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Unexpended Funds

Introduction

This section outlines the alternatives and process for managing unexpended balances on a grant or contract. The disposition of any balances remaining in a sponsored research account is generally stipulated in the grant or contract document. The first step in determining appropriate use of unexpended funds is to carefully review specific terms and conditions of the grant or contract. In addition, the originally proposed budget and scope of work must be reviewed to assure the obligations of the grant or contract have been met for fixed price agreements; budgets must be accurate and reasonable. In instances where the sponsor terms regarding unexpended funds are unclear, please contact your OSP Grant Manager for assistance. Your OSP Grant Manager will advise you on the appropriate course of action for managing unspent funds. Some possible scenarios are described below. In all cases, Dartmouth College reserves the right to evaluate the circumstances of a particular situation and make a determination about the appropriate disposition of funds.

Possible Actions for Management of Unspent Funds

Retain Funds by Requesting a No-Cost Extension

Federal and non-federal sponsors typically provide a mechanism to request a no-cost extension to continue work on a grant or contract past the original awarded end date. Requests for no-cost extensions should be initiated by the PI and then approved by OSP. Some requests may require an additional approval by the sponsor.

Return Funds to Sponsor

Terms of the grant or contract may stipulate that any unspent funds must be returned to the sponsor. OSP will prepare a final reconciliation, in consultation with the PI and his/her department. OSP will be responsible for sending the refund check to the sponsor.

Review Balance of Funds and Alternatives for Use

Contracts performed on a fixed price basis where payments are based upon specific milestones or deliverables, may allow for retention of funds without sponsor approval. In reviewing the balance of funds and alternatives for use, the project and the account status should be reviewed to ensure that deliverables have been met and all costs incurred as a result of performance of a project have been charged to the applicable source of funds.

The below table only applies to those accounts in which the sponsor allows our institution to keep residual balances once the project has been completed.

  Total Unexpended Funds (% of total payments received) Information to Send to OSP Grant Manager Disposition
1. Between 0 and 10%
  • PTA Account Number, Title of the Project
  • Amount of funds available
  • A detailed explanation for why a balance exists
  • Certification that all costs (e.g. salaries, patient related charges, etc.) associated with this project have been charged to the account

Transfer to a non-sponsored Dartmouth College research account. Research to be performed utilizing unspent funds must be of a nature similar to the originally funded project*

2. Greater than 10% and less than 20%
  • PTA Account Number, Title of the Project
  • Amount of funds available
  • A detailed explanation for why a balance exists
  • Certification that all costs (e.g. salaries, patient related charges, etc.) associated with this project have been charged to the account

Director of OSP will review the justification and make a determination as to the appropriate disposition of the funds.**

3. 20% or greater
  • PTA Account Number, Title of the Project
  • Amount of funds available
  • A detailed explanation for why a balance exists
  • Certification that all costs (e.g. salaries, patient related charges, etc.) associated with this project have been charged to the account

Review and approval by the Director of OSP and the Vice Provost for Research who will consult with the appropriate Academic Dean and/or Department Chair on the disposition of the funds.**

 

*Note: Non-sponsored research accounts (commonly referred to as reserve accounts) are considered College funds and will be managed in accordance with the accounting policies and procedures of the relevant School and Dartmouth College.

**In cases (2) and (3), the disposition of funds may include one or more of the following: Return of funds to the sponsor; notification and consultation with sponsor concerning nature and amount of funds,transfer of funds to a school or department account under the direction of the Chair or Dean; transfer to a non-sponsored research account; and other suitable means as determined by the review.

Last Updated: 12/17/10