Manage Your Award
When the university receives a grant or contract award, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) works with the university’s general counsel in reviewing proposed agreements to negotiate terms and conditions that are both acceptable to the principal investigator and that satisfy university policy concerns. Upon accepting the agreement, sponsored programs staff:
- Assist the principal investigator in managing the award and help to clarify agency regulations and policies;
- Advise on such matters as allowable costs, subcontracts, or revisions; and
- Help resolve administrative problems that arise during the course of the project.
To ensure that they understand their responsibilities in managing their project, first-time investigators should meet with OSP staff as early as possible.
Upon acceptance of a grant or contract, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) requests a new account from Grants Accounting in Business & Finance. Throughout the life of a funded project, OSP and Grants Accounting work together to manage the award.
OSP prepares a spending plan for the principal investigator that translates the approved budget into codes from the university’s accounting system, Banner. A grant budget summary report showing the charges against a particular grant fund for a selected time period is available to run from FlashLine > "My Action Items" in the Finance Reports box. Instructions for running the report.
Post-Award Management and Responsibilities
Principal Investigators are responsible for the day-to-day direction and administration of their project and must comply with all university and agency policies and regulations. OSP staff members are available to advise and assist. The OSP staff has expertise in the areas of cost principles, agency regulations and compliance issues.
Principal Investigators are also responsible for monitoring all expenditures charged to the grant account and ensuring that charged expenditures are allowable. To ensure the effective allocation of resources, the OSP staff can assist in interpreting month-end financial reports and in projecting expenditures to the end of the grant period.
Requirements for project technical and financial reports are set by the funding agency. These types of reports are typically required.
- Technical reports – Most agencies require an annual progress report and a final technical report. Principal Investigators are responsible for preparing these reports. OSP staff will transmit them to the funding agency on the investigator’s behalf. As part of the requisite official grant record, the Principal Investigator must file a copy of all reports with OSP. These records are reviewed as part of our annual audit.
- Financial reports - The grant accountant assigned to the project prepares the financial report based on the expenditures recorded in the account. Principal Investigators have the opportunity to review the financial report prior to submission to the funding agency.
- Project closeout – After the project’s termination date, no additional expenditures may be incurred. Funding agencies normally require the final technical and financial report 90 days after the project ends. The 90-day period permits sufficient time for expenditures incurred before the end of the project to be liquidated and gives the principal investigator time to prepare the technical report. Patent disclosure, equipment disposition, and other required reports may be submitted after the termination date or with the final report. Grant/contract records are subject to annual audit; they must be retained for a minimum of three years from the date the final reports are filed.
Changes to Funded Sponsored Programs
Certain changes to a funded sponsored project must receive prior approval from the sponsoring agency, while other revisions may be approved institutionally through ‘expanded authorities’ granted to Kent State. Any desired changes to an existing sponsored project should be requested by submitting a completed Institutional Prior Approval Form to OSP. The requested modifications will be reviewed and any necessary agency approval received. Completing this process before implementing changes will ensure that incurred costs are allowable.
Policies and Financial Administration Forms
- University Policy Register
- Federal Uniform Guidance 2CFR200
- Institutional Prior Approval Form – This form is required when requesting a no-cost extension, budget revision, and other changes to the administration of a grant, as specified on the form. The form can be completed, signed, and returned to OSP.
- Indirect Cost Charge Exception Form
- Cost Transfer Request
- Salary Distribution Revision
Grants Management Manual
For more information on the award administration process, OSP and the Grants Accounting office in Business & Finance have jointly developed a Grants Management Manual.