University Responsibilities Fiscal Responsibilities
Upon receipt of the Award Letter from sponsors, a copy of the document
will be sent to the PI within one week. Within two weeks, Fisk Budget
numbers will be assigned and the PI will be able to access funds. After
receiving the budget numbers from the Grants Office, the PI should make
an appointment to meet with the Director of the OSP. He will give the
PI an orientation session for procedures that will be helpful during
the execution of the grant. Additionally, if necessary, the PI may meet
with the Vice President for Financial Affairs or his designate.
Good stewardship of the grant takes the joint effort of both PI and
University administration and staff. As such, the University has
responsibilities that will aid the PI to achieve the goals and aims of
the project. In support of this effort, the business office portion of
the requisition process will work expediently to facilitate the use of
restricted funds available for research and programmatic projects. The
responsibilities of the University include the items that follow.
The Grants Office will generate monthly fiscal expenditure
reports for each grant received. They will be available for immediate
The Grants Office will generate all financial reports
necessary to remain in compliance with the funding agency. PI will be
given review privileges prior to submission. Financial reports will be
submitted in time to meet the due date as required by the funding
The OSP will work with the PI to facilitate timely submission of
reports. If clerical services are required, they will be offered if the
PI requests them in a timely fashion. Any questions that the PI has
concerning the progress reports may be directed to staff members of the
OSP and they will work together to resolve them.
The PI must
strictly observe the terms and conditions of their awards. On most
grants, minor changes in project objectives may be made, but prior
approval of the sponsor is usually necessary for significant changes in
budgets. Contracts and cooperative agreements are more restrictive in
expenditure latitude. The PI should review the Notice of Grant Award
and adhere to the sponsor’s policies governing the award.
The Project Director and Project Investigators have the primary
responsibility for the management of expenditures under his or her
sponsored project. It is suggested the PIs maintain account ledgers of
expenditures so that comparisons can be made with monthly budget
statements received from the business office. Copies of requisitions
should be maintained for at least three years after the close of the
project. Over-expenditures and incorrect charges should be resolved
monthly, in writing, in order to prevent delays and inaccuracies in the
preparation of financial reports.
The PI must work with the University to avoid audit
disallowances and criticisms of the stewardship of funds. Consequently,
PIs are expected to exercise sound financial practices. Some of this
practices are listed below.
- Salaries charged to the project should accurately represent the
proportion of the individual’s effort actually spent on the project
- Prior approvals from the funding agency should be requested in a timely manner.
Fiscal grants management responsibilities may be delegated to
administrative staff, but the PI is ultimately responsible for
expenditures and should review the books at least monthly.
- Funds should be expended in a timely manner. Spending 90% of
a yearly budget during the last active month of the year is not a sound
The PI is expected to
review and approve all financial reports sent to the sponsors. If there
are discrepancies in the figures, the Grants Office must be notified
immediately. Contracts will require PI review of the final expenditure
report. If specific details are required that the PI may have to
supply, this information is to be submitted to the Grants Office, not
Usually, the PI must
submit yearly progress reports (maybe more often for contracts). They
are usually due at least two months prior to the start of the
non-competing renewal year. Non-compliance may result in a delay in the
receipt of funds. In extreme cases, agencies may initiate suspension
and/or debarment procedures against a grantee institution who fails to
Time Effort Reports
Time effort records maybe required. If required, they must be filled out monthly and sent in to the Grants Office.