S.A.F.E. Administrative User Frequently Asked Questions
Who should be using SAFE to promote and record funding to students?
Everyone who awards funding to undergraduate students should be recording this funding in SAFE.
Under what circumstances does funding to students NOT have to be recorded in SAFE?
The following activities and funds should not be entered in SAFE:
• Prizes to recognize achievement
• Salary (including casual hourly appointments, “internships” that are really paid jobs)
• Financial Aid and Work/Study funds
• Financial assistance, including emergency assistance or hardship funding
• Payments that are entirely external to the University (never touching University accounts or administered by University departments; for example – funding provided by family; raised by the student via fundraisers; completely external support such as Rotary Club, or another philanthropic/non-profit organization; direct internship payment from hosting organization)
• Purchases of equipment that will be used by the student but remain the property of the department (including reimbursements to students who purchase materials that are considered to be department property).
We just received a funding request (email) from an undergraduate student asking for funding to attending a conference in Turkey. Should we treat this like any other funding opportunity and have the student apply via SAFE once of course we’ve created a funding opportunity for this purpose? Could we handle this internally as we’ve done in year’s past?
If this is something your department wants to fund, that’s completely fine and it should be recorded in SAFE. Depending on the circumstances, you could accomplish it in different ways.
If this is an isolated request, specific to the student’s needs and you don’t want to advertise it as a funding opportunity for other students to apply to, you could enter it as a FUNDER-INITIATED award. You simply create a new funding opportunity and select “funder-initiated” for the type of award. It won’t appear in any student's search; rather, it’s just a placeholder from which you award. If your department does more than one of these kind of awards, you could use this same funder-initiated opportunity to make all of those awards.
If you want to allow other students to apply for this funding also, you could create another student-initiated opportunity and call it something like “x Dept. Conference Travel Fund".
What if we already gave a student the money or what if my chair promised to give a student money “behind the scenes”?
In these cases, the funding should be recorded in SAFE as a Funder-Initiated Award to the student--even if the payment has already been made. This way, other potential funders are aware of what the student has already been awarded.
A student contacted me because she missed the deadline to apply for my opportunity. Can I let her apply post-deadline?
If a student misses the deadline for the opportunity, funders need not honor requests for late applications. If there is an extenuating circumstance and you decide to allow the late application, you will need to change the publication and application dates to "reopen" your opportunity for a very short time (e.g. one day). It is possible, though that you may receive other applications during the same time.
How do I know what information the SAFE application is collecting? I need to know if I should add additional questions and/or requirements.
Our department has a paper application that works well for us. Can we insert this as a pdf and require students to complete it in addition to their SAFE application?
While you can add pdf documents and additional application requirements to the SAFE application, we encourage you to first review the SAFE sample applications on the SAFE home page. If additional information from the students is needed, we urge you to make sure your application does not collect redundant information as this causes frustration and confusion from students.
Members of my review committee like to see paper applications. How can I do this?
You can save the applications as pdf documents either individually or as a batch and print or distribute them electronically.
Questions About Activity Type
I am creating a funding opportunity and do not know which activity type to select. Does it matter which I select?
Activity type is one of the fields which cannot be changed once the opportunity is created. Furthermore, only students whose actviity type matches your opportunity's activity type will see the opportunity in their search results.
Funders are encouraged to consider which activity types they would fund and create a funding opportunity for each. Some funders have 4 opportunities (one for each activity type) for each pool of funding they offer.
I created a funding opportunity for senior thesis research. A student just contacted me and asked if we would fund her internship. We would like to fund the internship. How can I do this?
You can only fund activities in which the activity types match. In order to fund a project that does not match your opportunity, you have to create another funding opportunity for the desired activity type. Funders are encouraged to create opportunities for as many of the activity types as they would fund--thus there may be 4 opportunities for each pool of money offered.
Note: Students are not permitted to create more than one project application for the same activity (i.e. Creating one project of the type internship and one of the type independent research is not permitted).
