Research and Sponsored Programs

Facilitating Expenditures

Hiring Employees

The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for initiating all hiring and payroll actions, as well as supervision of sponsored project personnel. All personnel must be paid in accordance with University guidelines. Salary rates, job classifications and regulations for personnel employed on sponsored projects are the same as those established for all other employees of the University.

Salaries, Wages, and Fringe Benefits

Personnel costs for employees working on a sponsored project must follow institutional policies and procedures. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will provide guidance on all payroll procedures related to your sponsored project.

Personnel paid from a sponsored project account are subject to institutional benefit policies. Contact the Benefits Representative in Human Resources for information on policies and procedures, or refer to the Human Resources Policies/Procedures Manual. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs can also assist with estimating fringe costs for personnel working on a sponsored project.

New employees

Work with Human Resources employment procedures to complete a new hire.

Existing faculty

Grant funded positions will use the Unclassified Change Form to initiate payment of extra duty days, overload credits, or reassignment time. After the form has been completed, submit to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for approval and the form will be routed to your faculty workload system administrator for entry.

Existing MSUAASF

If the sponsored project covers a portion of the employee’s regular time, the Principal Investigator must complete the Unclassified Change Form submit to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for approval.  Once approved, the form will be routed to Human Resources for entry.


If the sponsored project covers a portion of the employee’s regular time, the Principal Investigator should work directly with Human Resources at the beginning of the project for proper charging of the classified employee’s time to the grant account.

Hiring Students

The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for initiating all hiring and payroll actions, as well as supervision of all undergraduate and graduate students working on the sponsored project.


The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for hiring student employees and needs to work with their Department’s designated personnel to authorize student employee payroll. 

Students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session and 40 hours per week during university breaks. The hourly cap includes all work assignments the student may have on campus.

For more information please see the Student Employment Handbook.

Graduate assistants

The PI is responsible for hiring Graduate Assistants that will be working on their sponsored project.  Graduate Assistants are allowed to work 20 hours per week (full-time) or 10 hours per week (part-time). Graduate Assistants receive a stipend and tuition remission depending on their status – see Graduate Assistantships website for more information. 

To hire a Graduate Assistant, the PI needs to work with their Department’s designated personnel to create a position description that includes the position type (teaching assistantship, research assistantship, or program assistantship), hiring department, responsibilities, learning outcomes and qualifications. 

The Graduate Assistant must be hired as an hourly employee during breaks or over the summer months.

Information for Graduate Assistant Supervisors can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website.

Scholarships for student tuition

To award tuition remission to undergraduate or graduate students (ONLY those graduate students without a Graduate Assistantship), a scholarship is processed through the Financial Aid Office and the sponsored project is charged for the accompanying tuition charges. 

There are two forms that need to be completed to facilitate payment of tuition remission for undergraduate and graduate students:

  1. Financial Aid/Foundation/Department Scholarship Notification Form
    1. Complete student name and tech ID
    2. “Department awarding the scholarship"
    3. “Scholarship Name”, enter Account Number and Account Name (i.e. 628711 - NSF Grants)
    4. “Business Office #”, enter 424242
    5. “Department Account #”, enter grant account number
    6. Complete “total amount”, “academic year”, “disbursement”, “contact Info”, route to responsible person on the account to sign
    7. Keep a copy and send original to Financial Aid Office, AS106

  2. PR1400 form to move funds from grant to the scholarship fund
    1. Indicate amount to be paid
    2. Vendor is St. Cloud State University
    3. Indicate on the PR1400 form the student awarded the scholarship and reference Research and Sponsored Programs Grants Scholarship account 424242
    4. Use grant account number and object code 7104
    5. Responsible person on account signs the form
    6. Attach a copy of the Financial Aid/Foundation/Department Scholarship Notification Form
    7. Keep copies and route original PR1400 and attachments to Business Office, AS-123

Hiring Consultants/Contractors

To hire a consultant or contractor, the PI must complete an Independent Contractor/Employee Status Form and send to Human Resources (HR) for determination prior to moving forward with the contract.

