The Principal Investigator is responsible for the technical direction of the sponsored project and for the authorization of all expenditures to be charged to that project. The Principal Investigator is responsible for expending funds in compliance with agency, state and University regulations, and for ensuring that project-specific costs are reasonable, allocable and allowable on that project. To aid the Principal Investigator in meeting this responsibility, the OCG Research Administrator ensures that applicable restrictions are clearly defined in the Notice of Award for the sponsored award.
The Department and College Business Administrators, with the support of the OCG Research Administrators, serve in a stewardship capacity over sponsored research projects by monitoring expenditures for compliance with regulations.
The Division of Research is responsible for providing training through the Research Administration Certification Program to the Department and College Business Administrators, certifying those who have completed the required core courses to enable them to review expenditure requests for compliance with agency and University restrictions. Only administrators who have completed the Research Administration Certification Program required core courses are authorized to provide a certifying signature on expenditure documents. If a department does not have a certified administrator, the college administrator is required to certify all of that department’s expenditure documents.
There are some specific expenditure documents that still must pass through the Office of Contracts and Grants for approval. These documents will be identified in the Notice of Award, and include but are not limited to documents for the following purposes:
- Purchase Requisition for Equipment within the last six months of the project
- Purchase Requisition for Service using the Sponsored Project Contractual Agreement
- All expenditure reallocation and correction/cost transfers involving grant cost center
- Payroll reallocations via eRAFs in PeopleSoft HR
- Journal reallocation via workflow
- Vouchers uses for reallocating from state to grant or from grant to state cost centers
- PO Vouchers for subrecipient invoice payments
- Expenses with unallowable account codes for sponsored projects
- Expenses with an expired invoice date(outside of the grant period of performance)
Principal investigators are responsible for assigning costs to the appropriate sponsored project cost center at the time the expenses are incurred. The charges must be allocated to the cost center(s) based on the project(s) receiving the benefit from the item or service. The PI’s signature on expenditure documents certifies that the charge is reasonable, allocable, and allowable on the sponsored project that is paying the charge.
Project expenses are posted to the Peoplesoft accounting system through AccessUH. Each department has access to run its own project accounting reports and is responsible for the timely reconciliation of its project accounts and providing information to the Principal Investigator(s) regarding the financial condition of their projects. Information on reconciling accounts can be found in the MAPP. Department Business Administrators should request assistance from their College Business Administrator if they have any questions about how to reconcile their accounts. The Principal Investigator(s) may request a copy of the report for his/her award from his/her college/department business manager. Questions regarding any problem on the monthly accounting reports should be directed to the originating department (e.g., Payroll, Accounts Payable, General Accounting).
Principal investigators may delegate a person to sign on their behalf. The Uniform Guidance and A-21 requires that the PI or their designee sign all expenditure documents on the management of grant funds. The Office of Contracts and Grants provides to the PI and DBA a “Delegation of Authority” form with all Notices of Award (view sample). The Principal Investigator may use the Delegation of Authority form to officially give an employee(s) authorization to sign on their behalf. Alternately, the department may recreate another form of this document or the PI may use a memo to delegate.