Sponsored Projects Administration can help…
You have a new project – now what? Let us walk you through important aspects of award management, such as changing a PI or scope of work, transferring awards, and managing your budget.
Sometimes the PI (including one or more Co-PIs) must change over the course of an award. Sponsor approval and notification are typically required to replace an existing PI, and occasionally a sponsor may not permit changes.
Your SPA representative will review the sponsor’s specific project requirements, communicate with the sponsor, and formally document any changes, and can also assist in requesting additional time to complete the work if needed. As an initial step, the original PI must provide the following information for the prospective replacement PI:
Upon sponsor approval, SPA will initiate a new transmittal reflecting the newly appointed PI in the Grants Portal, and route it for appropriate signatures.
If you desire to take a leave of absence from UGA, your SPA representative will work with you to ensure your sponsored projects are approved for your absence. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth transition.
Any modification of project aims, tasks, or deliverables may constitute a change in the scope of work. Frequently budget changes accompany changes in project scope. A change in scope almost always requires sponsor approval and a formal amendment. Contact your SPA representative to determine if sponsor approval is needed to make the desired changes and to formally request and finalize a change in the scope of work.
A no-cost extension extends the end date of a project without additional funding. A no-cost extension may be requested using the Grants Portal, or you can contact your SPA representative to determine what is needed to extend your project period. Ordinarily a no-cost extension will require the sponsor’s approval, but some sponsors permit your SPA representative to approve these requests.
When a PI leaves UGA for another institution, ordinarily the PI may desire to transfer active awards to the PI’s new home. If you are leaving UGA, contact your SPA representative as soon as possible. Because award transfers have many moving parts that can take time, it is never too early to start the transfer process.
You may have questions about budget management. Find out what to do about some of the most common expenditures.
Application of staff benefits
When building a proposed sponsored project budget that includes staff salaries, PIs must use the most current staff benefit rates to calculate estimated costs of associated staff benefits. However, at project time, actual staff benefits must be charged to the project. The Application of Staff Benefits policy provides current staff benefit rates, which are updated every calendar year, as well as additional guidance to ensure appropriate budgeting and reimbursement of staff benefits.
The Committed Effort policy details UGA’s requirements with respect to committed effort and ensures compliance with specific sponsoring agency rules and regulations.
Personnel Activity Reports (PAR)
Personnel Activity Reports, or PARs, are required to support the distribution of salaries and wages to federal awards. The Personnel Activity Reports (PAR) Policy identifies UGA’s requirements for the appropriate distribution of salaries and wages (direct and indirect) paid by a sponsored project.
Ordinarily, a proposed budget should include the total of all anticipated costs of a sponsored project. However, when a proposal or award will not fully fund all project costs, UGA may fund remaining costs. This is cost share. The Cost Share Policy sets out when and how to propose and report cost share (also called matching or use of in-kind funds).
If an error is made in project accounting, it may be necessary to transfer charges between accounts. The Cost Transfer Policy details when these infrequent transfers are appropriate, as well as UGA’s required procedure to ensure compliance with federal requirements and necessary documentation. The preparation and submission of Journal Vouchers (JVs) – which is a type of accounting entry that may be used to effectuate a cost transfer – is also addressed in this policy.
Not all direct costs may be charged to a sponsored project. Before charging a specific direct cost to a sponsored project, the unit administering the project must determine if that cost is allowable, allocable, and reasonable. The Direct Cost Policy defines these requirements so units can make the required determinations.
Research participant incentive payments
If your project will involve the use of human subjects, you may desire to offer small payments or other incentives to attract and retain an appropriate pool of research participants. The Research Participant Incentive Payments Policy identifies the types of payments and other incentives that are allowed and the procedures for compliance with applicable tax rules and other financial requirements.
Program income may include any income UGA generates in the conduct of a sponsored project, excluding those funds paid to UGA by the sponsor. The Program Income Policy explains in more detail when particular income is considered program income and sets out the requirements for PIs and for SPA in identifying program income, accounting for it, and reporting it to the sponsor.
When UGA subcontracts for a third party to perform substantive work of a sponsored project, UGA must ensure that the subrecipient complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and terms and conditions. The Subrecipient Monitoring Policy details UGA’s procedure for ensuring subrecipient compliance, including PI requirements and responsibilities.
UGA uses the Grants Portal, an online system, to document administrative changes to awards and subcontracts for sponsored projects. Changes in PI, scope of work, duration of the project and all other non-financial changes are documented in the Grants Portal under the award workspace. An overview of the Grants Portal and its functionality provides a good introduction. Training on the Portal is also available each semester at Training & Development, as well as upon request for departments or small groups. Please contact your SPA representative to set something up or if you have any questions.
SPA provides extensive training for faculty and staff in all areas of research administration. A full listing of training opportunities can be found on our Training page. Below we have highlighted training pertaining to managing awards.
Finance and Administration offers a series of accounting and finance trainings on North Campus each semester. These classes cover everything from processing personnel, to budget amendments, journal vouchers, UGA Mart, and procurement. Check Training & Development for a current list of classes.
The General Resources for the Administration of Sponsored Projects (GRASP) training series deals specifically with research administration from proposal development and review all the way through closeout. The GRASP classes specifically include a session on award management. The GRASP series is offered every semester through Training & Development. Search for classes in the category “GRASP” to see all the classes in the series or check out the SPA training calendar for upcoming dates.