Guidelines for post-award grant management from the Grants and Contracts Office:
The Grants and Contracts Office is the central repository for sponsored research records. Proper documentation is essential for institutional recordkeeping and reporting, post-award grant management, and notification of appropriate campus offices.
Principal investigators should notify the office when proposals have been assigned an agency I.D. number or have been approved or withdrawn, declined, or awarded a time-extension.
Normally both the Grants and Contracts Office and the principal investigator receive official notification of awards. On those occasions where notification is sent only to the principal investigator, they should send a copy of the award letter to the office so that the assignment of a Davidson College grant account number is not delayed. The grants administrator compares the award letter and budget with the original application to insure that the terms and conditions of the award are agreeable to all parties.
On occasion, the funding agency will request proposal revisions before funds are committed. Requests may be as simple as clarifying the project objectives or may require the reallocation, modification, or withdrawal of certain budget line items. Careful thought should be given as to whether a project can be completed with the appropriated funds or if budget reductions will necessitate a reduction in the scope of the project.
Faculty members lack authority to make financial commitments on behalf of the college and must involve the grants administrator in any negotiations with the funding agency. Verbal agreements regarding revisions should be followed by a written confirmation and signed by the principal investigator and the grants administrator.
Davidson College does not permit principal investigators to incur pre-award costs for any externally funded project.
In accepting a grant or contract, Davidson College assumes an obligation to administer the award in compliance with all applicable institutional, agency, federal, state or other regulations governing the use of those funds. Likewise, the principal investigator or project director agrees to abide by the terms and conditions of the award and manage funds within approved budgets.
The principal investigator/project director initiates required approvals for budgetary and programmatic changes, prepares technical reports, and ensures that individuals employed under the grant are familiar with institutional and agency compliance issues.
The Grants Accountant in the Grants and Contracts Office is responsible for post-award fiscal management of grants and contracts awarded to Davidson College on behalf of principal investigators and project directors. The grants accountant files financial reports and oversees record reconciliation and grant closeouts.
In order to access the grant account, faculty members must have Banner uploaded to their computer. New faculty should contact the ITS Help Desk to gain access to Banner. Once a Banner user account is established, faculty should contact Business Services to gain access to their grant account.
After formal, written notification of award is received by the Grants & Contracts Office, a grant account is created in Banner, the college's accounting system. Each grant account carries four sets of numbers. The "fund" number is specific to the award and will not change. The "org" number identifies the department and does not change. The "account" number will change according to the description of the charge. The "program" number, "01," does not change.
Principal investigators should review their copy of the grant account memo carefully. Errors should be reported to the Grants & Contracts Office immediately.
Business Services provides accounts payable guidelines. Please remember to use the grants-specific journal entry form and accounts payable voucher form for all grant-funded expenses. These forms should be sent to the grant accountant in the Grants & Contracts Office for review/approval.
The current mileage reimbursement rate, in accordance with Internal Revenue Service guidelines for reimbursement of employee business travel in personal vehicles, is found on the Business Services website.
The Purchasing Office coordinates campus-wide purchasing for faculty and staff and facilitates cost-effective use of college funds through carefully negotiated and maintained vendor partnerships.
All capital projects/purchases/leases with a total cost of $5,000 or more must be documented and approved prior to purchase. Capital items include expenditures for building renovations, scientific laboratory and/or field equipment, vehicles or boats, office and plant equipment, and computers and other technologies that will benefit a department for at least three years. Please complete the capital purchases form, attach a copy of the invoice, obtain the required signatures and submit to Business Services.
If you have any questions about this form, please contact the Business Services Office.
Equipment purchased with externally-generated grant funds is considered the property of Davidson College. In general, only specialized items of equipment not suitable for use within the college may be transferred with an investigator to another institution.
Exceptions to this policy are:
All costs associated with the transfer of equipment to another institution will be charged to the grant as a direct cost or be borne by the principal investigator.
Principal investigators who have purchased equipment with grant funds should take note of the categories of insurance coverage for college-owned equipment. See more details on the categories of insurance coverage.
Many agencies will allow a one-time, no-cost time extension of up to 12 months if the principal investigator is unable to complete the original scope of the project within the designated timeframe outlined in the grant award. Normally, agencies require a formal, written request that includes a detailed justification for the requested extension, a plan for completion of the work, and an estimate of unexpended funds.
Requests should be made well in advance of the grant expiration date and should be signed and dated by both the principal investigator and the director of grants and contracts. Principal investigators should consult agency guidelines for detailed instructions for no-cost time extension requests.
In general, recipients of external grants are allowed a certain degree of latitude in transferring funds between budget line items with the understanding that no grant appropriations are to be used for purposes other than those consistent with the original intent of the project. See more details on rebudgeting and program revisions.
Grants and Contracts seeks to employ procedures to prompt faculty and staff on upcoming report due dates and to assist with the closeout of an expired grant. See more details on reporting and closeout.
The Grants and Contracts Office answers some common questions for you:
How do I reconcile the grants accountant report with my own records when the two do not agree?
The most expedient way to reconcile report disparities is to contact the grants accountant by calling 704-894-2927.
May I post charges to a grant account before the actual start date?
Grant accounts are set-up in Banner according to start/end dates established by the funding agency. While each agency maintains guidelines regarding expenses incurred prior to the start date, Davidson's policy is to disallow charges incurred prior to the receipt of an official award letter. If you expect to incur such costs, please contact the grants accountant for assistance.
Where do I find information regarding Banner?
Business Services has information about Banner Finance.
Are shipping charges exempt from sales tax?
No. North Carolina law allows vendors to impose tax on shipping.