Post Award/Project Administration
Post award activities are those processes and activities that take place after the grant, contract, or cooperative agreement has been awarded to the University. Awards are made to the University as the official grantee. The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for the technical work, but does not receive the award directly. Instead, the Office of Sponsored Programs works in conjunction with the Office of Contracts and Grants in order to provide post-award administration of all sponsored research programs.
Once our office has received the official award notification, the award is then processed through Contracts and Grants, who manages the following:
- Establishes a fund number in the University Banner system, from which the PI can view revenue, expenditure details, and balances for the project
- Works with the PI and funding agency to manage the award fiscally and administratively through the project period
- Preparation and filing of financial reports and submission of period billings according to award requirements
- Monitoring of regulatory mandates and advisement to PIs regarding changes in agency and federal regulations and University policies on grant administration
- Reconciliation of account for final close-out and submission of final financial report and other final documents such as equipment disposition and invention reports to the sponsor.
Assumption of Risk
Once the fund has been setup for use, expenses can start being allocated to the project. However, it is occasionally desirable to open sponsored project accounts in advance of receipt of the formal award notice. Examples where this may be appropriate include recurring annual contracts, particularly those from state and local agencies and those awards where pre-award costs are permitted 90 days prior to the awarded start date. This policy will also apply to continuation funding or no cost extension requests where the formal notice is not received prior to the end date of the current budget period.
In these instances, an Assumption of Risk (AOR) would be appropriate. An AOR will establish an expense fund for the duration of time between the informal award acceptance and official award notification. OSP will open a sponsored project fund in advance of the award In order to request an AOR upon receipt of:
- Sponsor’s letter of intent to award or similar correspondence that states the estimated start date and estimated award amount. This correspondence can be an e-mail between the program officer and the PI stating that the award is coming
- Modified budget and justification that covers the requested time period
- Completed AOR Request Form
For more information on AORs, please see the UNCG AOR Policy.
As the project approaches the period of performance end date, a PI may need additional time to complete the authorized scope of work. If a PI requires additional time, the request should be submitted to your Grants Specialist in OSP.
The guidelines for extending the period of an award are normally provided in the awarding Federal agency guidelines. If the award is with the State or a private agency, the terms are normally stated in the award document.
Most sponsors allow no-cost extensions of the final grant period to provide maximum possible continuity in funding research and educational activities. Many federal sponsors now allow grantee institutions to extend the final budget period one time for a duration of up to twelve months. Normally no single extension may exceed twelve months and only in exceptional cases will more than one extension be grant. In all cases, the Principal Investigator must complete the “Request for a No-Cost Extension” form to OSP and must contain the following information:
- The length of time the extension is being requested.
- Justification for the extension.
- A brief statement as to progress and work remaining to be completed
The OSP must notify the sponsor within the sponsor’s deadlines. A letter is sent to the sponsor via the program official, with a copy to the grant official.
- In no case does a sponsor allow for an extension simply to use up unexpended funds.
- A no-cost extension requested after the end date of a grant will not be honored by the sponsor
Time and Effort Reporting
The University must comply with the federal Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21 (Cost principles for Educational Institutions) for documenting salary expenses charged directly or indirectly against federal sponsored projects.
The Time and Effort report must represent – in percentages totaling 100% – a reasonable estimate of an employee’s compensated effort for the period being reported. Effort reports must be completed and signed by either the employee or Principal Investigator/Project Manager. The Principal Investigator/Project Manager shall review and certify all Time and Effort reports associated with the sponsored project using suitable means of verification that the reported work was performed. Your Grants Specialist contact in the Office of Contracts and Grants is responsible for the collection, review, and retention of all Time and Effort reports. The Grants Specialist will make individually reported data available only to authorized auditors. Time and Effort reports must be completed and signed following the end of the reporting period.
Time and Effort Report Template Link.
Often a sponsor will recommend funding but at a reduced level. In this instance, before an award can be issued, a revised budget must be submitted to the sponsor. Please work with your Specialist in the Office of Contracts and Grants to develop your revised budget.