Project Reporting and Closeout
Externally funded projects arrive with “strings” attached. In addition to the financial reporting normally managed by the grants department, there are normally periodic progress and technical reports that must be prepared in accordance with the sponsor’s award conditions. The institute and PI have the responsibility to provide regular programmatic and technical feedback on the progress that is being made toward the goals and objectives (or anticipated outcomes) set forth in the proposal. A certain level of coordination must be in place between financial reporting function and the programmatic reporting. This reporting is normally on a regular basis such as monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending upon sponsor and the type of work being performed. Increasingly over the past several years, and in the spirit of transparency, federal agencies are requiring that results of projects sponsored with federal funds have data sharing plans and other methods to ensure new information generated from their funding is available to other researchers.
Timely submission of technical and financial projects reports is an important responsibility of the PI and the Grants Manager. Failure to do so could result in the agency withholding new funding for BTI and could jeopardize the PI’s ability to obtain future awards from the sponsor as generally agencies will not make a new award unless all previous awards are in compliance. It is important to review the terms and conditions of your award notice to understand your reporting requirements.
The grants department requires copies of all technical reports (including any final invention/patent and equipment reports) so they may be filed for the yearly audit process.
Annual Project Reports
The submission of an annual progress report is often a requirement imposed by federal and non-federal sponsors. To determine what a sponsor requires, review the award’s terms and conditions and/or contact your grants manager.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has mandated that federal agencies (NIH, NSF, DOE) implement a federal-wide research performance progress report (RPPR) for submission of required annual or other interim performance reporting on research grant and cooperative agreement awards to standardize recipient reporting on federally-funded research projects.
The closeout of a project is the process by which the sponsor determines that all applicable administrative actions and all scientific work on the award have been completed. BTI has an obligation to close all sponsored research awards and submit any final technical and financial reports in a manner consistent with the terms and conditions of the award. PIs are responsible for submitting the technical report to the sponsor and their grants manager. The grants manager is responsible for submitting the financial report to the PI for review and approval and then sending to the sponsor.
Sometimes the terms and conditions of an award will require a final invention/patent and equipment report. The grants manager will work with PIs on completing these reports and submitting them to the sponsor.
2 CFR Part 200 (the “Uniform Guidance”), Section 200.343 – Closeout, sets forth requirements with respect to the complete and timely submission of final reports for federal grants, cooperative agreements and contracts. To be in compliance with the Uniform Guidance, all financial, performance and other required reports must be submitted within 90 calendar days after the expiration or termination date of the award. Some federal awards may reference and incorporate more restrictive closeout requirements in the terms and conditions of the award – if so, the more restrictive requirements should be adhered to in closing out the award.