You've been funded—Congratulations! Take your award notice or any checks you receive to Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA). Only SPA can officially accept an award on behalf of the University. We must work with the sponsor to determine the terms and conditions of the award and accept it.
You will then be assigned to a Grant Manager (GM). This person will send you a letter explaining what needs to be done. At this time it is also a good idea to speak in person with a GM to discuss the specifics of the grant. Once your grant account is active in the financial system, it can and should be used for all expenses related to the grant.
Lifecycle of an Award
- Identify funding
- Prepare and submit proposal
- Setup award account
- PI performs work
- Monitor project and manage work
- Generate payment requests
- Close-out award
A few important things to remember:
- Charge expenses directly to the grant (direct charge) rather than processing cost transfers on a journal voucher.
- Spend according to the grant budget. Alterations to the budget must have prior sponsor approval.
- If your grant includes cost share and/or a specific amount of your time, talk to your Grant Manager about how that is documented and what your role is in this process.
- Only charge expenses that will be used for the grant through the specified time frame. Do not wait until funding is about to end to use the balance!
- Expenses before the specified project period must be approved by the sponsor.
- If part of your grant includes an activity (ex: a workshop), please speak with your GM prior to the activity. Activities may need documentation of expenses and attendees. Your GM will tell you what needs to be done.
Contingency Fund Request
Project Teams may request a Contingency Fund in the event they need to begin spending on a project and there are still award negotiations taking place. You may read the policy on PolicyTech: Contingency Funds Policy
Instructions on requesting a fund: Contingency Fund Request Instructions (PDF)
PIs/Admins can access internal expense reports in Cayuse SP in the Award Distributions tab. Download the PDF for further instructions on locating your reports and access an "internal budget walk through."
GMs assist in preparation of payroll documents, invoices, required financial, technical, and audit reports, etc.
Work with your GM closely. They can answer questions about any aspect of your grant throughout its life cycle.
Your GM is the liaison with the grant sponsor. They will manage any questions, problems, or required approvals that arise during the grant period.
Compliance is key. You must be in compliance with federal, sponsor, and University policies and procedures.
Your GM can help you with this! At the end of the grant period, your GM will notify you of any required financial and project reports that need to be submitted.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any sponsor correspondence should be taken/e-mailed to SPA for review. Your Proposal or Grant Manager(s) can help you if you have questions.
No, not as long as the award/contract documents have been signed by the sponsor and Ball State. SPA operates on a cost-reimbursement basis.
Only three people can currently sign for the University:
- the President
- the Vice President of Business Affairs and Treasurer
- the Associate Vice President of Business Affairs and Assistant Treasurer
SPA will obtain the required signatures.
Yes, it is important that you monitor award activity and notify SPA of any discrepancies as soon as possible.
Your designated Grant Manager will prepare financial reports. However, the Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for getting the appropriate paperwork to SPA on time.
The PI is also responsible for preparing any technical reports required by the Sponsor.
Reimbursement of employee-related travel to a grant is governed by sponsor requirements, applicable laws and regulations, and University policy.
University Travel Info University Travel Policy
Some sponsors require that foreign travel be approved by the sponsor in writing and in advance, even when the award includes funds for foreign travel.
Federal awards require that all foreign travel utilize U.S.-flag air carriers wherever possible without regard to cost or convenience. This requirement applies to any non-federal funds used for cost sharing on federal awards.
Please review the University's International Travel Policy and speak with a Grant Manager before any travel related to your award.
Please speak with your Grant Manager to discuss this process.
The primary source of guidance on matters of costs on sponsored project awards is 2 CFR Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, which became effective on December 26, 2014. The federal Office of Management & Budgets (OMB) oversees this document.
The cost principles for what costs are allowable on a sponsored project can be found in Subpart E, Cost Principles, of the Uniform Guidance. The basic cost principles tell us that costs must be:
A. Reasonable (202.404)
A cost is reasonable if, by its nature and amount, does not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision was made to incur the cost.
B. Allocable (200.405)
A cost is allocable to a sponsored project if it is:
- It is incurred solely to advance the work under the sponsored agreement; or
- It benefits both the sponsored project and other work of the institution in proportions that can be approximated through use of reasonable methods.
C. Allowable (200.403)
A cost is allowable on a sponsored project if it is:
- Consistently treated throughout the University;
- Compliant with federal, state, local laws, and any limitations or exclusions set forth in the particular award’s terms and conditions;
- Not used as cost-share on other projects; and
- Necessary for the performance of the award.
A reasonably prudent person is an individual who uses good judgment or common sense in handling practical matters. Would a prudent person purchase the item or service at a particular cost? Sponsors reserve the right to decide whether a prudent person would have paid a certain amount for a good or service.
Sponsored project budgets comprise a variety of costs that can be categorized into two main types: direct costs, and indirect costs.
A. Direct Costs
Direct costs are costs that can be identified specifically to a sponsored project or that can be directly assigned to a sponsored project’s activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy. Examples of direct costs include salary, travel, equipment, supplies, etc.
B. Indirect Costs (Also: Facilities & Administration (F&A), or Overhead)
F&A costs are those costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and, therefore, cannot be identified readily and specifically with a sponsored project. Examples include costs for building and equipment depreciation and use; physical plant operation and maintenance; general administration and general expenses; departmental administration; sponsored projects administration; library expenses; and student administration and services.