Managing the Grant
Getting an Account
When a grant has been approved by a federal agency and an Award Letter has been issued, the Grant Accountant in the Associate Treasurer's Office will:
- Assign a College account number to the grant, and if applicable, a separate account for the PI's percentage of indirect costs.
- The PI will be notified of these numbers by email.
If you have a private foundation grant that has been awarded to you, please contact the Sponsored Research Office.
Hiring New Staff
A request to fill a staff position for a term longer than eight weeks during the academic year must be submitted to the appropriate senior administrator before the hiring process can begin. For faculty, the appropriate senior officer is the Dean of Faculty.
When the Dean of Faculty has approved the position, the hiring process can begin. The PI should contact Human Resources for the proper forms. It is that office's responsibility to see that all College hiring and affirmative action policies are followed.
In any instance where grant funds are being used to hire replacement faculty member for the PI, the appointment of that replacement must be coordinated with the office of the Dean of Faculty. The Dean's office will determine the appropriate salary for the replacement.
Payment of Salaries
Compensation for work with grant funding, either to the PI or to other staff, should normally be paid over the period the work is being performed. The College will not pay salaries to individuals before they begin work.
Salary payments are initiated by filling out a Personnel Action Form. This needs to be done for all people paid from a grant, including the PI. The form should be completed and forwarded to the office of the Dean of Faculty for signature. The vital information on the form is name, social security number, salary amount, payment schedule, position number, and grant account to be charged.
For a salary to be paid in the monthly payroll cycle the form needs to be in the Department of Human Resources no later than the first Friday of the month. New employees cannot be paid until all of their tax and I-9 documents are completed.
You will be asked to certify your effort on all sponsored projects three times annually: 1) for each semester just completed and 2) for the summer just completed. Pre-approvals are required by federal granting agencies in the event of the absence for more than three months, or a 25 percent reduction in time devoted to the project, by the approved project director or principal investigator. See Effort Policy.
Mount Holyoke College is a tax-exempt organization. Any items that are purchased through the Purchasing Office for the exempt purposes of the College, including with grant funding, will be exempt from Massachusetts sales taxes. The Purchasing Office will assist if you wish to get price quotes on equipment or supplies. Please refer to the Purchasing Office website
The Purchasing Card Program is a tool that offers an alternative to the existing College purchasing processes. It provides an extremely efficient and effective method of purchasing and paying for small dollar items via a VISA credit card program. For additional information, please review details posted on the Purchasing Card website
On projects that are funded in whole or in part with monies from the federal government there are procurement standards set by the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110, sections 40-48 that must be followed. Compliance with these standards will ensure that the institutions procedures are acceptable to the federal government. Also note that the federal government maintains a database of vendors by agency that are barred from doing business with the various government agencies; visit Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) online for more details. The PI is responsible for making sure that the vendors they do business with are not debarred.
One of the major requirements of OMB Circular A-110, sections 40-48 is that any equipment whose unit cost is greater than $25,000 must go through a competitive bidding process before it can be purchased. The only exception to this rule is if the equipment can only be provided by a single vendor. The Purchasing Office can assist in the bidding process.
Normally, the College's Travel and Entertainment Policy applies to the use of grant funds for travel. However, there are additional restrictions that may apply when using grant funds, especially federal funds, such as per diem limits, non-reimbursement for alcoholic beverages, and the Fly America Act (which requires you to use U.S. Carriers). Please consult with the Sponsored Research Office if unsure of which policy governs travel and entertainment when using grant funds.
The PI is responsible for assuring that all reporting required by a funding source is prepared and filed on time. Copies of Technical, Progress and Final Reports should be forwarded to the Grant Accountant at the time they are filed with the agency. Also, copies of title pages from any publication where the granting agency is recognized should be sent to the Grant Accountant. Granting agencies specify the information concerning the grant that must be included on such title pages.
In addition to completion reports, most sponsors require a final financial report. The final "Report of Expenditures" is prepared by the Grant Accountant and submitted in a timely manner. Often the report will go to the Principal Investigator to be included with the final Project Report.
Principal Investigator's Share of Indirect Costs
For any grant award that funds indirect costs, it is College policy to allow 25% of the indirect costs collected to be available to the PI for further research or scholarly work. These dollars are set up in a separate account and are allocated at the completion of each quarter.
Expenditures charged to the PI' s indirect cost account are at the discretion of the PI, and do not need to be approved prior to their being incurred. However, such funds must be used for expenses clearly related to research or scholarly work. If a PI is in doubt as to whether an item constitutes research-related expenses, please consult in advance with the Office of Sponsored Research or Dean of Faculty.
Grant Termination or Suspension
In the event a PI is notified that a grant has been terminated or suspended the agency will at that time provide the PI with procedures that need to be followed. The PI should not initiate any new charges against that grant.
Property Management Standards
Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110 Attachment N provides standards for property management that must be followed for all property that is purchased, in whole or in part, with federal funds. The federal government defines non-expendable personal property as tangible property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $300 or more per unit. For all items defined by the federal government as non-expendable personal property there are specific information requirements that must be met. The PI is responsible for keeping records relating to these standards.