Award Management and Close-Out


DSPA works with campus administrators, researchers, and PIs in areas key to managing an award.

  • Monitoring expenditures
  • Ensuring compliance with sponsor terms and conditions, university policies, and federal regulations and standards
  • Providing training to university researchers in new and established policies
  • Handling project extensions and budget revisions
  • Fulfilling reporting requirements
  • Managing deliverables

*ACCOUNT BALANCE*

Project account balances are monitored using PeopleSoft Financials (PSFIN).  For information and training on PSFIN, please visit PeopleSoft.    

*AWARD TRANSFERS FROM AU TO ANOTHER INSTITUTION*

When a PI leaves AU for another institution, ordinarily the PI may desire to transfer active awards to the PI’s new home. If you are leaving AU contact DSPA as soon as possible. Because award transfers have many moving parts that can take time, it is never too early to start the transfer process.

*BUDGET MANAGEMENT*

You may have questions about budget management.  Find out what to do about some of the most common expenditures.

Application of staff benefits

When building a proposed sponsored project budget that includes staff salaries, PIs must use the most current staff benefit rates to calculate estimated costs of associated staff benefits. However, at project time, actual staff benefits must be charged to the project. 

Committed effort

At AU, effort reporting is the process required to verify that sufficient internal controls are in place to ensure the federal government that direct charges for salary and fringe benefits to federally-sponsored agreements and that these charges are reasonable in relation to the actual work performed.

Cost share

Cost-sharing commitments require approval by the Department Chair and Dean’s Office. Charges will be recorded against the sponsored and cost share accounts as directed by the Principal Investigator. Principal Investigators and their departmental administrators are responsible for monitoring the activity in their cost-sharing accounts to ensure that charges are necessary, reasonable, allowable, and allocable. 

Cost transfer

If an error is made in project accounting, it may be necessary to transfer charges between accounts. The Cost Transfer Policy details when these infrequent transfers are appropriate, as well as AU’s required procedure to ensure compliance with federal requirements and necessary documentation. 

Direct costs

Not all direct costs may be charged to a sponsored project. Before charging a specific direct cost to a sponsored project, the unit administering the project must determine if that cost is allowable, allocable, and reasonable. The Direct Cost Policy defines these requirements so units can make the required determinations.

 Program income

Program income may include any income AU generates in the conduct of a sponsored project, excluding those funds paid to AU by the sponsor. DSPA will assist with identifying program income, accounting for it, and reporting it to the sponsor.

 

*CLEARING UNALLOWABLE EXPENSES*

If a sponsored project has expenditures that are unallowable on a sponsored account (e.g. overspent budget or budget category, expensed items that are not allowable by the sponsor, or expenses that are inappropriate to the project), it is the Principal Investigator’s/department’s fiduciary responsibility to move those expenditures off the sponsored project promptly.

Unallowable Administrative, Operational, and Research Related Costs

  • Office supplies, pens, paper, basic software, etc.

  • Local telephone and fax; telephone line and equipment charges, cell phones

  • Postage, express mail (Freight to ship component parts necessary for the research is allowable)

  • Hazardous waste disposal

  • Proposal preparation costs

  • Costs of reprints of articles on the research funded by the grant are allowable; other printing costs may or may not be allowable depending on the circumstances

  • The costs of  memberships in business, technical, and professional organizations are generally not allowable.

  • Books and periodicals (these are typically considered indirect costs supported by the institutions library)

*CHANGE OF PI*

Sometimes the PI (including one or more Co-PIs) must change over the course of an award. Sponsor approval and notification are typically required to replace an existing PI, and occasionally a sponsor may not permit changes.

DSPA will review the sponsor’s specific project requirements, communicate with the sponsor, and formally document any changes, and will assist in requesting additional time to complete the work if needed. As an initial step, the original PI must provide the following information for the prospective replacement PI:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Current and Pending Sponsored Project Support (for each project include the project title, sponsor, award dollars, time committed)
  • Letter signed by the current PI justifying the change

Upon sponsor approval, DSPA will initiate the process for the newly appointed PI.

*CHANGE IN SCOPE OF WORK*

Any modification of project aims, tasks, or deliverables may constitute a change in the scope of work. Frequently budget changes accompany changes in project scope. A change in scope almost always requires sponsor approval and a formal amendment. Contact DSPA to determine if sponsor approval is needed to make the desired changes and to formally request and finalize a change in the scope of work.

