Guidelines for Principal Investigator and Departmental Administrator

Getting Started

Notify key personnel of the award, Grant Program Number (GPN) and project start date. If the project contains multiple investigators or components, subcomponents may need to be established.

Discuss the overall plan for the spending of project funds. This should also help form a basis for regular review of the project's financial status. Regular review allows for more timely adjustments to the budget and expenditures in time of unforeseen changes in the project's progress.


In accordance with the PI’s instruction and the approved budget, personnel are assigned to project via Change in Status.  Reassignment of effort and salary support, as well as new hires and termination of employment, may also be necessary during the course of the project.


Communicate with all other individuals involved in the obligation and expenditure of funds. It is important to maintain regular communication regarding the financial status of the project. Regular communication between project and departmental personnel often allows for actions that result in significant cost savings and reallocation of those savings to other project needs.

Make sure that all project and department personnel know the name of the Grant Accountant assigned to the project. The Grant Accountant is familiar with the sponsor's fiscal policies as well as the terms and conditions of the project.

Ongoing Responsibilities

Review monthly TDS and FMS statements via EFR so that you are aware of what is posting to your grant account.

  • Are the correct personnel being charged?
  • Are all personnel and non-personnel charges applicable to the project?
  • Are there large variances within the budget categories?
  • Is the approved budget being followed?

Review monthly TDS and FMS statements for all corresponding cost share accounts.

  • Have funds been allocated into the new account?
  • Are your committed expenses being charged?
  • Have Changes in Status been submitted, if applicable?
  • Is the committed budget being followed?

When there are subawards, monitor activity and the payment of invoices. Be aware of the budget end date and spending status of the accounts.

Finishing Up

The process of closing out the account may differ, depending on the grant sponsor, but there are several things to keep in mind:

  • What final reports need to be submitted? Which ones are you responsible for?
    • When are they due? Most sponsors require submission within 45-90 days.
  • Have all charges been posted to the account?
  • Do any final purchases need to be made? Please remember that all items must be incurred before the budget end date.
  • Have all subcontractors finished their work and has the final invoice been submitted to the UI for payment?
  • Will all funds be spent or will there be unspent funds returned to the sponsor?
  • All charges must be in place within 90 days of the project's end date. This applies to all sponsored accounts, as well as their corresponding cost share accounts.
  • Keep in touch with your Grant Accountant and notify them of any changes that will affect the end date, the status of the project or the submission of reports.