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Frequently Asked Questions

Subawards

Fellowships

Cost Share

Awards


Subawards

Q 1.1 Do I need a subcontract?
A. To determine whether a distribution of grant funds is a procurement or subcontract, see: http://oregonstate.edu/research/osprc/submission/subvsproc.htm

Q 1.2 Are subawards/subgrants automatically extended when the prime award is extended?
A. No, the department accounting staff or PI should send a request for extension or additional funding to the Contracts Office.

See: http://www.contracts.oregonstate.edu.

Q 1.3 How long after the end date of the subaward/subgrant before the final invoice is due?
A. Most subawards/subgrants are given 60 days after the end date in which to submit all closeout documentation. The final invoice will not be paid until all closeout documentation is received. Length of time may vary depending upon terms of prime award.

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Fellowships

Q 2.1 Are stipends taxable?
A. Taxes are generally not taken out of stipends issued through Oregon State University. Consult the IRS web site for more information about tax reporting on fellowships.

Q 2.2 Does the department have to pay tuition for GRA/GTA?
A. Yes, if the student is given a GRA/GTA appointment the tuition will be paid by the grant or contract on which the GRA/GTA salary is being paid.

Q 2.3 How do you pay tuition?
A. University Tuition and Educational Expenses from Grants:

  1. University tuition is credited to the student's account by the Office of Post Award Administration.
  2. Educational expenses are paid on the student's behalf to a vendor or reimbursed to the student. Check with the Office of Post Award Administration for the proper process.

ELI Tuition from Grants:

  1. All ELI tuition charges should be entered on the student's account with the university.
  2. If the ELI tuition is an allowable charge to the grant, then the grant's PI (or departmental accountant) on the grant should contact the the Office of Post Award Administration Office. The responsible accountant will check the grant to see if the cost is allowed. If allowed, a credit will be entered on the student's account with a detail code, as OSU does for other tuition coverage/relief.

Crediting Tuition at another University:

  1. If the student is attending another OUS institution, the payment is made through an Inter-institutional JV. If charged to a grant, the JV should be prepared and sent to the Office of Post Award Administration for approval. the Office of Post Award Administration will forward to Payables for processing.
  2. If the student is attending a non-OUS institution, a Payment Request Form must be completed and entered into Banner FIS for payment. The account code to use is from the 2863X series, rather than the 55XXX series for OUS students. Contact the accountant in the Office of Post Award Administration handling the award if you need more help.

Q 2.4 When do the fellowship students receive stipends?
A. Once established in Banner FIS, stipends are sent out so they are received at the beginning of the month for that month.

Q 2.5 Can I have my stipend direct deposited?
A. Yes, please fill out the two forms linked below and send both to:

Attn: Direct Deposits the Office of Post Award Administration 306 Kerr, Corvallis, OR 97331
Direct Deposit Authorization
Direct Deposit Memo

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Cost Share

Q 3.1 What is Cost Sharing?
A. Cost Sharing is the portion of a project or program cost that is not reimbursed by the sponsor but is part of the costs of the project or program. It is a commitment by the university or a third party and may be in the form of dollars, effort or in-kind contributions. Cost sharing can be mandatory, required as a condition of the award, or voluntary and is offered by the university to help make a proposal more competitive. After an award is made, all voluntary cost sharing becomes mandatory. Use of cost sharing should be kept to a reasonable level because of the burden cost sharing places on the university and departmental resources.

Q 3.2 What kinds of charges can be included in cost share?
A. Charges that can be included as cost share are those that are necessary and reasonable for the project's objectives. They must be incurred during the effective dates of the award and verifiable, either within the university's accounting system or properly documented if provided by sources outside the university. For federal awards, the costs must be allowable under OMB Circular A-21 and the guidelines of the funding agency. Generally, if a charge could legitimately be made to the award, it can be used as cost share.

Q 3.3 What charges can not be used as cost share?
A.

  • Use charges for equipment, computers, or networks that already exist.
  • Use charges for land or buildings owned by OSU.
  • Salaries and fringe benefits of administrative/clerical personnel (unless approved during the proposal process as cost share and would be allowed as a direct project expense).
  • Funds received from a federal source (unless the federal agency agrees to cost share with another federal agency).
  • Expenditures that have previously been reported as cost share.

Q 3.4 How does Cost Sharing work at OSU?
A. A Cost Share Grant, Fund and Index identified with the original award are established in Banner. A cost share method links this index and fund to an organizational general fund index. Charges are made directly to the cost share index. Banner FIS automatically makes a transfer from the general fund index to the cost share index to cover the charges. Cost share budgets are entered into an MS Access program that is updated frequently from the Data Warehouse to record charges made. These reports are distributed to the departments on a semi-annual basis. For a more detailed discussion of cost share, please see the OSU Grant, Contract and Gift Accounting Handbook.

Q 3.5 How do I charge expenses to cost share?
A. Use the index that is set up (usually ends in 'S') and charge the costs directly to that index just like you would use the regular grant index.

