Managing Your Grant

Congratulations on receiving your grant!

If you have been awarded a new grant from an external funding source, please contact the Office of Sponsored Research at sponsored@valpo.edu. We will help you with the following:

1. Establishing Award Account

Upon notice of your award, the award terms and conditions will be reviewed and approved by the Office of Sponsored Research and Finance Office.  A general ledger account number will be established and you will receive a New Account Request and Spending Plan document.  The New Account document includes all the basic information about your account including the funder, amount, project period, and responsible departmental organization.  The Spending Plan document includes basic grant information as well as your awarded budget with the appropriate internal account codes.  You should follow this spending plan when expending your funds. To make changes, complete the Prior Approval Form and submit to OSR.

2.  Accessing to the Datatel System General Ledger Accounts

Since you will be responsible for managing your own spending, you and/or an assistant will need access to these accounts in the Datatel system. With proper access, you will be able to view your account, print reports and monitor amounts available for each line item within your grant. If you and/or your assistant do not have access to the financial system in Datatel, email the Help Desk for instructions. If your assistant will be accessing Datatel on your behalf, you will also need to email Michelle Scott, Grant Specialist, to give that person access to your grant account. Please provide the person’s name and the account numbers for your grant.

3. Obtaining Datatel Training

If you and/or your assistant are unfamiliar with the financial system in Datatel, the Director of Budgets and Financial Planning can provide the necessary training. Email the Director of Budgets and Financial Planning to request an appointment. Please note that it is necessary to already have your accessibility to the Datatel system in place for the training session.

4. Completing Time & Effort Reports

If you have received a federally funded grant, Time & Effort reports will need to be completed by all personnel working on the grant. Faculty and staff members are required to complete a report once per semester. Students are required to complete one on a monthly basis.

5. Submitting Grant Reports

Most grants require reporting at certain intervals. You will need to be aware of the grant report due dates. You will be responsible for writing all technical and progress reports and submitting them by the required due dates. The Finance Office will provide any required financial reports that are needed to accompany your reports.

6. Obtaining Spending Authority

If you do not currently have spending authority, it will be necessary to complete an Authorized Spending Limits form for yourself and/or your assistant. Please send the completed form to Nancy Murray, director of Purchasing. If no authorization for spending is on file with the Finance Office, the chair of your department or the dean will have to sign off on all of your expenditures.

For non-payroll expenditures, you will need the check request form and travel expense report. Make sure to obtain a current version of the travel expense report since the personal auto mileage rate changes every year effective January 1. An electronic version is also available from the director of Budgets and Financial Planning. Completed check requests and travel expense reports should be forwarded to Michelle Scott in the Finance Office for processing.

It would be advisable to familiarize yourself with the current Travel Policy, which can be found at http://www.valpo.edu/universitycounsel/. Please note that all travel expense reports need to be co-signed by your supervisor, even if you have your own signing authority.

7. Documenting Matching Costs & Cost-Sharing

Matching costs (also called cost-sharing) are the University’s contribution to the project and are usually a required element of most federal grants. Matching costs can either be in the form of actual money or in-kind dollars. If the match is in actual money (funded by either donations or University funds), you will need to make arrangements for accessing these funds. If the match is in-kind dollars (represented by such things as release time, housing for students, indirect costs, etc.), you will need to document the detail of the arrangement or expenditure since matching costs usually need to be reported to the funding agency.

8. Requesting Grant Award Changes

A Prior Approval Form must be completed before your award can be revised.  The Prior Approval Form is required for no-cost extensions, budget revisions, additions of subawards, pre-award costs, and reductions in the time and effort of key personnel.  Once completed, the form should be sent to the Office of Sponsored Research.  OSR will review and approve your change and revise your Datatel account.

There are certain limitations in the Datatel system concerning compensation. For example, you may have employee compensation budgeted in various line items specific to your grant that will be paid under payroll accounts in the Datatel system. This will cause reports in Datatel to look different from your grant budget. You should work with the Director of Budgets and Financial Planning to make sure these funds are reported correctly to the funding agency.

9. Compensating Personnel

If there is payroll budgeted in your grant, you will need to know and comply with the correct procedures involved with hiring and authorizing wages.

     Authorizing Faculty Stipends

If your grant provides a stipend for a faculty member, please email the request to the Executive Assistant to the Provost who will forward it to payroll. You will need to specify whether this payment is subject to full or partial benefits. Partial benefits do not include Health, Retirement, Life or Disability benefits.

     Hiring Student Aides

Complete the On-Campus Student Employment Job Description Form so the position needed for the grant can be set up in Datatel. You also need to complete the Student Employment Request Form to hire the specific student(s). This is a 4-part form supplied through the Human Resource Department. These forms must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office so they can determine if the student qualifies for Federal Work Study. If the student has not been previously employed through the University, he/she will need to visit the Human Resources office to complete additional paperwork.

     Hiring Temporary, Part-time or Full-time Employees

To hire a temporary, part-time or full-time employee, you will need to complete the Notice of Employment form (contact the Human Resource Department). If the person has not been previously employed through the University, he/she will need to visit the Human Resources office to complete additional paperwork. Please note that students who will be working during the summer and not enrolled in a class will be classified as temporary employees, not student aides, and therefore will be subject to normal tax withholding and your grant will in turn be charged with benefits at the stipend rate, not the student aide rate.

10.  Closing Out the Grant

Upon completion of your grant, you will need to submit final reports to the funding agency. Most grants require final technical and financial reports. Most federal grants require additional closeout reports. Your grant agreement should specify which reports are needed. The Finance Office will submit financial reports.  You are responsible for progress or programmatic and final reports.

If you have been paying temporary, part-time or full-time employees from your grant, you will need to complete a Change of Information form (contact the Human Resource Department) in order to terminate or discontinue payments for these employees. If you have been paying a student, use the Student Change of Status Form to terminate or discontinue payments.