Congratulations on your recent grant award!
The following grant guidelines are an important way to maintain your own--and CMC's--relationships with funding agencies. As competition for academic grants becomes more intense, our compliance with funder requirements will come under closer scrutiny. Your efforts to follow funder guidelines will help ensure funding for you and for others in the future.
Making the Proposal a Reality
As you prepare to begin the project you proposed, please keep in mind the following guidelines. The agency or foundation providing your support considers the grant award to be a contract with responsibilities and obligations. The award letter you received should outline most of them, including deadlines for reports and policies for acknowledging the funder's support of your work.
In addition to the guidelines contained in the award letter, please be sure the following items are in place before you begin your project. As a project director/principal investigator (PI), you should be prepared to:
- manage the project as outlined in the proposal and approved budget;
- not use funds for unallowable, unauthorized, or unreasonable purposes (please ask if you are unsure);
- designate (and inform the Treasurer's Office of) one principal staff contact who will be responsible for submitting invoices and other financial documents of grant expenditures;
- prepare and submit narrative program reports in a timely manner, according to the schedule provided by the funding agency;
- work with the Human Resources Department on any personnel hiring; and
- monitor the program performance of any sub-awardees for this grant.
The Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations will work with you and the Treasurer's Office to ensure proper account set-up, as well as provide reminders and assistance when it comes to required reporting.
As your project takes shape, you may find you need to change activities, staffing, or timetable. Such changes may be possible, but certain modifications to program or budget must be reviewed with the funder before you make them. Please notify the Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations as soon as possible if you encounter any of the following situations:
- the project undergoes or anticipates a significant change in personnel or scope;
- you need to extend the grant period to complete the project;
- you expect that there will be cost overruns or an unexpended grant balance at the end of the grant period;
- it becomes necessary to shift 10% or more of the total award between budget categories;
- the principal staff contact who submits invoices, or the person authorized to approve requests for payment, changes; or
- you encounter any problems or need to make changes in connection with a sub-award or sub-contract that is part of this grant.
In such cases, the Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations will work with you to obtain any required approvals from the funding agency. Please be aware that many funders take the expiration dates of grants very seriously. If you need an extension you should be prepared to request it well before the grant period ends--or risk returning unspent funds.
Completing the Project
Once the grant period comes to a close, it is necessary to submit final narrative and financial reports to the funder. If something tangible was produced through the grant, i.e. a book, article, etc., it is usually good practice to send this to the funder as well. The Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations will work with you to complete these final reports and close out the grant in a way that satisfies the donor.