Dartmouth College, in response to Federal regulations, require a number of internally generated policy certifications and reports. These certifications are the checks and balances imposed on the management of sponsored research awards. They are intended to guarantee that the agreed upon terms of an award, as outlined in the approved proposal and budget, are being met.
Sponsors typically request both periodic financial and progress reports. The schedule for completing and format requested should be outlined in the sponsor's notice of award. The Office of Sponsored Projects is responsible for completing financial reports, while the Principal Investigator is responsible for the progress reports.
The Principal Investigator is responsible for submitting interim/final progress reports to the sponsor within the specified time frame and format indicated by the sponsor in the award document. The format of progress reports is usually determined by the sponsor. If a sponsor does not indicate a format, the Principal Investigator is advised to use a standard format that addresses the following project management concerns:
Comparison of actual expenses against the projected expenses. Expected shortfalls, reasons for them occurring, and what steps the Principal Investigator has taken to remedy or forestall a shortfall should be included in the budget review. Likewise, if a project is under-spending, this should also be discussed.
An interim progress report does not have to be long, but should thoroughly describe accomplishment and problems. In describing problems it is important to accurately represent the extent of the problem, what is being done to address it, and what effect the problem may have on the long-term success of the project. The Principal Investigator should remember the interim progress report can set the stage for initiating new projects, or requesting additional time or supplemental funding to complete the present project.
Last Updated: 10/27/09