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Preliminary Activities in Financial Management of Sponsored Research Awards

Funds for sponsored research are awarded to the College, though managed by the Principal Investigator and staff in the OSP. Without written approval by the sponsor, the funds are to be spent only for the purpose and at the level designated in the final approved proposal budget. The Principal Investigator is responsible for implementing the sponsored research award in accordance with sponsor guidelines, hiring staff, expending sponsored research funds, and conducting the as described research in the proposal and agreed to with the acceptance of the award. In many areas of the College, the financial management of a sponsored research award is delegated to an administrative assistant or financial manager. While the award then becomes a shared responsibility among the Principal Investigator, the administrative assistant, and the OSP Sponsored Research Manager, the Principal Investigator is still ultimately responsible for the overall success of the project, including adherence to sponsor's guidelines. While these statements may seem redundant, they are presented to emphasize the Principal Investigator's responsibility to both the sponsor and Dartmouth College. Again, the OSP is a Principal Investigator's best source of information and guidance on the financial aspects of sponsored research management.

The Sponsored Research File

When a proposal is first submitted through the OSP it is assigned a proposal number and becomes the foundation document of a sponsored research file. The Principal Investigator's name, project title, and other information related to the sponsored research file are entered into an internally maintained database in the OSP. The file remains dormant until a decision on funding status has been received in the OSP.

Negotiation and Acceptance of Sponsored Agreements

The OSP in conjunction with the Principal Investigator is responsible for reviewing all terms and conditions of an award prior to acceptance by the College. The OSP is also responsible for assuring that sponsor's requirements are compatible with College sponsored research policies, consistent with government-wide regulations applicable to educational institutions, and reflect the understandings agreed upon prior to receiving the award. The OSP has primary responsibility for resolving any disagreements between the College and sponsor with regards to terms and conditions of awards.

Acceptance of sponsored research funds binds both the sponsoring agency and Dartmouth College to certain financial commitments as outlined in the approval and acceptance of the final budget. While the OSP maintains complete financial records on cost-sharing, matching funds, and in-kind contributions, the Principal Investigator is the Dartmouth College representative most responsible for overseeing cost-sharing, and soliciting matching funds, as outlined in the funded proposal.

Last Updated: 10/27/09