A. Acceptance of the Award
After a proposal has been approved for support, official notification is usually sent to ORS and the project director. Occasionally, with non-federal awards, only the PI will be notified. In such situations, it is extremely important that the PI send the original notification to ORS immediately so that the process of establishing an account within the University system can be initiated promptly.
ORS will check the terms and conditions of the award (grant, contract or letter of intent) with those contained in the original application. Further, the award will be reviewed for compliance with University and State regulations. If there are differences they are resolved with the PI and the appropriate University Officials, and where necessary, with the sponsoring agency. In many cases, official acceptance of the funds is required, and this must be by signature of the designated University signatory authority, no the PI.
Once the terms are judged acceptable, ORS authorizes the University's fiscal officer to open an account and a budget is established based on the award notice and the proposal budget. A start date and a termination date encompassing the period of award are also set. From this point on, the Office of Grants Accounting is responsible for keeping the fiscal records pertaining to the award and for preparing the expenditure reports to the granting agency.
The Office of Research Services' Post-Award Services Manager will support faculty and staff from the award stage until the end of the project, including coordinating communication, filing, purchasing, travel, ordering, hiring, budget reconciliation and reporting. This position works closely with eacy individual PI and with the Office of Grants Accounting.
The Office of Grants Accounting provides a monthly management report to the PI as an aid for fiscal management of the project. These reports cannot be expected to reflect all expenditures that may have been made on the date they are received by the PI. Often, there is a lag of several weeks. Neither can the reports "predict" expected costs which have not been committed. Relying solely on these reports as a guide to the funds remaining in the project account may lead to over-expenditures and poor long-term fiscal management. The responsible individual (PI, administrative assistant or secretary) should maintain a daily log of expenditures.
Occasionally, it is necessary to open an account before an official award document is received from the funding agency. ORS will set up a RISK account only after determining that the proposal has been approved and will be funded by the agency and a statement from the department's chair confirming that, should the award not be made, the department would be responsible for any costs incurred. Contact the Office of Research Services at Coastal Carolina University for more information regarding Risk Accounts.
Many federal agencies allow a grantee to incur expenses prior to receiving an award. This usually is in the form of a 90-day pre-award period. If an investigator has confirmed that an award is forthcoming, he/she can request in writing that ORS set-up an account. No expenses may be incurred prior to the approval of ORS.