400.3 Principal Investigator and Departmental Administrator Responsibilities in Early Award Stages
Responsible Officer: Director
Responsible Unit: Award Management
Effective date: July 1, 2008
Last revised on: July 21, 2011
The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for reviewing the award document to familiarize him/herself with the terms, conditions and project expenditure restrictions. In addition, when the award is initiated, the PI must ensure compliance issues are properly managed. Departmental Administrators (DAs) of award accounts also review the award document to identify restrictions on cost allocations for spending, as well as agency reporting requirements.
Because DAs work in conjunction with PIs to be responsible for various aspects of research administration, including personnel funding, purchasing and other similar matters, they must pay careful attention to award terms and conditions, effective dates, and any restrictions, in consultation with OSR.
Account transactions must adhere to the attributes, structure, and accounting methods established by University Accounting Services, and display account numbers accordingly on forms for routing, approval, and electronic data processing.
Departmental Administrators (DA) are requested to:
I. Conduct Review of Award Documents
- Identify restrictions.
- Note reporting requirements.
- Check for purchasing/spending authorizations under the award terms and conditions.
- Initiate, monitor and maintain current financial information regarding the award.
II. Set-up an electronic shadow system to Monitor Current Financial Information
- Prepare personnel transactions upon assignment of an account number. Include personnel information that affects salary, such as salary caps, cost sharing, rate of pay compensatory to amount of full time effort (FTE), etc.
- Create tracking for direct costs, F&A costs, sub awards, and consultant expenditures.
- Establish reminders for deadlines of financial, progress and technical reports.
- Monitor spending, IPAs and prior approval requirements in light of the award funding.
- Communicate regularly with those responsible for project activity to prepare requirements in a timely fashion.
- Handle transactions and reconciliations by anticipating end-of-budget periods and other changes.
Reason for Policy
Providing such general responsibilities clarifies expectations and specific tasks of award management that are ascribed to Principal Investigators and Departmental Administrators.
Procedures and Related Policies
Because award funding involves various aspects, it requires many systems to manage the data generated from it. The University provides systems at the departmental level to help manage accounts in connection with the University’s Financial Record System (FRS). Other University systems used for award data (for which training is available) include:
RAMSeS (Research Administration Management System and electronic Submission) — The tracking and reporting system for sponsored research from proposal stage through closeout.
Finance Central — (University Accounting Training) — Used in conjunction with FRS. Online modules assist in training newcomers in the various accounting systems and procedures at UNC Chapel Hill.
Establishing a shadow system for monitoring sponsored award elements is key in providing the current information referenced frequently for award requirements throughout the life of the project. The following procedure defines several components of a solid departmental shadowing system:
Related Policies include:
OSR Research Tool Kits
Questions and concerns can be submitted online at Ask OSR or by using the OSR staff directory. Within RAMSeS, the “Speak to Someone” option assists in locating the staff member best suited to address project-specific issues.
The policies in the Office of Sponsored Research Policies & Procedures Manual supersede any OSR policies, procedures and appendices previously included in the University Business Manual, a publication of UNC Chapel Hill’s Division of Finance.