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Grants and Contracts Administration

Grants & Contracts Administration (GCA), a unit of the Office of Research & Engagement, is responsible for pre- and post-award functions of the university for awards with public funding (federal, state and local governments) and public funding that is flowed through private organizations.  GCA advances the excellence of research, scholarship and creative activity across all campuses by assisting in proposal development and providing central services in grants and contracts management and compliance.

Post-Award Services

Grants and Contracts Staff

  • Charles Wood
  • Chris Jackson

Frequently Asked Questions

Grant Development

Is it necessary to work with the Pre-Award Services staff in order to submit a grant proposal?

Yes. The Pre-Award Services team serves as the point-of-contact for UNG grant-seeking efforts. The team assists you in evaluating grant opportunities, assessing the likelihood of success, coordinating proposal development, and helping ensure that institutional approval for grants is obtained. In addition, the Pre-Services staff has specific expertise that will increase the competitiveness of grant proposals. The staff has successful experience in helping develop federal, state, foundation and corporate grant proposals. 

I have a concept for a grant. What do I do next?

Please start by discussing the concept with your department head/director. If you receive an encouraging response, please contact Pre-Award Services at charles.wood@ung.edu or 706/867-2139. You will receive the information that you need to electronically submit a Grant Proposal Fact Sheet and Sign-off Form (the so-called “Blue Sheet”) that is required by UNG to help ensure institutional approval.

Why does a grant proposal require institutional approval?

Since a grant award is a legal obligation and commitment by UNG, due diligence is needed to ensure that appropriate individuals are aware of and approve of a grant proposal before it is developed and submitted to the funder. The University System of Georgia (USG) is legally responsible for all grant expenditures. A number of issues may be considered during the approval process, including the likelihood of funding, ability to charge indirect costs, alignment with the university’s strategic goals, availability of matching funds, and requirements to sustain the project after the funding ends. Submitting the Blue Sheet helps ensure institutional commitment. 

I just found out about a grant that is due in a few weeks. Can UNG submit a proposal?

Yes. Please contact your department head/director and Pre-Award Services as soon as possible at charles.wood@ung.edu or 706/867-2139 to review the grant opportunity. UNG recognizes that some of the most promising grant opportunities often have the shortest time constraints. Although some grant proposals are simple to develop, major federal grant proposals often require weeks of planning and development in order to produce a competitive proposal.

Can I write my own grant?

Yes. As a content area expert, your assistance is vital to developing a competitive proposal. UNG recognizes that all UNG grant proposals are led by faculty and staff. At the same time, most grant awards are so highly competitive that support from Pre-Award Services staff is needed to help prepare competitive applications on behalf of the college. After meeting with Pre-Award Services, the actual writing may be a blend of content developed by both parties. For example, the Project Director would develop the Plan of Operation while Pre-Award Services would draft the Evaluation Plan. 

My department has been asked to partner on a grant proposal submitted by another organization and/or to provide a letter of commitment for another applicant’s grant proposal.  Do I need to contact Pre-Award Services? 

Yes. All grant-related items are processed through Pre-Award Services. If you’ve been asked to partner on a grant or provide a letter of support/commitment, please contact your department head/director and the Pre-Services staff as soon as possible for assistance. Please be prepared to answer questions regarding the role that UNG would play in the project. Please do not commit the college to any activity without checking with your department head/director. Working with you and your department head/director, Pre-Award Services staff will prepare the partnership letter or proposal and submit the document to the President’s office for signature. 

How long does it take to learn about whether a grant has been accepted for funding?

It depends on the funding source and can range from 2 weeks to 12 months. It often takes around 6 months to learn about federal awards.

Still have questions about Grant Development? 

Please contact Pre-Award Services at charles.wood@ung.edu or 706-867-2139. 

Contracts and Grant Management

I’ve been named as Project Director/Principal Investigator for a new grant. What should I do next? 

