Responsibilities of Principal Investigators, Chairs/Directors and Deans
The Principal Investigator (PI) and/or Department Manager, Project Coordinator is
the individual with responsibility for the technical, administrative, and fiscal management
of a project, including any applicable subcontracts. As a practical matter, it is
often necessary and appropriate to rely on staff members for assistance in carrying
out much of this responsibility. The PI and/or staff must:
- Be knowledgeable, at the proposal stage, about appropriate agency and Augusta University
guidelines and restrictions relative to the conduct of research, training, and public
service programs, and be willing to adhere to such guidelines and restrictions.
- Conduct the work supported by the grant or contract in a timely and professional manner.
- Comply with the specific terms and conditions of each award as stated in the grant
or contract documents and with all administrative requirements, as set forth in various
sponsoring agency and Augusta University policy statements, concerning issues such
as charging of costs, publication, patents, equipment screening, proprietary data,
consultants, human subjects, animal subjects, computing equipment, recombinant DNA,
cost sharing/matching, or regulated substances;
- Assure that expenditures made prior to the receipt of a fully executed contract or
grant award are incurred only after obtaining specific authorized approval, that expenditures
do not exceed the total amount of funds awarded, and that specific budget category
expenditure limits are adhered to.
- Maintain budgetary control through the use of departmental bookkeeping and cost control
systems and monthly reconciliation.
- Certify that all costs charged to each grant or contract specifically benefit the
project being charged by reviewing and approving certifications of effort [effort
reporting policy, policy on salary charges to extramural awards] expended by employees,
staff employee time sheets (e.g., PAR forms), payments of vendor invoices for goods
and services, check requests (non-payroll), travel reimbursements, requisitions to
and acceptance of charges from campus service units, and similar charges to the project.
If it becomes necessary to make after-the-fact adjustments [link to cost-transfer
policy] in the allocation of certified costs, the PI or other knowledgeable person
must provide full justification and documentation of the costs being transferred.
- Comply with the reporting requirements of each grant and contract which may include
periodic progress reports, annual reports of project accomplishments, reports of inventions,
reports of publications generated, reports of major items of equipment acquired, cost
sharing/matching reports, and financial reports. Although the post-award office is
responsible for the preparation and submission of reports of expenditures, the PI
must assure that all financial transactions, including cost sharing and matching,
are properly recorded and/or documented in a timely manner so that the reports of
expenditures can be submitted promptly.
- Review the subsidiary general ledger monthly and upon expiration of the grant or contract,
and make adjustments as may be necessary to assure that the general ledger is cleared
of any expenses not applicable to the award. Such adjustments may include transferring
outstanding liens, transferring items of expense not allowable under that particular
grant or contract, and transferring overdrafts to other permissible fund sources.
- Ensure that any subcontractors comply with the terms and conditions of each award
as stated in the grant and contract documents and with all administrative requirements,
as set forth in various sponsoring agency statements.
The Department Chair or Center/Institute Director
is responsible for reviewing proposals submitted by departmental faculty members,
particularly to determine:
- The eligibility of the individual designated as Principal Investigator/Project Director
or Co-Principal Investigator.
- The appropriateness of the time commitments made by faculty members.
- Whether space will be available for the proposed project.
- That cost sharing and/or matching fund commitments set forth in the proposal are reasonable,
can be met, and are approved [link to cost sharing policy].
- That, where appropriate, equipment screening [link to equipment procurement] procedures
have been followed.
- That the proposed project is consistent with the educational and professional objectives
of the school or college.
Once an award is accepted, the Department Chair or his delegate has continuing responsibilities
for the conduct of the project which include:
- Reviewing and approving financial transactions related to personnel, the purchase
of equipment, re-budgeting of funds, or the retention of consultants for consistency
with project purposes and the terms and conditions of the award; and
- Identifying appropriate unrestricted fund sources at the departmental level to cover
overdrafts and/or disallowances that PIs are not able to cover with funds under their
are accountable for all funds administered by units under their authority as well
as for the coordination of all programmatic elements within their school or college.
- Reviewing all proposals to assure that the proposed project is consistent with the
educational and professional objectives of the school or college.
- Endorsing requests for Facilities & Administrative cost rates (formerly indirect costs)
at less than full recovery.
- Approving cost sharing and/or matching fund commitments contained in proposals [ cost sharing policy and cost sharing form].
- Identifying appropriate unrestricted fund sources to cover overdrafts and/or disallowances
that Department Chairs within the school or college have not been able to cover with
funds under their jurisdiction [ cost-transfer policy].
Responsibilities of the Division of Sponsored Program Administration
Division of Sponsored Program Administration
- Pre-award Office [ Pre-Award Staff] is responsible for:
- Reviewing and approving all proposals for research, training, and public service programs
prior to submission to external agencies by the respective Augusta University departments.
- Negotiating and recommending execution of contracts and acceptance of grant awards
that are consistent with Augusta University policy and that contain terms and conditions
acceptable to Augusta University.
- Determining that a funding agency has made a binding commitment and expenditures are
authorized under a grant or contract prior to its acceptance and/or execution.
- Informing appropriate campus personnel of the requirements and obligations imposed
by the grant or contract, including the interpretation of award terms and conditions.
- Approving and officially transmitting requests for budget, effort, and/or period of
performance revisions requiring pre-approvals by the funding agency when recommended
by the appropriate Vice President.
- Negotiating and recommending resolution of programmatic and financial discrepancies
and disagreements that may arise between Augusta University and external funding agencies.
Division of Sponsored Program Administration
- Post-award Office [ Post-Award Staff] is responsible for:
- Maintaining records of expenditures for grant and contract funded projects (e.g.,
- Reviewing transfers of payroll and non-payroll expenditures for conformance to agency
and Augusta University policies and procedures;
- Managing the accounts receivable process, including invoicing, letter of credit and
- Preparing and submitting reports of expenditures to funding agencies and assisting
in the close out of contracts and grants.
- Closing out grant and contract accounts by transferring overdrafts and unallowable
- Coordinating responses to audit reports and/or recommendations of disallowance of
expenditures under grant and contract awards.
- Providing assistance to departments which are experiencing difficulties in the management
of grant and contract funds.
The Associate Vice President for Research Administration
has general oversight responsibility for policy issues associated with extramurally-funded
research programs. Included is the responsibility for:
- Approving exceptions to PI eligibility.
- Coordinating compliance with federal and other research regulations in matters such
as human subjects, animal welfare, and biohazards.
- Resolving disputes which arise concerning scientific propriety or academic policy.