Grant Administration FAQ’s

I got a grant!  Now what?

Congratulations!  There are many dimensions to administering a grant, so the first step is to schedule a kick-off meeting with our Grants Accountant, Rodrigo Flores.  Among other things, this meeting will cover:

  • Working with your grant in Workday
  • Managing and controlling grant funds
  • Technical reporting requirements
  • Compliance

When can I start spending on my award?

Some sponsors allow pre-award spending 90 days before the start date of your agreement by approval.  All pre-award costs are incurred at the institution’s risk (i.e., the Federal awarding agency is under no obligation to reimburse such costs if for any reason the recipient does not receive an award or if the award is less than anticipated and inadequate to cover such costs). Therefore, the Grants Accountant must approve pre-award costs in advance of contacting the granting agency for approval.

I have received a federal grant award, can I transfer costs from one budget line item to another?

In most cases, yes. Some federal agencies may require prior approval of budget revision to certain budget categories or circumstances including:

  • Changes to any budget category in excess of 10%
  • Addition of any of the following items that were not included in the original budget
    • Capital equipment (acquisition cost of ≥$5,000)
    • Subawards to other entities
    • Reallocation of budgeted funds from Participant Support Costs to any other cost category
  • Unless described in the application and funded in the approved awards, the subaward, transfer, or contracting out of any work under an award, may require prior approval. This does not apply to the purchase of supplies, materials, equipment, or general support

For any budget revisions, please submit the Budget Allocation Request to Rodrigo Flores in the Business Affairs Office at roflores@hmc.edu.

Can I transfer funds from my federal grant to another grant if the project is related?

No, you may not transfer funds from one grant to another. You may process a cost transfer request, moving the expense from one grant to another to correct an error. Please be aware that cost transfers are one of the highly tested transactions during an audit.

My grant is expiring soon, but the project will not be complete by this time. How do I request an extension?

Most granting agencies allow a one-year grantee-approved no-cost extension (NCE).

  • The PI submits the request and justification in research.gov and sends it to SRO for submission
  • NCE must be submitted at least ten calendar days before the expiration of the original award.
  • An extension cannot be requested simply because there are unused funds or for an award that contains a zero balance

A second extension requires NSF approval and must be submitted 45 days before the end of the grant period.

I need to purchase equipment under my federal grant, are there any inventory tracking requirements?

Yes. Equipment asset inventory is required for any equipment equal to or greater than $5,000. It is the department’s responsibility to maintain this inventory. See Equipment Inventory Policy.  Equipment inventory records should include: the date of purchase, amount of purchase (including sales tax, delivery charges and/or installation costs), physical location of equipment (building and room number), the model/serial number of the equipment, the account number(s), and a unique departmental ID tag number (this should also be attached to the equipment). All documentation of equipment purchases on the inventory log must be kept until the disposal of the equipment. Please contact the Business Affairs Office when disposing of College equipment (either capitalized or non-capitalized) for proper accounting. If disposal consists of selling the equipment, sales tax may apply.

I am booking an international flight that will be charged to my federal grant, are there any restrictions?

Yes, federal grant recipients are required to abide by the provisions of the Fly American Act. The Fly American Act requires that foreign air travel is performed on U.S. flag air carriers, unless specific circumstances qualify as an exception. If, these regulations are not met, the foreign travel will not be reimbursable by a federally funded grant/contract. For more information about the Fly American Act and qualifying exceptions, please visit the Grant Administration page on the Dean of Faculty website.

How can I monitor the expenses being charged to my grant?

Log into Workday Financials and in the search bar enter – HMC External Grant Budget to Actuals. You will be required to enter your grant number which should start with GR51XXXX and the award period you are referencing.  (In order to access the total funds remaining, enter the final year of the award period.)

Questions regarding budget vs. actual questions can be directed to Rodrigo Flores in the Business Affairs Office at 909.607.0352 or by email at roflores@hmc.edu.

I’ve heard that in order to pay a vendor for goods or services with federal funds from a grant, the vendor must be verified to ensure that they are not debarred or suspended from receiving federal funds, is this true?

Yes, when purchasing goods or services using federal funds, the Principal Investigator must ensure that the vendor selected for providing goods or services for the grant is not suspended or debarred from receiving federally sourced funds and must provide proof of verification. Vendors can be verified by going to the Excluded Parties website: https://www.epls.gov/. Proof of verification consists of printing a screen shot of the web page when the search is performed before the order is place. The verification must be submitted with the vendor invoice when requesting payment for the vendor.