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Office of the Vice President for Research
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Sponsored Projects Roles and Responsibilities

Overall responsibility for submitting proposals and for executing and administering awards rests with the Regents of the University of Minnesota. However, many of these responsibilities are delegated to various units and individuals within the institution. The University has adopted an institutional oversight model for sponsored projects.

The Oversight Model establishes lines of authority within the University related to financial transactions on sponsored accounts. The model evolved from analysis of the roles and responsibilities of each unit in the University that deals with sponsored funds. The roles and responsibilities analysis established ten principles that defined the foundations for the Oversight Model. Of these, three are fundamental:

  • Responsibility is defined as the authority to make a decision and be accountable for any outcomes associated with that decision.
  • To the extent possible responsibility is maintained locally so that decisions are made by individuals with the best information.
  • Oversight is always distinct from the operating unit that makes the decisions.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR AWARDS MADE TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
Identification of Funding Opportunities
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Search for opportunities
X
  • Provide guidance on funding opportunities
X
X
VPR
Proposal Preparation
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Write technical narrative
X
  • Identify subcontractors and request budget and workscope materials
X
  • Develop budget
X
X
  • Identify need for cost sharing funds
X
  • Evaluate requests for F&A waivers or reductions
X
X
VPR
  • Coordinate space arrangements
X
  • Provide expert guidance on proposal preparation
X
  • Complete the Proposal Routing Form
X
X
Regulatory Requirements
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Complete compliance forms: Institutional Review Board, Animal Care and Use, Dept of Health and Safety
X
X
  • Complete conflict of interest disclosure form
X
  • Review conflict of interest disclosure form and facilitate institutional oversight
X
X
Proposal Review and Approval
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Confirm that proposal meets sponsor requirements
X
  • Review proposal before sending proposal to SPA
X
  • Verify that cost sharing in proposal is listed on PRF
X
  • Review proposed cost sharing for appropriateness
X
X
  • Programmatic review of proposal and sign Proposal Routing Form - CANNOT BE DELEGATED
X
X
  • Provide institutional review and approval of proposal
X
Proposal Submission
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Send proposal to sponsors after institutional approval
X
Preaward
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Request preaward or advance account
X
  • Consider appropriateness of request and if approved, provide nonsponsored account number
X
X
  • Establish preaward or advance account
X
  • Monitor preaward or advance account
X
X
Award Acceptance
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Accept sponsor notification of grant or contract award
X
  • Review terms and conditions
X
X
  • Negotiate terms and conditions with sponsor
X
  • Approve award terms and conditions
X
Award Set-Up
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Confirm that regulatory compliance requirements have been met
X
  • Modify proposed budget
X
X
  • Prepare award summary documents (NOGA)
X
  • Approve NOGA
X
  • Establish account number in general ledger
X
Conducting the Project - Financial
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Prepare financial transactions
X
  • Initiate re-budgeting requests
X
X
  • Approve re-budgeting requests
X
X
  • Initiate no cost extensions
X
  • Approve no cost extensions (or forward to sponsor)
X
X
  • Ensure that cost sharing is documented
X
X
  • Initiate purchases
X
  • Review and approve financial transactions
X
X
 
  • Use financial reports to monitor and oversee expenditures
X
X
X
X
X
  • Reconcile accounts on a monthly basis
X
  • Coordinate resolution of issues on oversight reports
X
  • Audit expenditures
X
Audits
Program Income
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Identify program income
X
  • Invoice program income
X
  • Receive and deposit program income
X
  • Identify use and reportability of program income
X
  • Monitor program income levels
X
X
X
X
X
Invoicing and Financial Reporting
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Prepare and submit the invoice or financial report
X
Accounts Receivable Management
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Receive and deposit payments from sponsors
X
  • Produce and record a letter of credit draw request (federal awards)

X

  • Monitor and pursue the collections of overdue payments from sponsors
X
Conducting the Project - General
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Review and approve incoming MTAs
X
X
OTC
  • Complete invention disclosure form
X
  • Ensure integrity of notebooks and data
X
Prior Approvals
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Initiate prior approvals for changes to project
X
  • Approve or forward to sponsor prior approvals for changes to project
X
X
  • Ensure regulatory compliance offices are notified of changes to project
X
Subcontracts and Subawards
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Oversee programmatic aspects of subcontract/subaward
X
  • Prepare, negotiate, and sign subcontracts/subawards
X
  • Review and approve subcontract invoices
X
X
  • Subrecipient monitoring
X
Technical Reports
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Prepare and submit technical reports to sponsor
X
  • Maintain the official copy of the technical report
X
Personnel and Effort Certification
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Initiate hiring and appointment process
X
  • Maintain the effort certification database and reporting system
X
  • Complete necessary adjustments to award charges and/or payroll distribution
X
  • Obtain necessary supervisory reviews and approvals
X
  • Ensure accuracy of completed effort certification reports
X
  • Resolve problems or follow up on certifications not submitted
X
Project End and Closeout
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Identify early close-out situations
X
X
X
  • Ensure all appropriate expenditures have been posted to accounts
X
  • Prepare final financial invoice/report
X
  • Approve final financial invoice/report
X
X
  • Resolve issues related to unreconciled accounts
X
  • Ensure that all financial reports have been submitted to sponsor
X
  • Ensure that all technical reports have been submitted to sponsor
X
X
X
  • Ensure that all final invention reports have been submitted to sponsor
X
OTC
  • Ensure that all patent reports have been submitted to sponsor
OTC
  • Inactivate award account(s) in financial accounting system
X
  • Maintain official project documents for sponsored projects
X
X
X
A-133 Audit
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Coordinate the A-133 audit for the entire University.
X
Ongoing Training
PI
DEPT
ADM
DEPT
HEAD
DEAN
CA
SPA
SFR
OAR
OTHER
  • Provide training to the research community regarding changes to policies and regulations
TR. SERV/
VPR
PI: Principal Investigator - The principal investigator is the primary individual in charge of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or public service project, contract, or other sponsored project. The principal investigator reports to a unit head (or other designated official).

