First Steps- Receiving Notice of Grant Award

Foundations and the federal government all differ in who will receive notice of your grant award, so please confirm that the Office of Sponsored Programs and Fellowships (OSPF) has received notice when you do. Similarly, sometimes we are notified prior to your receiving notification. We will communicate with you as soon as we receive notice of the award. Likewise, you will need to forward any communication you receive from the sponsor regarding your award. This is important as we must have all documentation associated with your award in your grant file.


Grant agreement / Contract / Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Usually SPU receives your grant agreement or contract soon after your notice of grant award. OSPF is
responsible to review the terms and conditions of the grant agreement to ensure that the award matches the application proposal. (OPSF will work with finance on more complex grant awards.)
The Director of CSFD has University delegated signature authority and in general will sign on behalf of SPU. Faculty members (Principal Investigators), Deans and Chairs cannot sign grant agreements as the award is made to SPU on your behalf. Based on their operating principles, granting agencies may send the agreement to different offices (to you, OSPF, your school or even the president) or require the Provost or President to sign agreements. In any event, OSPF will manage collecting the signatures and submitting the grant agreement documents on your behalf. OSPF will copy the documentation for your file.


Acknowledging Your Award

OSPF will transmit your signed grant agreement. If your funding agency is a foundation, OSPF will also write an e-mail / note thanking the sponsor for its support. We also strongly encourage you to write a note of thanks to the foundation. In some cases the President’s office will send an acknowledgement to the funding agency.


Setting up Your Grant Account

OSPF will send a copy of the grant award or agreement to the PI and to the Assistant Controller, who is
responsible for financial administration of sponsored projects. She will assign a restricted fund (budget)
number and communicate that number to you, your School’s appropriate budget manager, and Advancement. Even if SPU has not received grant payments, once the grant agreement is signed and a budget number has been assigned, you may start to spend funds.

>>>It will take one to two business weeks to receive a budget number from the Assistant Controller.


Spending Your Funds

As the PI you will need to work closely with your school’s budget manager to spend funds specifically budgeted for in the application (direct costs).

♦ Spending may begin as of the budget period start date found in the grant award notice or grant
agreement, OSPF Post Award Academic Grant and Fellowship Guidelines Spring, 2015

♦ After the Assistant Controller has assigned a restricted fund number, and

♦ After you confirm that OSPF has a copy of your approved IRB protocol.

Work with your budget manager to make purchases, submit receipts, receive advances and reimbursements, etc. Track all of your own grant expenditures. School or department budget managers usually send PIs monthly financial reports of grant activity. You can also request information (a “data-dump”) of expenses running through the fund at any time from your manager or from the Assistant Controller.

♦ The PI’s department receives a percentage of a grant’s indirect costs. These funds are allocated to a
designated fund which you may use with your Dean’s approval.

Course Release
♦ PIs will work with their Department Chair to manage their course release.

♦ The PI’s budget manager will take care of the logistics for overload or adjunct professors.


Receiving Your Funds

There are multiple ways that Agencies disperse funds. Some send checks with the grant agreement or at a specified date. If an agency mails a check, it should be made out to Seattle Pacific University and directed to:

Director, Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development
Seattle Pacific University
3307 Third Ave W, #306
Seattle, WA 98119-19571

Federal government grant payments are made on a reimbursement basis. Subsequently SPU does not receive grant funds until they have been spent. Every quarter the Assistant Controller initiates a draw-down of funds from the granting agency for each award.

♦ Note: SPU may receive notice that NSF or NIH has “released funds” for a specific grant award. This
does not mean funds are being transferred but that those specified funds are now available for SPU
to draw down. Reimbursement of the total “released funds” may actually take months.

Qualified departments will have their F & A cost recovery funds (indirects) directly deposited into their
appropriate accounts by the Assistant Controller. This usually occurs on a quarterly basis.


Report Writing

You are responsible to write all interim and final reports required by your agency, meeting specified deadlines based on the terms and conditions of the award.

♦ Federal agencies and most private sponsors notify the PI that a report is due. OSPF will also send PIs a courtesy notification 4-6 weeks prior to the report deadline.

♦ Sponsors’ websites provide detailed report guidelines and required forms.

♦ OSPF will provide editing and proof-reading support if requested.

♦ Work with your budget manager and/or the Finance Office to prepare the financial report. Check with
Finance well in advance of the deadline if your budget report needs extensive review or revision.

♦ The VP for Business and Finance approves all financial reports before submission. Therefore, you should send the entire completed report (budget and narrative) to Finance at least one week prior to the report deadlineunless you and Finance determine it requires additional review time. Finance will return the budget report to the PI and OSPF, confirming that it is approved for submission.

♦ OSPF signs all interim and final grant reports and submits them to the sponsor on behalf of the PI. The exception is NSF, which requires the PI to submit reports via


Submitting Changes or Revisions to Your Grant

Events or problems may require changes in the project. PIs should discuss these with the sponsor. Minor
changes (different travel plans, purchase of equipment other than that included in an approved budget, etc.) may not require approval. Major changes, such as a change in PI, usually do. OSPF or the Assistant Controller can help provide direction on notifying the funding agency.


Closing Your Grant

Reminder: If you are planning to request a no-cost Extension, please be sure to make the request 45 days prior to the grant expiration (end of the grant budget period).

Check your award’s terms and conditions for closing requirements.
♦ Your sponsor’s websites will provide details and required forms.

♦ SPU requires closeout of sponsored projects and programs in accordance with federal regulations, the specific sponsor policies, and the terms of the award within the timeframe required by the sponsor.

♦ For federal grants SPU must submit a final federal financial report (FFR), final technical report, and final invention statement and certification within 90 days of the grant expiration.

♦ Failure to submit timely and accurate final reports may affect future funding for the University or awards with the same PI


If You Leave SPU

A professor who is leaving SPU for another institution should contact OSPF and the Assistant Controller as soon as possible. Check your sponsor’s policies and procedures and work with OSPF to determine if or how the grant will transfer to your new institution. In most cases the grant can be transferred without problems, but early planning is essential since the process can be lengthy.



SPU undergoes a federal audit each spring or summer during which grants are randomly selected for review. If your grant is selected for audit, OSPF will notify you and provide the Finance Office with all requested documentation. Among other things, auditors check whether or not reports have been submitted on time.