Project Management

This section provides guidelines and procedures to manage a research project from award to closeout. Use the Table of Contents on the left side of this page to navigate through the topics for project management.

 All proposals and awards are routed through the Grants Module of RAMP. The RAMP website provides useful How-To Guides and Trainings.

Roles and Responsibilities of Project Management

 

Publicly Funded Grants

Workflow - Project Management - Closeout

Matrix

Privately Funded Awards

Workflow - Project Management - Closeout

Matrix

Publicly Funded Contracts

Workflow - Project Management - Closeout

Matrix

Training Grants

Workflow - Project Management - Closeout

Matrix


 

Award Amendments

When additional time and/or funding are added to a project, SRA or FSURF will receive an official award amendment from the sponsor.

For any award amendment, SRA or FSURF will request the PI’s concurrence following standard procedures.  If the award amendment adds funds that were proposed, such as outyear funding, SRA or FSURF will need the budget information entered into RAMP as an Award Modification.  If the project requires IRB or IACUC approval, SRA or FSURF will need a copy of the current approval in order to process the award amendment.  If the project includes cost share, SRA or FSURF will add cost share to the project account in an amount commensurate with the funding received in the award amendment.

If the award amendment adds funds that were not proposed, SRA or FSURF will need PI concurrence, and the additional funds will need to be added to RAMP as an Award Modification, IRB or IACUC approval, and cost share documentation, as appropriate.  

If the award amendment is only a no-cost time extension, the PI will need to complete an Award Modification in RAMP. 


 

 

Award Billing Types

There are various award billing types.  Each affects how the project is set up in OMNI, as well as how FSU receives payment.

Cost-Reimbursable (CRB)

A contract/grant for which the sponsor pays for the full costs incurred in the conduct of the work up to an agreed-upon amount. These projects are billed based on expenditures that have posted in OMNI and on a monthly or quarterly basis.  These awards may or may not require backup documentation for charges.

Fixed Price

A contract/grant for which one party pays the other party a predetermined price, regardless of actual costs, for services rendered or the delivery of a final product/report. Quite often this is a fee-for-service agreement.  These projects are billed based on completion of deliverables.  Unspent funds are not returned to the sponsor at the end of the award. For more information, review the Fixed Price Residual Funds Policy.

Cost-Reimbursable Fixed Billing (CRF)

 A contract/grant for which the sponsor pays for the full cost incurred up to an agreed-upon amount based on a fixed billing schedule.  These projects are billed based on the fixed billing schedule, but at the end of the award any unspent funds, based on expenditures, will be returned to the agency.

Letter of Credit

A payment mechanism that allows FSU to request a wire transfer of cash from the federal sponsor’s treasury account to recoup costs of the sponsored project.  These projects are billed based on expenditures on a weekly basis.

 


 

Award Modification

 

Pre-Award Spending

Pre-award costs are those incurred prior to the effective date of the award directly pursuant to the negotiation and in anticipation of the award where such costs are necessary for efficient and timely performance of the scope of work. Such costs are allowable only to the extent that they would have been allowable if incurred after the date of the award and only with the written approval of the awarding agency.

Advances

PIs should not begin work or start spending on a project until a fully executed award is in hand. If there is a reason why the PI needs to begin work before we have a fully executed award, the PI may request an advance in RAMP. For assistance in the process to request an advance, review the How to Request an Advance - Award Anticipated or How to Request an Advance on an Existing Award.

See FSU's Policy on Advances for Externally-Funded Projects and Initiating Work Without an Award for more information.

Carryover

Continuation

Cost Accounting Standard (CAS) Exemption Form

Some projects may require that costs normally treated as indirect costs be treated as a direct cost. The project must meet the definition of an exceptional circumstance and all costs must be specifically identifiable to a particular sponsored project, be reasonable, allowable, and allocable.

Such costs may include general purpose office supplies and software, postage, local telephone, etc.

Exceptional Circumstances:

  • Large, complex program
  • Extensive data accumulation, analysis, and entry
  • Making travel arrangements for large numbers of participants
  • Principal focus is the preparation and production of manuals, large reports, or books
  • Project location is geographically inaccessible to normal administrative services

No Cost Time Extension (NCTE)

If the project plan or goals have not been completed and the PI has the funds to continue working past the original end date, the PI may request a no-cost time extension (NCTE). Each sponsor has different requirements for this. PI's will need to request a NCTE to SRA or FSURF through RAMP. For assistance in the process to NCTE, review the How to Request an Award Modification.

Re-Budget

If a project budget needs modification, the PI will need to submit a request for re-budget through RAMP. For assistance in the process to request with an award modification, review the How to Request an Award Modification.