Dept Adm: Department Administrator - Administrative staff at the departmental and dean's office levels provide administrative support for one or more sponsored projects. Included in the department administrative staff category are a wide variety of duties and position titles, including administrative directors, accounts manager, accounts specialist, accounts assistant, assistant to, associate to, senior secretary, principal secretary, preparer etc. With respect to financial management of sponsored accounts, department administrators are either "preparers"or "approvers." Preparers complete and process financial, human resource and other electronic and paper transaction documents; approvers approve and monitor documents prepared by others. Whereas a department may have many preparers, the number of approvers will be fewer. Because the approver monitors documents completed by preparers, an approver cannot be the same person as a preparer. Some approvers will be certified to process higher-risk transactions (Certified Approvers, see that section). Department administrators report directly to their supervisor(s) in the department (e.g., unit head, unit administrator, principal investigator, etc.).

Dept Head: Department Head - The department head is an academic leader with programmatic, managerial and fiscal responsibilities for a designated area, such as a department, division, school or center. The department head reports to a dean.

Dean: Dean - Deans are academic leaders who have programmatic, managerial and fiscal responsibilities for a college or school, and who report either to the Executive Vice President and Provost, the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences or the chancellor of a coordinate campus (Crookston, Duluth, Morris). The dean's office, the administrative center for a school or college, may include one or more Associate Deans, who report to the Dean, as well as administrative staff. One Associate Dean (usually referred to as the Associate Dean for Research) has the responsibility to oversee research activities in the unit and thus is delegated the authority to act on the Dean's behalf in matters relating to research.

CA: Certified Approver - The CA is the individual who has been authorized by the Vice President for Research and appointed by his/her Associate Dean for Research (or equivalent) to approve/deny certain financial transactions based on the administrative requirements of the University and the sponsor. A CA must pass a two-part exam and fulfill annual continuing education requirements. An individual who has passed the exams and participates in continuing education is not a CA until he/she has been appointed. A CA, while located in the department in most instances, reports to the Associate Dean for Research (or equivalent) for that aspect of his/her job, and his/her supervisor for other duties. A CA must maintain good standing in the Certified Approver Program which is coordinated by the Office of Oversight, Analysis, and Reporting within the Office of the Vice President for Research.

SPA: Sponsored Projects Administration - SPA is the only institutional unit legally able to submit proposals to external entities for financial support in the form of a contract, grant, or agreement, and legally able to commit the University on behalf of the Board of Regents in the event an award is made. The head of SPA is designated as the Institutional Official and has the authority to sign submitted proposals, to receive awards and to conduct any other official business with funding agencies, whether federal or private. These authorities may be delegated. The head of SPA is an Associate Vice President for Research who reports directly to the Vice President for Research.

SFR: Sponsored Financial Reporting - SFR reports to the Controller, invoices and collects payments, and compiles required financial reports for sponsors.

OAR: Office of Oversight Analysis and Reporting - OAR is responsible for providing reports to the Vice President for Research, deans, unit heads and principal investigators on unusual or irregular activities related to sponsored projects. The office is also responsible for administration of the Certified Approver Program and for maintaining currency of knowledge of federal, state and University policies. The office monitors the effectiveness of electronic sponsored project management tools and provides advice to the Vice President for Research on systemic and continuous improvement in the quality of sponsored project management. The director of the office reports directly to the Vice President for Research and works closely with the directors of Internal Audits, Sponsored Projects Administration and Sponsored Financial Reporting.

OTHER:

    Audits: The Department of Internal Audits has an independent appraisal function within the University. It is responsible for providing the Board of Regents and the administration with information, assessments and observations regarding the effectiveness and adequacy of the University's financial, operational and compliance internal control processes, to aid them in fulfilling their oversight responsibilities. The Department of Internal Audits considers risks broadly, and monitors University activities and, when appropriate, recommends actions to reduce risk to a reasonable level, promote compliance with University policies and procedures and applicable laws and regulations, and improve operational efficiencies.

    OTC: Office for Technology Commercialization is the office that facilitates the proprietary transfer of U of M technology for commercial use in the public good consistent with the University's mission. OTC seeks to identify and protect commercializable University technology, including inventions and copyrightable materials, and transfer these technologies to the private sector through licensing or by participating in starting new companies.

    ORA: Office of Regulatory Affairs provides internal oversight on compliance issues related to the performance of research trials at the University of Minnesota. ORA is responsible for oversight of the use of controlled substances in research, research using animal or human subjects, managment of business and financial conflicts of interest, and the research occupational health program.

    TR. SERV: Training Services offers sponsored project administration classes in Effort Certification, Effort Certification for PI/Faculty, Electronic Grants Management System (EGMS) Division Administration, and EGMS Proposal Preparation.

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