Policies and Procdures for Grants and Contacts
Office of Sponsored Programs
Cook Administration Building - 303
773.995.3598 * Fax 773.995.2490Policies and Procedures on Grants and Contracts
(These policies and procedures apply to all grants and contracts acquired at CSU)
Findding an External Funding Source
Announcements of financial support for such activities as training programs and research efforts are published in many places, including The Federal Register, news releases, special mailings and publication of professional societies such as the American Council on Education. In addition, there are a number of newsletters such as Federal Grants and Contracts Weekly, The Corporate Alert and ARIS Funding Messenger that specialize in such information. Many of these publications are available in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), in the Cook Administration building, Room 303. OSP also publishes the monthly CSU Funding Opportunities newsletter.
Preparing a Proposal
Preliminary Authorization to Submit a Proposal (OSP FORM) is made by submitting the OSP INTENT TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL FORM (Attached). You must submit this form OSP as soon as possible. The preliminary authorization prevents unnecessary work in the event that the basic idea of the proposed project is not in line with CSU strategic plans and financial limitations. For example, some grants require a matching component. Seek prior approval from the OSP since it may be that CSU will be unable to put up the matching funds.
Proposal Review and Approval Internal and"SIGN-OFF" Procedures
Only the President, OSP and the CSU Foundation have the authority to solicit funds in the name of the University. Any money that comes to the University must be deposited in a restricted fund. Thus, although a grant may list the project director's or principal investigator's name, the money will actually be given to CSU, which will serve as trustee for the funds. Any proposal that is submitted in CSU's name requires the President's prior approval. The President will not consider signing a proposal that is not well typed and has not been approved by the Provost, Vice President, the department dean and chairperson and the OSP. Realistic procedures exist to ease a proposal through the CSU "sign-off". OSP Proposal Approval Form is used for this purpose. (See attached diagram illustration on Proposal Approval Process.If OSP assistance is desired in this procedure please get the manuscript to us at least two weeks ahead of the last day that the proposal can be mailed and still reach it's destination on time.
Managing the Grant
The President is usually the first person to learn officially that a grant has been awarded. If the conditions of the award are acceptable to all CSU parties, the grant is activated by OSP. A copy of the activation notice (attached) and a restricted account number that will be used for all fiscal activities of the grant will be sent to the Project Director, Budget Office, the Personnel Office, the Provost, Public Affairs and Vice Presidents. The Project Director is responsible for the technical aspects of the project. The controlling and monitoring of grant expenditures are the responsibilities of OSP accountant. The fiscal officer is also obligated to keep an account of expenditures on the grant.A certain amount of flexibility is permitted in program management. Some agencies permit a limited amount of transferring of fund transfer between line items (usually five percent). However, strict accountability is required and a suitable "audit trail" must be established. If changes from the approved budget are needed, it is necessary to obtain permission from the funding agency (OSP cannot authorize such changes). Authorization must be in writing. The authorizing person must be someone in authority, preferably the Grants Manager, who is responsible for the grant. If approved by the Funding Agency, the principle investigator must prepare and submit a Budget Change Modification form (atttached) reflecting the changes to OSP. It is always illegal to transfer funds from one grant to another.
Duties of the Fiscal Officer
The Project Director is responsible for conducting the grant according to the condition of the award. The sponsoring agency may require that quarterly periodic program reports be submitted. A final report will be required. Copies of all reports, periodic and/or final, should be sent to the OSP before submitting to the agency. Be sure to notify OSP if problems occur in the operation of the grant or if you wish to change the work schedule, scope or direction of the activity. OSP will help find solutions to such problems or contact the grant agency to try to modify or clarify the terms of the grant.The following are the responsibilities of the Fiscal Officer once the grant has been awarded.
Prepare an Internal Operating Budget.
This program budget should be prepared in cooperation with OSP according to CSU policies and regulations..
Initiate Hiring and Termination Procedures.
It will be necessary to submit hiring forms, personnel requisitions and student employment forms, as required hire and terminate personnel on the grant. Hiring and termination of all professional positions must conform to CSU regulation. The employment agreement must state clearly that employment terminates upon expiration of the grant of contract and that prior notice is not necessary.