Independent service agreement

  • Less than $3,000.00
  • No expense reimbursement
  • One time payment
  • Start/end date
  • Purchase order in 450 status
  • Name/address
  • ISA is the contract and invoice that the PI signs upon completion of job duties

Professional/Technical Contract (SCSU003)

  • Name/address
  • More than $3,000.00 and/or reimbursement of expenses
  • Purchase order in 450 status
  • Description of duties
  • Amount of compensation and/or amount of estimated expenses
  • Contact person for the contract (address, phone number, email)
  • Routing for "original" signatures (Contractor, Dean, Business Services)
  • Contractor must invoice for compensation/expenses using contractor invoice

Additional information on contracts can be found at:


Procedures for purchasing on a sponsored project are the same as for other University expenditures. Prior to purchasing, designated personnel must receive purchasing access.

To facilitate access, the Principal Investigator (PI) needs to email the Purchase Control System (PCS) Account Security to request full purchasing rights to the appropriate cost center. To find the PCS Account Security contact information, please visit: Business Services.

Once the access is granted, designated personnel or another party can make purchases on the PI’s behalf.

Special expenses

Special expenses are those that are incurred in connection with work-related responsibilities of official functions not generally supported with public funds. Please communicate with designated personnel in regards to your purchasing request so that the proper forms can be completed as needed.

Vendor registration

All purchases, with the exception of the Purchasing Card, need a vendor number. If a vendor has not been set up, the vendor will have to complete the vendor registration process. To complete this process, please visit the vendor registration website (registration instructions).

Purchasing card

Purchasing cards (PCards) are the preferred method to use whenever possible. Training on PCard use is required before issuance and use of the credit card. For more information on uses of PCards, special expense instructions and guidelines, visit: Business Services Purchasing Card Policy and Procedures Manual.

A PCard application must be completed for each employee receiving a PCard, signed by the responsible person on the cost center. After a PCard application has been filled out, a delegation of authority form must be completed.

Every month, a copy of the PCard statement and original receipts must be sent to designated personnel to be entered into the shadow system.

Purchase orders

Purchase Orders (PO) are requested when the vendor does not accept PCards or the cost center does not have a PCard associated with it. All purchase orders will require a Vendor ID.

The PI needs to communicate with designated personnel the following information to complete purchase orders:

  • Cost Center
  • Items and quantity
  • Catalog and item number
  • Delivery terms
  • Dollar amounts
  • Web site link you are purchasing from

Payment requests

Payment Requests, or a PR1400, is a form that is used for transactions and reimbursements where Purchase Orders (PO) and PCards are not available to use or are not accepted by the vendor. The PI needs to communicate with designated personnel to complete the PR1400 to authorize payment. All payments will require the vendor to have a Vendor ID.


Prior to traveling

The Travel Authorization Form must be completed 10 to 15 days prior to making travel arrangements. The following travel authorization signatures are required:

  • Employee signature
  • In State Travel: Department Chair or Supervisor signature "Although in-state travel only requires verbal approval of immediate supervisor, a Work Revision Request is also necessary for academic administration and instructional faculty when academic duties and responsibilities need to be adjusted or covered during work-related travel away from campus. The Work Revision Request form is now a section of this new Travel Authorization form."
  • Out of State Travel: Department Chair/Supervisor and College/School Dean or appropriate Vice President
  • International Travel: Department Chair/Supervisor, College/School Dean, Vice President/Provost and President
*For international travel - complete the Request for Approval to Incur Special Expenses form in advance of the travel and submit to the Director of Business Services.

Travel expense report

The SCSU Travel Expense Report must be authorized by the employee, the supervisor, and the responsible person for the identified cost center. Students who travel should use this same form.

Original receipts are required for all expenses except mileage and meals. Mileage needs to be accompanied by a map route and mileage. Acceptable sources to report mileage:

Reimbursements/Advances are included in the employee's paycheck. Each employee will be reimbursed only for his/her own expenses.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires employee business expenses to be submitted for reimbursement within 60 days after the expense is incurred. If not submitted within 60 days, the reimbursement becomes taxable for federal, state, FICA and Medicare; and withholding tax must be taken.

Travel questions

If you have travel questions, contact the Travel Desk in Business Services AS 124 or call 308-4005.