Quick Reference Guide for PIs

As a principal investigator (PI), you have primary responsibility on behalf of the University for the technical and fiscal management of your sponsored research project. As such, you are expected to comply with the sponsor’s guidelines, as well as the University’s policies and procedures. Below are key PI fiscal responsibilities:

Review Sponsor Award Document(s)
Ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the sponsored program, including compliance with federal and agency regulations and requirements, such as prior approval stipulations, budget limitations, and overall sponsor deadlines.

Initiate the Process of Personnel Hiring or Transfer to Your Project
Please work with your departmental finance/post-award administrator to complete the necessary payroll documentation to hire and / or place assigned personnel on your project.

Subaward and Subaward Amendments
Initiate all required subaward agreements and subsequent amendments by completing the Subaward Checklist – Proposal and Award Stage form as a guide. Then forward the forms to the Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA) so they can prepare and negotiate with the subrecipient. Upon execution, ORPA will encumber the funds through PeopleSoft to your PeopleSoft sponsored award.

Expenditure Processing
Ensure expenditures, including any cost transfers, are processed in a timely manner, and that purchases on sponsored programs are allowable and reasonable. Review all subrecipient and consultant invoices to determine services are adequately performed.

Project Period Expenditures
Ensure all goods and services are received or performed within the project period.

Sponsor Pre-Approvals
Prepare and submit all requests for prior sponsor approvals as required and applicable to your award through your ORPA grant specialist, such as budget modifications and no-cost extensions.

Sponsor Notifications
Notify the sponsor when significant conditions relating to your project status change (e.g., change in key personnel or effort). This is completed through

Ensure that all permanent equipment purchased with grant funds is properly tagged by the University’s Capital Assets Department and that the disposition of any property is processed in accordance with sponsor and University policies and procedures.

Effort Certification Reporting
Review and certify time and effort reports related to your project by the deadlines established. Certify that the labor distributions are in direct proportion to the effort expended on the project.

Cost Sharing
Ensure that all mandatory and voluntary committed cost sharing is properly documented, processed, and recorded per the University’s cost-sharing policies.

Review Financial Activities
Financial transactions posted to your project must be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure:

  • Accuracy of expenses incurred

  • Expenditures conform to the project budget 

  • Costs are consistent with the project schedule and incurred within the project start and expiration dates. 

Identify erroneous expenses and work with your departmental finance/post-award administrator and other University offices to ensure that any issues and errors are addressed and corrected in a timely manner.

Project Closeout
Assist in the project’s financial closeout in accordance with SRA and sponsor guidelines.