While the PI has overall responsibility for project performance and operations, the grants & contracts administrator provides critical administrative services and support until the project is closed.
Support during the project management phase includes assistance with:
- principal investigator orientation
- onboarding and project staffing
- project costs and expenses
- invention notification and disclosure guidelines [pdf]
- revisions and reporting
- submitting required forms
Post-Award Roles and Responsibilities
Successful administration of a project is a team effort between the principal investigator and the grants & contracts administrator.
The administrative and fiscal responsibility for management of a sponsored project resides with the principal investigator (PI) named in the award. In the eyes of the funding agency, the individual who is primarily responsible for the overall conduct of a project is the PI.
Some agencies use the terms principal investigator and project director (PD) interchangeably; however, the Research Foundation uses “PI,” consistently. When more than one individual is responsible for the conduct of a project, each one is usually called a co-principal investigator or Co-PI.
Principal investigators are required to:
- Ensure that all the information in the proposal is presented in a manner that is complete, accurate, and developed according to the practices commonly accepted within the scientific community.
- Ensure that all required university forms and certifications are completed in a timely manner.
- Conduct the work on the project according to the research protocol or statement of work that was submitted with the original proposal or as subsequently modified by the sponsor in agreement with the principal investigator and the university.
- Ensure that all work meets the highest ethical standards and is conducted without real or apparent conflicts of interest.
- Ensure that all work performed is conducted in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws and with SJSU policies.
- Submit reports on the research in a timely manner and according to the sponsor's requirements.
- Abide by the terms and conditions of the sponsored project award.
- Manage the project's budget so that funds are spent correctly, taking into account any restrictions imposed by the sponsor to avoid overspending.
- Manage project personnel in compliance with federal and state laws and Research Foundation policies.
- Ensure that all project staff timecards accurately reflect the hours each individual has worked.
- Submit all project timecards as required on time and as scheduled by SJSU Research Foundation Payroll.
- Ensure that all expenditures are made in compliance with the approved budget, the contract or grant, Research Foundation policies, and the Research Foundation Project Administration Guide.
- Ensure that all requests for reimbursements are submitted to the Research Foundation within one month after the expense is incurred.
- Ensure compliance with all federal regulations, including those relating to:
Grants & Contracts Administrators
When an award is received, a Research Foundation grants & contracts administrator is assigned to the project to provide the PI with administrative support.
Should more than one grants & contracts administrator be involved (for example, when the PI has two different types of accounts such as sponsored programs or self supported accounts) both managers will work closely to ensure the PI has an overall picture of all available financial resources.
Grants & Contracts Administrator will:
- Receive and review award documents from sponsoring agencies.
- Analyze the award documents for critical and relevant terms, conditions, and requirements.
- Review approved budget for accuracy.
- Establish an account and monitors those funds.
- Inform and advise the PI on sponsoring agency’s regulations and reporting requirements.
- Monitor expenditures to ensure compliance with sponsoring agency, university, and Research Foundation policies and procedures.
- Serve as liaisons between principal investigators and other departments within the Research Foundation and SJSU (such as Human Resources, Payroll, and Finance and Accounting).
- Act as a primary point of administrative contact for the sponsoring agency.
- Follow up with principal investigators on cost share if required by the agency.
- Ensure that technical progress and fiscal reports are submitted to the agency on time.
- Forward all official correspondence such as progress or technical reports, requests for budget revisions or requests for time extensions to the sponsoring agency.
- Close out accounts.
For assistance or additional information on the project management phase, please contact us.