The information below is organized into four separate categories. First, “Principal Investigator Role & Responsibilities” explains Principal Investigators’ responsibilities for ensuring the success of sponsor projects. Second, “Technical Management” includes information about managing the performance of different award types. Third, “Contractual & Financial Management” provides resources to efficiently and compliantly spend award funds. Fourth, “Business Manager Tools” contains information to help college and departmental administrators more efficiently support their Principal Investigators. Finally, “Talent Acquisition: How to Hire” details the processes for hiring personnel to work on Principal Investigators’ awards. If you have any questions, please contact your assigned Sponsored Project Administrator.
Role of Principal Investigators
Principal Investigators (“PIs”) have primary responsibility for achieving the technical success of sponsored projects, while also complying with the financial and administrative policies and regulations associated with the sponsored project agreement (the “Award”). Although PIs may have administrative staff to assist them with the management of Award funds, the ultimate responsibility for the management of sponsored projects rests with PIs. The fundamental responsibilities of PIs during the post-award phase of sponsored projects include, but are not limited to:
- Execute the project as outlined in the Award using sound management techniques;
- Carry out the project’s financial plan as presented in the Award, or make changes to the plan following a prescribed set of policies and procedures;
- Updated: Report project progress to the sponsor as outlined in the terms of Award (see Technical/Programmatic Reporting Guidance dated 6/20/2018 and NSF Technical Reporting Guidelines dated 1/5/2018 that were distributed via the OSP Principal Investigator News; see also Invitation to Join the OSP Principal Investigator News dated 11/8/2017);
- Maintain accurate records of project-related expenses;
- Comply with all Boise State University (“University”) policies and procedures related to project management and personnel practices; and
- Comply with all applicable sponsor rules, regulations and/or terms and conditions of the Award; and
- Fulfill the PIs’ obligations set forth in the Principal Investigator Award Certifications and Assurances.
PIs’ responsibilities may be divided into two related but distinctly different sets of activities: (i) management of the Award Scope of Work (“SOW”); and (ii) responsible spending of Award funds. While the SOW should drive financial activities, sound management practices in both arenas are required. The financial stewardship of Award funds is a shared responsibility between PIs, the PIs’ college/departmental administrators and the Office of Sponsored Programs (“OSP”).
Once a project has been funded, there is the expectation by both the sponsor and OSP that PIs responsibly spend Award funds. Sound fiscal management of Award funds requires knowledge of, and adherence to, a prescribed set of federal and locally developed financial guidelines (see, e.g., the Uniform Guidance Basics). Over the life of an Award, PIs may initiate changes to a project that impact the management of awarded funds. PIs must have a good understanding of the procedures associated with initiating financial transactions or changes to an Award’s financial plan.
OSP is committed to assisting PIs’ fulfillment of these responsibilities. In addition to offering workshops and training sessions, OSP has prepared (and will continue to prepare) forms, policies, procedures and training materials aimed at acquainting PIs and their college/departmental administrators with information that will positively affect sponsored project management.
A project is the allocation of resources directed toward a specific set of goals that follows a planned and organized approach to meeting those goals. Sponsored projects have an added explicit dimension of time that sets them apart from many internally funded and managed projects. Most sponsors expect PIs to meet the budgets and time frames outlined in Awards’ SOWs. This expectation puts special emphasis on PIs’ abilities to carefully plan and manage Award work.
The most basic project-operating document is the project plan. All resource allocation, including funding and staffing, must support the objectives outlined in the project plan. As project managers, PIs must:
- Manage Award resources;
- Plan and control Award work; and
- Communicate with individuals and groups about the Award.
While the management of Award resources may appear to take the bulk of PIs’ time, it is the planning, controlling and communicating tasks that will prove most time consuming.
PIs, particularly if they manage multiple and/or complex Awards, may find public domain or commercially available software packages extremely helpful in managing their Awards. Use of project management and financial software, such as Microsoft Project and Excel (available through BroncoTec), can assist PIs in reporting project progress, tracking work, analyzing project-generated data and managing time keeping. Although Award financial information is maintained in Oracle Financials Cloud (“OFC”), PIs are encouraged to develop means by which they or their college/departmental administrators can maintain records related to the hours and tasks performed by each member of project teams.
PIs have responsibilities and prerogatives in the selection, training and evaluation of project staff, subject to the policies and procedures of the University’s Human Resource Services (“HRS”). These personnel practices conform to federal and state laws, and reflect the University’s approach to human resource management. Consistent with these policies and procedures, PIs may select staff to carry out project work. PIs unfamiliar with University personnel practices are encouraged to contact HRS staff.
- When to Contact Your Sponsored Project Administrator (“SPA”)
- Types of Awards and Important Differences
- Technical/Programmatic Reporting Guidance (Updated)
- NSF Technical Reporting Guidelines
- DEAR Property Clause Implementation (BEA/INL Awards)
- No-Cost Extension FAQs
- Lobbying Restrictions
- Join the OSP Principal Investigator News
- When to Contact Your Sponsored Project Administrator (“SPA”)
- Basics of Charging Costs to a Sponsored Project
- Oracle Financials Cloud Training Materials for Sponsored Projects
- How Do I Pay for Many Types of Expenses?
- Purchasing FAQs (e.g., Purchasing Process Quick Reference Guide)
- Procurement Standards and Flow-down Clauses for Sponsored Projects (New)
- Submitting a Contract to General Counsel for Review
Business Manager ToolsThese Business Manager Tools are currently UNDER DEVELOPMENT. During the coming months, OSP will continue to add new features to help college and departmental administrators more efficiently support these Principal Investigators.
|Report Title||Report Description|
|Advance Reports||This report shows how many Advance Department IDs and Advance Spending Requests are open as of the report run date. Also, it identifies the dollar amount of the open Advances and how long the Advances have been open.|
|DEAR Property Clause Report||This report identifies which Awards require all Supplies acquired to be inventoried (e.g., Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC / Idaho National Laboratory awards). Supplies acquired under these Awards are Government property. This information is to be used in conjunction with the DEAR Property Clause Implementation.|
|Frevvo Workflow Routing Roles||This report identifies workflows for routing proposals and Awards in Frevvo. Changes to workflow roles should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|Master Department ID List||This report cross-references among OSP Proposal Numbers, OFC Award Numbers and OFC Project Numbers. If you have one reference, you can find the others. This information is updated each Monday.|
|No-Cost Extension Reports||This report shows how many No-Cost Extensions are pending approval as of the report run date.|
|Pending Awards Report||This report shows, as of the report run date, the number and dollar amount of pending Awards, Award Amendments, Advance Department IDs and Advance Spending Requests. The "Award Status" column identifies, as of the report run date, the status of these pending actions after they have been received by OSP Contracting Services. This information is to be used in conjunction with the Audit Trail feature in Frevvo. The "OSP_CO" status in Frevvo is when OSP Contracting Services receives the action.|
|Procurement Standards for Sponsored Projects||The information in this report identifies the procurement requirements for specific sponsored projects, and is based on the output data from Frevvo.|
|Budget vs. Actuals Report||This report provides, by college and department (or administrative unit), budgeted and expenditure amounts for each project. (Coming Soon)|