Reporting Requirements on Sponsored Projects
The end product or deliverable of almost every sponsored project is, at a minimum, the final technical report and the final financial report. In addition, the sponsor may have other reporting requirements (such as monthly, quarterly, or annual reporting of technical progress, patent reports, fiscal reports, etc.) throughout the course of the project. Fiscal reporting is completed by the Grants Manager in coordination with the PI/PD.
It is the principal investigator’s/project director’s responsibility to ensure required technical progress reports are submitted to the sponsor on time. Often, such reports are required before sponsors will release continuation funding. Sponsors have a wide range of formats in which they require technical reports to be submitted. All final reports must be submitted through the Office of Sponsored Programs.
Modifications to Sponsored Agreements
Sometimes it is necessary for a sponsored project agreement to be modified. For instance, the principal investigator may need to rebudget funds from one category to another, require additional time to complete the project or change the scope of work. For federally funded projects, only grant or contracting officers within the sponsoring agency can modify agreements. The sponsor’s program officials (i.e., technical contacts) are not authorized to approve any changes to agreements.
For most agreements, principal investigators/project directors should prepare a letter to the sponsor requesting the desired change and explaining why it is necessary. The letter is countersigned by the Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs who submits it to the appropriate sponsor. To ensure enough time for a response, requests should be made at least 45 days in advance of the desired effective date.
Responsibilities of the Principal Investigator
- Proper technical conduct of the research effort
- Compliance with the terms and conditions of the sponsored agreement
- Manage project funds within the approved budget
- Timely completion and submission of required technical reports
- Comply with all university and sponsor policies and procedures pertinent to the award
Responsibilities of the College and Department
Sponsored grant activity is conducted as a university and department function. As such, the departments associated with an award are expected to monitor its fiscal status and assist the principal investigator/project director in resolving issues. The departments are responsible for covering any costs incurred beyond the award amount, or any expenditures disallowed as the result of an audit.
Responsibilities of the Office of Sponsored Programs
The Office of Sponsored Programs provides accounting and other administrative services to assist the principal investigators/project directors in:
- Managing the financial aspects of their projects
- Meeting sponsor needs for fiscal reports
- Providing financial accounting to sponsors for the activity funded
All grants are subject to an audit.
All sponsored projects are considered to be restricted funds.
Thus, all charges to sponsored projects must be:
- Reasonable, allowable and allocable to the project
- In accordance with program plans and objectives
- Clearly required for the project
- Consistent with the budget established for the project (in total, by category, or by line item, depending on sponsor requirements)
- Incurred within the project time period
- In accordance with sponsor regulations, university policy, and Office of Sponsored Programs procedures for implementing those regulations and policies
Any deviations from the above require justification and/or additional sponsor approval. Sponsored program officers can provide information and advice on what may or may not be charged to a sponsored project and they can assist in seeking required approvals.
All employees of Western, including faculty, staff and administrators, share the responsibility for assuring Western Colorado University is in compliance with federal regulations, including those related to scientific and institutional misconduct, animal welfare, the protection of human subjects, copyright laws, intellectual property rights, a drug-free workplace and campus and the responsibility to meet the contractual agreement with any funding agency or entity per the award contract.
If the required products of the grant or contract are not completed within the award period, the funds of the grant/contract may be delayed or withheld, and future awards from the agency jeopardized. The primary investigator or project director for the project, in consultation with the department chair or director, will be held responsible for the successful completion of the grant/contract while assuming his or her regular duties.
If the required products of the grant/contract are not completed within the award period, the primary investigator or project director must request, in writing, an extension. Consult the Director of Sponsored Programs prior to requesting an extension. The primary investigator or project director must be in consultation with the department chair or director and inform the Accounting Office of the revised arrangements. The Office of Sponsored Programs will remain the contact point for the granting agency, and all paperwork for the extension will flow through the Office of Sponsored Programs.
If the required products are not delivered, and Western has incurred expenses (including salary) which will not be reimbursed by the granting/contracting agency, the primary investigator or project director may be held responsible and be required to reimburse the entire amount to Western.
The granting/contracting agency has the final word if a grant is successfully completed.