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Research: Award Closeout

Learn about the Award closeout process: Closeout responsibility, final reports due to sponsor as well as SPF/department financial administrative responsibilities.

Award Closeout

The majority of agencies (federal and non-federal) require the University to submit a final invoice or financial report when a project ends. These agencies may also require final technical reports, final invention reports as well as final equipment reports at the end of the project. 

While federal sponsors have had policies in place to withhold funding from PIs (and/or institutions) with delinquent awards missing required closeout documentation, they have recently started increasing the level of communication around these policies, thereby making enforcement of these policies more likely. This significantly increases the risks associated with not properly closing out awards. These notices and warnings are coming from major federal sponsors such as NSF and NIH, further increasing the potential risk to UC San Diego's research portfolio.

Closeout Responsibility Summary

Office / Personnel Responsible

Closeout Responsibilities


Principal Investigator (PI)

Research Administrator (RA)

  • Prepares and submits required reports timely to the central office/sponsor
  • Track RPPR, Progress reports, technical reports, etc. 
  • Assist PI’s with sponsor reports
  • Financial Closeout with SPF
  • Submit Financial Expense Report (FER) and all backup documents within 30 days of project end date
  • Cost sharing, effort reporting


SPF Accountant

  • Prepare/Submit final financial reports and invoice


OCGA Coordinator

  • OCGA Coordinator follows up with Departments when reports are past their due date.
  • If no patents – PI/RA lets OCGA know, OCGA Coordinator will sign and submit to agency
  • If patents – PI/RA needs to complete a section of the form, coordinate with OIC, OCGA Coordinator will sign and submit to agency


SIO-OCGA Officer

  • Coordinates with SIO Departments the submission of final technical project reports and other reports that may be required (e.g. Patent Certs, Property Close)

Equipment Asset Management:

Financial Analyst

  • Final property reports are submitted to the sponsor by Equipment Asset Management Office consulting with the PI to determine if there are any disclosures.

Final Reports

The Principal Investigator(s) (PI) and department are responsible for the submission of all technical reports required under the terms of an award in the form required by the sponsor. Sponsors may also require an annual progress report, final technical report, final property as well as a final invention statement. 

PIs and department representatives should consult the Research Administration Activity Dashboard - Awards Ending or Ended Reports and/or their award terms to determine what reports are required and when the sponsor expects to receive these reports. See here to access a Quick Guide on how to use the Research Administration Activity Dashboard

The PI and department are also responsible for ensuring that each subrecipient has submitted all required reports and deliverables to UC San Diego prior to approval of final payment to the subrecipient.

It is important to know where and how the sponsor expects such reports to be submitted. For example, the National Science Foundation (NSF) now expects the PI to use (instead of FastLane) to meet all NSF project reporting requirements, including submission of final, annual and interim project reports and the Project Outcomes Report. Please see NSF’s closeout guidance. However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires grantees to submit Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) and final technical reports through the eRA Commons.

In short, each sponsor has guidelines about how, when and where progress and final reports should be submitted. It is critical to read the “Reporting” requirements of an award carefully prior to submission of these reports.

When an invention is developed under a federally sponsored project, it is disclosed by the PI to the Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC). OIC is responsible for notifying the federal sponsor about this invention via iEdison. iEdison is an electronic system for grantees and contractors to report inventions arising out of federally funded research to the government agency that issued the funding, as required by the Bayh-Dole Act.

Failure to comply with the reporting requirements of the sponsor can have significant repercussions. For example, the PI’s future funding from the sponsor can be jeopardized. A sponsor also may hold up all new awards to UC San Diego just because of one PI’s delinquent technical report.

Important note: When submitting a progress or final technical report to a sponsor, PIs and/or Department Research Administrators are required to keep a copy of the report and documentation that the report was submitted as well as send a copy of these reports to their OCGA (OCGA will upload these reports along with the submission date to the Award record). Reports can be sent to OCGA using this Service Now form and to SIO-OCGA by emailing the officer directly. This step is important in case the sponsor fails to record the receipt of the report accurately.

Your OCGA will provide assistance with any questions, sign any reports if required by the sponsor, and submit any reports if required by the sponsor. 

Please contact OCGA at or SIO-OCGA by emailing the relevant officer for closeout related inquiries.


SPF and Department Financial Administrative Responsibilities

The Office of Sponsored Projects Finance (SPF) is responsible for preparing financial reports, submitting them, and certifying on behalf of the University that project expenditures comply with sponsor financial terms and conditions. If you manage sponsored projects for your department, you assist in this process by following the guidelines below:

  • Review award documents for reporting deadlines (usually 30, 60, or 90 days after the end date of a project or budget period).
  • Perform a preliminary review of expenditures 60 days before the project ends, and perform a final review of the ledger 30 days after the project end date. Be sure to:
  • Review unliquidated obligations and encumbrances. Determine which incurred expenses will not post to the ledger by the end of the project period. Determine which encumbrances should be lifted and which should be charged to the project.
  • Verify that the award budget and specific expense limitations have not been exceeded. Many sponsors require that expenses conform to the award budget or have spending limits on specific categories. Without sponsor approval, expenses that exceed the budget must be removed from the project.
  • If there is a budget unexpended balance, review the award policy. Your options may include:
  • Confirm with the PI, and then return the balance to the sponsor.
  • Review subsequent expenses (those posted after the end date). Verify that they legitimately apply to the project and were incurred before the award end date.
  • Confirm that all appropriate expenses have been posted to the project.
  • Make sure that all expenses comply with award terms and are appropriate to the project.
  • Confirm expenditures reported on the Financial Expense Report (FER) match the ledger within 120 days after the award end date.
  • In partnership with SPF, reconcile indirect costs assessed on the project
  • SPF will initiate final closeout steps, including project  close out, as soon as possible after the final expenses have posted to the ledger with the goal of closing the project by 120 days after the end date.
  • Informing the SPF award accountant  of any pending expense transfers or requests for rebudgeting, no-cost extensions, or carry-overs.


For more information on financial closeouts, see SPF Contacts.