*EXTENDING THE PROJECT PERIOD (NO-COST EXTENSION)*

A no-cost extension extends the end date of a project without additional funding.  Contact DSPA to determine what is needed to extend your project period. Ordinarily a no-cost extension will require the sponsor’s approval, but some sponsors permit DSPA to approve these requests.

*PI LEAVE OF ABSENCE*

If you desire to take a leave of absence from AU, DSPA will work with you to ensure your sponsored projects are approved for your absence. 

*SUBRECIPIENT MONITORING*

When AU subcontracts for a third party to perform substantive work of a sponsored project, AU must ensure that the subrecipient complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and terms and conditions.  

PIs have primary responsibility for monitoring subrecipients to ensure compliance with federal regulations and both prime and subrecipient award terms and conditions. The federal government places the primary responsibility for management of federally funded projects with the PI. This includes:

  • Monitoring of subrecipient’s technical and programmatic activities related to the subaward
  • Review of technical/performance reports as required
  • Verifying that the subrecipient work is conducted in a timely manner and that the results delivered are in line with the proposed statement of work
  • Reviewing and approving subrecipient invoices, including expenditures to ensure the charges are allowable, allocable, reasonable, and within the period of performance
  • Maintaining regular contact with the subrecipient

 


As the time draws near for your project to close, DSPA will assist you with final reports and close out of your account(s):

*FINAL TECHNICAL REPORT*

Most sponsored projects require a final technical report summarizing the work done on the project and any scientifically or technically relevant results, findings, analysis, and/or assessments.

While technical reports are the responsibility of PIs, DSPA requests a copy of the report be sent to DSPA at the same time the report is sent to the sponsor.

*FINAL INVENTION STATEMENT AND NEW INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY*

Some sponsored projects require a Final Invention Statement to disclose any patents or inventions discovered or developed during the life of the project.

A final invention statement sometimes also is required even when no inventions have occurred. PIs are required to disclose any partial or completed inventions, discoveries, or other intellectual property to DSPA and the Office of Innovation Commercialization as soon as possible.

*FINANCIAL REPORTING AND CLOSEOUT*

At the conclusion of each sponsored project, AU must meet required financial reporting and other closeout terms, which are specific to each project and may vary by project type and sponsor. 

*UNSPENT FUNDS, FIXED-PRICE CONTRACTS, AND RESIDUAL BALANCES*

Some sponsored projects are paid on a cost reimbursable basis as expenses are incurred, and in those cases any balance of funds remaining at the project’s conclusion must be returned to the sponsor. However, other sponsored projects may be paid as fixed-price agreements such that AU retains any excess funds – the residual balance – remaining at the end of the project.  An unrestricted residual balance of $100 or more in a sponsored project account may be transferred to a residual account at the close out of the sponsored account.  All transferred residual funds will be allocated to the sponsored account’s principal investigator unless otherwise instructed.  A balance of less than $100 in the closing sponsored project will be transferred to the relevant dean’s/vice president’s residual account. If a full or partial waiver of Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs has been applied to the sponsored account, the waived F&A will be earned on behalf of Augusta University and the Augusta University Research Institute prior to transfer of the unrestricted residual balance to a residual account.  The full policy can be found here.

*UNCOLLECTIBLE RESTRICTED ACCOUNTS*

Occasionally, a sponsor fails to pay the agreed amount for the work of a project.  DSPA will follow a process for sending a sponsor progressive overdue notices and attempting to collect payment before determining a sponsored project account to be uncollectible.

*CLEARING UNALLOWABLE EXPENSES*

If a sponsored project has expenditures that are unallowable on a sponsored account (e.g. overspent budget or budget category, expensed items that are not allowable by the sponsor, or expenses that are inappropriate to the project), it is the Principal Investigator’s/department’s fiduciary responsibility to move those expenditures off the sponsored project promptly.

Unallowable Administrative, Operational, and Research Related Costs

  • Office supplies, pens, paper, basic software, etc.
  • Local telephone and fax; telephone line and equipment charges, cell phones
  • Postage, express mail (Freight to ship component parts necessary for the research is allowable)
  • Hazardous waste disposal
  • Proposal preparation costs
  • Costs of reprints of articles on the research funded by the grant are allowable; other printing costs may or may not be allowable depending on the circumstances
  • The costs of  memberships in business, technical, and professional organizations are generally not allowable.
  • Books and periodicals (these are typically considered indirect costs supported by the institutions library)