As Principal Investigator or Project Director (PI/PD), you are responsible for all aspects of conducting the project and complying with the terms and of the award. Primary responsibilities of the PI include project management, expenditure management, reporting, and subaward management (if applicable). This includes submitting all required narrative and technical reports on time. The FGFG Office and Finance Office are here as a resource and will assist you in your responsibilities. Upon receiving the award notification, the Grants Accountant in the FGFG Office will arrange a time to meet with the PI/PD. This meeting is designed to review the award terms and conditions, discuss the internal review process of expenditures, and address any questions regarding the grant itself. During the award period, the Grants Accountant will provide budget spending updates to the PI and assist with the required financial reporting. Periodically during the life of the award, the Grants Accountant will perform an internal audit of the expenditures to ensure they are compliant with the terms and conditions of the grant. The Senior Accountant in Finance will work with the Grants Accountant to perform the drawdown of the correct amount of Federal funds.
Once the College has received the official award notification, the FGFG Office contacts Financial Services to assign an account number to the grant. All expenditures and other financial activity for the grant are tracked using this number. The PI, and anyone else they authorize, will have online access to their grant activity on CNAV. It is important that all funding is spent as it was originally intended and in the timetable listed in the grant application. PI’s must be familiar with both the funding agency policies and the College policies. The funding organization’s policies take precedent over the College’s. Alcohol and “Fly America” are, for example, two areas where federal policies and College policies differ <pPI’s have primary responsibility for reviewing their grant budgets to verify that expenses charged to their grants are: 1) part of the budget approved by the funding organization; 2) are permissible according to guidelines; 3) do not exceed the approved budget; and 4) are charged to the appropriate account. The College expects PI’s to review their budgets on a regular basis, ideally monthly, to insure the accuracy of expenses charged to federal grants and, if an error does occur, a prompt correction should be made in coordination with the Finance Office.
Please contact the FGFG Office if you will need a no-cost extension or budget revision.
For federal awards it is especially important to read the Compliance section of this Grants Guidebook.
If you need to access the College’s miscellaneous pay request form for summer salary, please visit the HR website.
If FGFG is notified of a fellowship or research award, either through the PI or the awarding agency, the award will be included in the Provost’s report to the Board of Trustees and announced on the FGFG website.
Please use good judgment when sharing grant applications both outside of Gettysburg College and internally. Please only share your own work and ensure that all confidential information such as compensation is redacted. If you have any questions, please contact the FGFG Office.
Federal guidelines require organizations to gather documentation to substantiate that the amount of salary and wages charged to Federal awards is commensurate with the effort expended. Accordingly, employees working on Federal awards are required to adhere to Gettysburg College's policies and procedures on effort certification.
Employee Effort Certification Reporting Policy and Procedures
Employees working on Federal awards are required to adhere to following procedures on Effort Certification:
- Faculty and exempt employees will be asked to report the percent effort for all federally sponsored activity and curricular activities (i.e., instruction, administration, advising, etc.) using the Gettysburg College – Effort Certification Report. Note: Hourly employees and student workers are not required to complete a report as their time is certified via electronic time sheets.
- Effort Certification Reports will reasonably reflect the percentage distribution of effort by faculty and exempt employees charged to federally funded projects. Effort is not determined based on a 40-hour week but rather as a percentage of total employment activities. 100% effort is an employee’s total hours actually spent on work within the scope of his/her employment activities. The activities for which you are being compensated, include sponsored and non-sponsored activities, for a given time period. The purpose of the report is to certify the level of effort expended on these activities.
- Employees should provide an account of all effort expended on a sponsored activity, even if the sponsor did not compensate the employee for that activity, which constitutes “cost sharing.” This can occur on a mandatory or voluntary basis. Mandatory cost sharing occurs when it is required by the sponsor at the time of application. Voluntary cost sharing represents additional effort expended on a project that is not required by the sponsor. Although it is the College’s practice to minimize voluntary cost sharing, the Principal Investigator must record all effort expended on their projects regardless the source of compensation.
- Faculty and exempt employees will complete and sign the Effort Certification Report. Principal Investigators / Project Directors (PI/PD) are required to verify the accuracy of information provided by employees working on the grant. Certification reports of the PI/PD are to be verified by the department chair or dean.
- Effort Certification Reports are required annually and at the completion of a grant. Financial Services will distribute the reports to PI/PD’s in September of each year and when closing out a grant. Completed forms must be returned to Financial Services by October 15 or 30 days after a request. The PI/PD is responsible for sending the form to any other faculty or administrative employees working on the grant and ensuring the forms are completed.
- Completed Employee Effort Certification Reports will be filed in the Financial Services Office.
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training is required for all students working on federally funded grants (receiving pay, academic credit, volunteer hours, or working with federally funded research instrumentation). Faculty Principal Investigators (P.I.’s) have the primary responsibility for training the undergraduate students. Compromises to responsible conduct of research cannot be condoned. Please see the College’s RCR page for more details.
Principal Investigators on federal awards are responsible for complying with all Federal Regulations as well as College policies laid out in the Faculty Handbook and Human Resource Guidelines and Procedures, as well as the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principals, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
If a Principal Investigator plans to leave Gettysburg College during the course of a grant, he or she should contact the FGFG Office to discuss options and procedures. Gettysburg College has the prerogative to:
- Nominate a replacement PI, who is subject to the funder’s approval;
- Request that the grant be terminated; or
- Transfer the grant to the Principal Investigator’s new organization.
Once a grant has expired, the Senior Accountant in Financial Services will freeze the grant number, which prevents further activity from being charged to the grant. It is at this time that the Principal Investigator should conduct a final review of the financial reports, promptly report to the Senior Accountant any necessary corrections, and submit the final progress report to the funding organization. The Senior Accountant is available to assist the Principal Investigator with his/her final financial reporting. Typically, the final financial and program reporting is due 90 days after the award termination date. If there are grant funds remaining at the end of the project, those funds must be returned to the funder.