Once a notice of award (NOA) is issued, we review it and work with the principal investigator (PI) and his/her department to set up a project. Any award notice sent directly to the PI should be forwarded to your Sponsored Projects Officer to ensure that the award is appropriately handled.

The notice of award concludes the "pre-award" activities and initiates the "post-award" processes for the grant.  This section is designed to assist you with post-award management and help you understand your responsibilities for post-award management.

Subsections relevant to "Manage Your Award" include:

  •   No-Cost Extensions
  •   Monitoring Expenditures
  •   Re-budgeting
  •   Carryover Process
  •   Institutional Transfers
  •   Expanded Authority Actions
  •   Just-in-Time (JIT) Process
  •   Sub-recipient Closeout
  •   Final Technical Reports
  •   Final Invention Statement

The notice of award (NOA) is a legally binding document that contains or references all terms and conditions of the award, and documents the obligation of funds. PI’s and his/her administering departments should understand and comply with all award terms and conditions.

If the PI wants to change or revise the terms of the award, he/she should contact OSP for guidance and approval. In some cases, prior approval of the sponsor is required and in other cases it can be done without explicit approval by "expanded authority". For information on common post-award actions and revisions such as re-budgeting and no-cost extensions, see Manage and Report.

If the University is issued a subcontract under a federal award, any changes (such as project period, re-budgeting, adding funds, or other changes) must be agreed to in writing between the University and the collaborating institution acting as our sponsor. For example, when a new year of funds is awarded, at least two changes are automatically required: the additional funds and time. Any contract can be amended as long as it doesn’t contradict the terms of the sponsor’s prime agreement and all the parties agree to the changes.

The PI is the primary individual in charge of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or public service project, contract or other sponsored project for which the university is the grantee or the contractor.

The University is, ultimately, legally and financially responsible and accountable to the sponsor for the performance of the project and the proper use of funds but without the full cooperation and vigilance of the PI, the university would fail in its stewardship role.

If your project involves multiple PI's or Co-PI's, each PI is responsible and accountable to the grantee organization, or, as appropriate, to a collaborating organization, for the proper conduct of the project or program, including the preparation and submission of required reports and insuring that expenditures are made consistent with the planned budget. All PI's should be fully engaged in any decisions to change budget priorities and personnel.

Good grants management has many elements, including:

  •   Ensuring that charges are allowable, allocable, and reasonable;
  •   Spending funds in accordance with the budget;
  •   Paying researchers and staff correctly and on time;
  •   Certifying effort of faculty and researchers on federally-funded projects;
  •   Adhering to University procurement and travel policies;
  •   Keeping track of equipment bought with grant funds;
  •   Monitoring expenditures by subcontractors;
  •   Tracking cost sharing, if any;
  •   Filing interim and final progress reports; and
  •   Closing out awards in a timely fashion.

Subrecipient Monitoring

PI's have primary responsibility for monitoring sub-recipients to ensure compliance with federal regulations and both prime and sub-recipient award terms and conditions.

PI's are responsible for evaluating the quality of the work performed by sub-recipients and ensuring that contractual agreements are met. Department administrators have responsibility for assisting PIs in discharging their monitoring responsibilities, for reviewing invoices from subrecipients and questioning expenditures if necessary, and for maintaining documentation of monitoring efforts.

Prior Approvals

Sponsors often require PI's to request prior approval for significant changes.

Although many sponsors allow flexibility in areas such as re-budgeting, carry-forward of unobligated balances from year to year, and pre-award costs, sponsors expect expenditures to be reasonably consistent with the proposed scope of work and budget.

Under expanded authorities, many federal agencies have chosen to waive the normally-required sponsor prior approval for specific actions. The PI should refer to the sponsored award terms to determine the authorizations that apply to each award.