Undergraduate-Research

Managing Your Grant

Congratulations on being awarded a grant!

Establishing Award Accounts and Using Colleague

Upon notice of your award, the award terms and conditions will be reviewed and approved by the OSSR and Finance Office. The Finance Office will set up the grant in the accounting system (Colleague) and a general ledger (G/L) account number will be established using the budget approved by the funder. OSSR will then 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. In the future, Steve Timm will send monthly grant tracking spreadsheets to help you manage your grant funds.

Using Colleague General Ledger Accounts

As a PI, you will be responsible for managing the spending of grant funds. You and/or an assistant will need access to the accounts in Colleague. You may request access to Colleague via the IT Help Desk. Using Colleague, you will be able to view your accounts, print reports, and monitor the amount available for each line item in the budget. 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).

If you and/or your assistant are unfamiliar with the financial system in Colleague, Steve Timm can provide training. You must already have access to Colleague before the training session. 

Paying Expenses Using Grant Funds

Grants often include funding for people to work on the project and to cover expenses such as supplies and travel.

Compensating Personnel

If payroll expenses for students or staff are included in your grant budget, follow the procedures for hiring and authorizing wages.  Be sure to use the University’s pay scale for student employees. Human Resource forms and processes are available from human resources.

If your grant provides faculty stipends, please have them complete an Additional Compensation form, obtain necessary approvals, and forward it to Payroll for processing.

Obtaining Reimbursement for Expenses

For other expenses, use either the check request form and/or travel expense report. Make sure to obtain the current travel expense report, since the IRS’ mileage rate changes every calendar year. Forward completed forms to Colette Williams, Coordinator Accounts Payable, for processing. Per the current travel policy, all travel expense reports need to be co-signed by your supervisor, even if you have your own signing authority.

Monthly Grant Tracking Spreadsheets

Once the grant account is established, Steve Timm will send a monthly grant tracking spreadsheet to the PI and other designated personnel. The spreadsheet provides key information, such as the G/L number for the grant, object codes for each type of expense, and the approved budget with spending to-date and remaining balance. It also includes helpful reminders about match requirements and time and effort reports (if required), and the amount of budget variance allowed by the funder. Along with Colleague reports, these spreadsheets are useful tools for managing the grant budget.

Completing Time & Effort Reports

For some grants, Time & Effort reports are required for all personnel (faculty, staff and students) working on the grant. Reports must be completed once per semester, including summer.  The PI assures that the employee returns a completed form to them for review and signature. Once completed and signed, the PI assures that the Time and Effort reports are submitted to Finance by the deadline.

Documenting Matching Costs (Cost-Sharing)

Matching costs (also called cost-sharing) are the University‚Äôs contribution to the project and are required by some grants. Matching costs can either be in the form of actual money or in-kind support (release time, indirect costs, etc.).  The University must document the expenditure since matching costs are typically reported to the funder.  Share invoices and account numbers used for matching funds with Steve Timm. 

Submitting Grant Reports

Most grants require reporting at certain intervals (semi-annually, annually) and by specific deadlines. PIs prepare and submit technical and progress reports and Steve Timm provides the financial reports. Contact Steve Timm 30 days in advance, so the financial reports can be prepared by the deadline.

Requesting Grant Changes

Prior Approval (Change) Form must be completed before major changes can be made to your grant (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 OSSR which will review and approve the change.  The form will then be sent to the Finance Office. Depending on the funder, either the PI or the Finance Office will submit the change request to the grant sponsor.

Closing Out the Grant

At the end of the grant, final technical and financial reports must be submitted to the funder. Some grants also require additional specific closeout reports. The grant agreement typically indicates reporting requirements. The PI will prepare the progress/program report and the Finance Office will prepare the financial reports.

If temporary, part-time, or full-time non-student employees have been paid from the grant, a Change of Information Form must be completed to discontinue payments for these employees. You must also notify Payroll to end all position numbers associated with the grant.

Grant Management Manual

A comprehensive Grant Management Manual provides detailed information about PI responsibilities and grant processes.

Important E-Mails and Links

  • Steve Timm, Assistant Controller, Finance Office – steve.timm@valpo.edu
  • Colette Williams, Coordinator, Accounts Payable, Finance Office – colette.williams@valpo.edu
  • IT Help Desk – helpdesk.valpo.edu/servicedesk/customer/user/login?destination=portals(opens in a new tab)
  • Payroll – payroll@valpo.edu
  • Human Resources – human.resources@valpo.edu
  • Dorothy Warner, Director, Office of Sponsored and Student Research (OSSR) – dorothy.warner1@valpo.edu