Contract Negotiation 

Contract negotiations are handled by either Sponsored Research Administration (SRA) or FSU Research Foundation (FSURF).

When SRA or FSURF receives a contract, SRA or FSURF will review it for any problematic legal or administrative language.  The PI will review the contract for any problematic technical language.  SRA or FSURF strongly prefer that PI’s communicate technical issues to SRA or FSURF so that SRA or FSURF can request all changes, both legal and administrative ones, as well as technical ones, of the sponsor at the same time.

Issues with contract language can delay setting up a project, so SRA or FSURF recommend that the PI request an advance if contract negotiations may adversely affect a project.  To request an advance, the PI will need to complete an Award Modification in RAMP. 

If the sponsor is unwilling to fix problematic language, SRA or FSURF will draft an unfavorable terms (UFT) memo. When the PI, Chair, and Dean sign a UFT memo, they agree to be responsible for any consequences arising from the problematic language, such as additional costs, inability to publish, and additional security measures.  SRA or FSURF will route the UFT memo for the Office of Research’s signature once the PI, Chair, and Dean have signed.

FSU will sign the award once all problematic language is removed or covered with a UFT, and once SRA or FSURF has all other internal approvals, such as IRB, IACUC, and cost share.

Training and Job Aids

For more information, consider completing the eSpear course Award Set-Up - ESP04


 

Closeout Process

SRA

Detailed instructions for project closeouts are provided on SRA's website, please click here to review.

FSURF

During the transition from FE to OMNI, the Principal Investigator (PI) should contact FSURF Grants Staff before the end of the project for the closeout procedures.

Training and Job Aids

For more information, consider completing the eSpear course


 

Cost Transfers

In order to ensure the proper management of funds and that all costs are appropriately reflected on sponsored projects, sometimes a cost transfer is needed to correct or accurately reflect the expenditure.  A cost transfer is the reassignment or transfer of charges between funding sources, whether they be sponsored or non-sponsored sources of funding. The expenditures can be payroll or non-payroll in nature.

In accordance with Federal, State, and FSU regulations and guidelines, cost transfers must be completed within a reasonable time frame and include an explanation for the transfer.  These transfers present an audit risk to the University, so the policy and procedures FSU has in place are an attempt to mitigate that risk.  Please see FSU’s Cost Transfer Policy 7A-5.

This policy applies only to cost transfers between or to sponsored projects.  This includes projects on the same award.  Inappropriate transfers may result in expenditures being disallowed.  Once a cost is identified a Cost Transfer Justification Form must be completed and sent with documentation to the SRA or FSURF staff assigned to the department.

Non-Payroll Expenditures

  • The Departmental Online Journal Entry Form (DOL) must be submitted to SRA or FSURF within 90 calendar days of the end of the month in which the error occurred or within 30 calendar days of the expiration of the project.
  • A copy of the original receipt for the expenditure will need to be provided.
  • A copy of the Ledger showing where the expenditure originally posted will need to be provided.
  • The Cost Transfer Justification form will need to be completed, signed, and submitted to Sponsored Research if the charge is being moved to a sponsored project. 

Payroll

  • The Electronic Retroactive Distribution of Funding (eRDF) must be submitted through OMNI to Sponsored Research within 90 calendar days from the end of the month in which the error occurred or within 30 calendar days of the expiration of the project.
  • The Cost Transfer Justification form will need to be completed, signed, and attached to the eRDF in OMNI if the charge is being moved to a sponsored project. 

Best Practices and Tips

  • Please be sure to complete your monthly reconciliations, this will make it easier to discover any errors that need to be corrected and allow for plenty of time to complete the cost transfer process.
  • On your Cost Transfer Justification Form provide a detailed explanation of how the expenditure benefits the project. If you need additional pages, feel free to add them.
  • Please keep in mind that any time you initiate a transfer, you invite the assumption that the initial transaction was not handled properly. If expenses are being transferred to a sponsored project, there will be considerable scrutiny of the reasons for the transfer and of the justification for moving those charges. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to provide fiscally-sound management of project expenses.

SRA Post-award has a Cost Transfer Committee that meets every two weeks to evaluate and determine if the cost transfer will be allowed or denied.  The SRA Coordinator will report back to the department after this committee has met. FSURF staff reviews cost transfer requests as they are received to determine allowability.

 


Fixed Price Residual Policy and Procedures

Fixed Price Award

  • A fixed-price award is an agreement where sponsor payments are based on fixed amounts according to a payment schedule, stated deliverables and satisfactory performance.
  • A residual balance is the funds remaining in a fixed-price project after all expenditures have been incurred in completing the statement of work.

