MSU faculty and staff perform multiple roles in the management of a sponsored program. The expectations and responsibilities associated with these roles are as follows:
All Employees involved in sponsored program administration have a fiduciary responsibility to the University to ensure project transactions are handled according to applicable laws, as well as MSU policies and procedures. The MSU Manual of Business Procedures provides guidelines for those fiduciary duties while the professional expectations of faculty and staff can be found through MSU's Human Resources Department. MSU employees should not use their position for improper personal or financial gain or place themselves in a situation which could be viewed by others as biasing the employee's professional judgment, or having the potential to bias the employee's judgment. Decisions such as hiring of family members or purchasing items from companies in which you, your spouse, or your dependents have an ownership interest should be avoided, as they may have the appearance of a potential conflict of interest.
Principal Investigators (PIs) are responsible for the technical success of their projects, as well as complying with the financial and administrative policies of the University and the award. Although some responsibility may be delegated to staff, PIs must maintain oversight and are accountable for all project activities. PIs’ financial responsibilities include, but are not limited to, reviewing the project account’s operating statement monthly to ensure that the expenses are appropriate, certifying equipment purchases and subaward payments, and completing applicable effort reports. PIs’ technical responsibilities include, but are not limited to, executing the scope of work outlined in the award, completing technical/progress reports, as well as invention and equipment reports to the sponsor as required in the award, and ensuring the integrity of collaborative relationships.
Departmental and College Administrators assist the PI in managing sponsored program accounts with their knowledge of specific project terms and conditions, as well as MSU systems. They support the execution of the project by performing the following tasks: process forms to hire staff, apportion salaries to project account(s), order supplies, facilitate travel, review and process sub-awardee payments, prepare budget to actual projections, review operating statements (FIN049), etc. Departments provide an additional level of approval for financial transactions by assigning a Fiscal Officer, who is responsible for the daily oversight on how project funds are spent and managed.
Central Offices support PIs and administrators by providing information and assistance on MSU business processes, which encompass sponsored program accounts. Examples include: Payroll, Purchasing, Capital Asset Management (equipment), Accounting, IRB, IACUC, OSP, OR&I, Export Control, Human Resources, etc.
Contract and Grant Administration (CGA) provides guidance and assistance to faculty and administrators with respect to financial and contractual administration of sponsored programs. CGA is the point of contact and authorized official for the University to funding agencies and for audit inquiries. CGA provides services such as account setup, preparing most federal subawards, requesting no-cost extensions and/or prior agency approvals, managing effort reports, interpreting terms and conditions, reviewing financial transactions such as subaward payments, international travel, cost transfers, Non-Resident Professional Service agreements, conducting a review of expenses that post to the account without CGA pre-review, preparing invoices and financial reports, monitoring cost share, drawing down funds, preparing closeout documents, performing accounts receivable follow up, and calculating/negotiating MSU’s Facilities & Administrative (F&A) rate.