Questions About Awarding and Paying Awards
Can you advise how my department can decline proposals for funding? Right now I see no way to do so.
In order to “decline” a proposal for funding, you will need to offer a final award of $0. This will inform the student as well as other funders that you have made a decision and they should not continue waiting for an award from your office. We suggest that you indicate the reason why you are unable to fund their project in the comments to the student field.
Does a student receive notification of a preliminary award?
No. Students receive no notification of preliminary awards. They are only notified (via automated email through SAFE) when an award is final.
If we have decided not to award a student's project, can we choose to not do anything with their SAFE application?
If you have decided not to offer an award, you should record an award of $0 and click Offer Final Award on this Project. This will inform other funders, and the student, that your decisions have been made and they need not expect funding from your opportunity. We recommend that you briefly explain to the student why you are not offering an award in the "Student Comments" field.
What does the final award notification email to students say?
Below is a sample of the student award notification email:
Dear <student name>,
A funding decision has been posted for your <activity type> project from < funding opportunity name>. Please note that different funding offices post their decisions at different times. If you applied to multiple funding opportunities, you should receive additional notifications as the other funders complete their application review process.
Project Title: <student’s project title>
Awarding Opportunity: <funding opportunity name>
Please log into SAFE to view the funding decision and accept your award (if applicable):
Note: You MUST complete the required steps noted in the Terms and Conditions section of your application before any funding can be released, if your project involves any of the following:
1) travel to a country on the State Department warning list/University restricted travel list;
2) human subjects research (IRB);
3) animal research (IACUC);
4) overnight travel outside the NYC/Philadelphia corridor.
Please refer to the Terms and Conditions section of your application for details.
Please direct all questions and concerns to the contact for this funding opportunity:
<Fund Contact Name>
<Fund Contact Email address>
I offered a final award to a student but now I need to change it. Can I do this?
Yes. There are many good reasons why a final award would need to be modified. Final awards can be changed (increased, decreased, or changed to $0). Go to the Projects tab, search for the student's project, select the Award Funding action, then scroll down to the orange Reopen Offered Award button. This will open the award funding page and allow you to change the award amounts. Please use the Student Comments field to explain to the student why you are making the change. When you have completed your modifications and comments, click the Offer Final Award on this Project button. The student will then receive another, new award nofication email and will be prompted to view and accept or decline the award.
I am ready to pay awards. If the student says they have completed all of the requirements, can I process the voucher to pay them?
It is the funder's responsiblity to verify that the student has completed all of his/her obligations as required by University policy before releasing funds. If the research involves travel, the funder must verify that the student is registered on the University's Travel Database. In addition, the student must submit proof (via uploaded documents to SAFE) that they have obtained IRB, IACUC, and EHS approval (if applicable) and a Travel waiver (if travel is to a country on the State Department Warning List). Some funders withold final payment until students have fulfilled their additional requirements such as uploading summary reports and receipts.
We want to pay students in more than one disbursement, based on their completion of benchmarks along the way. Can we do this in SAFE?
Yes. Awarding and Paying are two separate processes in SAFE. Please indicate the total amount you will be giving the student as the Award. You may create vouchers in SAFE in whatever installments you prefer.
Questions About Advisors, Recommenders, Evaluators, and Dept Reps
How is a recommender notified that a student project is waiting for their recommendation?
A recommender will receive an automated email notification that a student has named him/her as a recommender when the student's application is locked (for independent projects this is upon submission; for all others, it is the earliest application deadline of the funders to which the student is applying). Below is a sample of the email notification text:
Subject: Student project funding application, recommendation requested
Dear <recommender name>,
You are receiving this email because a student, <student name>, is applying for funding through the Student Activity Funding Engine (SAFE) and has listed you as the appropriate faculty member or administrator to answer evaluative questions about his/her project.
The student has <waived> or <not waived> his/her right of access to this recommendation.
