Award Closeout

In accepting awards, the University is assuming responsibility for meeting all of the technical and financial reporting requirements of the sponsor.

Specific interim and final report requirements are usually included in the sponsor’s terms and conditions or other award documents or in a policy guide or manual. These requirements vary from sponsor to sponsor.

The Principal Investigator bears responsibility for preparing and submitting the technical reports to the sponsor. It is URA policy not to close out an award until we have received confirmation that the PI has met the technical reporting requirements. University Research Administration does not require a copy of the Final Technical Report. However, URA does require a copy of the transmittal letter or dated face page of the report to document for audit purposes that the reporting requirement has been satisfied. With electronic reporting procedures, such as NSF’s, where URA receives notification from the sponsor, no further action from the PI is necessary.

How to prepare before the project ends:

Post award administration activity comes to a peak with the close out of the grant account. Throughout the day-to-day management steps have been taken for the proper closeout. This includes the timely set up of the FAS account, the monthly monitoring, reviewing the account activities and plans with the PI, making adjustments as necessary.

The final step in account management is the close out.

Close Out

Close out is the final reconciliation and reporting of the expenses and activities of the project. This is a combined effort between the PI, local departmental/unit administration and Sponsored Award Accounting.

There are 3 steps to properly close a project:

  • Submission of the Financial Status Report or agency financial report
  • Submission of the Final Technical Reports

Some projects may have interim reports including interim financial reports and interim technical progress reports.

SAA Responsibilities

Sponsored Award Accounting is responsible for closing sponsored award accounts in FAS. For more information, visit their website.

Reporting

Sponsored Award Accounting has tools and requirements for reporting and closing out an award. Please visit their website for more information.

Technical Reporting

In accepting awards, the University is assuming responsibility for meeting all of the technical and financial reporting requirements of the sponsor. Specific interim and final report requirements are usually included in the sponsor’s terms and conditions or other award documents or in a policy guide or manual. These requirements vary from sponsor to sponsor.

The Principal Investigator bears responsibility for preparing and submitting the technical reports to the sponsor. It is URA policy not to close out an award until we have received some form of confirmation that the PI has met the technical reporting requirements. University Research Administration does not want to receive a copy of the Final Technical Report. However, URA does require a copy of the transmittal letter or dated face page of the report to document for audit purposes that the reporting requirement has been satisfied. With electronic reporting procedures, such as NSF’s, where URA receives notification from the sponsor, no further action from the PI is necessary.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Recipients should pay particular attention to the special quarterly reporting requirements required by Section 1512 of the Recovery Act.

Record Retention

The University is the recipient of the grant funds and as such is the formal owner of the data. Federal funding sponsors generally describe the institution as responsible for the retention of data, but in practice at the University of Chicago the Principal Investigator is charged with custodial responsibility for his/her own research data in accordance with Office of Management & Budget (OMB) Federal Regulations, which requires financial records, supporting documents, statistical records and all other records shall be retained for a period of 3 years (with some exceptions – see OMB Federal Regulations). Specific agencies may have different retention requirements and thus is it essential to review the agency specific guidance.

Grantees generally must retain financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records that are required by the terms of a grant, or may reasonably be considered pertinent to a grant, for a period of 3 years from the date the annual FSR is submitted. For awards under SNAP (other than those to foreign organizations and Federal institutions), the 3-year retention period will be calculated from the date the FSR for the entire competitive segment is submitted. Those grantees must retain the records pertinent to the entire competitive segment for 3 years from the date the FSR is submitted to NIH.

Longer periods of retention may be recommended when the data is in support of a patent or other protected intellectual property. It is suggested the retention period be extended at least through the life of the patent.

If there are any ongoing allegations of misconduct, conflict of interest, the data should be maintained until the case is closed or resolved.

If the data relates to a student research project, the data should be retained until at least the student’s degree is awarded or the student leaves the institution (abandons the project).

If a faculty member leaves the university, there should be a formal agreement on the dispensation of the research data. It may be that the data is maintained in a departmental resource or that the PI will provide the University with reasonable access to the original data if there is a need.

Relinquishing or Transferring a Sponsored Award

If the Program Director/Principal Investigator leaves the University there are situations when it is appropriate for the sponsored awards to transfer to the new institution. In these cases, the local unit should contact URA to discuss the specific situation and plan for the transfer of the awards.

In general, the University would relinquish the award to the agency and the funding agency would issue a new award to the new institution.

At the University there are several key contacts that should be coordinated prior to the faculty member’s departure. A checklist has been developed to assist in this coordination.