FAQ – Grants
Truman State University
Project Investigators with Regard to External Grants
Frequently Asked Questions
July 1, 2013
Do I need my grant application/proposal approved in advance through Truman?
Yes. The Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and President are authorized approvers for grant applications and proposals. Please begin by completing the Approval Form for Externally Funded Projects which is available at: http://wp-internal.truman.edu/grants/forms/.
If my grant is funded, who accepts the award for Truman?
The President of the University and the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs are authorized approvers for grant awards and subsequent amendments. No other employee may sign as the authorized official on grant or contract awards.
Funded Projects: Budget Revision
If I need to revise my grant budget, how do I proceed?
In the absence of agency-specific rules regarding budget revision requests, the following steps are followed:
Project Investigator initiates budget revision requests, which are documented in writing (e-mail is acceptable).
- If a budget revision does not require prior sponsor approval, the Project Investigator submits the request to the Grants Accountant.
- If a budget revision requires prior sponsor approval, the Grants Accountant reviews the request; then the Project Investigator submits the request to the sponsoring agency.
- The Grant Accountant is responsible for reviewing requests for compliance with federal regulations and approving them.
- After approval, project budgets in the financial system are revised accordingly.
- Budget revision requests are denied if they do not follow federal or University policies.
Does a budget revision always have to be in writing?
Who approves internal budget revision requests?
If approved by the sponsoring agency and forwarded to the Grants Accountant in writing by the Project Investigator, the Supervisor of Accounts Payable and Grants approves the request. Budget revisions would not be approved if they violate federal or University policies.
Who processes the budget revisions?
Once approved, and received in writing, confirmed to follow both University and federal policies, the University’s Grants Accountant or Supervisor of Accounts Payable and Grants will process the budget revision.
Are budget revisions ever denied?
Yes, if they do not follow federal or University rules or if they require additional funding from Truman and these funds have not be approved.
Funded Projects: Budget and Expenditure Monitoring
As a Project Investigator, what are my responsibilities for budget and expenditure monitoring?
The Project Investigator is primarily responsible for monitoring the grant to ensure that cost overruns do not occur and if they do he/she is responsible for initiating corrective action. The Grants Accountant or Supervisor will monitor the grant fund and notify the Project Investigator if they are near or at their budget limit. However, the Project Investigator should reconcile their expenses with the University’s financial system on a monthly basis because they are ultimately responsible for a grant staying within its budget. This financial information is accessible by the Project Investigator through TruView.
If a grant is overspent, who pays the overage?
It should be difficult for a grant to be overspent as payroll items are to be approved in advance and other items requisitioned and budget status checked prior to commitment. Should a grant inadvertently go over budget, your department will be responsible for paying the overage, per University policy.
Sometimes expenses have been charged to the grant in error, and the cost overrun is solved by transferring the cost to a University budget.
Funded Projects: Cost Transfers
What do I do if I notice that a charge is incorrectly shown in a grant?
The Project Investigator would initiate a cost transfer form. The form is available on the Grant Forms website: http://www.truman.edu/businessoffice/accounts-payable/grants/grant-forms/.
Who processes the cost transfer form?
The Grants Accountant or Supervisor of Accounts Payable and Grants.
What type of documentation is needed for a cost transfer?
Everything necessary to gain approval is explained in the cost transfer form, including an explanation of the reason for the transfer.
Is there a time frame associated with cost transfer forms?
Yes, normally a cost transfer form must be processed within 90 days of the expenditure.
Why does the transfer of costs require a form and justification?
It is an internal control process in place to make sure cost transfers are allowable, allocable, and reasonable, to be charged to the grant fund accurately, and is within the guidelines of the grant.
Funded Projects: Expenditure Approval
Are approvals required to spend from my grant? If so, who has to approve?
- The Project Investigator can approve expenses up to $1,000.
- Dean approval is required for expenses over $1,000 to $5,000.
- Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs approval is required for expenses over $5,000 to $24,999.
- Presidential approval is required for expenses of $25,000 or more.
- Board of Governor Approval is required for single pieces of equipment costing $25,000 or more, construction projects costing $50,000 or more, and speakers or consultants costing $5,000 or more, if proposals have not been sought for the speaker or consultant work.
- For payroll items, student employees must be paid according to the University pay scale in force, and require advance approval through the payroll on-line clearance process.
- Payment requests for University employees paid from grant funds require use of the appropriate payroll form(s) with the appropriate approvals (Project Investigator, Dean, President’s Staff, VP of Finance, and President). Payroll forms are available on the Business Office-Forms website:
Please allow sufficient time for the payroll paperwork to be processed and approved; sometimes, a contract needs to be created by the Office of Academic Affairs or the President’s Office.
New, non-student positions must be advertised and hired through the normal hiring process using Human Resource policies.
I wrote the proposal and gained funding for the grant, why must I follow University bidding processes?
Grant award expenditures must follow both University and federal guidelines with regard to expenditures. The University requires bidding through Purchasing at the $5,000 level unless the item is obtained through a contract already in force. Federal auditors normally require grant funded purchases to follow University procedures.
Other questions should be addressed to:
Terrie Howard Grants Accountant, Business Office email@example.com x4664
Angela Carron Supervisor of Accounts Payable & Grants, Business Office
Kris McKim Grants and Compliance Specialist, Grants Office