Reporting & Compliance


Reporting requirements are specific to each award and will be explained in the award terms and conditions and discussed during the award management meeting.  If you have any questions, please contact the Grants Compliance Manager.

Programmatic Reporting 

The principal investigator is responsible for complying with all reporting requirements and deadlines, as specified by the sponsor. Therefore, principal investigators should read the sponsor’s guidelines carefully to ascertain what reports are required, their frequency, and preparation instructions.  A copy of the final report should be shared with OGSP prior to submission to the sponsor.

Financial Reporting

Formal financial reports will be prepared and submitted by the Financial Services staff in coordination with the Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD) and OGSP staff.  At the principal investigator’s request, financial reports may be prepared and sent to the principal investigator for review prior to being sent to the sponsor.

Fiscal Compliance Matrix (pdf) 


All members of the academic community - faculty, staff, and students – are expected to adhere to institutional stewardship obligations and to conduct their research and scholarship pursuits in compliance with federal, state, and local laws, as well as the policies and procedures of the University and University System of Georgia.  The Office of Grants and Sponsored is responsible for ensuring that research conducted at Georgia College is conducted in a responsible manner that is consistent with federal, state, and University policies. Prior to initiating any Georgia College research or instruction involving humans as subjects, the care or use of animals, or biohazardous materials, an application for approval must be submitted to and approved by the appropriate university committee.  These committees are responsible for reviewing research conducted by faculty, staff, and students to ensure protections are in place for research participants, principal investigators, and the community.  The Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects is clearinghouse for researchers in meeting their compliance and research ethics responsibilities.

Ethics Policy (pdf)- Research compliance encompasses a wide variety of issues including human and animal subjects; pre- and post-award management; conflicts of interest; scholarly integrity in research; intellectual property; access to and retention of data and records; and environmental and workplace safety.

Research Compliance

Research Compliance, in a world of increasing government rules and regulations, is a subject that has many legal and ethical aspects. GCSU is fully committed to this compliance and has procedures in place to assure proper observance of these regulations.   Various Offices and Committees provide appropriate training for all faculty, pertinent staff and students in the areas of responsible conduct of research, information security, human subjects, safety, animal care and use, biosafety and environmental issues.

Human Subjects – Institutional Review Board
Animal Care and Use – Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee 
Environmental Safety
Financial Conflict of Interest (pdf)
Research Misconduct

Colleges and universities can lose funding if they do not comply with federal guidelines, but more importantly, they can lose their reputations.  Georgia College is dedicated to responsible and ethical conduct of research and stewardship of sponsor funding.

Fiscal Compliance

Fiscal Compliance – being good financial stewards of the sponsors funding – is just as important as the science or technical aspects of an award. 

The principal investigator (PI) is the primary person responsible for the proper management of an externally sponsored project.  The PI must conduct the work as outlined by the approved scope of work and in accordance with the authorized budget. 

Fiscal Compliance includes but it not limited to the following:

Allowable/Unallowable Costs

  • Budget Reconciliation
  • Cost Sharing
  • Cost Transfers
  • Effort Reporting
  • Invoicing/Drawdowns
  • Financial Reporting
  • Sub-recipient Monitoring

In order to be allowable on a sponsored project, all charges must, first and foremost, be reasonable, allocable to the specific project, and allowable under sponsor, university, and state regulations.  The university expects and requires budget authorities to exercise the highest standards of ethical and responsibility in the conduct of grants.

Determining whether an expense is allowable or unallowable is the first step in assigning a cost to an award. If an expense is not allowable on an award, do not charge it to that award.  It must be charged to an unrestricted funding source.

The principles of OMB Circular A-21 (A-21) govern costs that may be charged either directly or indirectly to the government by educational institutions.  GCSU generally applies these same cost principles to non-federal funding as well, although in some cases non-federal sponsors define allowable and unallowable costs differently than federal sponsors.

Each awarding agency has the right to establish its own terms and conditions for its awards. Specific award terms and conditions take precedence over the provisions of A-21.  For example, although travel is not defined as unallowable in A-21, your particular award may designate travel, or more likely foreign travel, as unallowable.  In that case, you may not charge foreign travel to that project.

Allowable Costs – An allowable cost is a cost that can be paid by your contract or grant. GCSU considers a cost to be allowable when it meets the following tests:

  • The cost is reasonable; it reflects what a prudent person might pay.
  • The cost is allocable; the contract or grant that paid the expense benefits from it. For a cost to be allocable, it must meet one of the following criteria:
  • It is incurred solely to advance the work under the sponsored agreement.
  • It benefits the sponsored agreement and the work of the institution, in proportions that can be approximated through the use of reasonable methods.
  • It is necessary to the overall operation of the institution and is deemed to be assignable in part to sponsored projects.
  • The accounting treatment of the cost is consistent across the campus.
  • The cost is allowable as defined by A-21 and/ or by the terms of the particular award.

These requirements pertain to costs associated with developing a proposal, recording in the University accounting system, or reporting on a financial report.

Unallowable Costs – An unallowable cost is a cost that cannot be paid by your contract or grant. Such costs may be expressly prohibited by A-21 or may be considered unallowable as a result of campus policy or by mutual agreement with a governmental agency.   The University has the responsibility to identify such costs and exclude them from any billing, claim, or award proposal.  Occasionally, a sponsoring agency may state that certain costs are not reimbursable even though they are considered allowable by federal regulations. These costs are unallowable and must be excluded from billing.  

When trying to determining allowability, always refer to the award terms and conditions and contact OGSP if you have questions.