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Post-Award Research Administration and Research Portfolio Management

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Management of project funding is complicated and changes rapidly. Rules and terms vary by sponsor, and a single sponsor can use different types of award mechanisms. To help navigate these and other challenges that arise throughout the life-cycle of funding, the Research Business Manager (RBM) develops budgets and spending plans for faculty, in addition to providing account oversight, including cost monitoring, salary allocations, and project close-out. They serve as the researchers' financial advisors.

If you have questions concerning any aspect of your research funding, call your RBM!  This area will provide guidance on managing your project during its life cycle. Please use this collection of key step-by-step Workflows to familiarize yourself on the role of the principal investigator, the role of the program administrator and other key research administration areas such as allowable, allocable and reasonable costs, proper financial management, as well as other key areas that you may encounter during the life of your project such as change of scope, hiring of consultants, issuance of subcontracts and more. 

A Research Business Manager is responsible for the day-to-day financial management of a portfolio of research and non-research grants awarded to PIs at CHOP. Each investigator, based on their departmental and divisional affiliation, is assigned a Research Business Manager who helps to develop budgets and spending plans, and provide oversight of the financial management of all sponsored grants and contracts in compliance with CHOP’s policies, project deliverables, and sponsor’s regulations. RBMs are also responsible for cost monitoring, salary allocations, and financial close-out of awards. They meet with PIs to determine budgets, salary, and resource allocations for new awards, at the proposal development stage, and post-award at JIT and during the active award. They serve as the researcher's financial advisors.

Related link: SPRBM Dashboard

Sponsors will usually authorize an extension of time with no additional funding to projects when there are scientific issues to pursue or if data is still being analyzed. Having a remaining balance of funds is, in and of itself, not a justification for an extension. Federal agencies, including NIH, usually permits CHOP’s authorized representative to extend a project period once for up to twelve months, depending on the type of award. Typically, these requests should be submitted before the end of the grant period. Upon an investigator's written request, your Sponsored Projects Officer can obtain that institutional approval and submit it officially to the funding agency.

CHOP follows the federal government-established principles for determining costs applicable to grants, contracts, and other agreements. The Hospital generally applies these same cost principles to non-federal funding, although in some cases, non-federal sponsors define allowable/unallowable costs differently than federal sponsors. All costs posted to sponsored projects must comply with government and sponsor rules and regulations and CHOP’s policies, and follow the established standards for proposing and charging costs to sponsored projects. There are four tests that determines allowability of costs: reasonableness, allocability, consistency, and conformance.

  • Reasonableness: A cost may be considered reasonable if the nature of the goods or services acquired or applied, and the associated dollar amount reflect the action that a prudent person would have taken under the circumstances prevailing when the decision to incur the cost was made. 
  • Allocability: A cost is allocable to a specific grant, function, department, or other component, known as a cost objective, if the goods or services involved are chargeable or assignable to that cost objective in accordance with the relative benefits received or other equitable relationship. 
  • Consistency: Grantees must be consistent in assigning costs to cost objectives. 
  • Conformance: This test of allowability – conformance with limitations and exclusions as contained in the terms and conditions of award, including those in the cost principles – varies by the type of activity, the type of recipient, and other characteristics of individual awards. 

Related Policy: Cost Principle Policy

The Uniform Guidance is a set of regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations, 2 CFR 200. The Uniform Guidance is the governing guidelines for administering Federal awards, allowability of charges, and management of the award for both federal sponsors and other entities that receive federal funds.  

2 CFR 200 consolidates federal guidelines that was formerly part of OMB Circulars A-21 (Cost principles for Educational Institutions), A-110 (Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education) and A-133 (Audit Requirements).  The Uniform Guidance applies to all new federal awards issued on or after December 26, 2014.

The Uniform Guidance contains the following sections:

  • Subpart A: Acronyms and Definitions
  • Subpart B: General Provisions
  • Subpart C: Pre-Federal Award Requirements and Contents of Federal Awards (previously contained in A-110)
  • Subpart D: Standards for Financial and Program Management (previously contained in A-110)
  • Subpart E: Cost Principles (previously contained in A-21)
  • Subpart F: Audit Requirements (previously contained in A-133)

Related Link: Part 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance)