Project management involves maintaining accountability for post-award transactions, as well as assuring compliance with applicable sponsor rules, regulations and/or terms and conditions of the award. Sponsored project accounts are set up in accordance with the budget approved by the sponsor. The statement of work must be carried out in accordance with the approved proposal. Varying degrees of flexibility are provided by the sponsors with regard to budget revisions, allowable expenditures, and changes in the statement of work. In some instances, prior approval by the sponsor is required.
SP and Controller's office will meet with PI quarterly to help PI understand compliance with sponsor requirements. SP and the Controller's office are responsible for overseeing sponsored project activities and for providing guidance and assistance to the PI and departmental administrators in fulfilling their responsibilities to the sponsor.
Changes that occur in the conduct of a sponsored project usually require prior approval from the sponsoring agency. The following items are changes that occur most frequently in the conduct of sponsored projects. Approvals in writing should be obtained by the PI from the sponsoring agency before expenditures are incurred. Questions about particular transactions should be directed to SP.
Change in Key Project Personnel
Changing a PI must be approved by the sponsor. Requests must be submitted through SP and be supported by an explanation and approval for the change by the College Dean.
Change in the Statement of Work
Changes which significantly redirect the original statement of work must be approved by the sponsor. Such changes should be discussed with the sponsor's program officer and documented in a letter to the sponsor. Written requests to the sponsor must be submitted through SP and the Dean in advance of implementing changes.
Many sponsors place restrictions on the use of project funds. In this regard, some budget revisions (i.e., transfer of funds from one category to another) require the prior approval of the sponsor. Requests for these budget revisions should be submitted to SP with proper justification well in advance of when they are needed. This will allow SP sufficient time to obtain the necessary approval from the sponsor and make the revisions.
Salary charges to sponsored projects are allowable at the approved University base salary rate. Extra compensation over and above the approved base salary rate is not allowed except in unusual cases where there is consultation across departmental lines or is performed at a remote location and the work performed is in addition to regular departmental responsibilities. Such consulting arrangements must be specifically provided for in the award agreement and approved in writing by the sponsor and appropriate Dean. Sections D15 and D23 of the SVSU Faculty Contract should be consulted before any extra compensation is approved.
Sponsor terms and conditions must be followed with regard to foreign travel. Many sponsors require prior approval for foreign travel and compliance with “Fly America” whether or not it is included in the approved budget. Such requests should be submitted with a detailed justification to SP to be forwarded to the sponsor. Requests for foreign travel should be made PRIOR to taking the trip and at least 30 days in advance. ( Note : Some sponsors require up to 90 days prior notice and limit choice of airline carriers per “Fly America.”) Be sure to stop by SVSU’s International Programs office for a health insurance card for international travel.
When equipment is included in the proposed budget and approved by the sponsor, prior approval for purchase is not required. When equipment is not included in the approved budget or there is a change in what is to be purchased or the cost of the equipment exceeds the amount budgeted, prior approval must be coordinated through SP in advance of the purchase. Sponsor requirements differ with regard to approval regarding these changes. Advanced consultation with SP will prevent any misunderstandings in this regard. When approval is required, requests for approval must include a justification for need. Most sponsors prohibit the purchase of equipment within the last six months of a project period unless the project justifies such a purchase to complete the scope of work.
Stipends and Tuition Remission
Any changes in proposed stipend and/or tuition remission require written prior approval by the sponsor. Requests for changes must be submitted to SP with justification and approval of the appropriate dean.
Carryover of Funds
Sponsors have varying policies regarding the disposition of unspent funds at the end of the budget period. As a general rule, major purchases for equipment, materials, and supplies should be executed prior to the last six months of the funding period. If it appears that there will be residual funds, the PI should contact SP at least 45 days prior to the end of the budget period to determine appropriate procedures.
No-cost extensions are requests to extend the termination date of a project without additional funds. In instances where additional time is required to complete the project, a request should be submitted to SP with an explanation of the work-related need for the time extension and how available funds will be used. No-cost extensions may not be automatic, so the request should be submitted as soon as the PI determines that one is necessary, and at least 60 days before the scheduled termination date. Cost extensions cannot be approved after the termination date.
Subcontracts/Subagreements that were not included in the proposal often require the sponsor's approval prior to executing a formal agreement and commencing work. The choice of a particular subcontractor must be documented with regard to the subcontractor's qualifications to perform the work and the project's need for such services. Competitive bids may be required; please consult with the Controller's office to see requirements.