Effective immediately, the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) and Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) will no longer require detailed budgets when the sponsor does not require them. Projects that do not require detailed budgeting will use the budget pool in account code 501000 – Other Expenses. This account code is used when all direct costs are pooled together into a single line item when loaded at project set-up. It is at the discretion of the department to utilize this method and will be driven by the type of budget submitted on proposals where the sponsor does not require detailed budgeting. OSR/SPO will provide the final determination if sponsor guidance on detailed budgeting is unclear.
This policy is not retroactive. Only proposals and subsequent awards submitted after this announcement will be eligible for the budget pool method. Projects that require detailed budgeting will continue to have budgets identified per account code and loaded into separate line-items, such as personnel, supplies, and travel.
Budget Pool Application
- Detailed budgets will only be required when mandated by the sponsor.
- Departments may still elect to utilize detailed budgeting when not mandated by the sponsor. Submission of a detailed budget with the IPF will drive how the project is setup.
- It is requested that departments add a Note in the IPF (set as an Alert) indicating that no detailed budget is required and attach any sponsor guidelines with budgeting requirements. This will notify OSR/SPO that no detailed budget has been provided and it is not required. (Note: This does not include outgoing sub-awards; please see below.)
- Please consult OSR/SPO if there are specific questions regarding whether or not a proposal requires a detailed budget or the sponsor guidance is unclear.
- Projects with outgoing sub-awards will still be required to provide a detailed budget for amounts provided to a subrecipient. This is a requirement for subrecipient monitoring purposes.
- When the sponsor does not require a detailed budget, the department may provide total direct and indirect costs for the overall budget and include the subrecipient’s detailed budget as a separate document.
- OSR will now load all direct costs in the budget pool account (501000) if the sponsor does not require a detailed budget and one is not included in the IPF.
- Proposals submitted with a detailed budget, independent of whether it is required by the sponsor, will be loaded in ConnectCarolina using the budget provided in the IPF.
- A detailed budget will not be required to release restricted funds if the sponsor does not require detailed budgeting and one is on file with OSR equal to the amount identified in restricted funds.
- Budget revisions to distribute pooled funds into a detailed budget will not be allowed on projects using the 501000 budget pool. Budget revisions to move funds between Prime and Sub Project IDs will still be allowed.
The decision to use the budget pool account code does not circumvent any department or university requirements for detailed budgeting and financial management. Using the budget pool does place the burden on the department to appropriately allocate proposed expenses as they will be required to manage their projects without the aid of detailed budgeting.
Please contact us at ResAdminOSR@unc.edu with any questions on these new budget pool guidelines.