Research and Sponsored Programs

Award Administration

Once awarded, the Principal Investigator(s), Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP), and the Grants Accountant all have important roles and responsibilities to managing the sponsored agreement.

Roles and Responsibilities

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Implement project in accordance with funding agency guidelines and MinnState procedures
  • Review allowability of expenses per funding agency guidelines, award/agreement issued to the University, and MinnState guidelines
  • Fiscally responsible to expend project funds as awarded per award/agreement, regularly monitor and reconcile award budget throughout the life of the project (includes cost-share or match, if applicable)
  • Evaluate outcomes of project based on proposal plan
  • Include Research and Sponsored Programs when communicating with funding agency concerning questions and project updates 
  • Complete and submit performance/annual reporting requirements as defined by the funding agency
  • Contact RSP for award modifications
  • Complete all compliance requirements

Research & Sponsored Programs

  • Authorize the award budget (cost center)
  • Provided guidance to PI(s) on post-award processes, as needed
  • Review and process award modifications requested by PI
  • Process award amendments, including no-cost extensions 
  • Assist with project close-out and audits

Grants Accountant

  • Budget (cost center) set-up
  • Assist PI with financial reporting
  • Invoice for all award expenditures
  • Maintain official financial records for auditing purposes
  • Primary contact for audits

Step 1 - University Receives Award Notification

Congratulations on the award! Once RSP receives the official award notification, RSP will notify the PI(s) and process the award documentation, including award agreement negotiations and obtaining necessary official University signatures to accept the award. 

Step 2 - Authorization of Award Budget 

Upon receipt of the official, fully-executed award, RSP will authorize the creation of a cost center for the project. PIs will receive a copy of the authorization that outlines the responsible person(s) on the account, project title, funding source, project begin and end dates, and a breakdown of the budget by object code.

Grant Accountant, in Business Services, creates the award account and sends a snapshot of the newly created budget to the responsible person on the cost center. The cost center number should be referenced on all correspondence and requisitions related to the project.

Step 3 - Understand Your Compliance Requirements

It is critical to understand the compliance requirements for each sponsored project, as these can vary among awards depending on the funding agency (e.g. federal, state, private) and type of research/project and if it involved human or animal subjects.

Please see the Compliance page for more information.

Step 4 - Develop Cost Sharing/Match Tracking Plan

If cost-sharing/match was preapproved through the Proposal Approval Form prior to submission to the funding agency/sponsor, the PI must work with RSP develop a tracking plan. Whether cash or in-kind cost share/match, proper records are required for financial reporting and audit purposes.

If your project doesn’t include cost share/match, proceed to step 5.

Step 5 - Begin Implementing Project

It is critical to understand how your award's spending parameters and consider strategies you will use to manage and monitor your project's implementation.

The PI(s) is fiscally responsible for spending project funds in accordance with the award agreement, as well as University/State purchasing policies.  We recommend PI(s) reconcile award budget at least monthly.

Understand allowable, allocable, and reasonable costs

Understand allowable and unallowable costs

Develop your project management plan

Review and monitor your award budget

Facilitate project expenditures

Correction or cost transfer for sponsored projects

Step 6 - Post-Award Modifications

Occasionally modifications are required to complete the project that was proposed and awarded by the sponsor. It is imperative to communicate with the office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) as soon as award changes are considered. Principal Investigator(s) must use the Post-Award Modification Request Form to officially request modifications for active, funded projects. RSP is responsible for negotiating and documenting modifications with the sponsor.

Complete the Post-Award Modification Request Form and submit to RSP early enough to allow time for administrative processing and to secure sponsor approval in advance of the request change and the award end date.

Once the cognizant Program Officer has been consulted and all internal approvals are secured, RSP will submit the request to the sponsor for approval. If approved by the sponsor, a notification of approval or an amendment will be issued to St. Cloud State University.

The following are the most common types of award modifications; please see each section for specific Principal Investigator(s) action steps.

No-cost Extensions

Budget Revisions

Principal Investigator (PI)/Key Personnel Changes

Disengagement of PI for 90 days or more


Step 7 - Award Closeout

Progress/performance/annual reporting

Financial reporting

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