The Grants & Contracts Administration staff is committed to supporting each Project Director/Principal Investigator in their efforts to achieve their grant goals. Please contact Kelley Roberts at kelley.roberts@ung.edu or 706/867-3280 at any time if you have a question regarding the implementation of your project. After Kelley receives formal notification of a new grant award, she or her colleagues will contact you to schedule an initial grants management meeting. Members of the project staff and Kelley will be in attendance. During this meeting the highlights of the grant- including the objectives, reporting and budget requirements, activity implementation, and university grant management protocols will be reviewed. The goal of this first meeting is to clearly define the responsibilities and expectations (of both the funder and the university) associated with the management of the grant. A signed copy of the UNG Grant Fact Sheet and Proposal Approval Form (the so-called “Blue Sheet”) will need to be provided before a new university account can be created to begin expenditures.

What is the single most important thing I should do as a new project director?

Please be familiar with your approved grant proposal. Your proposal is your blueprint of what you should do, when it needs to be done, who is responsible for it, and what you should accomplish. 

How do I know what is allowable under a grant?

Every grant award has a unique set of requirements and regulations. The best place to get started is to look at your approved proposal. If your proposal does not clearly state that you can do or purchase something, please don’t assume it is allowable. Please contact Kelley Roberts at kelley.roberts@ung.edu or 706/864-3280 for guidance. The Grants & Contracts staff is knowledgeable about the public and private rules, regulations, policies and procedures that govern contact and grant awards. Please remember that because it’s a grant, it doesn’t mean that it is exempt from UNG policies and procedures. 

How should I respond to a funding sponsor asking for information about my grant?

Before you respond to any inquiry, please contact Kelley. We can often help “decode” what the funding sponsor is seeking and help draft a response with the most current information. 

Is a grant budget different from a College budget?

Yes. Most contract and grant budgets come with very specific regulations that may restrict the transfers between budget categories, prohibit the purchase of certain goods, or services, and limit the specific timeframe when the funds are available. In many cases, modifications to the originally approved budget require prior approval from the funding sponsor. This approval process (coordinated by the Grants & Contracts staff) can be very detailed and may require extended time to attain. Please always consult with Kelley when you have restrictions that require prior approval.

What are the reporting requirements related to my grant?

Because every contract and grant award is different, funding sponsors will have different reporting requirements. However, the reporting process for all grants is coordinated and submitted by the college.  The UNG Business Office will process and submit all financial reports. The Principal Investigator/Project Director is responsible for technical/program reporting.

What is the “Overall grant amount” on the grant budget activity report?

It is the total amount that has been “budgeted” for the life of the grant.  It will only be the true grant award amount if the amount of the award/grant has been budgeted correctly each FY year for the life of the grant.  For example, if $5,000 was budgeted (per the budget requests completed by the PIs) in FY14 for the first time then the “overall grant amount” will equal $5,000 on the report.  If the grant carries over to the FY15 and you budget another $5,000, then the “overall grant amount” will increase to $10,000 for FY15.  If the amount of the award/ grant is only $8,000, then the “overall grant amount” on the report will be over budgeted by $2,000.

How often do PIs need to do grant budget requests?

At least once each Fiscal Year in which the grant exists.  You may amend the budgets at any time during the FY year.

Can I budget the entire award on one line of the budget request?

Yes, but you must split your budgeted amount out according to the grant/contract terms.  For example, if the grant is only paying for scholarships then the full amount budgeted would go on the scholarship line of the budget request form.  If you budget to only one line and expenses hit other lines, you will need to complete a grant budget amendment to include amounts for the other lines.

Why is there a negative amount on my grant activity report?

This could be from any of the following reasons:  You have no budget amount for that particular line item, the budget amount needs to be increased for that line item, the line item expense needs to be moved to another line, or this expense is not on the correct grant and needs to be moved to another grant.

Why are salaries showing up on my old grant instead of my new grant?

If the new award was given a new grant number, the PI is responsible for submitting new PAF forms to Human Resources/Payroll.

How can the salaries get moved to the correct grant number?

