5.3 Project Management Responsibilities

(Amended 1/09)
  1. The University, in accepting externally sponsored awards, assures its sponsors that project activities are conducted in accordance with the scope of work and that expenditures incurred under these awards comply with applicable sponsor and University policies. This assurance is not possible unless there is a coordinated effort between the project directors, their departments and colleges, and the University's central administrative offices to properly administer the sponsored awards. Paragraphs b through f below describe the roles played and the responsibilities assumed in the administration of sponsored awards by the project director, the department executive officer, the collegiate administrative officer, the Division of Sponsored Programs, and the Grant Accounting Office.
  2. Project director roles and responsibilities. The project director is responsible for the overall programmatic and fiscal direction of the sponsored project. In that role, the project director must decide how best to allocate the financial resources available to successfully carry out the project activities. The project director may require assistance of the department both in processing the routine paperwork associated with the obligation and expenditure of funds and in the regular review of the fiscal status of the sponsored project. The project director is ultimately responsible to their departmental executive officer for resolving in a timely manner any overexpenditures or unallowable costs that occur on a sponsored project. The project director's signature on the proposal routing form indicates their agreement to assume responsibility for project fiscal management; to abide by all University, governmental, and sponsor certifications, policies, and regulations; and to report any inventions or financial conflicts of interest in accordance with prescribed University policies (see V-30 University of Iowa Intellectual Property Policy and II-18 Conflicts of Commitment and Interest).
  3. Departmental executive officer roles and responsibilities. The Departmental Executive Officer (DEO) is responsible for assuring that costs incurred under sponsored projects conducted within the department comply with sponsor and University policies and are within the resources available to the project directors. Discharge of this important role should follow an established review process and be performed regularly. In the event that project overexpenditures occur, the DEO must cover the overexpenditures from other departmental resources. The DEO's signature on the proposal routing form indicates acceptance of the responsibilities of the department in sponsored projects management.
  4. Collegiate administrative officer (dean) roles and responsibilities. The collegiate dean is responsible for general oversight of the sponsored activities conducted within the college. This may include, but is not limited to, assuring that departments have adequate facilities and other resources for achieving project goals and objectives, assuring that faculty time commitments on sponsored activities do not conflict with other departmental or University responsibilities, monitoring departmental financial resources, and assuring that departments are complying with the various regulatory requirements of the sponsors and the University as they apply to sponsored activities. Collegiate deans may also be asked to help provide interim financial support for project directors who experience a temporary loss of external support for their research activities.
  5. Division of Sponsored Programs roles and responsibilities. In addition to the responsibilities described in V-5.2 above, the Division of Sponsored Programs is responsible for activities such as preparation and issuance of subcontracts, interpretation of sponsor and University policies as they apply to project management, and acting as the University Authorizing Official signatory on behalf of the Vice President for Research for all correspondence requiring institutional approval. Information regarding the Division of Sponsored Programs is available at https://dsp.research.uiowa.edu.
  6. Grant Accounting Office roles and responsibilities. The Grant Accounting Office is responsible for providing a number of post-award services associated with the fiscal management of sponsored projects including, but not limited to, establishing the accounting and budget records for sponsored projects, interpreting sponsor and University fiscal policies for faculty and staff, working with faculty and staff to provide accurate and timely financial information relative to sponsored projects, monitoring expenditures under sponsored projects for compliance with sponsor and University policies and procedures, preparing financial reports to sponsors, carrying out all cash management responsibilities associated with the funding of sponsored projects, and acting as a liaison with other University administrative support units, sponsors, and auditors.