A university’s sponsored research services office administers sponsored research grants and contracts. Basic tasks include grants and contract support, indirect cost recovery, and accountability reporting. Some universities “outsource” their sponsored research administration to a separate legal entity, called a research foundation or corporation, with a separate governing board. Sponsored project administration is typically broken down into two phases: pre-award and post-award. Salient features of pre-award administration include assuring compliance with university and granting agency regulations, submitting grant and contract proposals, calculating F&A rates and cost-sharing requirements, and rebudgeting. The standard post-award office typically monitors expenditures to ensure that they fall within the approved budget, helps the principal investigator prepare and submit required progress reports, provides financial status reports to government and private sponsors, generates invoices, deposits revenue, and collects outstanding receivables for sponsored projects. The post-award office is also responsible for effort reporting: assuring granting agencies that the assignment of time and associated salary costs to the projects they sponsor is fair, consistent, and timely.
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