Overview of Proposal Submission (Pre-Award) and Project Management (Post-Award)
Award Review and Acceptance
We’ll make sure the terms and conditions of each award line up with the proposed project and with CSUSM Corporation policies and procedures.
The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) is responsible for review and acceptance of awards for sponsored projects made to CSUSM Corporation to ensure that terms and conditions are acceptable and that the award can be managed properly under the corporation’s policies and procedures for sponsored projects.
OSP makes every effort to expedite the process of acceptance so the award may be authorized for set-up in CFS as quickly as possible.
OSP’s review of the award document includes attention to the following:
- Type of award (e.g., contract, grant, subaward, cooperative agreement)
- Type of activity (research, training, other)
- Amount of award
- Budget/project period
- Variances from period or amount proposed
- Sponsor general and program-specific terms/conditions, including terms incorporated by reference
- Reporting requirements
- Payment terms
- Restrictions on use of funds
- Liability and indemnification terms
- Insurance terms
- Compliance restrictions (e.g., human subjects, animal subjects)
- Export control concerns
A Sponsored Projects Analyst (SPA) will follow up with the sponsor to clarify award terms or request changes to ensure that the award is acceptable to the corporation and supportive of the project.
After OSP review and award negotiation is complete, a SPA obtains the corporation institutional signature and finalizes with the sponsor.
Roles and Responsibilities
- OSP Sponsored Projects Analysts (SPA) are responsible for comprehensive review of the award, including consultation with the Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI) and other campus offices as necessary. When review is complete, the SPA is responsible for obtaining institutional signature and authorizing award set-up in the CFS system.
- PIs are responsible for review of the award and provision of any necessary information or documentation requested by OSP.
You got the good news. Congratulations! Now what? The Office of Sponsored Projects will alert you when the award officially comes in and get you access to the funds as soon as possible.
Once an award is ready for processing, the Office of Sponsored Projects takes the following steps:
- Notifies the Principal Investigator/Principal Director (PI/PD) that the award has been received.
- Creates or modifies award and account information in Common Financial System (CFS).
- Notifies the PI/PD that funds can now be expended and alerts you to specific key terms and conditions of the award.
After the award notice is sent to the PI, award data is entered into CFS. Many awards will have only one project number, but in the following circumstances, more than one project number will be created:
- Segregating funds for a continuation year when (a) an award is authorized year to year and (b) the sponsor requires an annual financial report or an annual invoice and (c) carryforward requires sponsor approval.
- Segregating funds for each core and/or project within a multi-project award.
- Segregating funds representing individual tasks under a master agreement.
- Segregating funds for fabricated equipment.
- Segregating funds for management by individual PIs on an award with more than one named PI (for example, NIH Multiple PI/PD award).
- Segregating funds for a supplement when the supplemental funds can’t be co-mingled with existing funds.
- Any other circumstances in which the sponsor requires certain funds to be segregated.
In most cases, projects are setup within 10 business days of award receipt or as applicable, the final execution of agreement with the sponsor.
Pre-award Spending Request
A PI who would like to request an advance account should complete an Authorization to Spend Prior to Award form and submit it to the Office of Sponsored Projects.
Pre-award costs are permissible under most federal grants and allow the institution to incur certain costs up to 90 days in advance of the actual award start date, or in advance of delayed receipt of an award. In the event that the award is not forthcoming, the PI will be responsible for any pre-award costs incurred.
Manage a Project
Now that you’re an official award recipient, you probably have lots of questions. We’ve got answers. You can find the most common topics below, from cost overruns to expense reviews to subawards.
Roles and responsibilities
The Office of Sponsored Projects works closely with PIs to track and manage the financial aspects of awards.
Procedures for ongoing award management
Sponsored project records are subject to review by auditors. The Office of Sponsored Projects participates the audit process to ensure compliance with federal research funding rules and regulations.
The federal standards outlined in the Uniform Guidance (Subpart F – Audit Requirements) are intended to help the various federal funding agencies conduct consistent and uniform audits of state and local agencies and nonprofit organizations, including universities, that are receiving and expending federal funding awarded through grant and contract awards.
Types of Audits
The Office of Sponsored Projects is involved in the following types of audits:
- Annual Single Audit (OMB Uniform Guidance)
- Sponsor Audits: Both federal and non-federal sponsors conduct audits that can cover a specific award, invoice or payment. These sponsors also conduct site visits, which often include a programmatic and financial component.
- California State University Audits
OSP participates the audit process and
- Works directly with auditor as a “point of contact” on financial matters related to the administration of sponsored projects
- Informs PI
- Works with campus departments to obtain any supporting documentation or respond to auditor questions
As the prime recipient of funds, the corporation is responsible to our sponsors to ensure that monies spent by our subrecipients meet the criteria detailed in the Uniform Guidance (UG). In order to comply with UG, OSP conducts an annual review of subrecipients and assess any single audit findings.
Carryover and No-Cost Extension Guidance
In some situations, where you have remaining unspent funds near the end of a project period, you can use appropriate justification to request a carryover of those funds into the next budget period or a no-cost extension to your project period. If you have further questions, contact your Sponsored Projects Analyst.
Unobligated funds remaining at the end of any budget period that, with the approval of the sponsor or with automatic carryover, may be carried forward to the next budget period to cover allowable costs of that budget period. There must be a bona fide programmatic need justified for the use of carryover funds in the next budget period.
No-Cost Extension (NCE)
Extends the project period beyond the original end date with no additional funding. Allowed when: the end of the project period is near; there is a programmatic need to continue research; and there are sufficient funds left to cover the extended effort.
OSP is responsible for all receivables for sponsored projects.
Cost reimbursable projects are invoiced in the month following the month that expenses have posted to an account in CFS. OSP draws down cash after each payroll for federal awards.
Close Out A Project
Closing out a project (award) involves financial and non-financial aspects. This section outlines the common requirements for both elements, from final invoices to property reports to subaward progress reports.
Financial closeout is a shared responsibility between the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) and Principal Investigators. Typical financial closeout requirements include: final invoices, final financial reports, equipment and property reports, and final subaward progress reports.
All financial reports must be prepared or reviewed and approved by someone within the OSP. Principal Investigators are not allowed to submit financial reports without the approval of OSP.
The award end date determines the time frame in which the research or project should be complete and the closeout process should begin. Generally, the closeout period is 90 days, but award terms should be checked to verify. PIs are responsible for ensuring that the award is in the proper status for closeout. Note that NIH will initiate unilateral closeout – i.e. closeout without receipt of acceptable final reports – for all awards that fail to meet closeout requirements within 120 calendar days so it’s very important to meet closeout deadlines.
Non-financial closeout requirements are the responsibility of the Principal Investigator. Typical non-financial closeout reports include: final technical or progress reports and invention/patent statements.