Control the Budget.
All non-appropriated accounts, such as grants, are administered according to regular CSU fiscal policies and according to Federal Acquisition Regulations. OSP keeps track of the budget according to University and agency guidelines.
All requested for grant expenditures must go thorough the OSP. Out-of-pocket purchases are permissible without prior approval for expenditures less than $50. However, adequate documentation is necessary for reimbursement.
Purchase Requisitions must be used for all purchases $2,000 or more. The Purchase Requisitions must be submitted to the OSP Office In advance. Include only one classification per requisition. Anticipated travel expenses should be submitted on a Travel Authorization Form. Prior approval avoids all potential trouble. Out of state travel must be approved by the Dean, Vice President and the President.
Direct Payment Vouchers (DPV's)
These are used to expedite payment in certain situations where the normal process of encumbering funding can be bypassed. A turnaround of 1 to 3 days should be allowed if all support documents are received.Direct Payment Voucher (DPV) may be used for the following:Payment for library books purchased via library direct order with invoice attached or a film rental as contracted directly by Learning Resources with invoice attached. DPV's must be less than $2,000.Reimbursement for emergency purchases under $250, per item with original paid receipt. Sales tax will not be reimbursed; CSU is a sales tax exempt organization. A tax exemption letter can be provided for CSU purchases.Payment (or reimbursement) for subscriptions, membership fees and registration fees with proper documentation is attached for amounts up to $2,000. Registration fees must have prior approval via the travel authorization form.Payment for Bookstore purchases, via direct order from the Bookstore when invoice is attached for amounts up to $1,000.Payment to vendors for Bookstore purchases by students via book vouchers for financial aid awards. Supporting documents and proper approval must be attached.Payment for food service (less than $1,000). The agreement with any outside caterer must satisfy University requirements pertaining to catering contracts, insurance liability, catering license, etc. Facilities Administration can provide assistance in this matter.Payment for contractual services, such as repairs and related equipment, when the total annual amount is under $1,200 and is accompanied by an invoice. However, the use of an open purchase order will be a better mechanism in most cases.Payment of consultants for amounts under $2,000 with signed invoice and approved contract.
Payment for international student fees approved by the Fiscal Officer and Department Dean, with supporting documents.Payments of non-employee travel with supporting documents.Reimbursements to the State of Illinois and any inter-departmental payments to CSU.
Note: Providers of contracted services, (consultants) must be independent contractors, by IRS standards (individuals cannot be CSU employees, students or Board of Trustees members who receive an honorarium, stipend or other payments for services provided. These arrangements must also avoid conflict of interest situations such as payment to a company owned by CSU fiscal officer.DPV's cannot be used to make payments to students (other than reimbursements as stated above). Student payments of such items as room and board, tuition, salary or stipend, book fees, or other benefits should be processed via an Award Form submitted to the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office will then complete this process by charging appropriate accounts, assigning contracts to fiscal officers or processing student employment paperwork.
Maintain Fiscal Records
Prior approval for changes between line items is always required by OSP. Each month the Business Office will send you a report of expenditures to date on your grants. Check the account statement carefully against your own records and resolve any discrepancies with grant accountant in OSP.
Initiation of Forms and Vouchers
Purchase requisitions, travel vouchers authorizations and budget changes. The CSU Fiscal Officers Handbook (available from the CSU Business Office) should be consulted for directions on how to complete such forms. Price quotations are required for equipment items costing $5,000. Bids are required for the items costing $25,000 or more. Some purchases will also require Board of Trustees approval. Contact the Director or Purchasing early in the award to be sure that these requirements are being met.
Prepare Fiscal Reports
Prepare all periodic and final program reports as required by the agency. Financial reports will be prepared and submitted to the funding agency by the CSU OSP Accountant in cooperation with the fiscal officer. You must contact the accountants on this matter. You can not encumber funds beyond the ending date of the grant. Extensions without additional funds can be requested but they are not granted automatically.
Prepare Monthly Time and Effort Report
It is very important that accurate accounting of time be made for all personnel working on the grant funds. This includes released time and override activities. This information must be reported to OSP each month on OSP FORM 20.