Q 3.6 Why do we have to complete PAR forms?
A. Personnel Activity Reports are the method used at OSU to reasonably substantiate the effort for which employees are paid in any part by restricted funds or cost share funds. This reporting is required by OMB Circular A-21 and is subject to audit. If the PAR formsa are found to be inaccurate, both direct and F & A costs can be disallowed.

Q 3.7 If a payroll redistribution is made, do I need to correct the PAR form?
A. Absolutely. The PAR forms must match the payroll system. The auditors do look at PAR forms and inconsistencies could lead to disallowance of the costs.

Q 3.8 Who can sign PAR forms?
A. PAR forms should be signed by someone with first-hand knowledge to verify that the work was performed. This includes the employee, the principal investigator, a supervisor, or other responsible official.

Q 3.9 When is the Office of Post Award Administration's signature required on Labor Distribution forms?
A. If you're going back more than a quarter (90 days) or prior fiscal year then the Office of Post Award Administration's signature is required. Please note that a corrected PAR form is also required to be filled out.

Q 3.10 What if I don't have a PAR form for an employee?
A. PAR forms are printed for academic, professional faculty or classified employees paid on restricted or cost share funds during the quarter. If the employee was paid using a student or temporary account code, no PAR form is produced. These employees should have time sheets or other after-the-fact payroll documentation signed by the supervisor or principal investigator. This will serve as documentation for effort reporting. Graduate students who are paid on student wages during the summer must have time sheets for effort reporting.

If a person did not receive a PAR form because of payroll delays, a blank form must be completed, signed by the appropriate person and submitted to the Office of Post Award Administration. See Post Awards forms to download a blank PAR form.

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Awards

Q 4.1 How long will it take for an index to be assigned?
A. Usually an index will be assigned in 1 to 3 weeks after it is received in the Office of Post Award Administration, but when it's very busy, it can take up to 4 to 6 weeks. When new awards are forwarded from the Contracts Office to the Office of Post Award Administration they are put in a queue. The placement in the queue is assigned by priority and the priority of an award is determined by many things: start date of the award, when the award was received in the Office of Post Award Administration, and payments accompanying the award are some of the more important criteria. New awards are received daily and they may have greater priority than the awards already in the queue. Payments must be deposited as soon as possible, so they will be assigned an index first. The start and end dates of the fiscal year for state and federal governments is accompanied by increased activity and the queue can become very large at these times causing the assignment of indexes to take longer.

Q 4.2 How can I ensure I'll be notified when an index is assigned?
A. The Contracts Office sends out an email when an award is received and forwarded to the Office of Post Award Administration. When the Office of Post Award Administration assigns an index, it sends out an email notice to the same addressees. If you are aware of an award that is going to be assigned an index and you weren't on the Contracts Office list of addressees, send a request to the Office of Post Award Administration and you will be added to the notification list. The simplest way to do this is to forward a copy of the Contracts Office email with your request; if you don't have a copy of the Contracts Office email, provide as much information as you can (such as: Principal Investigator, granting agency, award amount, title of the award, award number, etc.) so the award you wish to be notified of can be identified.

Q 4.3 We're preparing a research proposal and need to know the current payroll OPE rate. Where can we find this information?
A.

  1. Please see the Sponsored Program's office web site at: http://oregonstate.edu/research/osprc/submission/fringebenefits.htm

Q 4.4 Once a cost overrun has been processed for an ending award, can it be moved to another index?
A. No, the cost overrun may not be transferred to another index.

Q 4.5 If a PI anticipates additional funding can they continue to spend?
A. No, PI's and/or departments are not allowed to spend over the authorized award amount on grants and contracts during the award period.

Q 4.6 Can cost transfers be processed at anytime?
A. Cost transfers should be made within 90 days of the original charge. If not processed within 90 days, it will be necessary to explain why it was not completed in a timely manner.

Q 4.7 What F & A rate do I use on proposal budgets?
A. There are several variables that determine what rate to use. Off campus, on campus, agency limits, allowed, not allowed, etc. For questions, clarification, and current project rates consult Sponsored Programs: http://oregonstate.edu/research/osprc/submission/budgetcosts.htm

Q 4.8 How do I do a budget JV?
A. Budget JV's are very similar to regular JV's. There are a few differences. The journal type is 1PBB. Instead of "D" and "C", you must use "+" and "-" to increase and decrease budget categories. The budget period must also be entered (use current period).

Q 4.9 Are cell phone charges allowed on sponsored awards?
A. Per OMB Circular A-21, communication access costs are considered part of indirect cost and are not an allowable direct cost on grants and contracts; this includes federal and match state-wide funds. Therefore, any charges to research projects (sponsored, AES-funded, or FRL-funded) or other sponsored activities (sponsored or Extension-funded) must be approved in advance. Requests for an unlike circumstance, such as remote location (field study), or emergency access must be made to and approved in writing by the Assistant Director of Business Affairs, Office of Post Award Administration (OPAA). The Communication Allowance is not an option available as a direct charge.

Requests for an unlike circumstance should be supported as follows:

- costs should be identified in approved proposal
- itemized bill needs to be made available for audit purposes
- budget on 22013 for cell phones .

