Frequently Asked Questions
What is a sponsored program?
A sponsored program is a grant, cooperative agreement, or some other
binding agreement between the University and an outside sponsor to perform
research, training, or other service. Often the sponsor is a Federal 1
or State agency. Sponsored programs are usually the result of a proposal
prepared by a faculty member, referred to as the Principal Investigator,
and submitted to the sponsoring agency.
How are proposals submitted?
Proposals for funding from a sponsoring agency should be submitted
through Research and Sponsored Programs or the Agricultural Experiment
Station. Professional staff in these offices have expertise in proposal
preparations and submission, and authority to enter into a contractual
agreement on behalf of the University.
What is Research Accounting's role in sponsored project administration?
When a contractual agreement between a sponsor and the University has
been entered, Research Accounting is responsible for the following areas:
- Setting up a cost center for the agreement
- Monitoring the activity on the cost center to assure compliance
with the agreement
- Entering the appropriate Facilities and Administrations costs on
- Preparing and submitting any required financial reports for the
- Invoicing and collecting payment from the sponsor under the terms
of the agreement
- Ensuring that cost sharing requirements have been met
- Closing out the cost center at the conclusion of the sponsorship
What determines budget categories for a sponsored project cost
Budget categories are set-up to correlate with the budget in the sponsorship
agreement. Often this is the budget submitted with the proposal. Budget
changes should be submitted and approved by Research and Sponsored Programs
or the Agricultural Experiment Station.
How are Facilities and Administration costs computed?
F&A costs (also referred to as indirect or overhead costs) are
based on a % of allowable direct costs. The % may be the rate negotiated
with our federal cognizant agency (F&A Rates) or it may be some
other rate that applies only to a specific sponsored program. F&A
charges are based on monthly expenditures and are entered by journal
entry prepared by the Director of Research Accounting.
Why are expenditures posted to a sponsored program sometimes
rejected by Research Accounting?
Research Accounting reviews expenditures posted to a sponsored program
cost center and may, on occasion reject an expenditure for a variety
of reasons that may include the following:
- The expenditure may have been miscoded in some way.
- The type of expenditure may not be included in the sponsored agreement
- The expenditure may exceed a budget category.
- The expenditure may have come outside of the contractual period
for the sponsored agreement.
It is important that all parties involved with a sponsored program
be aware of the contractual restrictions associated with that program
and be diligent in posting only allowed costs to the program. If you
have a questions about the rejection of a specific transaction, please
contact the responsible accountant in Research Accounting who handles