Title: <name of the student's project.>
1. Please click on the following link: <link to SAFE Home page, admin login>
2. Login using your PU NetId and password.
3. On your SAFE “home” screen, you will see 3 tabs in the upper left corner of the screen: HOME, EVALUATIONS, and RECOMMENDATIONS. Click on the RECOMMENDATIONS tab.
4. You will see a table displaying a list of the students who have requested that you submit a recommendation on their behalf as well as a list of the recommendations you have already submitted.
5. Click on the “Write Recommendation” icon in the far right column of each student’s row. You will see a copy of the student’s funding application. Scroll down for the recommendation questions.
6. Complete the brief recommendation and click SUBMIT RECOMMENDATION or SAVE AND FINISH LATER.
7. If you want to review what you've written for another project, you can click on the "view project" link for a completed recommendation.
SAFE Manager for Independent Work/Special Projects
If the recommender does not submit the recommendation after 5 days, SAFE will send one reminder email--a duplicate of the first email.
How is the Departmental Representative notified that there are student Senior Thesis Research applications waiting their reviews?
Departmental Representatives will receive an automated email notification when a student from his/her department applies for funding in SAFE for a senior thesis research project. The email is sent after the student's advisor submits his/her evaluation. The text of this email can be seen below:
TO: Departmental Representative
Cc: Undergraduate Administrator
SAFE Manager for Senior Thesis Research Funding [Office of the Dean of the College]
You are receiving this email because one or more students from you department is applying for senior thesis research funding through the Princeton Student Activities Funding Engine.
1. Please go to https://puwebp.princeton.edu/safe and login using your Princeton NetId and password.
2. You will see a series of tabs in the upper left corner; for the purpose of this evaluation, click on the DEPT REVIEW tab.
3. The DEPT REVIEW page will display a table listing students from your department who are requesting senior thesis funding. Projects under "Projects Needing Review" are ready for your review and evaluation. Projects listed under "Current Projects" have already been evaluated and will remain there until the end date of the student's project.
4. Click on the "Review and approve" icon in the far right column of each student's row.
5. You will see a copy of the student's completed funding application, as well as their adviser's evaluation; please review. Scroll to the bottom and complete a short series of questions about the proposed research.
6. Click SUBMIT RESPONSES or SAVE AND FINISH LATER. We ask that you complete this evaluation within 5 days of this notification.
Please note that students without the endorsement of both an adviser and a departmental representative will not be considered for an award.
SAFE Manager for Senior Thesis Research Funding [Office of the Dean of the College]
Can a student change the advisor on a senior thesis research project application?
The student can request that the advisor be changed via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The SAFE administrators need to make this change on behalf of the student.
Do advisors have to submit evaluations every time a student adds another funding opportunity to his/her project?
The advisor will only need to submit one evaluation for a particular student’s project. This evaluation will be visible to all of the funders to which the student applies with that project application.
One of our applicants’ recommenders sent his recommendation letter via email. Is there a way to upload it so it is part of the online application?
Unfortunately, no. The recommender must complete the SAFE recommender form in order for it to be "attached" to the student's application in SAFE. However, supplemental letters, mailed or emailed to the funders, are encouraged.
Post Project Questions
We require that students sign an agreement to return unspent funds and to submit a report upon completion of their project. Can we do this through SAFE?
Yes. Awarding and Paying the Award are two different processes in SAFE. When you award money, you are telling the student what you intend to pay them. Funders can add additional requirements (e.g. pdf forms to be signed and uploaded) to the funding opportunity and pay the award based on the student's compliance with the requirements.
A student told me they have uploaded their receipts to their project but I cannot find the project in the system. How can I view the student's receipts and summary report?
When you are on the project search page, only current projects will be displayed by default. If the student’s project concluded prior to the current date, it’s considered a past project. To view projects that are past the "end date", enter a value in the “show projects ___ days past end date” field. This will display projects that have concluded in the time frame you indicate.