Award Management

Award Management

GSRD negotiates, reviews, and accepts all sponsored agreements on behalf of the University and the Principal Investigator (PI). Agreements and checks sent directly to a PI from a sponsor should not be endorsed or deposited. Forward them to GSRD immediately. Before an account can be established, all applicable IRB, IACUC, and Biosafety protocols and procedures are verified. Documentation for subawards is reviewed to ensure it is in compliance with all internal and sposor guidelines. The award is then sent to the Senior Fiscal Analyst (post-award management) who is located in the Office of Finance and Business Affairs. The Senior Fiscal Analyst sets up the account; e-mails the PI her/his grant account, fund code, organization code, and program code numbers; and manages all awarded grants.

GSRD or the PI is notified of declined applications. The PI should inform GSRD if s/he is notified directly of a rejection so that we can update our records and offer suggestions on resubmission.


Post-Award Management

The Senior Fiscal Analyst assists faculty and staff in managing their grant. She provides guidance to ensure proper stewardship of funds and that they are spent in accordance with the terms and conditions of the grant as well as University and State of South Carolina policies and procedures. The Senior Fiscal Analyst oversees cash management, budget input and modification in Banner, invoicing, progress reports, financial reporting, and award closeout.

GSRD will work closely with PIs and other department administrators as needed to prepare, review, and submit no-cost extensions; re-budgeting requests required by the sponsor; change of PI requests; and award transfers.

Budget Modifications
The PI or appropriate delegated authority must send the Senior Fiscal Analyst a written request to modify the budget with sufficient explanation to support the suitability of the budget revision. The revised budget will be reviewed to ensure it is allowable. If sponsor approval is not required for the revisions, the Senior Fiscal Analyst will approve and revise the budget in Banner. Budget requests that are not allowed based on the terms and conditions of the award must be approved by the sponsor. The PI should meet with GSRD to submit a formal budget modification request to the sponsor.

Changes Requiring Prior Written Approval on Federal Grants

  • Change in scope or objectives, even without budget revision
  • Absence of more than three months of PI or other key personnel
  • Reduction in effort of 25% or greater of PI or other key personnel
  • Change of PI
  • Transfer of grant to another institution
  • Transfer of a significant part of the research (e.g. subcontract) to another institution
  • No Cost Extension of budget if grant is not under expanded authority
  • Addition of Subcontracts
  • Significant budget changes of 25% or greater of the total grant balance increases or decreases to any single budget category


Cost Principles

The Principal Investigator is responsible for all activities on her/his grant and must follow sponsor, Winthrop University, and State of South Carolina policies. Allowable costs may vary from one agency to another. Therefore, you must follow the specific terms and conditions of the award.

All federal awards must follow the Office of Management and Budget Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (i.e., OMB Uniform Guidance).

Allowable, Reasonable, and Allocable Costs
Section 200.403-405 states that except where otherwise authorized by statute, costs must meet the following general criteria in order to be allowable under federal awards:

  • Be necessary and reasonable for the performance of the federal award
  • Reasonable: the cost is generally recognized as ordinary and necessary for operations or the proper and efficient performance of the federal award and a prudent person would have purchased the items at that price
  • Allocable: assigned to a particular federal award or other cost objective if the goods or services involved are chargeable to that federal award or cost objective for corresponding benefits received
  • Conform to any limitations or exclusions of type or amount set forth in these principles or in the federal award
  • Be consistent with policies and procedures that apply uniformly to both federally financed and other activities of the non-federal entity
  • Be accorded consistent treatment. A cost may not be assigned to a federal award as a direct cost if any other cost incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances has been allocated to the federal award as an indirect cost
  • Be determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), except for state and local governments
  • Not be included as a cost or used to meet cost sharing or matching requirements of any other federally-financed program in either the current or a prior period. See also 200.306 "Cost sharing or matching," paragraph (b).

Grants are reviewed monthly/quarterly to determine that all expenses posted are allowed and posted correctly. Charges that are not allowed or posted to an account erroneously are removed. If you have any questions about items posted to your grant or the allowability of a cost, please contact the Senior Fiscal Analyst for additional guidance.

Unallowable Costs
University policies and procedures and the terms and conditions of each award specify what is allowable on awards. Follow the OMB Uniform Guidance 200.420-475 for federal awards. If a non-federal sponsor is silent regarding what is allowed, it is prudent to follow Uniform Guidance.

Some examples of expenses that are generally not allowed include:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Food and drinks (if these have a direct programmatic benefit, the sponsor may allow)
  • Entertainment
  • Administrative and clerical salaries
  • General office supplies


Budget Management

The PI is responsible for all activity on her/his account. S/he should review the budget compared to expenditures monthly for the entire grant cycle. This will help eliminate cost overruns. If any budget deficits are discovered during the  review, the Senior Fiscal Analyst will notify the PI to provide a corrective action to adjust the budget or remove charges.

Be careful of making equipment, large supply, and other large, dubious purchases near the end of a grant as they raise questions of reasonableness and allocability and may need to be justified by the sponsor.

Signature Authority on Awards
The PI is ultimately responsible for the management of her/his sponsored award. However, s/he can give signature authority to other individuals who are able to approve check requests and purchase requisitions and certify effort. Delegating signature authority on a sponsored project facilitates the timely ordering, purchasing, and processing of routine items in the PI's absence. Individuals given signature authority for grant expenditures are responsible for communicating with the PI to ensure that purchases are in compliance with the terms and conditions of the award, federal guidelines, University policies and procedures, and State of South Carolina regulations.

Budget-to-Actual Reports
GSRD will send PIs grant budget-to-actual reports for their review on a quarterly basis. The PI is able to generate activity reports from her/his Banner Self-Service account if they require activity reports more frequently. See How to Run Budget-to-Actual Grant Reports in Wingspan (PDF - 730 KB).


In-Kind Contributions

Please use the Cost Sharing Documentation form to record the balance of University resources used to satisfy your grant's matching requirements. Submit completed form to the Senior Fiscal Analyst who will include them in your grant file.


Time and Effort Certification

Employees who receive salary support from sponsored awards are required to certify their effort monthly. Effort reporting provides assurances to sponsors that amounts charged to awards are reasonable relative to the work performed and that employees budgeted on the grant have met their commitments. Effort Reports are generated quarterly by GSRD and should be certified by the employee by the last day of the certification month. GSRD will send an e-mail to all employees and those with designated authority to inform them when effort reports are ready to be certified. PIs and individuals with designated authority can certify all employees' effort on a grant. See How to Certify Effort in Banner 9 (PDF - 351 KB).


Award Closeout

Grants should be fully expended within all guidelines by the end date. Closing out a grant requires these steps:

  1. Reviewing all expenses
  2. Resolving committed and encumbered balances
  3. Collecting subcontract documents, reports and other deliverables, and remitting final payment
  4. Reconciling all grants expenses from inception
  5. Submitting final reports and other mandatory deliverables to sponsor including financial, scientific and technical, invention, and equipment/property reports