Roles and Responsibilities
All University sponsored project personnel share accountability for the responsible and effective stewardship of federal funds while adhering to federal, state, and local laws, applicable regulatory, program, and compliance requirements, and University policy. Each and every faculty and staff member who holds a position under a sponsored project serves an important role in the success of project outcomes and objectives. Below are the “key players” in the management and administration of sponsored projects at NDNU and an abbreviated list of the responsibilities of each.
A Grant Project Director is a University designee with primary responsibility for programmatic and fiscal management of a project or program supported by a grant. She/he has the critical role of conducting the project according to the approved proposal, providing leadership of project personnel, and ensuring that project outcomes are accomplished and that grant funds are managed effectively. By serving this position, the Project Director agrees to abide by the terms and conditions of the award, the regulatory and compliance requirements of the sponsoring agency, University policy, and federal, state and local laws.
The key responsibilities of the Project Director include:
- Reading, understanding, and complying with the terms and conditions of the award as outlined in the Grant Application Package, Grant Award Notification and Agreement, and all attachments and enclosures provided by the sponsor.
- Overseeing conduct of the project using sound management techniques.
- Initiating and/or approving direct grant expenditures and ensuring that all expenditures are directly related to the project and necessary to meet the project goals and objectives.
- Ensuring that all performance and financial reporting requirements are fulfilled and that required reports are submitted on time and in accordance with the terms of the award agreement.
- Reviewing monthly budget reports for accuracy and monitoring grant expenditures to ensure that they are in line with the approved grant budget.
- Ensuring that monthly Time and Effort Reports are certified and submitted to the Office of Finance and Administration in a timely manner.
- Hiring grant personnel in conjunction with the Office of Human Resources and promptly notifying the NDNU Office of Finance and Administration of new sponsored project hires, employee contract changes, employment status changes, etc.
- Developing and fostering a positive working relationship with the funding agency Program Officer.
- Conducting cost/price analysis for procurements and initiating competitive bids/proposals according to the NDNU Procurement Policy.
- Checking the System for Award Management (SAM), to ensure that vendors/contractors/sub-awardees with which the University is conducting business are not suspended or debarred by a federal agency.
Office of Finance and Administration
The NDNU Office of Finance and Administration provides post-award financial administration, accounting and budgeting functions, and compliance oversight of sponsored projects.
The key responsibilities of the Office of Finance and Administration include:
- Supporting project faculty and staff in the administration of awards and developing training and resource documents to aid faculty/staff with such administration.
- Developing policies and procedures to ensure compliance with federal regulations.
- Initiating sponsored award account set-up and inputting project budgets into the accounting system.
- Drawing down federal grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education G5 System.
- Coordinating and assisting in the annual A-133 single audit.
- Reviewing allowability of direct cost expenditures to awards.
- Retention of financial records, supporting documentation, and other records pertinent to sponsored projects.
- Preparing monthly budget vs. actual expenditure reports and drawdown calculations for each grant and submitting these reports to the appropriate Project Director(s).
- Providing the primary accounting functions for activities under sponsored projects.
- Working closely with Project Directors and other necessary project personnel to complete the financial portions of reports required by the sponsoring agency.
- Collecting and reviewing all certified Time and Effort Reports and, in conjunction with posted payrolls, preparing and posting allocations of wages and benefits to be charged to sponsored projects.
Federal Grants Oversight Committee
The Federal Grants Oversight Committee is charged with oversight of activities performed under the sponsorship of federal grant funding. The Committee monitors progress toward meeting the objectives and goals of sponsored projects and ensures that projects are being conducted in compliance with the terms and conditions of the award, the regulatory and compliance requirements of the sponsoring agency, University policy, and federal, state and local laws.
The key responsibilities of the Federal Grants Oversight Committee include:
- Monitoring the activities described in the approved grant applications.
- Ensuring timely submission of required performance and financial reports.
- Overseeing the management of federal funds according to cash management requirements.
- Discussing any amendments/modifications to the project budget and the use of rollover funds as applicable.
- Making recommendations for continuing improvement of University policy and procedure related to sponsored project management and administration.
- Submitting an annual report to the President and Provost.
- Discussing strategies for disseminating information about the successes and achievements of NDNU’s sponsored projects.
Human Resources & Payroll
All grant-sponsored new hires are subject to the policies and procedures of the University’s Office of Human Resources.
The key responsibilities of the Office of Human Resources & Payroll Department include:
- Conducting the hiring process of all new sponsored project personnel.
- Making accurate and timely payments to all sponsored project personnel.
- Providing the Office of Finance and Administration with all necessary employee contracts, wages and benefits information, payroll information, and any other information pertinent to calculating accurate personnel charges against sponsored projects.
Please see the Responsibility Assignment Matrix for a detailed look at the post award phase financial and compliance management and administration roles and responsibilities.