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Setting Up an Award

Award Administration


When the university receives a grant or contract award, Sponsored Programs staff review proposed agreements associated with the award and negotiate terms and conditions which are both acceptable to the principal investigator and, at the same time, 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 insure that they understand their responsibilities in managing their project, first-time investigators should meet with Sponsored Programs staff as early as possible.

For more information on the award administration process, click below for portions of our Grants Management Manual.

Grants Management Manual


Grants Management Manual Overview ~ PowerPoint Presentation, PDF version


Roles and Responsibilities

Award Initiation

Direct Costs

Direct versus Indirect Costs Matrix

Staffing the Project


Cost Sharing

Compliance Requirements

Monitoring Expenditures

Project Initiation and Project Administration 

Upon acceptance of a grant or contract, Sponsored Programs staff request a new account from the Grants Accounting Department within the Division of Business and Finance. Throughout the life of the project, Sponsored Programs and Grants Accountants work together to properly manage the award.

Sponsored Programs staff prepare a spending plan for the principal investigator that translates the approved budget into codes from the University’s accounting system. 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. Sponsored Programs staff are available to advise and assist with all situations relating to the funded project including interpretation of University policy, agency regulations, and allowability of costs and/or activities. Sponsored Programs 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 insuring that those charged expenditures are allowable. To ensure the effective allocation of resources, Sponsored Programs staff can assist in interpreting Month End Financial Reports and, as well, in projecting expenditures to the end of the grant period.

Reporting Requirements

All funding agencies require submission of project technical and financial reports.

  • Technical Reports – Most agencies require an annual progress report and a final technical report. Principal investigators are responsible for preparing these reports. Sponsored Programs 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 Sponsored Programs.  
  • 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 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 ninety days after the project ends. The ninety-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.

FDP and Changes to Federally Funded Sponsored Projects

The Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) is a cooperative effort among federal research agencies, universities and the National Academy of Science's Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable aimed at streamlining and improving the federal/university research support relationship and reducing administrative burden on Principal Investigators. Part of the FDP’s role is to maintain ‘expanded authorities,’ which authorize agencies to defer cost-related and administrative prior written approval required by federal regulations, to award recipients. The expanded authorities matrix is here. To request changes to an existing sponsored project, please complete the Institutional Prior Approval Form.

Financial Administration Forms