Start Project

start

Congratulations on receiving research funding! These guidelines are designed to help you efficiently manage your award in compliance with University and sponsor policies and procedures.

As a first step, please verify that the award has been reviewed by the Office of Research Administration (ORA).  Only the Authorized Organizational Official in the Office of Research Administration is authorized to sign agreements, contracts, and grants on behalf of the University of Miami. If you do not know your department's ORA’s representative, see our directory, Who is My ORA Contact Person

ORA will automatically open a new sponsored account for you when your grant is awarded, provided all proper documentation has been previously submitted to Pre-Award. 

In the absence of an award, an advance account may be opened or extended under guarantee. The Advance Account Form can be used to request opening or extending an account without an award letter.  Please keep in mind that if not awarded, the advance account is liable for expenses charged. 

Below are some guidelines to follow as you start your project: 

Responsibility

The University of Miami has been awarded funding for a project. It is the PI’s responsibility, as well as the research administrator’s, to manage the funds appropriately. 

Read the Award

ORA procedure is to send the Principal Investigator (PI) and designated departmental personnel the executed award document. It is expected that the award is read prior to expending funds. This is an important step in maintaining the award. These are some items you should check on: (please note that this is not an exhaustive list)

  • Are there special terms or conditions?
  • Is the award incrementally funded? (e.g., an NIH award subject to SNAP, the Streamlined Non-Competing Award Process)
  • Note any deliverables (reports, products) that PI is responsible for.
  • Are there budget reductions? 
  • Compare the awarded budget to the final proposed budget. Can the work be performed with the reduction in budget? 
  • Will the scope of work need to be reduced? When revising your budget, if the project contains a subawardee, consider reducing the subawardee’s budget, also.
  • Note cost-share requirements (see Cost-Share section below).

A new budget must be submitted to ORA that matches the awarded budget.  Contact ORA if there are major discrepancies.  

Salary Cap

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) restricts the amount of direct salary of an individual under an NIH grant or cooperative agreement or applicable contract to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive Pay scale. Please see the salary cap summary and the time frames associated with existing salary caps.  An individual’s base salary, per se, is NOT constrained by the legislative provision for a limitation of salary. The rate limitation only limits the amount that may be awarded and charged to NIH grants and contracts. An institution must pay an individual’s salary amount in excess of the salary cap with non-sponsored funds. The amount of funding above the salary cap must be coded as cost-share in order to demonstrate compliance with the cap.

Cost Share

Cost Share is defined as funds committed for the project that are not budgeted from grant funds. Some examples include equipment, personnel effort, and tuition. If there are cost share commitments in the proposal, it will require a specific grant line in Workday. The specific grant line will permit ORA to report on Cost Sharing.

If the cost share is from a third party, contact the source and outline requirements for documentation so that you can report these transactions along with the internal cost share expenses. Specific guidance on cost-sharing in relation to federal grants is in the UG Subpart D.

Personnel

If personnel are supported on an award, a Costing Allocation must be initiated in Workday to direct charge the award.  In addition to direct charges for personnel, there may be related effort commitments which are tracked as cost-share. Payroll charges are processed by HR and are allocated according to the Costing Allocation in Workday.  Presently, whatever is set as the costing allocation on the day that payroll runs is how the entire pay period will be paid.  This becomes an issue especially for grants with start and end dates that are not aligned with the pay period because Workday is not presently configured to calculate partial periods.  These calculations must be done using the Costing Allocation Template (See Costing Allocation Template Instructions).  Allocations have a direct impact on Effort Certification.  It is important to initiate the Costing Allocation in a timely manner to prevent late cost transfers  (See Cost Transfer Policy) and issues with effort reporting (See the Effort Reporting Policy).

Administrative Salaries 

Administrative salaries should normally be treated as indirect costs but at times may be appropriate as direct charges if certain conditions are met (2 CFR 200.413):

  • Integral to a project or activity
  • Individual(s) involved can be specifically identified with the project or activity
  • Costs are included in proposal budget and awarded by sponsor or have prior written approval from sponsor
  • Costs are not also recovered as indirect costs

If administrative salaries were not included in proposal submission and funds awarded by the sponsor, you will need prior approval from the federal or federal flow through sponsor before you allocate administrative salary expenditures to the award. 

Subaward

When anticipating UM subcontracting to another entity, please follow the processes listed on the Subcontracting to Another Entity page.

Revisions to sponsored project budgets that require sponsor prior approval must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Research Administration.  

For more information see the Post-Award page.