Post-Award & Closeout

A: Responsibilities

Below is a table summarizing the primary post award activities responsibilities between Principal Investigators (PI) and the Grants Accountant (GA)

Post-Award ActivitiesPrincipal Investigator Grants Accountant
Set-up Project in SFS/WISER Primary
Assure programmatic regulatory compliance (IRB, IACUC, etc.) Primary
Assure financial regulatory compliance (UG, etc.) SecondaryPrimary
Prepare programmatic / scientific progress reports Primary
Monitor expenses and reconcile PrimarySecondary
Initiate cost and salary transfers Primary
Process cost and salary transfers Primary
Submission of financial status reports and invoices Primary
Final programmatic report submission Primary
Submit final financial reporting / invoice and close-out SecondaryPrimary

B: Fiscal Management

Expenses for a grant award must meet the four major cost principles of Uniform Guidance:

  1. Reasonable – The expense must be necessary for the project performance and prudent in cost.
  2. Allocable – The expense must be incurred solely for the purpose of the sponsored project.
  3. Allowable – The expense needs to meet federal/state cost principles, adhere to agency-specific terms and conditions, and follow institutional policies and guidelines.
  4. Consistent – The expense needs to be treated in the same manner under similar circumstances.

Principal Investigators are responsible for all expenditures within their grant project account(s) and are encouraged to review WISER activity regularly. Corrections should be processed in the cost transfer tool (within 90 days of when the expense has posted). The transfers should be accompanied by an explanation as well as supporting documentation for why it needs to be transferred. Principal Investigators are encouraged to reach out to the Grants Accountant for help and to answer questions.

C: Cost Transfers

The office of Financial Services released the Cost Transfer Tool in March of 2022.

Go to Financial Services Training

Go to Cost Transfer Tool

D: Budget Modifications

During the pre-award phase, PI’s work with the OSP team to develop a complete budget for the duration of the grant award. Unforeseen events occur where budget modifications are needed. Generally, federal sponsors are flexible within 10% of the award, however, budget modification requests need to be routed to the Grants Accountant for review to ensure the modification is allowable (meets federal/state cost principles, adheres to agency-specific terms and conditions, and follows institutional policies and guidelines)

E: Cost Sharing/Matching Funds

Voluntary committed cost sharing is discouraged. If a sponsor includes mandatory cost sharing in the solicitation then the PI must work with OSP and their Dean/Department Chair to ensure cost sharing is allowable, reasonable, necessary. Cost sharing will require approval by the PI’s Department Chair and Dean.

Please remember that all match contributions must:

  1. Be verifiable in the university’s records
  2. Be used only once and not used to meet match commitments on multiple projects
  3. Be necessary and reasonable 
  4. Be indicated in the approved budget
  5. Conform to provisions of OMB Uniform Guidance
  6. Not be from a federal source unless specifically authorized 
  7. Be allocable as a cost to the project and contributed during the award budget period
  8. Not duplicate the types of costs included in F&A or overhead

Once a quantifiable match is offered by the institution and agreed upon by the sponsor, the university must: 

  1. Monitor and track the commitment
  2. Fulfill the commitment
  3. Document the fulfillment of the commitment
  4. Report the fulfillment of the commitment to the sponsor, if required
  5. Maintain documentation 
  6. Provide all documents to auditors if requested 

Please also keep in mind:

Cost sharing of salary and fringe should always be a PI’s first choice when offering match in a proposal

When match is not required in the proposal, it is a good idea to offer resources as “available as needed for the performance of the sponsored project at no direct cost to the project,” rather than place a specific quantified amount on the resources

In most cases, supplies are treated as an F&A expense and should not be offered as match 

F: Subrecipient Monitoring

Grants can work with outside collaborators as subrecipients. When building the grant, subawards are also built which outline terms and conditions for the subawards. Within these terms, invoicing criteria are established where the subaward sends invoices with detail to UWO on a frequent basis (monthly or quarterly). Principal Investigators are responsible for reviewing these invoices to ensure the work being done by the subaward is allowable per the award terms and conditions as well as the objectives or deliverables of the overall award.

