Once an award is made to Georgia College, responsibility for the administration of the award rests with several different individuals and offices, including the Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD), Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects, Department Administrators, the Budget Office, and Financial Services. OGSP provides the post-award functions of award negotiations, award acceptance, obtaining sponsor's prior approval when required, establishing subcontracts, inter-institutional transfer of an award, and assistance with closeout requirements. Financial Services provides the post-award functions dealing with the financial aspects of the award; establishing accounts and submitting invoices, processing draw-downs, collecting receivables, completing financial reports, and tracking cost share and effort reporting.
Award Management Meeting
Upon receipt of notification and acceptance of awards, an award management checklist will be completed by OGSP and, when warranted, an award management meeting will be held between representatives of the PI, OGSP, Budget, and Financial Services. The focus of the meeting will be to review and interpret the terms and conditions of the funded award. The session will be coordinated and conducted by OGSP at a time mutually convenient for the PI and post-award staff. The extent of the agenda will depend on the type and size of the award, and will provide the following information:
- Approved budget items
- Assistance with budget amendment
- Fiscal accountability and compliance
- Required technical reporting, including contractually required reporting schedules
- Procurement requirements, regulations and procedures.
The principal investigator is responsible for the day-to-day administration and direction of the project. In order to carry out this responsibility, the principal investigator should be aware of all award terms and conditions and should give special attention to those terms and conditions regarding budget limitations, patents and copyrights, inventions, confidential information, safety and security, and required reports.
For questions related to management of a sponsored project, or to learn more about the terms and conditions of an active project, contact the Grants Compliance Officer.
Prior Approval for Changes
Each sponsor may have specific requirements regarding changes to the scope of the project or modifications to the approved budget. Any changes should be discussed with OGSP. This is especially important regarding changes in project duration or the budget, as OGSP may have expanded authority to approve changes to certain grants without prior approval from the sponsor.
For awards requiring prior approval from the sponsor, correspondence with the sponsor requesting such changes must be approved and executed by the OGSP on behalf of the University. Once written approval is received from the sponsor, the investigator and other academic and administrative units will receive notification.
Managing project costs is a core element of research administration. While the research is underway, the project is being administered and monitored. Expenditure reports are reviewed and reconciled. Effort committed and salaries paid are certified and reconciled. Activities such as procurement of materials and supplies and sub-award setup and monitoring need to be performed during the course of the project.
When authorizing expenditures to be made to a sponsored project award, the PI is certifying those expenses are appropriate, necessary, and directly related to the approved scope of work relevant to that project. It is critical that the PI understand this responsibility. Charges made to a sponsored project account that are not directly related to the scope are not allowable and will be rejected or removed. Not carefully monitoring expenditures can result in increased audit risk to the entire university and disallowed expenditures that have to be reimbursed to the sponsor and covered by the university.
Expenditure reports should be reviewed every month to ensure that unallowable/incorrect expenses are removed on a timely basis. Compare supporting documents on hand - payroll records, requisitions, invoices, work orders, travel reimbursements, and journal entries - to the expenditure reports for agreement. Review the expenditure report for obvious errors and problems such as:
- Incorrect or unallowable expenditures
- Purchase orders or work orders completed but still listed as open
- Budget category or bottom-line is overspent
- Salary charges are consistent with personnel working on the project
OGSP staff will help facilitate subaward agreements by assisting with document preparation and forwarding them to the subawardee for all the subawards indicated in the approved award budget when an award is initially set-up. If additional subawards become necessary, the PI/PD should notify OGSP immediately.
Once a portion of the prime award is subawarded to a subrecipient, there are substantial postaward issues with which the PI/PD and university are responsible for complying. Subrecipient monitoring requires the PI/PD be in frequent contact with the subrecipient. The PI/PD is responsible for ensuring the necessary deliverables are met and working with the financial office to coordinate reimbursements to the subrecipient institution.