Contact Human Resources/ Payroll to move and to setup future payments to the correct grant account string.

How can other expenses get moved to the correct grant number?

Contact Freda Thornton in the Comptroller’s office for Dahlonega Grants or Annette Gilstrap for Gainesville Grants.

Should indirects be included in the budgeted amount?

No

Who do I contact if I am not receiving my monthly reports or if the reports are the wrong FY?

Contact Melissa Proctor in the Comptroller’s Office in Dahlonega

Where can I see the amounts/payments received for the grant?

On the GL (General Ledger).  The amount(s) received for the grant is NOT on the grant budget activity reports.  You may contact Angela Carlin (Dahlonega) or Annette Gilstrap (Gainesville) to run GLs for your grants.

How much money is still available for my grant? Why does the Grant Budget Activity Report show a different amount?

  • Budgets should be requested according to the amounts listed in the contract received from the Grantor.  The funding may only be used for the purposes that the Grant specifies.  It is important that the PI review the budget in the actual Grant contract, so they don’t charge unallowable expenses to the Grant.
  • Budgets are rounded to the closest whole dollar amount at the time of set-up; the budget may not reflect the exact amount of the grant, but should be as close as possible to the amount awarded.
  • If a grant spans over into the following Fiscal Year, the amount remaining, at the end of that Fiscal Year, should be budgeted as the amount for the new Fiscal Year.  (Example, if the total award was for $25,000.00 and $10,000.00 of that amount has been expended, then if the grant is allowed to continue into the next Fiscal Year, the budget request should only be for $15,000.00. in the new Fiscal Year.)
  • UNG’s Fiscal Year runs from July 1 – June 30, of the following year.  Some Grants will have a different Fiscal Year than UNG.  However, UNG Grant Budgets must follow the UNG Fiscal Year.  For example, if your grant has a FY that runs from October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2015, this spans two Fiscal Years for UNG, so a budget will be needed for FY15, and FY16. 
  • Each year, during UNG “budget prep” in March, the PI will be asked, “Will this grant continue into the next Fiscal Year?  How much do you plan to expend by June 30th – and how much will remain for the next Fiscal Year budget?”
  • Grants/restricted funding cannot be over expended; thus, the budget should never be more than what is actually available to be expended. 
  • It is very important to review Budget Activity Reports each month.  If there is an error, or a question about any charge on the grant, it is important to contact someone in the Comptroller’s Office, so the charge can be investigated.  If the expense/payroll should be paid from another department or grant, a correction can be processed to move this charge from the Grant.  (Angela Carlin, Dahlonega Grants; Annette Gilstrap, Gainesville Grants; Zeneth Carter, Payroll; Cindy Truelove, Accounts Payable).

When filling out a check request, travel expense form, PAF for payroll, P-Card charge, etc., may I just list the grant number?

  • The entire chart field is required for all grants.  Each grant has a unique combination of numbers and all are needed for processing any charge.  If you have a grant that ended, and you now have a new grant; please be sure that the new chart field is used.  Your new grant likely has a different department number and grant number than your previous grant had.
  • The principal investigator (individual responsible for the funds in a project) has the responsibility to ensure that proper documentation procedures are followed for projects that he/she controls and that only authorized expenditures are charged to a project. 
  • Contracts and grants must follow all state appropriated fund guidelines, sponsor specific terms, and conditions noted in the award documents; all state travel policy applies to grants that allow travel expenses.  The exception is if the grant specifically stated (for example), “The PI travels outside of normal teaching time to high-schools to recruit students for this program. This is private grant allows for full mileage reimbursement.”  A statement like this must be in the actual grant contract.
  • Another example might be if a Federal or Federal flow-through sponsor that specifically allows for the payment of travel expenses at a Federal per diem rate, or allowances for food costs for seminars or workshops associated with the objectives of the award.  In addition, UNG is tax exempt.

For any post-award questions, please email the Grants and Contracts Administration department at grants@ung.edu.

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