Policies & Procedures

This protocol is extremely important since it allows various levels of oversight that flow through the program and the accounting side of Sponsored Programs, also known as the Office of Grants and Research Administration (OGRA). This allows OGRA to ensure that all documentation is accurate and complete. This process begins upon 'official notification ' that the proposal will be funded. This notification is in the form of an Award Notification. The President and/or the Grants and Contracts Administrator (GCA) usually receives the notification, who also serves as the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR), the Principle Investigator/Fiscal Officer and/or the Associate Vice President of Sponsored Programs.

Once this notification is received, the GCA prepares an Activation Package, which includes the Activation Memorandum (AM) to the Principal Investigator/Fiscal Officer (PI/FO). The GCA works with the (Grants Compliance Specialist) GCS to schedule an orientation meeting with the PI/OF, involved faculty, and staff. Administrators of the project must be involved and informed of the compliance issues, policies and procedures.

Workflow to the accounting side of Sponsored Programs ensures that fiscal information and calculations are accurate and complete.

  • Completion of the activation requires that the fiscal officer lists the deadline dates of the Progress and Financial Reports and the names of the persons responsible for submitting those reports. The fiscal officer must be in the presence of the Pre-Grants and Contracts Administrator, initial their acknowledgment of the dates, and that they take full responsibility for reports that are not submitted to OGRA before deadlines and that are submitted late to the agency.
  • Program Advancement Policy: It is a policy of Chicago State University (CSU) that grant programs from federal, state, and other grantor sources are to be diligently sought after because of the far-reaching benefits they proffer for the University itself, its faculty, its students, other stakeholders, and the potential to enhance the reputation, morale, sense of pride and financial well being of the University.
    It is a further policy of CSU to exercise great care to manage the risk assumed by the University caused by the requirement to conduct grant activities prior to receipt of the official final notice of award of a grant from the grantor agency and receipt of approval from the Board of Trustees of the University. This policy aims to maximize the grant benefits while minimizing the opportunity for potential negative consequences in the unlikely event that an official final award notice is not received due to problems at the grantor agency or that Board approval is not obtained or is in any manner limited and different from what is expected.

    To carry out these two policies, the following prescriptions must be observed during the period in which there is evidence of the grant award to CSU, but the official final notice of award is pending:

    1. To initiate a grant, there must be some form of a written statement of intent and commitment to award the grant to CSU, such as a letter of intent, a memorandum of understanding, or the like. This written evidence is the practical and legal basis for commencing grant activities through advancing CSU’s cash.
    2. There must be regular ongoing follow-up communication with the grantor agency to ensure the commitment remains intact and there is no substantive change in the award amount or other critical provisions of the grant. CSU should seek to commit, acknowledge and reaffirm during this unapproved phase of the grant.
    3. As a state university with a fiduciary role in handling state funds, CSU must provide evidence that transactions are appropriately authorized during the unapproved phase of a grant. This authorization is to be manifested through the following actions:
      1. Using a partial, preliminary budget for the grant, which reasonably and prudently limits the amount of spending that can be done in the unapproved phase. The budget operates in lieu of an actual transfer of cash to the grant fund. Cash is to be recorded in the grant fund when it is received from the grantor agency.
      2. Setting up a unique grant fund and fund number, which will be used throughout the duration of the grant and establishing the Principal Investigator (PI) as the fiscal officer for the grant who must be held accountable for all grant activities and the overall success of the grant.
      3. Managing and monitoring the expenditure of personnel salaries carefully by working closely with Human Resources and Payroll to limit the number and dollar amount that can be paid during the unapproved phase of the grant.
      4. Following all CSU expenditure policies and procedures for grant expenditures including, but not limited to, entering purchase requisitions in the CSU Buy procurement system and having the fiscal officer and Grant Accounting Group (GAG) review and pre-approve all expenditures before contractual commitment and actual payment of such expenditures.
      5. Ensuring all vendor contracts fully comply with all federal, state, CSU, and other applicable rules, regulations, policies, and procedures.
      6. Managing and monitoring any subrecipient awardees on a grant to ensure overall compliance with the grant to protect CSU’s assets, including its cash.
      7. Operating as a collaborative team comprised primarily of the Office of Grants and Research Administration (OGRA), the Principal Investigator (PI) and his/her personnel resources, the Grants Accounting Group (GAG), and other CSU departments as appropriate to properly and efficiently manage the grant in a manner that promotes maximum overall benefit and success and full compliance that aims to prevent or minimize audit findings.
    4. CSU is a state university that seeks to fulfill its mission by actively engaging in grants and research. It follows that all university departments must cooperate and collaborate to promote the success of CSU’s grant endeavors, especially when called upon by OGRA, the PI, or GAG in the exercise of their respective grant duties.

Note: Please contact our GCA to request a Program Advancement of Funds.