Account Establishment: After the notice of the grant award is received, the principle investigator or account clerk sends a request for account to the Accounting Office. You need to attach either the grant budget or the budget section completed on the new account form. You should also attach a copy of the award notice.
Award Letter: Was the grant awarded for the amount of the proposal? If not does the award meet the needs of the principle investigator? The principle investigator needs to review the award letter and begin a formal acceptance process.
Award Acceptance: The principle investigator needs to begin the process of accepting the award. The Accounting Office should be used to initiate the approval process.
- For an academic college, you need the signature of the Dean.
- For a non-academic unit, you need the signature of the Vice President.
- The Vice President for Administration & Finance is the contracting officer for the University. This signature is always required.
- The signature of the Vice President for Academic Affairs is also required.
- Grant awards over $250,000 must be reviewed by the General Counsel's Office.
- Grant awards over $500,000 (or those with a match of $150,000) must be approved by the Board of Trustees.
Award Period: The grant award letter specifies the beginning and ending dates of the funded activities. You must carry out the activities of your grant-funded project within these dates. Expenditures and encumbrances must be made within the specified dates. No expenditures can be made prior to the award date, and no unencumbered bills will be paid after the end date of the grant activities. Adjustments and corrections to expenses can be made after the award period if the expense has been paid or encumbered.
Budgets: Budgets will be established on the University's Financial Record system (see account establishment above).
Budget Adjustments: Principle investigators need to review the agency's financial guidelines to determine if budget adjustments can be made. Some flexibility may be allowed within the terms of the grant budget guidelines. The principle investigator must ensure that changes made to the budget are allowed. Allowable changes will be described in the grant award guidelines, or are obtained through the specific approval of the granting agency. Any approved changes to the budget should be copied to the Accounting Office.
Calendar of Activity: At the beginning of the grant award period, the Accounting Office will work with the principle investigator to establish the calendar of activities for the grant-funded project. This will be used to establish a timeline for project activities and to assist in the timely completion of reporting requirements.
Compliance: The principle investigator is responsible for complying with the legal requirements of the granting agency and with the policies of the University governing grant activities. The Accounting Office will audit several grants each year to ensure that grant guidelines and applicable University policies have been followed.
Conclusion of Grant: Upon the conclusion of the grant-funded activities, the principal investigator or the project director will submit written reports to the granting agency. Typically, these reports include a formal evaluation of the project and a full summary of expenditures. The principle investigator or the project director must coordinate with the Account Clerk and the Accounting Office to complete the summary of expenditures. Any charges directly billed to the grant (i.e. mailroom, telephone, copy center) must be terminated when the ending dates for the funded activities are reached.
Consulting Activities: Consultants hired for grant-funded activities will not be considered employees of the University. Consultants will be required to enter into a consulting contract with the University. They will be required to complete a W-9 form, and will receive a 1099 Federal Income form for income tax purposes. The principle investigator is required to obtain the necessary documentation to justify the use of consultants for a grant or contract.
Payroll Activities: The salaries of any University employee hired to carry out grant activities as adjunct, supplemental, or any other classification will be charged to the grant budget through the EAA process. Employees carrying out grant-funded activities as part of their duties can charge a percentage or hourly allocation to the grant budget through the EAA process, or through a reallocation process with the Position Control Office. (For consultants, see Consulting Activities)
Principal Investigator: The person responsible for fulfilling the terms and conditions of the grant or contract. The principal investigator may also be called the project director for certain types of grants and contracts.
Project Director: The person who shares responsibility with the principal investigator for fulfilling the terms and conditions of the grant or contract. Sometimes, the terms "project director" and "principal investigator" are used interchangeably. In Grants Accounting, the term "principal investigator" may identify the person responsible for directing a grant-funded project.