal Investigators are responsible for preparing their own Data Management Plan. Assistance is provided by the University Libraries Creating a Data Management Plan. We also recommend the online tool DMPTool which contains templates that are agency and sometimes solicitation specific. The information given below pertains to current MSI policies for data access, security and backup. You may use this information in preparing the relevant sections of your Data Management Plan.

Backup and storage procedures

All incremental changes to MSI group spaces (all user files with the exception of temporary files), which include user home directories, are backed up to tape daily. MSI also runs a continual full offsite backup with tapes which are transferred to an off-site location for disaster recovery purposes. Transfers occur every 1-2 weeks. At this time, there is no time limit for the retention of data on disk as long as a PI renews their registration with MSI annually. Similarly, there is no time limit for data on tape as long as a copy exists on disk; if the user deletes the copy on disk, it will be removed from tape after 30 days. Further information about MSI storage is available on the Storage Infrastructure page.

Access policies and provisions for secondary uses

The PI or group admin of a research group can use myMSI to add access for collaborators who need to access MSI systems. Please email MSI about any needs you have for sharing your data with a wider audience; MSI can make access-controlled or open web access available.

Plans for eventual transition of the data collection after project is complete

Please email MSI about any specific needs you have for long-term data archival (beyond the scope of your planned registration as an MSI user). MSI can also assist with transfer of data offsite.

Any protection or security measures taken to protect participant confidentiality or intellectual property

User files are protected by user and group permissions and/or ACLs. User passwords must be changed every six months and are not permitted to be shared. Systems are patched regularly as needed, most access must pass through bastion hosts, and all system accesses are centrally logged. MSI staff only access user files at user or an authorized party’s request; PIs or their designees make all decisions regarding file removal or access control changes. Network security includes local firewalls and central university network monitoring. Physical security is monitored by cameras and controlled by card access and physical keys issued only to staff with valid access needs. Environmental conditions are monitored at all times by facilities staff and MSI systems staff. Offsite backups are stored in a secure MSI-controlled facility. A more detailed security description is available upon request.