After a Grant or Contract is Funded
The Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) will oversee the administration of the grants or contracts. Awards are generally made to the university or institute, not individuals. The OSR will serve as the liaison between the Principal Investigator, Project Director, Institute Administrator, the University’s Finance Office and the funding agency.
- After the award letter and other award documents have been received the OSR will meet those involved in the administration of the project, most importantly the Principal Investigator(s), Project Director, Department Chair, Institute Director, and any other departmental personnel who may be affected . This meeting will consist of a review of the project, its origins and purpose, as well as any special conditions of the award. Fiscal policies and procedures will be covered in detail. All participants will be able to ask questions and clarify any issues about the project or the grant, as well as to make plans for a well-coordinated administration.
- The University Finance Department will establish a project number, or Cost Center, for the grant project. Monthly printout reports showing expenses will be kept by the OSR. All purchase orders and check requests must be processed through the OSR prior to processing through the Finance Office. The PI or Project Director is responsible for incurring expenses as presented in the project budget. Variations from the original budget, unless minor, generally must be cleared with the OSR and funding agency. The OSR, working with the Finance Office, will be responsible for submitting required billing, invoices and fiscal reports to the funding agency.
- All grant and contract recipients should maintain detailed records showing how the grant is administered. Although financial records are maintained centrally by OSR and the University, you should keep track of any grant related activities and purchases (for example, student research-including senior comprehensive projects, papers presented, time sheets, schedules of work and publications.) You should monitor your proposal and budget in comparison to the actual progress and expenditures being made to determine if you are on track or schedule with the project’s scope of work. If you are not, you need to address what is preventing you from achieving your proposal’s goal and deadlines. All of this information may be required in periodic reports to the funding source.
- The primary follow-up responsibilities of the project director or Principal investigator are to insure that funds are appropriately spent within the budget, that planned evaluations are carried out, and that the required work and reports are prepared and submitted on time. Being on budget and on time are the key elements of a successful grant. In most cases, the Office of Sponsored Research will assist you with these responsibilities.
- If the award is made directly to you (a fellowship award, or stipend for example): In most cases, you alone are responsible for reporting to the funding agency and the University is not involved. You should remember that you will be responsible for taxes and fringes on the fellowship/awards and stipends.