Principal Investigator (PI) Responsibilities

Sound fiscal management of sponsored research funds requires knowledge of and adherence to prescribed sponsor and institutional financial guidelines. The Principal Investigator (PI) on behalf of the university has primary responsibilities for technical and fiscal management of the project in accordance with Office of Budget Management (OMB), EDGAR, and the sponsor’s guidelines (i.e., rules, regulations, and/or terms and conditions of the award). VSU mandates OMB and EDGAR as the primary regulations and guidelines by which grants are regulated.

PI fiscal responsibilities during the post-award phase of a sponsored research project include the following:

Review Sponsor Award Document(s)

Ensure compliance with terms and conditions of the sponsored project, including compliance with federal (OMB and EDGAR) and agency regulations and requirements (i.e., prior approval stipulations, budget limitations, and overall sponsor deadlines). 

Initiate the process of personnel hiring for the project

PI will work with their assigned Budget Manager/Departmental Administrator/Human Resources to complete the necessary Payroll/Personnel Authorization Form(s). Once paperwork is completed, PI will forward to the Post Award Administrator for review. 

Sub-contract Agreements and Sub-contract Amendments 

The PI will forward fully executed sub-contract agreements and sub-sequent amendments to the Post Award Administrator BEFORE it is forward to Requisition/Purchase Order processed through the Financial Services. 

Expenditure Processing 

    • Ensure that expenditures are processed in a timely manner and that purchases on sponsored projects are allowable, allocable and reasonable.
    • Review sub-contractor and consultant invoices to determine whether services have been adequately performed.
    • Submit all paperwork to the Post Award Administrator BEFORE forwarding to Financial Services and or Human Resources for processing.

Project Period Expenditures 

Ensure that goods and services are received or performed within the project period. 

Sponsor Pre-approvals 

Obtain and document sponsor pre-approvals for pre-award spending and forward to the Post Award Administrator BEFORE spending any funds. 

Sponsor Notifications via the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Administration (OSPRA) 

Notify the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Administration when significant conditions related to project status change (i.e., change in key personnel, PI leaving institution). The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Administration will contact the sponsor and or Project Administrator. 

Equipment 

Ensure that permanent equipment purchased with grant funds is properly tagged.  Notify the Post Award Administrator if any property is to be dispositioned.  OSPRA will notify General Accounting. 

Time and Effort Certification Reporting 

Review and certify time and effort reports related to the project, certifying that labor distributions are in direct proportion to effort expended on the project. 

Cost Share

Work with the Post Award Administrator to ensure that all mandatory and voluntary committed cost sharing is properly documented, processed and recorded.  

Review Account Activity

Account activity must be reviewed (at least monthly) on a regular basis to ensure the accuracy of expense incurred, that expenditures conform to the project budget and costs are consistent with the project schedule and incurred within the project start and expiration dates. Identify erroneous expenses and works with the Post Award Administrator to ensure that any issues and errors are addressed and corrected timely. 

Project Closeout

Assist the Post Award Administrator and Restricted Funds Accountant in project close-outs in accordance with OMB requirements and sponsor guidelines. Please contact Tina Wright at OSPRA to disclose any Intellectual Property such as, patents, copy writes, etc.