Once the invoice is approved by the UWO Principal Investigator, the invoice must be submitted though Shop UW+ for payment. If the subawardee is another UW institution, the Grants Accountant can perform an IUJ to process payment.

G: Time & Effort Reporting

Per Uniform Guidance, effort on sponsored programs must be reported and certified in order to verify salaries charged to grants and contracts. At UW Oshkosh, effort is certified bi-annually in the winter and in the summer.

Grants Accountant and OSP work collaboratively together to produce effort reports. The reports will be sent to Principal Investigators or to certify the effort on their projects. Reports are sent via DocuSign for signatures.

H: No-Cost Extensions

If the project period for your grant is drawing to a close, and you need more time to meet the objectives or deliverables, you may request a no-cost extension from the granting agency. Most agencies allow at least one request.

Some agencies will accept a request by email for a no-cost extension. Others may require an official letter or agency-specific form. NSF no-cost extensions must be submitted by OSP via Research.gov. Despite the format, the request should be made at least six weeks before the grant end date; however, some agencies may require up to 90 days. NSF requires a 45-day lead time. The request should contain the following:

  1. Project title
  2. Principal Investigator (PI) name
  3. Sponsor/Agency reference number
  4. UWO Project ID
  5. Current award period
  6. New end date requested
  7. Summary of progress to date
  8. Reason(s) an extension is needed (e.g., additional testing is required to validate the findings, delays in hiring personnel, delays in procuring necessary equipment or supplies, etc.)

Please note a no-cost extension should never be made simply to spend down unobligated funds.

Also note any charges incurred after the initial end date of the project are the responsibility of the PI and/or the PI’s department should the request for extension not be approved by the agency.

Please forward written approval of the extension to both the Grant Accountant and OSP when received.

I: Fringe Rates

Grant funds (133 and 144) have set fringe rates vs charging actual fringe rates. The primary reasons why there are set fringe rates are for budgeting purposes during the pre-award phase and for sponsor allowability. Typically, sponsors would not allow actual fringe rates since they are significantly higher than the set fringe rates. Fringe rates are evaluated annually with UW System and the institution must agree with System on annual rates. to learn more, visit our  UWO’s current fringe rates page.

J: Indirect Cost Rates

Every four years, colleges must review and propose indirect cost rates. The rates are reviewed and agreed upon with the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. UW Oshkosh uses a Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) calculation. MTDC means the following expense categories are included and excluded in the indirect cost calculation:

Expense Included Excluded
Salaries, wages, and fringe benefits Included
Materials and supplies Included
Services Included
Travel Included
First $25,000 of each subaward Included
Subaward expenses in excess of $25,000 Excluded
Equipment and capital expenses Excluded
Rental Costs Excluded
Tuition Remission, scholarships, and fellowships Excluded
Participant support costs Excluded

UW Oshkosh has an agreement for the following MTDC indirect cost rates: 

  • On-Campus: 31%
  • Off-Campus: 12% (>50% of UWO project activities must occur off-campus to qualify for rate)

K: Progress and Financial Reporting to Agencies

Most awards require technical and/or financial reporting. The Principal Investigator is responsible for completion of all technical/programmatic/progress reporting; the Grant Accountant is responsible for all financial reporting. These reports are often sent separately by the individuals responsible; however, some agencies require the technical and financial reporting to be tied together. If this is the case, the PI will need to work closely with the Grant Accountant on report submission.

Please review the terms and conditions of your award for submission deadlines. Failure to submit on time could cause the agency to withhold funds or jeopardize future awards for the university

L: Closeout

Download the Closeout Procedures document

As the end of the grant budget period approaches, the Grant Accountant will communicate with the PI more frequently regarding the budget balance. It is often helpful for the PI to meet with the Grant Accountant within the last 4-6 weeks of the grant to make final projections.

Once the project is complete and no additional expenses are expected, the Grant Accountant will submit the final financial report, and the PI will submit the final technical report. These reports are typically due within 90 days of the grant end date; however, please refer to the terms and conditions of your award for specific reporting requirements.

When the final payment is received and the grant account is at a zero balance, the Project ID will be closed. The file will be archived for the required retention period and is auditable by the agency for the duration of this period.