Approved by the BOD on May 26, 2010
Approved by the UC on October 18, 2010
This policy summarizes some of the obligations imposed on Leading Researchers (Principal Investigators), and sets the process for review and certification of projects/grants expenditures across Faculties/Research Centers and supporting administrative offices.
Leading Researcher(s) – LR (Principal investigators) affiliated to a Research Center or Faculty are expected to assure that the project finances are represented as accurately as possible. Once the grant is awarded, the LR will be the sole responsible person to manage the technical and administrative work for the project, in accordance with the University policy and requirements of the grant provider, unless otherwise mentioned in the grant agreement.
Grant Files and Conditions
The LR is responsible for establishing a grant file which will include the terms and conditions of the grant and which will define the relationship between the grant provider and the University. The grant file outlines:
- Project Title and Proposal
- Name of principal investigator(s)
- Name of co-investigator(s) if any
- Duration of the project or grant
- Project budget
- Cost sharing, if applicable
- Project deliverables, i.e. publications, programs or products.
The terms in the grant agreement may vary depending upon the grant provider and the type of the grant. It is important that the terms and conditions do not conflict with NDU's mission or established policies.
Notification of any changes in budget or work plan must be submitted to the grant provider for approval by a written letter, drafted in coordination with the Vice President for Sponsored Research and Development (VPSRD).
When a grant is awarded and funded, an account is opened by the NDU Business Office for the research project. (Refer to the ‘Sponsored Research Policy’ for details)
Unless otherwise stated in the agreement with the funding body, the University reserves the right to withhold 10% to 20% of the total grant for overhead costs. Common overhead costs include but are not limited to: the use of office space, computers, printers and other office equipment, electricity, access to the Internet and Library resources, office supplies, accounting services, etc.; costs not traceable within the budget, but subsumed within indirect costs.
In the case where the grant provider has cost limitations, the University has the right to reject the project or agree to contribute in costs that would be incurred, as time release for principal investigator(s), office space, electricity, internet access for the principal investigator(s), purchase, accounting, personnel, supply, library, student services and multimedia utilities as needed.
Administration of Funds
The LR, affiliated to a Faculty or Research Center, is the sole person to distribute funds, through a memo requesting payment addressed to the VPSRD. The memo should include the following information:
- Amount to be reimbursed or paid ;
- Name of person/company to be reimbursed or paid ;
- An expenditure sheet with budget with each request ;
- Original payment vouchers invoices, etc...
Once approved by the Vice President for Sponsored Research and Development (VPSRD), the payment request is submitted to the Director of Finance for approval.
Purchase of Supplies and Equipment
The purchasing of all items will be the responsibility of the LR(s).
The VPSRD reserves the right to study the quotation of goods supplied by the principal investigator(s). All non-consumable purchased goods may be donated to NDU once the project is completed.
Procurements - not consistent with the project budget - made by principal investigator(s) without prior approval of the VPSRD are not legal and not binding and may result in a personal obligation for the individual making the procurement or commitment.
Consultants, Administrative and Research Staff
Appointments of personnel on sponsored research grants are recommended by the LR(s).
The LR(s) prepares all contracts with consultants, administrative and research staff (subcontractors) for the funded project. The leading researcher(s) will draft an agreement for the part-time employee which includes:
- Title of the project
- Employee’s name
- Rate per hour
- Nature of the job and/or task
- Hours of work
- Total amount allocated for the task as outlined in the budget of the project
Once the contract is prepared, it is sent to the concerned Director/Dean for approval. Once approval is secured, it is signed by: the LR(s), the employee and the VPSRD. Monthly tasks are kept in a ledger matrix including the hours and days of employment which is then attached to a request form for the release of funds. (Refer to the ‘Sponsored Research Policy’ for details.)
The business office is responsible for the payment upon the approval of the VPSRD and Director of Finance.
Current University employees may be employed on a contractual basis in accordance with the University policy on outside employment.
Monitoring of Funds
Since LR(s) are responsible for the ongoing fiscal management of their sponsored projects, they have to comply with the approved project plan and budget. Grant providers and NDU (VPSRD) expect expenditures to be reasonably consistent with the approved project and budget. They reserve the right to question or restrict expenditures that appear inconsistent with the project plan and/or budget.
LR(s) should request prior approval from both the grant provider and VPSRD when additional funding is required due to a change in the scope of the project or other valid reasons. It is NDU’s expectation, however, that projects will be managed within their established budgets.
Progress and Final Reports
The LR(s) is responsible for all progress and final reports. The LR(s) must submit those reports to the concerned Director/Dean with a copy to VPSRD. It is the responsibility of the LR(s) to remain in communication with the grant provider and the VPSRD and to ensure that all the required progress reports are submitted on time. The LR(s), in agreement with the grant provider and the VPSRD, may make extensions of the set due date. If it is the final report, the LR(s) must present a final detailed expenditure report with respect to the project budget. The LR(s) must send the expenditure ledger to the business office for approval before submitting the final report to the grant provider.
It is the responsibility of the LR to notify the grant provider in writing with a copy to the VPSRD that all the requirements of the project have been fulfilled and that the project is completed.