Undergraduate-Research

Managing Your Grant

If you have been awarded a new grant from an external funding source, please contact the Office of Sponsored and Student Research (OSSR). We will work with Valpo’s Finance Office to set up the grant in the accounting system. OSSR will schedule a Grant Launch Meeting that includes Steve Timm from Finance, the PI, and other key team members to review the terms of the grant, reporting requirements, and other key information.

Establishing Award Account and Using Colleague

Upon notice of your award, the award terms and conditions will be reviewed and approved by the OSSR and Finance Office. A general ledger account number will be established using the budget approved by the funder. Finance will send monthly grant tracking spreadsheets to help you manage your grant funds.

Accessing Colleague General Ledger Accounts

Since you will be responsible for managing spending, you and/or an assistant will need access to the accounts in Colleague. 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 Colleague, email the Help Desk. If your assistant will be accessing Colleague on your behalf, you will also need to email Steve Timm (steve.timm@valpo.edu) to provide access to your grant account. Please provide the person’s name and the account number for your grant. If you and/or your assistant are unfamiliar with the financial system in Colleague, Steve Timm (steve.timm@valpo.edu) can provide training. You must already have access to Colleague before the training session.  The most useful reports for grant administration are GLBR (Annual or YTD Budget Report), ACBL (GL Account Balance Inquiry), AHST (GL Account History Inquiry), and LGLA (List GL Activity).

Obtaining Spending Authority

To request spending authority, complete an Authorized Spending Limits form for yourself and/or your assistant and send the completed form to Dee Parker (dee.parker@valpo.edu). If no authorization for spending is on file with the Finance Office, the chair of your department or the Dean will approve your expenditures.

Paying Expenses Using Grant Funds

Compensating Personnel

If payroll expenses for students or staff are included in your grant budget, you will need to comply with the procedures involved with hiring and authorizing wages.  Human Resource forms and processes are available from human resources (human.resources@valpo.edu).

If your grant provides a stipend for a faculty member, please complete an Additional Compensation form and forward it to Payroll for processing.

Completing Time & Effort Reports

For federal grants, Time & Effort reports are required for all personnel working on the grant. Faculty, staff, and students are required to complete a report once per semester. 

Obtaining Reimbursement for Expenses

For non-payroll expenditures, you will need the check request form and/or travel expense report. Make sure to obtain a current version of the travel expense report, since the IRS’ mileage rate changes every calendar year. Completed check requests and travel expense reports should be forwarded to Linda Scarsella in the Finance Office for processing. Please note that all travel expense reports need to be co-signed by your supervisor, even if you have your own signing authority.

Documenting Matching Costs & Cost Sharing

Matching costs (also called cost-share) are the University’s contribution to the project and are required by some grant sponsors. Matching costs can either be in the form of actual money or in-kind dollars (represented by such things as release time, housing for students, indirect costs, etc.).  Valparaiso University will document the detail of the expenditure, since matching costs usually need to be reported to the funder.  Send invoices and account numbers used for cost-share to Steve Timm (steve.timm@valpo.edu).  The information will be used for reporting and kept in your grant file for audit backup.

Submitting Grant Reports

Most grants require reporting at specified intervals. You will need to be aware of your grant reporting due dates. You will be responsible for writing and submitting all technical and progress reports. The Finance Office will provide required financial reports.  Contact Steve Timm (steve.timm@valpo.edu) 30 days in advance, so the finance reports can be prepared within deadlines.

Requesting Grant Award Changes

Prior Approval Form must be completed before your grant can be revised. The Prior Approval Form is required for no-cost extensions, budget revisions, additions of sub-awards, 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 and Student Research. OSSR will review and approve your change.  The form will then be sent to Finance to submit to the sponsor.

Closing Out the Grant

Upon completion of your grant, you will likely need to submit final reports to the funding agency. Some grants also require specific closeout reports. Your grant agreement normally specifies which reports are required. The Finance Office will submit the financial reports. You are responsible for progress or programmatic and final reports.

If you had been paying non-student employees from your grant, you will need to complete a Change of Information Form to discontinue payments for these employees. You must also notify Payroll to end all position numbers associated with the grant.

Grant Manual

A comprehensive Grant Manual is available to assist you with detailed information about PI responsibilities and grant processes.