Research and Sponsored Programs

Award Administration

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

Award roles and responsibilities

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Fiscally responsible to expend project funds and manage project as described in the proposal and award agreement
  • Implement project in accordance with sponsor guidelines and University processes
  • Complete and submit performance/annual reports
  • Contact RSP for award modifications
  • Complete all compliance requirements

Research & Sponsored Programs

  • Authorize the award cost center
  • Assist PI(s) with post-award processes, as needed
  • Process award amendments, including no-cost extensions (if requested)
  • Assist with project close-out

Grants Accountant

  • Budget set-up
  • Complete financial reporting/invoicing of all award expenditures
  • Maintain financial records for auditing purposes

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 Cost Center

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 - Understanding 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 and Implement Project

Once authorized and an associated cost center is established, and all compliance requirements have been fulfilled, the project can begin.

The PI(s) is fiscally responsible for spending project funds in accordance with the award agreement, as well as University/State purchasing policies.

Accessing your cost center online

Log into Minnesota State using your STAR ID: https://admin.mnstate.us/acct/

To view current award budget select:

  1. Department Queries
  2. Cost Center
  3. Fiscal Year
  4. Click on "Detail" to view.

To view/print transaction detail, select/click the following sequence:

  1. Reports
  2. Report Search and Create
  3. Enter AC0531 into Report Number Box
  4. Search
  5. Double Click "Run" icon
  6. Enter Start Date and Cost Center
  7. Submit
  8. Click on Report History (upper right corner)
  9. Double click icon on far left of the grid
  10. View File.*

To view/print account summary, select/click the following sequence:

  1. Reports
  2. Report Search and Create
  3. Enter AC0513 into Report Number box
  4. Search
  5. Double Click "Run" icon
  6. Enter Fiscal Year and Cost Center
  7. Submit
  8. Click on Report History (upper right corner)
  9. Double click icon on far left of the grid
  10. View File.*

Due to processing time, Purchasing/Travel Card transactions may take up to 2 weeks to post to your account.

Facilitating project expenditures

Procedures for hiring and purchasing are the same for all University expenditures, including sponsored projects.  Please refer to the facilitating expenditure page for details on how to process expenses associated with your sponsored project.

Step 6 - Award Modifications

Often modifications are needed to complete the project that was proposed and awarded by the sponsor. It is imperative to communicate with RSP as soon as modifications are considered. RSP is responsible for negotiating and documenting modifications with the funding agency.

Personnel changes

Awards are made to the University, therefore, if personnel changes (PIs, senior personnel, technical assistance, etc.) during an award, the University must determine how to continue the implantation of the project and fulfill legal obligations. Notify RSP for assistance.

Budget reallocations

If significant budget reallocations are considered, contact RSP for guidance and assistance. Often budget modifications require funding agency approval; therefore RSP must be notified prior to implementing budgetary changes and will work with the funding agency and Business Services to review/approve such requests.

No-cost extensions

A no-cost extension extends the project period beyond the original project end date and involves no additional funding. If you anticipate not being able to complete your research by the end date of your award, an extension may be allowable if the following conditions are met:

  • There is a programmatic need to continue the research, AND
  • There are sufficient funds remaining to cover the extended effort

Written requests for no-cost extensions should be prepared by the PI(s) and then endorsed by dean/VP/supervisor and submitted to RSP well before the original project end date (typically at least 60 days before the end date of your award).

Step 7 - Award Closeout

Progress/performance/annual reporting

The PI(s) is responsible for the completion and submission of required reports in a timely manner. On-time reporting is extremely important as funding agencies can withhold payment if project reports are delinquent. Late or unfilled reports can also affect future funding success.

Financial reporting

In coordination with PI(s), the Grants Accountant prepares and sends financial reports/invoices to funding agency/sponsor for reimbursement of expenses incurred. If a narrative explanation of spending is requested by the funding source, the PI is responsible for preparing this information.