The residual funds will be distributed between the PI, SRAD Distribution Pool and Office of Research as outlined in the Fixed Price Residual Funds policy.

Residual Funds Policy 7A-11

 

Training and Job Aids

Request for Access to Fixed Price Residual Balance Form


How Funds are Spent

Sponsored Research Administration (SRA)

Personnel Costs

These costs are encumbered in OMNI. Appointments are allocated to the sponsored project via an ePAF or other appointment paperwork which flows through HR for approval.  Departments are responsible for following applicable award guidelines for appointments. Expenses post in accordance with the FSU pay period calendar

Non-Personnel Costs

Travel

  • Submitted through the Concur system.
  • Encumbrances are based on Approved Travel Requests.
  • If a Travel Request is no longer needed, request the Departmental Travel Rep to close the Travel Request to release the encumbrance.
  • Expense Reports, once fully approved in Concur, will post as an expense in OMNI via an overnight process and remove the encumbrance.

Materials & Supplies, Purchase Orders, etc.

  • Requisitions for purchases are submitted through SpearMart. The items will be encumbered once the requisition is fully approved and sent to OMNI via an overnight process.
  • Items will post as an expense to the project and the encumbrance will be released when the item is received, an invoice is sent to Accounts Payable and a voucher is generated.
  • Materials and supplies are sometimes ordered using a P-card. These expenditures are not encumbered in OMNI, and will post to the project after the transaction has been reviewed & approved by the respective P-Card holder’s departmental proxy on a weekly basis.

Publication Costs

  • Publication costs for electronic and print media, including distribution, promotion, and general handling are allowable.  Unless otherwise provided in the grant, preparation, content, editing, identification of authorship and submission for publication of significant research findings are the responsibility of the investigators, consistent with such policies and procedures as the grantee may prescribe.
  • Acknowledgment of the Federal agencies support in any publication (including web pages) is also the responsibility of the investigator and must be done unless otherwise provided in the grant.
  • Per Uniform Guidance publication charges can occur after the project end date as long as they have posted before the final invoice/financial report is due.

Auxiliary through OMNI A/R Billing

  • Auxiliaries are self-supporting entities on campus that allow FSU to provide goods and services to departments, faculty, staff, students, and possibly the public.
  • Auxiliaries which have been migrated to OMNI billing require a requisition through OMNI FI to create an internal PO to charge against. These requisitions create encumbrances but do not act as spending restrictions.
  • More information, including Job Aids, can be found on the Controller’s website.

Tuition

  • Tuition costs are charged through the Waiver Allocation Process or via the Departmental Billing form.

Training and Job Aids

 


 

Invoicing and Disbursements

Sponsored Research Administration (SRA) Invoicing

Sponsored Research Administration (SRA) is responsible for all invoicing to agencies for work completed and expenditures on awards.  Please see table below for SRA/Department’s responsibility:

SRA Department
Generates Invoices Pull any additional backup documentation required outside of HR and General Ledger.
Pull HR Details from OBI and General Ledger This may include receipts, state travel form, PO's, etc.
Sign as Billing Authority If PI is required to submit invoice, make sure that SRA has provided or approved any amount and signed as billing authority if possible.
Submit to Agency (in most cases) PI may be contacted if SRA is having difficulty collecting payment from Sponsor.
Monitor Accounts  

 

FSU Research Foundation (FSURF) Invoicing

FSURF will directly invoice the sponsor based on the following elements in the agreement:

  • Deliverables (FSURF may check with Department to ensure this requirement is satisfied)
  • Invoice schedule

Monthly Reconciliation and Review

It is important to complete monthly reconciliations on all sponsored projects either publicly or privately funded, to ensure funds are spent as required per the award agreements. A key function is that costs are charged to the correct project, and that cost listed as outstanding or encumbered are vouchered in a timely manner.

When completing monthly reconciliations, ensure:

  • Costs are Allowable, Reasonable and Allocable
  • Expenditures are Coded Correctly
  • Expenditures do not Exceed Budget Categories

Reconciliation Process

Gather Financial Data - 

For SRA Reconciliations, you will gather information in regards to expenses, encumbrances, total budgets and more from OMNI Financials (FI) and Business Intelligence (BI). Listed below is how to navigate to the appropriate options to gather the data needed for project reconciliation. 

  • OMNI>FI>Grants Management>Query Viewer
  • OMNI>FI>Navigator>Grants>Awards>Project
  • OMNI>BI>Dashboards>Financial Reports>Transactions
  • OMNI>BI>Dashboards>Financial Reports>Budgets and Transaction
  • OMNI> BI>Dashboards>HR Reports>HR-GL Detail

For FSURF awards prior to fiscal year 2021, you will need to access the Financial Edge (FE) web reports. To gain access, please complete the Access to Research Foundation Web Reports Beginning with FY 2021, FSURF will utilize OMNI FI and BI for all of their sponsored awards.

