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Research: Closeout

Learn how to prepare for final or annual agency reporting for a sponsored project award.

Award Closeout

The majority of federal agencies require the University to submit a final invoice or financial report when a project ends. These agencies may also require technical reports annually, at the end of each budget period, and/or at the end of the project.

Reporting

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 as well as a final technical report and final invention statement. PIs should consult their award terms to determine what reports are required and when the sponsor expects to receive these reports. 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 Research.gov (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 and not assume that emailing a progress or final report to a program officer will meet the sponsor’s requirements.

When an invention developed under a federally sponsored project, it is disclosed by the PI to the Office of Innovation and Commercialization, 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.

Please note: When submitting a progress or final technical report to a sponsor, PIs are advised to keep a copy of the report and documentation that the report was submitted in case the sponsor fails to record the receipt of the report accurately.

OCGA will provide assistance with any questions, sign any reports if required by the sponsor, and submit any reports if required by the sponsor. Sponsoring agencies may contact OCGA when any of the required closeout reports have not been received. When OCGA receives a request for a delinquent report from a federal agency representative, OCGA follows up with the responsible individual or campus office. Please contact OCGA at awardcloseout@ucsd.edu for closeout related inquiries.

OPAFS and Department Financial Administrative Responsibilities

The Office of Post Award Financial Services (OPAFS) is responsible for preparing these reports, submitting them, and certifying on behalf of the University that project expenditures comply with agency financial terms and conditions. If you manage sponsored project funds 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 won't post to the ledger by the end of the project period. Determine which encumbrances should be liftedand which should be charged to the project.
    • Review account codes for unallowable expenses. Without agency approval, those expenses must be removed from the fund.
    • Verify that the award budget and specific expense limitations haven't been exceeded. Many agencies require that expenses conform to the award budget or have spending limits on specific categories. Without agency approval, expenses that exceed the budget must be removed from the fund.
    • If the total budget balance is in overdraft, transfer the expense overrunsoff the fund.
    • If there is a budget unexpended balance, review the award policy. Your options may include:
  • Review subsequent expenses (those posted after the end date). Verify that they legitimately apply to the project and were incurred before the end date.
  • Confirm that all appropriate expenses have been posted to the fund.
  • Make sure that all expenses comply with award terms and are appropriate to the project.
  • Confirm expenditures reported on FER match the ledger within 120 days after the award end date.
  • OPAFS will initiate final closeout steps, including fund inactivation, as soon as possible after the final expenses have posted to the ledger with the goal of inactivating the fund by 120 days after the end date.
  • Help the appropriate OPAFS award accountantget final reports submitted on time by: