Sponsored Programs Office

Award Management

Research AwardsThe post-award phase of an award's life cycle begins when the Aurora Research Institute receives notification from a sponsor of its willingness to support a proposal. Post-award administration consists of award acceptance, award account set-up, kickoff meetings, grant management, account reconciliation, and grant reporting and closeout.

During the life of the award, the grant specialist senior - post-award acts as the primary point of contact between Aurora Research Institute and the sponsor.

SPO manages the award acceptance phase, initiates grant account set-up, assures that all grant funds are spent according to sponsor’s specifications, and manages the closeout of the grant.

Please Note:

  • Acceptance of funds: There is a process for central review of incoming awards to ensure that Aurora accepts any conditions imposed on the award and for ensuring that those funds are used for the purpose and subject to the conditions of the award. Under no circumstances can the award be accepted by the program director/principal investigator (PD/PI) or anyone else.
  • The PD/PI is responsible for determining whether the terms that affect the project scope, performance and budget, including reporting requirements, are acceptable, and is responsible for overall management of the award. It is the responsibility of the PD/PI to monitor the day-to-day fiscal performance of the project.
  • The PD/PI must have all administrative and regulatory requirements (human subjects and/or animal use protections) in place PRIOR to award account set up and expenditure of funds.
  • The post-award staff provides service and guidance to PD/PIs and department staff. This includes:
    • Award account set-up: Once the award has been accepted by the Aurora Research Institute, the post award staff initiates the request to set up a cost center for the new award.
    • Once the cost center is set up, a Project Kickoff Meeting will be scheduled by the grant specialist senior – post-award to discuss the Terms and Conditions of the award with the key personnel, research accountant and director of SPO
    • Grants monitoring and reconciliation: The post-award staff monitors and reconciles grant accounts on a monthly basis, using the Web Management Reporting (WMR) tool, to ensure the funds are used in accordance with the grant agreement or notice of grant award (NOGA).
    • The post-award staff and research accountant meet with each PD/PI via conference call or in-person, as needed, to discuss the monthly reconciliation, budget, effort and balance of unused funds.
    • Effort: Effort certification is required for any individual compensated by or contributing time to a federally sponsored project. An individual compensated by a sponsored project is personally responsible for certifying the amount of effort they devoted to the project. The grant specialist senior – post-award oversees the Effort Certification Module. See Effort Certification Policy 177.
    • Grant reporting: The sponsor’s reporting requirements will be outlined in the grant agreement or NOGA.
    • Grant closeout: Valid expenses must post to the grant 30 days prior to the sponsor’s deadline for filing the final financial report. The award is considered closed when Finance pays all invoices, and final financial reports are filed with the sponsor(no later than 90 days unless specified by the sponsor).

Helpful Tips for the PD/PI

  • Read the award guidelines and budget carefully to ensure proper management of the award.

  • Do not spend funds under new or renewed projects until authority to expend is received and an appropriate cost center number has been assigned.

  • Review grant expenses each month, verify all charges and request budgetary adjustments to post-award staff to avoid audit issues.

  • Avoid purchasing equipment during the last three months and/or purchasing supplies during the last month of a federal grant. Federal auditors may disallow the cost near the end of a grant.
  • Submit required periodic and final reports on time.

Please contact SPO for further information and assistance.