Review Financial Data in the Reconciliation Workbook 

For both SRA and FSURF, you will need to verify the information listed below for each project reconciliation.

  • Verifying Expenses and Encumbrances
  • Verify each Expense Line has Sufficient Backup
  • Review Budgeted Amounts versus Expense

Training and Job Aids

For more information, consider completing the eSpear course  Project Closeouts - ESP9

 


 

Program Income

Program Income Treatment at Expiration of Sponsored Project

Program income means gross income earned by the non-Federal entity that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of the Federal award during the period of performance except as provided in §200.307 paragraph (f) of the Uniform Guidance.  Program income includes but is not limited to income from fees for services performed, the use or rental or real or personal property acquired under Federal awards, the sale of commodities or items fabricated under a Federal award, license fees and royalties on patents and copyrights, and principal and interest on loans made with Federal award funds.

SRA or FSURF will review the program income Award Attribute on the OMNI Award Profile to determine the appropriate method of disposition of residual program income funds. For most awards, the University is required to use program income funds to cover project expenses before requesting reimbursement from the sponsor. If unexpended funds remain in the program income account after the expiration of the sponsored project, SRA or FSURF may confer with the PI to determine if any of the expenses charged to the program income account were incidental to the generation of program income, as these types of costs must be taken into consideration prior to disposition of residual funds. SRA or FSURF will make appropriate adjustments to the final invoice or financial report submitted to the sponsor. 


 

Required Components to Set up a Project

  • Proposal approved by SRA or FSURF, even if the proposal was not submitted before SRA or FSURF received the award
  • PI concurrence e-mail, as detailed in the relevant procedures.
  • Award document with signatures as required
    • Some awards, typically grants and cooperative agreements, do not require FSU’s signature because FSU agrees to the terms and conditions when the proposal is submitted.
    • Some awards, such as certain purchase orders, are signed by the sponsor but not by FSU.
    • Please understand that only the Vice President for Research or his designee can sign on behalf of FSU. PI’s, Chairs, Deans do not hold such signature authority.
  • Other internal approvals, as applicable
    • IRB approval
    • IACUC approval
    • Cost share documentation
  • Completed Award Budget Form

 

Requirements for an Internal Subproject 

When another FSU department will serve as a subcontractor for an award it is handled via an internal subproject. Additionally, there are times where it is necessary to allocate some award funds to a co-PI for spending authority, which is also handled via an internal subproject.

Training and Job Aids

Department Request for New Subproject Form

Instructions for Department Request for New Subproject


Subcontracting

SRA Procedures

Training and Job Aids

For more information, consider completing the eSpear course Issuing & Managing Subawards - ESP10

How-To's for RAMP

How to create a Subaward Budget


 

Subrecipient Monitoring Procedures

SRA Procedures

Training and Job Aids

For more information, consider completing the eSpear course Issuing & Managing Subawards - ESP10


 

Type of Financial Award Instruments 

The Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act discusses the circumstances under which a federal awarding agency should use the three primary types of award instruments: grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts.  Additional information about these three types of award instruments is also in 2 CFR 200.22, for contracts; 2 CFR 200.24, for cooperative agreements; and 2 CFR 200.51, for grants.  Federally funded grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts all use the cost principles in 2 CFR 200 Subpart E, but regulations for the administration of grants and cooperative agreements is elsewhere in 2 CFR 200, while the administration of contracts is in the Federal Acquisition Regulations. FSU Sponsored Research Administration (SRA) handles the administrative requirements for state and federal grants. The FSU Research Foundation (FSURF) handles the administrative requirements for privately funded grants.

Grants 

A grant is a legal instrument used when no substantial involvement from the sponsor is anticipated and the intent of the award is fulfillment of a public purpose.  Most awards FSU receives, particularly those from NSF and NIH, are grants.

Cooperative Agreements

A cooperative agreement is a legal instrument used when substantial involvement from the sponsor is anticipated and the intent of the award is fulfillment of a public purpose.  Awards issued as cooperative agreements instead of grants should state such.

Contracts

 A contract is a legal instrument used when a federal agency is procuring goods or services for its own good rather than a public purpose.

Apart from grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts, FSU receives other types of financial awards, such as purchase orders, task orders, and master agreements, as well as subgrants, subcooperative agreements, and subcontracts from flow-through entities.

 

 

 


 


Last Updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 9:26 AM