Basic Award Management
Congratulations to your PI and department on receiving research funding! These guidelines are designed to help you efficiently manage an award in compliance with University and sponsor policies and procedures.
Administrator's Grants Management Checklist
Verify Award: As a first step, verify that the award has been reviewed by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). It is important to remember that only OSP staff, as the authorized representatives of the University, can sign agreements, contracts, and grants. If you receive a notice of grant award from a PI, that has been signed by a PI or has not been signed, please forward to the college's OSP representative
Responsible Participation: East Carolina University has been awarded funding for a project. It is the PI's responsibility, as well as the department administrator's, to manage the funds appropriately.
Read the Award: the PI and department administrator should read the award documents. This is an important step in maintaining the award. These are some items you should check on:
- Are there special terms or conditions?
- Is the award incrementally funded? (e.g., an NIH award subject to SNAP, the Streamlined Non-Competing Award Process)
- Note any deliverables (reports, products), and make the PI aware of them.
Verify Budget: Compare the awarded budget to the final proposed budget. Contact OSP if there are discrepancies. Note cost-share requirements (see Cost-Share below).
Set up Files: At the beginning of an award, setting up files will help to keep you organized throughout the life of the award and make close-outs and audits a much simpler task. See Grants Management Checklist for suggested file format.
Note Cost Share Requirements: Cost-share is defined as funds committed for the project that are not budgeted from grant funds. Some examples include equipment, personnel effort, and tuition. If there are internal cost-share commitments, contact the departments or colleges that have committed funds.OGC will assist with tracking third party cost share from external organizations/resources.
Initiate Subawards: Subaward agreements will be coordinated with OSP. To request that a subaward be issued to another institution, organization or business, the PI/department must complete and provide by email a Subaward Checklist along with a budget and scope of work to the appropriate OSP representative. If a modification is required to a subaward during the award period, a Subaward Modification Checklist will be required. Establishing a separate file within your main award file will aid in tracking the activity associated with the subcontract.
Characteristics indicative of a subawardare when the organization:
- determines who is eligible to receive what Federal financial assistance;
- has its performance measured against whether the objectives of the Federal program are met;
- has responsibility for programmatic decision making;
- has responsibility for adherence to applicable Federal program compliance requirements; and
- uses the Federal funds to carry out a program of the organization, as compared to providing goods or services for a program of the pass-through entity.
Other Agreements: A consultant is defined as an individual (not a company) contributing his or her expertise to a research project for a determined fee. A contractual services, procurement contract, vendor agreement all indicate a buyer –seller relationship. The PI/department administrator should notify the appropriate OGC and/or Materials Management representative when one of these agreements are required.
Characteristics indicative of a vendor are when the organization:
- provides the goods and services within normal business operations;
- provides similar goods or services to many different purchases;
- operates in a competitive environment;
- provides goods or services that are ancillary to the operation of the Federal program; and\
- is not subject to compliance requirements of the Federal program.
Effort Reporting: ECU's research enterprise depends on funding from federal and state agencies, private foundations, organizations, and industry. The University's electronic Effort Reporting System is the principal means of verifying that salaries and wages charged to or contributed to a sponsored project are fulfilled in a manner consistent with the award documentation and compliant with the federal regulations for which the University is held accountable. The PI/department Administrator should work with Grants and Contracts ERS staff as required. College contact for effort matters, i.e., position numbers, etc., is Ruth Ann Lee in the Dean's Office.
Verify F&A: When an administrator receives account information for a project, they should verify F&A rates. Then, throughout the project, as expenses are charged to the account, verification that associated F&A dollars are being transferred to the PI and the department should be noted. See F&A Distribution Policy