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Postaward: The Performance and Management Stage

In the postaward stage, the Grants Office receives award documentation and finalizes contracts, securing any needed signatures from College leadership, confirms that the final project plan reflects compliant stewardship of grant resources, hosts project kickoff meetings, and assists with writing and filing required reports.

Grants Business Management Training Manual 

Download a copy of this comprehensive how-to guide to taking your project from the idea stage through funding, performance and completion. 

Project evaluation tells us definitively whether our programs are working and allows us to make mid-course corrections if needed. Are we achieving our goals? Is the program meeting a need? Is it using its resources efficiently?

An evaluation process can be performed by an internal evaluator or an external evaluator but must be planned before the project begins to ensure that all needed data is collected before the project ends.

The free Western Michigan Evaluation Center Checklists can help you develop evaluation plans.

The Online Evaluation Resource Library can also help you design, conduct, document, or review project evaluations.

EvaluATE is the evaluation hub for the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program.

Principal Investigators (or PIs, also known as project directors), should be familiar with the following policies and procedures, which pertain to all federal grants. Most of these policies also pertain to grant-funded activities from non-federal sources, such as public state/local funding and most private funding. Noncompliance in these areas can result in losing future grant funds, or worse, having to pay back funds that have already been spent.

Policies That Apply During the Preaward and Postaward Stages

  • Mandatory Disclosures—All employees whose work is funded by a public entity must be knowledgeable about which incidents, events, and other matters should be disclosed and how to disclose them.
  • Subrecipient Assessment and Monitoring—PIs need this information if they want to work with partner organizations. This policy also explains how the PI can determine whether the partner is a subrecipient or a contractor, how a risk assessment is done prior to selecting a partner, and how to monitor a subrecipient’s performance on the project after it is funded.
  • Conflicts of Interest—All employees performing activities that are charged to a public entity must complete training to understand what constitutes a conflict of interest to determine if they have any financial relationships or transactions that would be considered a conflict of interest. The link connects to the actual training as well as the policy.
  • Research Misconduct—For projects that contain research, awareness of research misconduct begins during the proposal development stage. PIs must complete training to understand what constitutes research misconduct and how to detect and prevent it.
  • Selection of External Evaluators—PIs who work with an external evaluator need this information while they are developing their projects.

Policies That Apply Primarily During the Postaward Stage

  • Records Retention—As soon as a project begins, the PI must be knowledgeable about the types of records that must be kept and the length of time to retain them.
  • Funds Availability and Allowability—PIs must know how to access and use their grant funds to ensure that the costs incurred and charged against public awards are allowable, allocable and reasonable.
  • Purchasing Guidelines for Federal Grants—This is supplemental information to Sinclair’s purchasing policy.
  • Financial and Performance Reporting—Principal Investigators are responsible for the preparation and submission of performance reports, and work closely with Sinclair’s Grants Accounting Office in the preparation of financial reports.
  • Time and Effort Reporting—All employees who perform activities that are charged to a public entity must complete documentation that certifies, after-the-fact, that the time charged to the grant is consistent with the effort that was contributed.
  • Matching Funds—If a project requires matching funds, PIs are responsible for documenting the types and amounts of match contributions.
  • Participant Support Costs—PIs must know who is eligible to receive participant support.
  • Processing of Budget Entries—This policy contains useful information for PIs when revisions are needed to the project budget.
  • Processing of Journal Entries—This describes the procedures to be taken if a cost transfer must be made in the project budget.  
  • Protected Personally Identifiable Information—PIs need to safeguard personally identifiable and sensitive data related to their projects.
  • Federally-Funded Equipment—This policy addresses the PI’s maintenance and disposition responsibilities regarding equipment purchased with federal funds.
  • Award Closeout—This policy addresses specific procedures by which PIs must ensure timely and complete closeout of financial transactions as well as submission of reports related to the award.

In addition to the policies listed above, PIs must also be knowledgeable about purchasing policies, found on Sinclair’s Purchasing Office website, and travel policies, found on Sinclair’s General Accounting Office website.

Policies Related to Protection of Human Subjects

According to federal regulations, principal investigators have an obligation to protect persons from harm by maximizing the anticipated benefits and minimizing the possible risks of harm associated with any research project involving human subjects. Therefore, principal investigators submitting research proposals involving human subjects must submit the project for IRB review prior to applying for funding. 

Is your project considered research? Does your project involve human subjects? Does your project involve only minimal risk? The answers to these questions begin with some basic definitions.

The Office for Human Research Protections of the Department of Health & Human Services provides a decision tree to help PIs determine whether their research activity has to be reviewed by their institution’s IRB. 

In addition, the Charter and Operating Procedures for Sinclair’s IRB contains guidelines that operationalize federal IRB requirements. 

Finally, the Sinclair Grants Office will help Sinclair PIs decide whether to submit the project for IRB review prior to applying for funding, and if so, which type of review to request from the IRB. 

For more information, download the Frequently Asked Questions about Human Subjects Research at Sinclair.