The acceptance of funds from external funding sources requires that the University and the PI/PD take on certain administrative responsibilities. This notification usually comes in the form of a "Notification of Award" letter accompanied by any special terms or conditions of the grant. Upon receipt, the PI/PD should immediately notify OSP and other appropriate University officials with copies of the "Notice of Award" and any attachments (i.e. special terms, conditions, certifications, or restrictions).
OSP will review the terms and conditions of the award and compare to those originally proposed in the application. Any significant differences noted, must be resolved between the PI/PD, the University, and funding agency prior to starting the project. Official acceptance of the award is sometimes required and may be indicated by an authorized signatory; the President, Vice President, or their designee. OSP will notify appropriate offices of the award. (President, Finance, VPAA, Dean, Chair, and PI/PD).
OSP, upon the completion of its review, will forward each proposal to the following administrative officers for further review and final approval, if required by the sponsoring agency; Division of Academic Affairs, Division of Financial Affairs and Management Information Systems (or Designee), and the President or Designee.
In proposals that contain legal sub-contractual issues or obligations for the University, the University’s Attorney shall provide a separate review simultaneous with OSP review. The University’s Attorney will forward any legal issues associated with University participation in subcontracts back to OSP not later than two (2) working days after receipt from OSP.
The University’s Attorney shall report any potential for violation of the University’s “Hold Harmless” status to administrative officers.
Budget changes are necessary when the Principal Investigator determines that expenditures are required for unanticipated items that were not included in the proposal budget. Generally, budget changes involve moving funds from one budget category to another, without increasing the total amount of the award. To determine whether a proposed change is permissible:
- Read the award terms and conditions.
- Discuss the change with your Sponsored Programs Office.
- Contact the funding agency.
The Principal Investigator may determine that additional funding is needed. This usually requires the submission of a proposal for supplemental funds. Contact the OSP to submit supplemental proposals.
Federal regulations require prior approval from an awarding agency for a variety of project changes. Although, the Office of Management and Budget, under expanded authority has waived the required number of approvals, a few required prior approvals remain:
- Changes in project scope or objective
- Change of PI or other key personnel
- Absence of the PI for more that three months, or a 25% reduction in time spent on the project by the PI
- Need for additional funds
- Other changes specifically cited in the award or agency-specific guidelines
A request to extend an award beyond the end date of the award with no additional funds should be made at least 60 days prior to the end of the award. The Principal Investigator should notify the OSP of their intention to request an extension. The OSP will determine the process required by the funding agency for requesting a no cost extension based on the terms and conditions of the individual award.
Most agencies allow award recipients to extend awards up to 12 months beyond the end date of the award without prior approval for one time only. If the need arises OSP will send a letter to the funding agency notifying them that the one time extension is being utilized. Agency approval is required for subsequent extension request. If agency approval is required, the Principal Investigator/OSP will prepare a letter detailing the reason that the extension is being requested. Please note the explanation must be related to the project and work being performed and not related to unexpended funds.
At the end of a grant or research project there are a number of steps/activities that must be completed. This is a co-responsibility of the PI/PD, OSP, and the Grant and Contracts Accounting Office. Prompt compliance with the requirements of the grant or contract for final progress (technical) reports, expenditure (fiscal) reports, inventory, and any other reporting requirements are generally allowed ninety days (90) from the end of the grant to submit all required reports. Care must be taken to insure that obligations are not made against a grant or research project beyond the closing date.
Outstanding obligations should be brought to the attention of OSP and the Accounts Payable Office within the Business Office, so that proper allowance for any encumbrances against the account can be made prior to submission for a final financial report to the funding agency. When the final financial report has been forwarded by the Grant and Contracts Accounting Office and final adjustments received from the sponsor, no additional funds will be available to pay for items the PI/PD failed to properly report. Thus, the PI/PD, along with the college or department, will be liable for covering these expenses.
The final progress report or technical report should be prepared by the PI/PD following guidelines from the funding agency. Basic components of such a report will include (a) summary statement, (b) progress in achieving the project goals, (c) significant findings or results, a list of publications resulting from the project, and (d) a disclosure statement regarding any possible inventions and/or patents resulting from the work.