Post-Award Functions Consolidated in SPAR
At the OVPR Discussion Series on April 21, Robert Duncan, vice president for research, and Noel Sloan, vice president for administration and finance, announced a plan to consolidate all post-award functions in the Office of Sponsored Programs Accounting and Reporting (SPAR). The change is intended to improve efficiency, more clearly delineate responsibilities in post-award, make the process more efficient, and avoid future confusion and misunderstandings. The plan includes the transfer of two staff positions from the Office of Research Services (ORS) to SPAR.
In addition to increasing efficiency, the change will transfer costs from the OVPR budget, which depends on F&A revenue, to other sources of funding. Recovery of F&A in FY13 was $1.3 million below the amount projected making it necessary to reduce expenditures in the OVPR area.
In addition, when a project is funded and passes from pre-award to post-award, there will be a meeting between the pre-award contact and negotiator in ORS, the post-award accountant within SPAR, and the PI and his/her team, as appropriate. The professional relationship that emerges from this meeting should ensure that everyone who is engaged in the proper execution of the sponsored program is well aware of the details of the effort, and of all the efforts and agreements that have led to a successful award. Then, when modifications are necessary throughout the course of the project, this team will come back together as appropriate to assure that the transitions and modifications are successful and well understood. The pre-award officer will be involved in all programmatic reporting and any change requests back to the funding agency, the SPAR officer will be responsible for all fiscal accountability, fiscal compliance, and re-budgeting if necessary, and the PI remains responsible for meeting all technical deliverables on the contract / grant. The goal is to support the PI towards his/her success as a team that closely involves the PI, and that assures easy communication with everyone concerned so that a strong, trust-based relationship emerges on each sponsored project as it advances forward.