Office of Research Services
ORS is responsible for the following post-award activities:
- Award extensions, continuations, renewals, and modifications
- Changes in principal investigators/key personnel
- Sub-award agreements
- Advance FOPs
- Human subject, animal care, hazardous material, and financial conflict of interest compliance
Establishing an Institutional Budget
Upon receipt of fully executed award documents or other proof of award, ORS forwards the award document, a copy of the proposal and other information to the Office of Research Accounting.
If unforeseen circumstances require the project end date to be extended, ORS will negotiate with the sponsor. The PI should contact ORS well before the project end date if an extension will be needed. The terms of the award agreement may specify a date beyond which an extension cannot be granted.
In general, if an extension is anticipated, the PI should notify ORS at least 60 days prior to the scheduled project end date. The PI should prepare a short justification for making the request. If a significant percentage of project funds remain unexpended a revised spending plan also should be submitted. Merely having unexpended funds generally is not sufficient justification to extend a project. Project extensions should not be requested for projects on which renewal is pending.
There are certain circumstances in which ORS must contact the sponsor in order to receive approval for changes. These changes include changes in key personnel, change in PIs, change in scope of work, and when award terms require an amendment to the award for budget modifications. Key personnel changes includes when a PI is leaving the university but wishes to leave the grant with a Co-PI or even when the PI wishes to transfer the grant to his/her new university.
Subcontracts and Professional Services Agreements
ORS is responsible for preparing and executing all sub recipient agreements on sponsored projects. When a project involves assistance external to Texas Tech, the sponsor must be informed. A sponsor is usually notified at the proposal stage of a project. It is the responsibility of the PI to inform ORS at the earliest stage of negotiation with the sub recipient. No binding agreement can be made with any sub recipient on a sponsored project unless the agreement is signed by someone authorized to sign on behalf of the Texas Tech, usually ORS. Sub-recipients who complete tasks without having a fully executed agreement may not be paid, or, at best, will have their payment significantly delayed.
Research Service Providers
Research service providers (formally referred to as professional services agreements) are governed by Texas Tech Operating Policy 72.17 and should be submitted using TechBuy on the Research Service Provider form. Payment to research providers require a vendor setup and the completion of an Independent Contractor Questionnaire with Texas Tech Vendor Services. Services exceeding $10,000 must either be procured competitively or the sole source justified. If a sponsoring agency or award documents specifically requires a formal contract for a research service provider, investigators should contact Texas Tech Purchasing and Contracting for assistance. Exceptions to this form of procurement excludes research participants, current employees of the Texas Tech University System or former employees employed within the last 12 months, and foreign vendors. Investigators can contact Procurement Services with questions concerning this process.
Reports may require the signature of the university authorized representative before submission. Three staff positions in ORS are authorized to sign these reports. Financial reports and reports related to closeout are prepared by AS.
Researchers should work with their department’s business manager, or designated person, when hiring and/or appointing managerial, professional and/or clerical staff on any award on projects established after Dec. 26, 2014, the administrative costs must be budgeted in the proposal or subsequently approved by the sponsor in writing. The Office of Human Resources (HR) maintains job descriptions and salary ranges which may be offered for managerial and professional personnel. HR will send all personnel forms, called ePAFs, to AS Research.
Only persons holding certain visas may be eligible for employment or to receive payment. In some cases, sponsors may forbid the hiring of non-US citizens to work on a project. Please consult with your department chair.
Federal Demonstration Partnership
Texas Tech is one of the institutions selected nationwide to participate in the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP). Should your funding fall under the FDP terms and conditions, the remarks section of your Notification and Acceptance will state this. Questions or additional details on this program may be addressed to Kathleen Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accounting Services is part of the Division of Administration and Finance. AS has responsibility for most post-award administration functions. A dedicated grant specialist within AS will assist with all post-award administrative activities and will address any and all issues, concerns, and questions you may have about the fully executed award, related compliance requirements, and institutional processes.
The Research Administration channel on the Raiderlink portal provides links to additional resources and financial cognos reports to assist PIs with the financial administration of their projects.
Your assigned grant specialist will provide the following services throughout the
term of your project:
- Award Setup – establish each project and cost share FOP and the related budgets in Banner
- Award Management – process and review budget revision requests, approve procurement of federally-funded equipment, review certain project expenditures, review cost share commitments, address all questions and issues related to the financial administration of projects, and obtain sponsor approval as needed
- Award Closeout – coordinate the submission of all required closeout documents
AS establishes sponsored project FOPs and budgets in Banner, the institution's accounting system. The principal investigator is assigned as the financial manager of the funds. He/she can designate other approvers through the TEAM Application. Instructions are available to assist PIs in authorizing other approvers.
Accounting and Reporting
AS prepares and submits all invoices and financial reports to sponsors on behalf of
the institution. The interval for billing and reporting will vary based on the agency
and the award terms and conditions. Any questions or concerns about billing and reporting
should be directed to the respective grant specialist.
- Billing – submit invoices and/or draw down project funding
- Reporting – submit required financial reports
- Collections – follow up with sponsors to collect amounts owed
Invoicing and reporting for projects may require departmental coordination. AS will work with PIs and departmental personnel to meet the billing and reporting obligations.
AS is responsible for collecting revenue from sponsors. Often, interim and final payments are contingent upon the complete and timely filing of technical reports. Please be sure to communicate with your grant accountant specialist when technical reports are delayed.
The financial closeout of an award is the process at the end of a sponsored project by which the university closes FOPs in Banner and submits any required final invoices and/or reports to the sponsor. An automated email is sent out informing investigators of any closing awards 90/60/30 days before a sponsored project ends. A grant specialist will contact investigators at the end of a project to review the closeout checklist provided in the closing awards report and assist with the closeout process.
All employees who receive salary support from sponsored projects must certify their
effort. Effort certification provides assurance to sponsors that salaries charged to sponsored projects are reasonable
in relation to the work performed and that commitments to sponsors have been met.
eCRT is the system used by Texas Tech University to manage the effort reporting process.
A link is provided on the Research Administration tab on Raiderlink. AS maintains
the system and releases effort reports for certification on a semi-annual interval.
Faculty and project directors must attend effort training and an online training module is available. Each PIs is required to certify every member of their research team(s) who is supported by sponsored funding for during the specified certification period.
Cost Accounting and Compliance
AS also has responsibility for the following, some of which may involve different points of contact on a less-frequent basis: facilities and administrative (F&A) rate proposal, academic service center rate development, effort reporting, sub-recipient monitoring, ePAF approval, eVerify compliance, and various other internal and external reporting.