Q 4.10 Can I buy equipment from two different fund sources?
A.. Equipment may only be purchased on split funding if the title-to codes on both indexes are "SI" (state owned & insured). If the total purchase exceeds $5000 it is still equipment even if either increment is under $5000. This is because it will still be capitalized and added to OSU inventory.

Q 4.11 If I have a fixed price agreement can I spend after the end date?
A. We do have more flexibility with fixed price agreements and are able to spend past the end date within a reasonable amount of time if the project is on schedule. All project costs should be paid on the award. A no-cost extension should be requested if the project is not finished.

Q 4.12 Why does the Office of Post Award Administration ask for document text?
A. Text is required to demonstrate direct benefit to the project.

Q 4.13 I have a domestic travel budgeted; can I also charge foreign travel?
A. Foreign travel should be proposed and budgeted. With agencies where OSU has expanded authority, the Office of Post Award Administration is able to approve budget changes; otherwise agency approval is required. The approval must be in writing from an agency authorized official in Banner.

Q 4.14 Why do travel documents take so long to get processed?
A. There are a few possible reasons:

  1. The grant was not on the first accounting record in Banner.
  2. The conference registration was not on the first accounting record in Banner.

(Both of these causes approvals to not route correctly)

  1. There is a problem with the document (per diems are incorrect, contains an unallowable expense, etc).

Q 4.15 Why does the Office of Post Award Administration send out the tech/patent email?
A. The auditors want to see that the technical reports have been completed. Also, if there are any patents/inventions that resulted from any research, we are required to report that to the granting agency.

Q 4.16 Can I purchase items from surplus property on my grant?
A. Surplus property normally cannot be purchased on sponsored awards. The exception would be if the surplus property did not come from OSU. Occasionally, OSU sells surplus property for other companies like Hewlett-Packard. If it is scientific equipment and it can be demonstrated that the original funding source was non-federal, the purchase may be allowed.

Q 4.17 How do I check the cash balance of my gift funds?
A. In Banner FIS use the FGITBAL or FGITBSR screen and look at right hand column, first line (A0901).

D=positive balance (you're okay)

C=negative balance (you're in financial trouble)

Q 4.18 What reports from Banner are equivalent to the reports the Office of Post Award Administration runs to create the monthly or quarterly billings?
A. FRR0060 or FRR0090 detail sheets when selected for the same accounting period.

Q 4.19a Which Banner screen tells me if my grant is earning interest?
A. Check Banner screen FTMFUND under State Funding Source, if "SF" appears then it's an earning interest bearing account.

Q 4.19b How often will my grant receive interest income and how is it calculated?
A. Interest income is disbursed quarterly and is calculated by the Controllers Division. Please note that if your grant is overspent, it will be charged interest expense instead of earning interest income. (See handbook link.)

Q 4.20 Is there a screen or a report in Banner or DataWarehouse that will give me a list of activity codes?
A. Yes, in Banner you can use FTVACTV for a full listing of all activity codes. If you want to narrow it down, you can query (F7) and enter criteria and then execute query (F8). In DataWarehouse, you could also go to the validation tables (VAL TABLES) button, then the ACTIVITY button, select the criteria you want and then query.

Q 4.21 How do I find the current end date of my grant in Banner?
A. There are several screens that provide this information:

FRIGITD - enter the grant number and press F3
FRIGRNT - enter the grant number and press F8
FRAGRNT - enter the grant number and press control and page down

Q 4.22 When an award is going to close, what should the department accountant do?
A. See OSU GCG Post Award Overview and Responsibilities section in the the Office of Post Award Administration handbook for a detailed "To Do" list.

Q 4.23 Is outside income allowed on my grant?
A. In order to be allowed on a grant, the workshop or activity must be written into the scope of work and included in the budget.

Q 4.24 How can I tell the actual month that the salary on my grant is for?
A. FIS DataWarehouse Payroll Ledger will show you the month that the pay was posted but HRIS Warehouse shows the actual month that the pay was for.

Q 4.25 How do I get a no-cost-extension for up to 12 months on an Award?
A. First check to see if the agency has given expanded authority to Oregon State University. More information on this and a list of agencies having expanded authority can be found on the OPAS page of this site.

If OSU has expanded authority, fill out an OPAS form (also located through the web site above) and return it to the Office of Post Award Administration (306 Kerr) at least 45 days prior to the award's ending date.

  • For the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Manager of the Office of Post Award Administration must e-mail the agency with the new end date and justification (see question below.)

If OSU does not have expanded authority, or if this is a second request for a no-cost extension, the PI must request the no-cost extension in the form of a letter to the granting agency with signature blocks for the the Office of Post Award Administration Manager as well as the PI's signatures (the PI is responsible for mailing the letter to the agency unless they have attached a stamped envelope).

Q 4.26 How do I extend my ONR grant?
A. You need to make your request via e-mail to the the Office of Post Award Administration Manager at least 30 days prior to the end date. You must include justification for the extension, criteria identifying the award, and the requested new end date. The the Office of Post Award Administration Manager forwards the e-mail request to ONR for their approval. Extension is not in effect until the modification has been received by ONR.

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